Time and again it has been made clear that losing weight fast is not good for the body. But there are times when you really want to lose those extra pounds to fit into your favorite dress for a family function. “Losing weight fast is not bad if it is done properly”, says Michael Dansinger, MD, and the medical doctor for NBC's, The Biggest Loser.
“It is possible to lose up to 20 pounds in a week following a very rigorous diet and exercise session, with more than seven hours of exercise in a week, but all under the watchful eyes of a physician," says Dansinger. According to Katherine Tallmadge, a weight loss counselor, even if one is not ready for the rigorous plans of exercise and diet, one can lose up to three pounds in a week by following a healthy diet.
Although having a family reunion is a great motivation to lose those extra pounds from the body, it is better to follow a plan that can be followed even after the event. One should plan well in advance for the same. “It is better not to plan to lose 10 pounds within a week for the reunion that is due next week”, warns Tara Gidus, MS, RD, team dietitian for the Orlando Magic.
Weight loss has a simple formula – burn more calories than what you eat. According to experts, having a deficit of 500 calories per day by reducing the intake of food and increasing the exercise can help to lose one to two pounds in a week. To lose more weight faster, one needs to eat less and exercise more – having 1,200 calories a day with one hour of exercise can help to lose up to 5 pounds in a week, if you are more than 250 pounds. Dansinger says that more fat in the body, the faster it loses. “Dieters who follow the plan can lose more than two pounds from the diet and one pound from the exercise if they are heavier. Limiting salt and starches can help to lose more weight initially. This is because of the reduction in the fluid retention”, explains Dansinger.
Dieticians recommend that one should have 1,200 calories minimum a day. For weight loss, one can consider cutting back up to seven calories per pound of the present body weight. Ideally, the diet should be minimal in starches, added sugars, and animal fats. Dansinger recommends a diet having more of fruits, veggies, egg whites, soy products, skinless poultry breasts, fish, shellfish, non-fat dairy foods, and 95% lean meat to lose weight fast. Another way to control the calories is by reducing total fat. Experts also suggest drinking plenty of water, eating plenty of protein, and keeping a food journal as some other ways to lose weight safely and rapidly.
Some tips suggested by Dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, RD, author of, The Flexitarian Diet, include:
- Having lots of low-calorie vegetables
- Drinking plenty of water
- Avoid having tempting foods at home
- Keep yourself busy to prevent eating when bored
- Eat from a plate while seated
- Do not skip meals
- Weigh yourself regularly
- Track food intake
“Writing down the details of food eaten helps to control eating to a large extent. Even writing on a tissue paper, which is later thrown away, can help to make one accountable for the food eaten and act as a tool for weight loss”, says Bonnie Taub Dix, MA, RD, a food and nutrition blogger for USA Today.
“Increasing the exercise intensity can help to reduce faster”, says Gidus. According to a study published in the journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, one hour of moderate exercise every day is required for losing weight. This is in line with Dansinger’s recommendation for seven hours of exercise in a week before a big event. Cardio exercises are the most ideal, as they burn more calories; but, this should be later followed by some strength training exercises as well. “To burn maximum calories from fat, one must break the sweat after a warm up and then continue to sweat for an hour”, suggests Dansinger.
The exercise intensity also can be increased to burn more calories, but this should be done after discussion with a doctor to avoid injuries. If one cannot do cardio, adding strength training for two days a week and walking can help to reduce the pounds. According to Gidus, doubling an exercise routine is very useful in cutting down extra weight. Interval training is another option to get good results. Arthur Agatson, MD, recommends adding high-intensity intervals to burn more calories in less time. This allows people to work harder without spending more time at higher level.
Many people turn to fad diets as they do not have time for rigorous, regular exercise. Avoid detoxification pills, laxatives, fasting, or any other options that promise to lose weight faster than two to three pounds a week. Cutting down on calories below 1,050 to 1,200 per day is not very useful as exercise requires strong muscles for the physical activity. When calorie intake is low it reduces the metabolic rate which makes it increase the intensity of exercise.
All experts agree that any weight loss program should be identical to a long-term sustainable plan, not just a fad diet. Cutting calories below 1,050 is not good unless under the care of a physician.