Category Archives: Nutrition & Diet

5 Diet Tips To Lose Weight Fast Safely In A Week

lose weight safelyWant to lose weight fast and safely? Then you should expect a realistic rate of 2 pounds per week, unless you don’t mind losing some muscle with the fat. You can’t lose twenty pounds in a week, and probably not even in a month. Instead, let’s lose weight sensibly. I was inspired initially by a popular diet plan (name pending), but after reading more updated research, as well as some personal trial and error, I decided to document the plan that worked best for me. And I believe the tips here are good for any body who wants to lose weight quickly, but also staying safe.

You can safely lose about two pounds of fat a week (though the first couple weeks it’s often more, as much as five pounds). The “one weird trick” is to not eat most carbs for six out of seven days. We’ll explore which carbs are good and bad in a moment, but that one change alone is half the solution for losing weight. The rest is a combination of exercise, actively eating more whole fruit and vegetables, and potentially some supplementation. You can lose weight with any part of this plan, but the dietary changes are by far the most important.

1. Eliminate White Carbs

We’ve all seen the gimmicky ads on the internet, promising that there’s a simple trick or even a magical food that will make the belly fat go away. The truth is that losing weight is more complicated and depends greatly on the individual. However, the single most important change I made to my diet was to eliminate “white carbohydrates.”

In particular, six days a week (we’ll get to day 7), do not eat:

Sugars (table sugar, fruit juice, candy, soda, etc)
Flour (bread, pasta, muffins)

Instead, replace them with vegetables. For example, mashed cauliflower may not taste quite the same as mashed potatoes, but I really enjoy the flavor. Additionally, a number of meals that we used to serve over rice or pasta we now serve over broccoli, kale, squash, or any other vegetable. After some practice, you can learn how to make very delicious meals of meat and vegetables without these empty carbs.

2. Eat Your Veggies (and Beans)

I never feel hungry on my diet. While some believe you have to sacrifice by eating less when on a diet, I believe you should eat more! It’s not about the quantity of food, but rather the quality of what you eat that affects your body more than anything.

Eat more vegetables. Far more than you probably have been your entire life. Vegetables taste good! Perhaps you haven’t had them prepared properly. Steamed anything by itself is bland and gross. Sauteed broccoli with bacon and garlic is delicious. Beef and broccoli stir fry? Delicious. I’ll post recipes here, but there are also some great food blogs that follow the similar Paleo diet, and their dishes will mostly fit with my guidelines here.

In addition to vegetables, beans are a great source of fiber and slow-to-digest carbohydrates. You should avoid dishes that cook the beans too much, such as boston baked beans (which also have a sweet sauce you shouldn’t eat), since that breaks down the starches into simpler sugars and speeds up the rate of absorption into your system. As you’re about to learn, that absorption rate is critical to weight loss.

Insulin Response Or, how sugar becomes fat

The strongest signal that has been found to correlate with obesity and diabetes risk is the insulin response of the foods you eat. When you have a sudden spike in blood sugar and then insulin, hormones are released that encourage fat cells to convert the sugars into triglycerides and store them. This is fat.

Rather, eating food that has a slow, steady release of energy leads to a much lower insulin response, and that in turn limits the amount of fat storage your body will do. This leads to weight loss primarily because your body burns a small amount of fat as stored energy between meals, such as when you sleep. By putting a cap on how much new fat is stored, you will achieve a net loss in fat over time. Obviously we can use other tools, such as exercise, to speed up the burn of fat, but the first step is to stop adding fat into the system.

3. Don’t Drink Your Calories

One of the least obvious ways you consume sugar and other calories is by drinking them. While obviously soda and other sugar-water beverages are out of the question (high fructose corn syrup is sugar, by the way), there are other drinks you may not have realized are bad for you.

Fancy coffee drinks, such as a mocha, latte, or capuccino, are full of sugar and milk. The milk itself demonstrates a tendency to cause a high insulin response, and the sugar obviously is bad. Instead, drink drip coffee (or an americano). I add a little stevia (brand name Truvia) or sucralose (brand name Splenda) to offset the bitterness, and also some cinnamon and a splash of half and half. Yes, half and half is better for you than milk, though you should still go light on it. Honestly, I’d add heavy cream to my coffee in the morning, except that it tends to separate in the carton, and half and half is cheaper.

Juice is bad. Some fruit is okay to eat on this diet, though not all, but all fruit juices are a fast way to consume lots of fructose. Fructose is the more dangerous sugar of the bunch since it doesn’t stimulate a sense of fullness and it spikes your insulin levels. Fructose will make you fat. Eating whole fruits can be okay if the high fiber content slows the release of fructose into your blood stream, not to mention the form factor (such as a whole apple) slows down your consumption. In contrast, juice already has all the sugars extracted mechanically, and you can down a glass of this concentrated sugar water in seconds. Instead, drink water. In a pinch, when I want something sweet to drink, I go with vitamin water zero. But, really, don’t drink juice.

We all know alcohol isn’t healthy, but what about a drink every now and then? Actually, I have a glass of wine almost every night with my dinner. But most alcohol is far too high in sugar and other simple carbohydrates. Mixed drinks are the worst offenders, having more sugar per unit volume than soda or juice. Beer is also high in sugars, and often in other carbohydrates that give it texture and flavor. There’s a reason we have the phrase “beer belly.” If you want to enjoy alcohol, become a fan of dry red wine, such as cabernet. The antioxidants found in red wine have been proven to be good for heart health and weight loss, and the more dry it tastes, the less sugar remains in the wine. Don’t drink more than one glass, though, just to be safe.

4. Include A Cheat Day

Soon to be your favorite day of the week, cheat day is when you ignore everything I just said and eat whatever you crave. Pizza, pasta, burger, or even drinks like beer and soda. My guilty pleasure is a burger, beer, and french fries. Though, sometimes I can’t ignore my Italian heritage and I crave pasta, like penne al salmone in a vodka sauce or a classic spaghetti Bolognese.

I prefer to use Saturday as the cheat day, since we like to go out to eat somewhere nice, but any day of the week is fine. The main rules are that you can only have one cheat day a week, and you can’t divide the cheat day into Friday night and Saturday morning, for example. It must be a single day.

The first few times, you might feel so deprived from the previous six days that you go all out, having pizza, beer, cake, and really anything you want. The next couple days, you’ll notice a big bump in your weight and start feeling guilty and angry about all those things you ate. You know what? It’s okay. You really can’t gain that much fat in a single day, no matter what you eat. The jump in weight is primarily water retention. It’s also the reason why most people experience a dramatic drop in weight the first week — half that loss is water.

Over time, you will probably find yourself only indulging in a couple comfort foods on cheat day and not going wild. This is a good thing, of course, and shows how your eating habits are adapting and improving.

5. Enjoy Life

Don’t make yourself miserable trying to get to a healthy weight. If you slip up and eat something off the diet, it’s just one day, and not worth beating yourself up. Just go right back into the diet the next day. We’re only human, after all.

More importantly, try to enjoy the foods that do fit into the diet. I have come to love all sorts of vegetables I didn’t like when I was younger and picky, such as brussels sprouts, kale, and spinach. Find food that you love. Besides, stress is not healthy; in fact, it can lead to fat storage. (Ironic that stressing over your weight is bad for your weight.) So stay calm and do your best to lose weight fast and safely. And keep up with my blog where I’ll do my best to help you.