Losing weight fast and healthy
Everyone wants instant results, particularly for achieving a slim, toned body. Registered dietitians (RDs) recommend losing, at most, 2 – 2½ pounds per week. By losing weight slowly, you are able to maintain your lean muscle mass and avoid dehydration. Fast weight loss results from consuming a fairly low calorie diet and participating in at least one hour of moderately-intense exercise daily.
What if you have an event, such as a wedding or class reunion coming up in two weeks? Can you take off weight safely and quickly? Yes, you can but keep in mind weight lost quickly is less more difficult to maintain post-diet.
How much weight can I lose in two weeks? Is this an expert opinion?
If you choose a strict regime, similar to that followed by contestants on ‘The Biggest Loser’ reality television program, you may be able to drop 10 lbs. in 2 weeks. In fact, it’s possible to lose 5 lbs. initially simply by significantly cutting down on sodium and starchy foods. However, there are no guarantees, and individual results will and do vary.
According to Michael Dansinger, MD, the medical doctor for the program, as long as you lose weight the right way, ‘rapid,’ dramatic weight loss is okay Dr. Dansinger is an expert in the field of metabolism and weight loss. He is an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, a member of the endocrinology division at Tufts-New England Medical Center and a scientist with the USDA Nutrition Research Center.
How many calories should I consume to lose weight?
For safety, women should strive to consume a minimum of 1,200 calories daily, according to registered dietitians. According to Dr. Dansinger, women can go as low as 1,050 calories per day for a limited period of time and men, 1,400 calories per day. The Biggest Loser ‘food pyramid,’ is a successful diet model for achieving quick weight loss. The recommended calorie levels for this pyramid are 1,200 for women and 1,500 for men.
What should I eat for weight loss?
For quick weight loss, expect to cut foods out of your diet and/or make ‘swaps.’ Whether you choose to eat three meals daily or six small meals, fill up on plenty of non-starchy vegetables. A diet for quick weight loss is composed of different foods than the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommendations for a standard balanced diet.
For quick weight loss, your protein intake should be higher and carbohydrate intake lower. The focus is to eat lots of fruits and vegetables, more veggies than fruits, about 4 to 5 servings daily, a moderate amount of whole grains, two to four 1oz. servings, three servings of protein foods (milk, beans, meat, fish) and one to two servings of fat (salad dressing, oil). Exact number of servings will depend upon your calorie level. For best accuracy, count your calories and write down what you eat/portion sizes.
Certain foods should be eliminated for best short-term results, such as alcohol, sugar, all sweets and desserts and refined grains, like white bread and pasta, potato chips, baked goods and even starchy vegetables, such as potatoes.
Are there any other quick weight loss diet tips?
Be sure to stay hydrated with water so that you do not mistake hunger for thirst. Because you are limiting carbohydrates, make swaps such as trading in white or wheat pasta for spaghetti squash.
Be prepared by stocking your kitchen with low calorie foods and clear out tempting foods. Avoid eating out of boredom by staying as busy as possible and only eat from a plate, while seated at a table. Enjoy very low-calorie treats, like sugar-free fudge pops, popsicles and gelatin.
What about exercise? How much should I do?
One of the reasons RDs recommend not dipping below 1,200 calories daily is because doing so will deplete your energy – you won’t have enough to exercise, which is essential for retaining lean muscle. At minimum, engage in 30 minutes of moderately-intense cardiovascular exercise, six days per week. If you can, do more. Don’t skip resistance training/strength training. For the second half of your one hour workout, consider doing upper body toning twice per week and lower body twice per week, devoting the last 2 days to vigorous yoga for flexibility and strength.
Are there any ‘slimming’ or ‘anti-bloat’ foods I can consume?
Drink plenty of water and consider steering clear of gas-forming foods (such as beans (legumes), and certain vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, onions and garlic) if you are trying to fit into a body-hugging outfit. Carbonated beverages, because they contain air, tend to be bloating as well. Eat slowly and consider adding a few foods to your diet. A few studies suggest that foods and beverages that contain probiotics or ‘good’ bacteria, such as yogurt, peppermint tea, ginger, parsley and pineapple may help reduce bloating.
- WebMD Biography: Michael Dansinger, MD: http://www.webmd.com/michael-dansinger-md
- Oprah.com: Q&A with Michael Dansinger, MD: http://www.oprah.com/health/Q-and-A-with-Dr-Michael-Dansinger
- Diet TV: The Biggest Loser Diet: http://www.diettv.com/diets/biggest-loser-diet#diet_description
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC ): Physical activity guidelines for adults: http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html
- M Schmulson and L Chang. Review article: the treatment of functional abdominal bloating and distension. Aliment pharmacol ther . 2011 May;33(10):1071-86. Abstract available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21488913