I am not a fan of the word diet. I encourage people to flip the letters in the word diet around and instead, use the word edit. Edit your food choices. It’s all about knowing what to choose and what to lose. Choose healthy, real foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, and reduce the amount of high-fat and processed foods you consume. For people who want to lose weight, losing one to two pounds per week is considered healthy weight loss. But I am also realistic and know that sometimes people want to shed a handful of pounds quickly—especially with the weather getting warmer and your social calendar fills up! If you want to drop several pounds in just a few weeks, there are some choices you can make to increase your weight loss and look your best.
Cut back calories. I always say eat better to perform better. We all know we need to create a calorie deficit to lose weight. Every extra pound on your body represents 3,500 of calories over-consumed. To lose just one pound, you have to create a 3,500 calorie deficit. Although your calorie needs vary according to your height, current weight and amount of physical activity, most people can lose weight by reducing their daily caloric intake to 1,500 to 1,600 calories per day and incorporating exercise. If you really want to take it up a notch, get precise about your portions by using measuring cups and write down your calorie consumption each day.
Change your workouts. In order to maximize your results, try changing up your normal workout in duration, intensity or simply in choice of workout. If you normally walk, try jogging. If you are an avid runner, add some short sprints into your run. This is a great time to try something completely new (for you) like a Zumba class or spinning. Surprising your body often leads to results. If you want to drop a dress size in just a couple of weeks, you may want to double up on workouts each day. Try for two hours a day instead of one for that two-week period.
Drink more water. Follow the double eights rule for water consumption. Drink eight, eight ounce glasses of water each day. Some people mistakenly think that drinking too much water will make them gain weight and feel bloated, but the reverse is actually true. Water actually flushes out your system and aids in digestion. Drinking more will also improve the look of your skin. Check out this clever hack to help you drink more water during the day!
Lay off sodium. Too much salt in your diet can make your body hold on to water. If you want to look your best in a short period of time, read labels and eliminate food high in sodium. By reducing the amount of processed foods you consume, you will naturally reduce your sodium intake. Keep in mind that many foods and condiments you wouldn’t expect have high levels of salt, so pay attention to labels. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, according to the Mayo Clinic recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day on a regular basis. If you are 51 or older or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, you should have less than 1,500 mg a day on a regular basis. Both are upper limits, so just remember less is best, especially if you want to reduce weight more quickly than usual.
Try a little self-tanner. Just before your special event, try some self-tanning lotion for a fresh, healthy summer glow. There are so many great brands now that make it easy to apply. But, my absolute favorite is PERFEKT Matte Body Perfection. You can rub it on seconds before you leave the door and it appears instantly. And I’ve tested it against hot weather and sweat, and it holds up better than any product I’ve tried!
Give yourself a little motivation. Try out a theme or a phrase to keep you on track. This doesn’t have to be anything you share publicly; it’s just a little reminder to get you going. Maybe it’s a phrase like, “Strive for progress, not perfection” or “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!” Just come up with something that gets you moving toward your goal—especially on those days when your resolve is weak.
Although I am a big proponent of daily consistency in your choices for your health, there is one benefit to increasing your effort in a short span of time. After two weeks, you will see changes in your body and seeing results can be a big motivator to stick to a healthy lifestyle for the long haul.
Do you have any tips for losing weight before a special event? Tell me below!