Crash diets can be hazardous to your body in more ways than one. You can, however, successfully and healthfully drop up to 10 pounds in two weeks to look your best before a big occasion, or maybe you need to detox from a long week or weekend of holiday eating, vacation binging, or what have you. Today we'll look at a safe and effective way to drop 10 in two weeks without starving yourself or otherwise hurting your body. This plan combines diet, exercise, and a little bit of logical thinking to help you slim down in a short period.
The most important principle for this plan is that your metabolism and metabolic rate are increased. This is the process that helps burn calories and helps your body in the transformation process. To help kick start your metabolism, you should try to be fueling your body with "high octane" foods, meaning leafy greens, good proteins, complex carbohydrates, and limiting the "additives" that can slow your metabolism down. In addition, you should be fueling your body with smaller portions more often. Ideally, you would eat a small meal every two to three hours or snack up to six or seven times per day.
In addition to these principles, use good sense to help shed empty calories and excess pounds. If you're a soda drinker, cut to diet or switch to water or flavored water. Don't use butter to fry or cook with, switch to extra virgin olive oil (which is better for your heart anyways!) Instead of eating that half gallon of ice cream, eat a piece (as in one) of dark chocolate. I also recommend to my clients to replace a meal with a smoothie...you can add all the fresh or frozen fruit you want, plus a milk or milk substitute, like coconut or almond milk.
The next key in gearing up your metabolic rate is a solid exercise plan. Cardiovascular exercise, particularly aerobic and anaerobic exercise, are key in increasing the rate at which the body burns calories. What does this mean for you in these two weeks? You should be running, biking, swimming, or other aerobic exercise at least 30 minutes six times each week, while also doing strength building, plyometric, or other weight bearing exercise at least three times each week. This maximizes both muscle growth and fat burning capabilities of your body. The more you sweat, the more your body is losing weight, particularly in water.
Speaking of water loss, that brings us to the next point of the exercise component. I am a big fan of using both dry and wet heat to help rid the body of excess toxins and to generally refresh myself. Our bodies store water, and if we eat lots of salt in the diet, tends to retain more. When you sweat, your body sheds that excess water. Think about boxers, MMA fighters, and wrestlers. They use saunas (both wet and dry) to cut excess weight. This can be dangerous and harmful to your health, exposing you to dehydration. However, using a dry or wet heat for up to 30 minutes once each week can help you appear less bloated from excess water weight.
Making the Right Call
The success of this plan rests on one simple factor: your judgment and commitment. You have to make the correct choices, whether it be to eating the right things, eating smaller meals at more intervals, and choosing to exercise. Committing yourself to these principles is the only way you can make this ten pound change. Remember, you don't have to stop after two weeks. Keep making the right choices, eating and living healthier, and continue to alter your body composition and feel better overall!
Ryan Barnhart, MS, PES, is a certified Performance Enhancement
and Injury Prevention Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). He also holds a master's degree in exercise science, as
well as a bachelor of sport management, both from California University
of Pennsylvania. Ryan has worked with numerous professional, collegiate
and amateur athletes across many different fields, including
professional and arena football players, Mixed Martial Artists, elite
runners, international soccer players, and more.
Ryan is currently the director of fitness at a 700+ member gym near Pittsburgh, PA, as well as the owner and operator of Funky Fitness PA, a personal training studio, in home personal training and personalized fitness planning service. Ryan's work has been featured across the US and the globe, working with clients in all facets of life. He enjoys working with weekend warriors, athletes, and everyone in between. You can check Ryan out on Facebook or follow him on Twitter, or you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.