a 12-step plan to lose 10 pounds in just one week

Emily Hutchinson, SATI STAFF

Do you struggle to lose weight? Is it really hard for you to stick to a diet plan? Sometimes it’s the small changes that can add together to bring about the most weight loss. If you’ve followed a variety of diets in the past and found that they just don’t work for you, then perhaps it’s time for a change of tactic. Instead of following a regimented diet, simply follow our plan for changes you can make to your diet and routine. You’ll improve your health and you’ll lose weight too. Follow as many of these steps as you possibly can. Each step you follow will bring you closer to your weight loss goals. Remember, every little thing you do will help. Some steps might feel small, but they’re achievable and they’re steps you can follow for the rest of your life. Every little bit of weight lost really adds up over the weeks, months and years. Losing weight and keeping it off is all about changing your outlook, and changing it forever. Quick fixes don’t last. Long term weight loss means a long term change.

1. Reduce your water retention

When you’re starting out on a diet, some quick results will spur you on and keep you enthusiastic about your new regime. For many of us, excess water retained in the body can add to your weight. Water retention can make you feel bloated, and you’ll look and feel fatter than you really are. So your first step is to drop this water weight. Drinking coffee can help you to get rid of this excess water [1]. Caffeine has also been proven to be beneficial for weight loss as it helps your body to burn more fat. While too much caffeine is not advisable as it can give you the jitters, a couple of cups can really help if you’re trying to lose weight.

If you don’t like to drink coffee, or you’re hyper-sensitive to caffeine, then dandelion extract could be a good alternative as this has also been proven to help reduce water retention [2]. Dandelion extract has been used traditionally as a diuretic for centuries. If your water retention seems to only happen around the time you are menstruating, then a magnesium supplement might work best for you. This can also help to alleviate the symptoms of PMS [3].

If you find that even after following these tips you’re still suffering from water retention, then it may be due to an allergy or intolerance. Gluten allergies and lactose intolerance are both fairly common and both can cause you to retain water and have bloating of the stomach. If you feel this may be the cause of your problems then have a word with your doctor. They will be able to conduct tests to determine the cause of your water retention.

2. Replace your carbs with extra protein

A low carb diet is pretty effective at bringing about fast weight loss, even more so than simply eating healthier in general [4]. When you cut out carbs, you’re naturally reducing your calorie intake. Replace your carbs with extra protein and you have a winning combination for weight loss. High protein foods such as meat, fish and eggs will give your metabolism a boost [5], speeding it up so you can burn fat faster. Protein is also the most filling of all the food groups. It will make you feel fuller faster, and it will keep you feeling fuller for longer. When you get plenty of protein in your diet you’re much less likely to eat snacks between meals.

3. Eat real food

Processed food is a mine field when it comes to making choices that will help you to lose weight. So many foods are really high in hidden sugars. Even if you’re carefully checking the labels, manufacturers of processed foods could still be misleading you. For example, perhaps you look at the ingredients list and don’t see sugar being very high up the list, so you think it doesn’t have much sugar in it. But, sometimes different types of sugars are listed separately in a list of ingredients. For instance fructose and glucose syrup might be there, further down the list. However, if the amount of these sugars was to be added together and listed simply as ‘sugar’ it would rocket up to the top of the list and you’d soon realize just how bad it was for you.

It’s not just the sweet stuff either. Most convenience meals are laden with sugar, as are store bought salad dressings and table sauces. Don’t be fooled by products in packaging designed to appeal to the health conscious, advertised as ‘low fat’. This product will indeed be low in fat, but taking out the fat makes food more tasteless. No business wants to sell tasteless food, that’s no way to make your fortune in the business world. No, instead they replace the fat with sugar. They don’t advertise this on their packaging though! The only solution is to make all your meals from scratch, so you know exactly what has gone into it.

4. Get your exercise whenever and wherever you can

It’s easy to put off doing exercise because you’re too busy to go to the gym, or it seems impossible due to your work or family commitments, but everyone can find time to get some exercise. Resistance training will be of particular help with boosting your metabolism [6], but when it comes to exercise, every little helps. Look for small ways to add a little exercise into your daily routine. You don’t need to go out and join a gym if that’s not practical for you. Instead, try to walk to the shops or on the school run rather than taking the car.

Yoga stretching can help you lose weight in several ways.

Getting more exercise is a great habit to get into that can benefit the whole family. Set your kids off on the right track in life by getting out exercising at the weekends and during school holidays. It doesn’t have to be arduous. A family bike ride or a long adventure walk in the woods can be a whole lot of fun. It’s a cheap way to keep the kids entertained during the holidays, it will tire them out and you’ll lose weight too! Even doing the housework is still beneficial, it all counts [7].

5. Don’t add extra calories with drinks

It’s quite amazing how quickly extra calories from drinks can add up. If you regularly drink soda or alcohol you’re adding loads of calories into your daily diet. Many people eat a low calorie diet and wonder why they are not losing weight as they think they should be. Often this is due to the drinks they are having [8], They forget to count the calories in these. Be especially careful of fruit juice. It’s always thought of as a healthy option, and in some ways it is, often being high in essential vitamins, but it can also be high in sugars. Water is the best option for a dieter. If you can’t live without your soda then go for calorie free versions or for a healthier option choose a flavored, calorie free sparkling water. Black tea and coffee, and green tea are all good choices too.

