So I definitely feel a little silly calling this a “weekly” reader question, seeing as how I haven’t been publishing them weekly… but for simplicity/continuity’s sake, I’ll keep the daggone title.
This question comes to me from, well, everyone I ever meet.
“I have a big date this weekend. How can I lose 5 lbs before then?“
“Umm… I am supposed to go to a wedding next weekend and I need to get in shape before then. Can you help?”
“I am leaving for vacation in a week and I need to look super hot in my bikini. What can I do?”
Yes, I get asked the above questions, or some variation of them, at least once or twice a week.
Of course, we all know that the best thing we can do to manage our weight over a long period of time is to eat whole, unprocessed foods, exercise intelligently and consistently, get plenty of sleep, and manage our stress well. That being said, there will always be those who want a quick-fix, whether it’s in preparation for a reunion, a vacation, a wedding, or they just want something to help jump-start their fat loss program. No matter the reason, they just want to drop a couple of lbs. as quickly as possible. For anyone who is purely interested in quick weight loss (notice I said weight loss, not fat loss…some of this weight will be water and muscle glycogen) I would suggest the following tips:
- Cut out all carbs except green vegetables. Not only will this elicit fat loss quickly, you will also shed muscle glycogen and water, resulting in a weight loss of several lbs., in just a few short days. Make sure you are consuming plenty of protein and plenty of fat to ensure you retain your lean mass and burn fat for fuel. I would suggest an absolute minimum of 1 gram of protein per lb. of body weight, and .5-.75 grams of fat per lb. of body weight when your carbs are this low.
- Increase your water consumption. Many of us are consistently dehydrated, which makes our bodies hold on to water. By increasing water consumption, your body will actually shed any excess water weight, resulting in a temporarily slimmer appearance. While drinking a lot of water doesn’t necessarily speed up fat loss, not consuming enough water can inhibit fat loss, so keep that in mind as well! If you don’t drink much water, make sure you increase yoru intake slowly, and be prepared to use the restroom A LOT.
- Avoid heavy, weight-bearing exercise. Normally I am a huge fan of heavy weight training for women. However, this can cause micro-trauma to the muscles. Normally this micro-trauma is a good thing, as the body expends a lot of calories repairing the muscles and getting the body back to homeostatis. However, it can also cause some temporary swelling as the body sends nutrients to the muscles for repair. In general, the swelling is minimal and not noticeable, but if you’re looking for a quick fix, you must take every advantage possible.
See? I promise I normally endorse heavy weight training for females. Just not this week!
- Walk, walk walk! - Walking is one of the best things you can do when trying to lose body fat. It is easy on the body, can be done for long periods of time with minimal fatigue, and can be super relaxing and lower cortisol levels. And don’t forget it burns a few extra calories along the way, as well. Walking during this time is extra important since you are avoiding heavy, weight-bearing exercise right now. Aim to take a 40-60 minute walk each day during this 5 day period.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that if you are already quite lean and don’t have much body fat to lose, it will probably be very hard for you to lose 5 lbs. in 5 days. This advice is geared more towards people who carry at least 10 lbs of extra body fat aboce normal for their body type and height.
Hope y’all enjoyed the article! Give the program a go and let me know how it works for you!