We’re forever told how healthy weight loss is one to two pounds a week, and how a lifestyle change is far better than a ‘diet.’ And it’s true in many ways, crash dieting and returning back to the same eating habits that caused you to gain weight in the first time will only lead to a cycle of yo-yo dieting. However, sometimes all you need is a quick fix. Maybe you’ve gained a few pounds recently, or have a special event coming up where you want to look your best. Perhaps you want to kick start a longer term weight loss plan- when you see results quickly at the start it can definitely give you the motivation to continue. Of course, we should all aim to be living a healthy lifestyle. A fresh diet with the right macro and micronutrients and enough exercise will allow our body to thrive and protect from all kinds of illnesses. But if you have over indulged lately and need a quick fix, here are a few ways to go about it!
The benefits of fasting are now well understood. It can take a lot of willpower at the start, but after a few days without food, you will enter into a state called ketosis. This is where your body has used all of the carbohydrates you’ve recently consumed as fuel, and without this easy energy available has now switched over to burning its own fat. Research has suggested that this is the body’s preferred type of fuel, and it makes complete sense. We evolved to store fat, and then burn it for energy during leaner times. Throughout evolution we wouldn’t have had constant access to the high carbohydrate foods that we do today, it’s a normal and harmless state for your body to be in and how we were designed. It will take a few days without eating carbohydrates to reach this state, and once you do your hunger hormones will naturally be suppressed. Without carbohydrates spiking your blood sugar you won’t experience the hunger pangs that you usually feel throughout the day. You can check if your body is in ketosis by buying ketone urine sticks, they’re inexpensive and available in any chemist. The first few days without food can be very tough, while your body uses the last of the carbohydrates in your body as fuel you’re likely to experience hunger pangs and carb withdrawal, but stick it out. Providing you’re not underweight, you can safely fast for up to four weeks, although a few days is best for most people- aim for a minimum of three. Once this time is up you, need to be careful when it comes to eating food again. Start small and eat low or no carbohydrate foods. This will allow you to stay in ketosis and continue losing weight. Over the space of a week, slowly introduce other food groups back in. You will notice a huge drop in weight in the beginning due to water, which will instantly make you feel lighter and look less puffy all over. You can then continue burning fat by following a low carbohydrate plan after that. If you need to lose weight quickly, this is one way to go about it.
If full on fasting isn’t for you, how about detoxing instead? Detoxing has been given a bad name due to companies claiming all kinds of benefits that just aren’t true. But you don’t need teas, tablets or other products to ‘cleanse your gut’ ‘clean your liver’ or whatever other silly claims they state. While your body does a good job of removing toxins itself, it’s good to give it a break every now and again. Eating a diet of just fruits and vegetables allows it to rid itself of caffeine, alcohol and unhealthy fats. If you have digestive issues, it could help, and since these kinds of foods are naturally low in calories it’s a good way to lose weight as well. It doesn’t have to be difficult either, along with crunchy salads and stir fries you could make your own soup out of a variety of vegetables, and blend up different fruits into smoothies. You could do a few days purely fresh fruit and veg, and then over the week start introducing other foods in gradually. Whole grains, nuts, and seeds, healthy fats like avocado’s. All of the fresh ingredients will give you a huge energy boost, help you flush out water retention, leave your stomach looking flatter and your whole body feeling lighter.
If you want to lose weight but without having to count calories, weigh food or even shop for ingredients, meal replacement diets are a good option. Most meal replacement diets are around six hundred calories a day, and as with fasting, they force your body into ketosis. This means that you burn your body’s fat effectively but have some sustenance to put into your body. They are formulated with all of the nutrition your body needs, so you need to eat no conventional food at all. Unlike fasting and other restrictive plans which you can only stay on short term, meal replacement diets can be stayed on for a long time which is ideal if you have a lot of weight to lose. Since most of these plans allow you to lose on average a stone a month, you can get dramatic results in a short space of time. If you’re very overweight, losing one to two pounds a month can mean a very long journey and mean you’re likely to get demotivated along the way. By trying something like this instead, you get the results quickly meaning you’re more likely to stick with it. If you’re considering bariatric surgery, it’s worth trying something like this first. There are lots of success stories online, some people losing twelve stone in twelve months, completely changing their lives around in the process. Whether you have two stone to lose or ten, this is something to consider.
Do ever need a quick fix to drop a few pounds, or are you looking to kick start a longer weight loss plan? Don’t be bashful in a bikini this summer, try one of these methods and you’ll be feeling more confident in a matter of weeks.