It’s also a really good idea to get used to drinking your hot drinks without milk or sugar. Over the course of a day, your calorie intake from this can really add up. It can take a little time to get used to, but I promise you, eventually you won’t be able to stand the taste of sweet coffee with milk in it! This is a change for life that you definitely won’t miss once you’ve got there.

6. Take control of your portion sizes

Reducing portion size helps you lose weight because smaller portions means you consume fewer calories.

One of the most common mistakes made when we’re trying to lose weight is simply to eat portions that are just too large. We get used to seeing a certain amount of food on our plates and we recreate that amount each time we’re dishing up a meal. It’s a psychological issue as much as anything else. We don’t feel as if we’re having a proper meal unless we’re having a plate full. One trick to combat this is to eat from smaller plates. When you have a smaller plate, you can have a plate full of food, and still have less.

7. Get to grips with proportions

A great way to lose weight without having to compromise on all your favorite foods is to change the proportions of your meals. Diets can be difficult when you’re wrestling with unfamiliar ingredients and eating foods you’re not really all that keen on. You can still eat all your favorites if you just alter the proportions of your dishes. For instance, if you absolutely love a spaghetti bolognaise, make your own from scratch, substitute half the mince for finely diced carrot. Add in some extra vegetables and when you serve it, have less pasta and instead have a side portion of broccoli or cauliflower. You’re still getting that delicious flavor you’re craving, but you’re cutting down on the calories.

8. Make some small substitutions

When it comes to cutting out calories, every little really does help. Make some tiny changes that you will hardly notice and the cumulative effect of this could be really great. Swap your beef mince for turkey mince in your shepherds pie and bolognaise. Swap the thick white sliced bread in your sandwiches for wraps or pitta. Instead of cooking with butter, use a light olive oil spray. Wrap your cheeseburger up in lettuce leaves and skip the bread bun. Cut out the store bought sauces and salad dressings, these are generally laden with calories. Make your own instead. You’ll find lots of great low calorie recipes easily available for free online.

9. Learn to eat more slowly

Studies show that eating slowly will really help you to achieve your weight loss goals [9]. It takes time for the signals from your stomach to reach your brain and let you know that you are full. So often we have already eaten too much by the time we actually feel like we’ve had enough to eat. Take your time to eat your meals. Try not to get distracted while you eat. Turn off the TV, don’t check your mobile phone. Savour each mouthful and enjoy it. Focus on the texture of your food and think about all the flavors of each individual ingredient. If you struggle to eat slowly try putting your knife and fork down between each mouthful. Only pick them up when you have finished thoroughly chewing your food. Some people also find using smaller cutlery meant for children can help them to reduce the amount of food they are eating in one go, and so this slows them down too.

10. Get a good night’s sleep

Studies have shown that if you don’t get plenty of good quality sleep, you are more likely to become obese [10]. So make sure your bedroom is conducive to a long and wonderful sleep. Try to ensure your room is quiet and make sure it is dark. If you don’t have complete darkness in your bedroom then a blackout blind can easily remedy this. Go to bed at the same time each night to get your body and mind into a routine. Keep off your phone late at night. The light given off from our mobile devices can trick our brains into thinking it is morning [11]. This then releases hormones that make us feel more awake.

11. Always eat your breakfast

Studies show making breakfast a daily habit can help you lose weight.

Some of us just don’t feel hungry first thing in the morning. It can be tempting to skip breakfast. If we’re on a diet we may see this as a good thing as we’re missing out on those calories we would have eaten. However, studies show that people who skip breakfast are more likely to eat extra calories throughout the rest of the day, and are also more likely to eat unhealthy snacks between meals [1213]. Opt for a bowl of oatmeal, or some protein rich eggs and you’ll be full until lunchtime and beyond.

12. Boost your intake of fresh fruit and vegetables

You know that fruit and vegetables are good for you. They are packed full of vitamins, minerals and powerful antioxidants [14,15]. Get the health benefits of all this while losing weight by getting more experimental with your fruit and vegetables. We tend to stick with what we know when it comes to vegetables, but there are so many great veggies out there. So give the peas and carrots a miss and pick out something you’ve never had before. How about artichoke or butternut squash? They’re all easy to cook, you can simply find out online how to prepare them. You never know, you might find a new favorite! Add some interest into your cooking and you’re much more likely to stick to your diet.

The Sati line

Losing weight can be hard work, especially if you want to lose weight fast. However, by following the tips set out in this plan, you can make several small changes to your diet and lifestyle and you can achieve your goals. Dieting needn’t be a bind, it doesn’t have to be depressing and you don’t need to feel as if you’re being deprived of all your favorite foods. Get motivated and make some positive changes. Choose healthier options, cut out those empty calories in your drinks, get a little more exercise and get a restful night’s sleep. Learn how to control your portion sizes and make each meal just a little bit healthier. Slow down at mealtimes and enjoy them instead of rushing them. It all contributes towards achieving your weight loss goals. With just a little effort, a good plan and some motivation you really can get there. Good luck!

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