Let me start this off by being very, very honest. It is possible to lose weight in a week if you put in the effort but you need to be realistic about it. You aren’t going to shed 50 – 60 lbs in a week unless you undergo some sort of cosmetic procedure. It is possible, however, to drop a little extra weight if you want to get in shape for some special event and it doesn’t even have to require starving yourself or spending one solid week in the gym. So how can you lose weight in a week? That’s what this article is all about. If you follow this plan, you should be able to drop at least 5 lbs in a week without starving yourself or sacrificing your health. Let me tell you how.
Drink lots of water.
Water has 0 calories, 0 carbs and almost no sodium. That makes it the absolute perfect weight loss beverage. Beyond the 0 calorie/0 carb/low sodium benefit, water also keeps your body hydrated while simultaneously helping cleanse your system of all sorts of bad things, including excess water weight. It even helps boost your metabolism, making it easier for you to lose weight more quickly. To lose weight in a week though, you’ll have to cut out all other beverages. No sports drinks. No juice. No smoothies … just water. If you find it just far too bland, add a lemon wedge or two or a few mint leaves. It doesn’t sound very exciting, I know, but it’s only for a week and it really works. We are going to talk about an exception to this rule in a few moments but the one exception aside, the majority of what you drink while you’re trying to lose weight in a week should be water.
Say no to white grain.
The problem with white grain is that it contains simple carbs. Simple carbs will cause bloating, especially around your tummy. Simple carbs are also a bad idea because the body digests them quickly which basically means you feel hungry faster. That may lead you to over eat which is obviously bad if you want to lose weight in a week. If you want to lose weight in a week, you need to cut out the white grains. This means white bread, most rolls, spaghetti and other pastas and white rice will be on the forbidden foods list for a week. While you may be tempted to replace them with whole grain products instead, that won’t work for short term weight loss either because whole grain foods also cause bloating, although not quite as much bloating as white grains. Instead of replacing white grains with whole grains, opt for vegetables instead. They’re not much more expensive than grains, are still tasty and mostly contain water so they’re a great option all around.
When I did this diet to shed a few extra pounds before a party, this was the hardest part for me. I love rice and pasta but it was worth the sacrifice. Instead of having a sandwich for lunch, I had a salad. I had vegetables as a side with dinner instead of rice. It was hard to get out of the white grain habit at first but by the end of the week, I’d lost 7 lbs and I felt great. Since then, I’ve cut my grain portions in half, substituting vegetables for grain as often as I feel comfortable with. For me, that looks something like this:
- Sunday: Sandwich for lunch, veggies and protein for dinner
- Monday: Salad for lunch, veggies and protein for dinner
- Tuesday: Salad for lunch, rice and protein for dinner
- Wednesday: Salad for lunch, pasta and protein for dinner
- Thursday: Sandwich for lunch with a side salad, veggies and protein for dinner
- Friday: Salad for lunch, veggies and protein for dinner
- Saturday: Sandwich for lunch, veggies and protein for dinner
After you week is up, you can go back to having grains as often as you like but don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for veggies instead of pasta on a regular basis.
Get your heart rate up.
Cardio is an absolute necessity if you want to lose weight in a week. There is no avoiding it – at least not if you want to lose weight in a week without sacrificing your health. You do have a few options here though. You can do 30 minutes of high impact cardio once a day, two 30 minute sessions of low impact cardio twice a day or do one 60-90 minutes session of low impact cardio once a day. I opted for the one 30 minute session of high impact cardio because it fit into my schedule better than the other options and because it was comfortable for me but you can choose whatever works best for you. If you choose one 30 minute session of high impact cardio, you’re going to want to do interval training. This basically means you break up the session into short segments of intense, high impact cardio with something a little slower. If you’re not used to exercise, this can be especially good for you because it will be a little more comfortable. it’s also the method many personal trainers feel offers the best results.
As for what you should do for your cardio, well, that’s really up to you. Anything that gets your heart pumping is great. The best routine that will give you the best results, however, is a routine that works out multiple parts of your body at the same time. For example, a routine that offers a workout for your legs while also offering a workout for your arms. Rowing machines are a good example here. Spin classes or kickboxing classes that focus on fitness as opposed to training are also great ideas. I take a cardio kickboxing class and I absolutely love it. The best part of this kind of cardio routine is the fact that it doesn’t just focus on weight loss. It also helps tone up your arms, legs and tummy, giving you more shape overall and making you feel better in the process.
Take advantage of coffee.
Yes, I know – drink only water. Well, this is that one exception we talked about. Limit yourself to one cup of coffee a day before workouts and try to drink it black. If you need to, add a bit of skim milk. Black coffee only contains five calories. Add in skim milk and you only have about 11 calories (of course both of these numbers depend on the size of the serving). Knocking back a cup of coffee before your workout will give your workout a little extra boost. You’ll be pushing yourself a little bit harder, even if you don’t notice that you’re doing it. And those calories we talked about? You’ll get rid of them during your workout.
Get more sleep.
If you normally sleep five hours, sleep five and a half. If you normally sleep eight hours, sleep eight and a half. That extra half and hour will help you wake up feeling more energized and will help you avoid the temptation to reach for whatever it is you’re normally have in the morning for that little burst of energy. An extra half hour of sleep will also give you the extra energy you need to put in that cardio time. In addition, more sleep means more muscle building as your body builds muscle while you sleep. Finally, getting a little more sleep will boost your metabolism which in turn will help you lose weight more quickly.
Don’t ignore the classics.
Okay, I must make a confession. There is little in this world I hate more than lunges and push ups but I can’t argue with their effectiveness. I do 36 lunges, 36 push ups and 36 crunches every other day while I’m watching television at the end of the day. It gives me something to do while I’m watching television (I’m not good at just sitting back and relaxing) and it gets my body in shape and helps me feel better. I have some pretty significant health problems and flare ups are triggered by stress; not good as I have a fairly stressful job. Working out helps me burn off some of that stress and focus my mind on other things. I do my lunges, push ups and crunches in sets of twelve each. In other words, I start with 12 lunges then do 12 push ups and then 12 crunches and repeat this cycle until I’ve done 36 of each. This way, I don’t get bored of doing the same exercise 36 times in a row. Because lunges target your hips, your butt and your thighs, crunches target your core and push ups target your arms and upper body, by doing 36 of each every other day, you’re giving your entire body a well rounded workout.
If you’re tempted to hit this routine every day, I’d like to point out why it’s important to give yourself a day off. Your muscles need time to recover and this is an especially tough workout. If your muscles don’t have time to recover, you will actually be damaging them and you’ll build muscle more slowly. As for doing more than 36 at a time, you need to be careful. You’re trying to lose weight, not gain it. If you over do it on the workout, you run the risk of adding mass, which is not what you’re going for. It will be muscle, sure, but it will still be mass.
*Please note: You should always talk with your doctor before you try out any new diet or any new exercise routine. Although you may consider yourself healthy and although this diet is very healthy, you may have underlying conditions that may cause problems. Your doctor will be able to tell you if this is the case. If he or she advises against anything we’ve discussed, don’t do it! Your health is far more important that losing weight in a week.*