Friday, June 19, 2009
Lose 7 Pounds in 7 Days!
Lose 7 Pounds in 7 Days!
By Quick & Simple Staff
Power up at breakfast. A meal of two egg whites with one slice of whole-grain bread gives you satisfying protein and filling carbohydrates that will keep you from getting hungry.
Choose carbs carefully. Skip your usual morning grapefruit—loading up on sugar-packed fruit isn't the best idea this week, says Jillian Michaels, trainer on TV's "The Biggest Loser" and author of Making the Cut. Instead, opt for whole grains, which are crammed with more filling complex carbohydrates.
Think green. Hit the salad bar for low-cal greens and veggies, with some beans for protein. Keep the dressing on the side and use the "fork technique": Dip your fork in the dressing, then take a bite of salad for all of the flavor with just a few calories.
Shop carefully. Seduced by the healthy sushi restaurant? Pick your rolls carefully: It's sashimi (thinly sliced raw fish), not sushi (rolls that include rice), that's great for weight loss. Enjoying a "good-for-you" turkey on whole wheat? Deli turkey isn't going to get you into those skinny jeans—it has 11 times as much sodium as roasted turkey breast. Bring a sandwich from home made with leftover turkey breast, pile on the veggies, and hold the mayo!
Snack smart. Crunch on two celery sticks with a tablespoon of natural peanut butter (measure it!). You'll get a protein boost from the peanut butter that will keep you focused for the rest of the day.
Cut the junk. Forget "diet" snacks: They aren't as filling as whole, fresh foods, and you're likely to overeat a "fat-free" snack. Energize your body with (small!) portions of healthy, unprocessed foods like nuts. "The one thing that is universal concerning losing weight is not to use processed foods," says Michael Thurmond, Extreme Makeover trainer and author of 12 Day Body Shaping Miracle.
Downsize dinner. Balance is key: a small piece (about 3 oz.—measure it!) of healthy protein like chicken or fish, half a cup of brown rice and lots of steamed or grilled veggies.
Pass on salt. Sodium makes you retain water, so keep your intake to 1,000 milligrams a day. Watch for hidden culprits, warns Michaels. Condiments and seasonings have loads of salt—stick to the sodium-free versions.
Look to the sea. Fish is low-fat and low-cal but high in filling protein. Your best bets are lean fish like halibut and cod.
Ask for asparagus. The veggie acts as a diuretic and can speed weight loss, says Thurmond.
Throughout the day
Drink up. In a short-term diet like this, it's vital to chug down the fluids. It seems counterintuitive, but you need to drink water to lose water weight—80 to 100 oz. (10 to 12 eight-oz. glasses) of water or decaf tea each day. "Just like if you don't eat, your body will hang on to fat, if you don't drink water, your body will retain it," says Thurmond. So keep things moving by making many trips to the tap.
Get juicy. Sick of all that plain water? Add a tablespoon of sugar-free cranberry juice to one of your glasses. It's a natural diuretic and helps you shed water weight fast.
Mind your dairy. Milk, cheese and butter can be high in fat and salt, so keep intake low this week. If you can't live without them, eat the fat-free versions.
Eat to lose!
These foods can help you lose, so stock your pantry, then watch the pounds melt away.
Apples. Toss your peeler—the pectin in apple skin makes you feel fuller longer.
Green tea. Tea drinkers are 20 percent trimmer, according to a 2003 study in the journal Obesity Research (now called Obesity). Black tea is okay, too, but a compound called EGCG in green tea gives you the best fat-burning results.
Curry. Tamarind, a spice often used in Indian cuisine, contains a chemical called hydroxycitric acid that slows down fat production. So cook with curry, but pass on the fat-laden treats like samosas offered at Indian restaurants.
Cinnamon. The spice mimics your body's insulin, which stimulates fat cells and allows excess sugar to move out of the blood. Try to get a teaspoon a day—top oatmeal or applesauce with it.
White kidney beans. Add them to your diet to boost your fiber intake and fill you up.
Get a move on!
For even faster results, pump up your exercise this week. Some expert tips:
Boost your burn. Consuming caffeine 45 minutes before your workout will help you burn more calories. Just make sure your daily cup of joe is cream- and sugar-free this week.
Train like an athlete. Try two-a-day workouts—do 45 minutes of cardio in the morning and an hour at night (walking counts) to get a double boost to your metabolism. You'll have the stamina to work out a little harder during the shorter workouts, and you won't be bored and give up on a long hike.
Get into intervals. Interval training will give you maximum results. Run for 30 seconds, walk for 30 seconds, then repeat for the rest of the 45-minute cardio session. "The running part isn't jogging, it's a full-on sprint," says Michaels.
Take it slow. Not a sprinter? Thurmond likes long-distance, slow cardio (like walking). "The muscle fiber you'll use is called slow-twitch muscle fiber, whose principal fuel is body fat," he explains. "Look at a marathoner and look at a football player—which type of exercise burns fat better?" It's not for the time-pressed—you'll have to trek for at least an hour to get the benefit.
Lift to lose. You don’t want to lose muscle tissue along with fat. Do some weight lifting—an hour of it three or four days this week will give you results (and tone your arms for that little black dress).