Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
A safe, healthy weight loss goal, generally, is to shed 1 to 2 pounds per week. Whether you need to slim down for an important event or are looking to start a long-term weight loss plan, a few lifestyle modifications can combine to help you lose weight in one week. Always speak to your doctor, however, before starting any diet or exercise regimen.
5 Get Rid of Water Weight
Some people disparage weight loss that comes from shedding water weight, but if you only have a week, then ditching the water weight can be a fast way to slim down. A poor diet and lack of exercise particularly encourage the body to retain water. Eating foods that contain electrolytes can help correct a fluid imbalance in your body. Bananas, avocados, tofu, seeds, and raisins are rich sources of electrolytes, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Increasing your intake of these substances from foods or supplements may decrease bloating. Brown rice, ginger tea, and high-fiber cereal may promote fluid loss as well.
4 Drink Water Before Meals
A study published in February 2011 found that drinking around 16 ounces of water 30 minutes before eating helped overweight and obese people eat less at meals, thus lose weight. The participants consumed on a low-calorie diet and drank water before their three main meals each day. Participants who ate a low-calorie diet without the pre-meal water consumption lost weight too, but the water drinkers lost around 44 percent more weight. All the people in the study were middle-aged or older, but that doesn’t mean the benefits necessarily exclude younger people.
3 Ditch the Empty Calories
Since you’re cutting your calories, it’s important that you not waste any on foods that don’t provide nutrition. Eating poorly can make you tired or sick. General guidelines for eating healthy are to choose foods that are low in salt, added sugar, cholesterol, trans fat and saturated fat. Most of these unhealthy substances are found in foods with animal products and processed ingredients. Avoid food that comes in cans, bags and packages. Chips, cookies and other food items that contain multiple ingredients, artificial flavors and stuff you cannot pronounce are generally unhealthy, processed junk you’re better off without. Instead, load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Foods like apples, lentils, whole-grain pasta and broccoli are what you should eat during your week of weight loss.
2 Perform Vigorous Exercise
If you want to see significant weight loss in a week, you have to maximize your efforts. Beginning to exercise is a useful way to drop pounds, but it’s what you do that makes a big difference for your waistline. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that one minute’s worth of vigorous exercise provides the health benefits of two minutes of moderate exercise. Vigorous exercise includes activities such as running and playing sports. These physical activities are more intense than moderate exercise, such as brisk walking or playing doubles tennis. If you’re huffing and puffing, but not keeling over, you are probably doing vigorous exercise. The definition of vigorous exercise is physical activity that requires more than 6 METs, which is a metabolic ratio. In the simplest terms, this means using more than six times the energy it takes to sit quietly. However, this type of exercise is not suitable for everyone; always check with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen.
1 Cut Calories
Lowering your daily intake of calories gets you closer to weight loss every day. Cutting 500 calories per day can result in 1 pound of weight loss after a week, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The Institute’s general recommendations for safe weight loss for women is to consume 1,000 to 1,200 calories daily. Men should aim for 1,200 to 1,600 calories per day. This may seem low to some people, but the idea is to create a caloric deficit, meaning that you eat fewer calories than you burn. It’s important not to eat too little, though. Do not eat fewer than these recommended ranges unless directly advised to by a physician as part of a very low-calorie diet plan. And always check with your doctor before cutting calories, just to be safe.