How Much Weight Can You Lose in Two Weeks?
That’s a question we get a lot around here.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, and even some cancers [Source].
The average American dieter makes 4-6 dieting attempts per year. Clearly that means the first…and second…and third attempt weren’t successful. It’s a vicious circle of demotivation that leaves many feeling like they cannot succeed without superhuman tenacity.
Maybe you are ready to throw in the (oversized) towel on dieting for good.
There is more than one way of losing weight, and some more effective (and permanent) than others. But generally speaking, you’ll need to eat healthier and exercise – but you already knew this right? People throw this advice around but when you really drill down – what does it mean really? How does it translate into effective habits in your real life?
Before we can get to the specific habits to help in weight loss, we have to change our outlook, be kind to yourself and understand that there are some very real barriers holding you back.
So let’s start by taking a look at four reasons why most diets fail, and then find a diet plan that bypasses these pitfalls.
Unrealistic Calorie Intakes
The “starvation mode” method only sets you up to fail. By consuming so little food, your body literally starts shutting down to conserve fuel.
When this happens, you are on a one-way path to a fat loss plateau. Yes, you should lower calorie intake to see fat loss results, but you need to do it in a way that maintains your “metabolic engine”.
Lack Of Satiety-Boosting Nutrients
Another big issue with most conventional diets is they fail to provide enough of the two most filling nutrients: protein and fiber. You need protein to function optimally. It’s also breaks down slowest, providing the body with lasting satiety.
Couple protein with dietary fiber, found in fresh fruits and vegetables, and digestion will slow even further.
Many crash diet plans are very low in protein. While they recommend lots of vegetables, many discourage the consumption of fruit.
By making these two nutrients a focus of your plan instead, you can see faster, lasting results while actually enjoying your diet meal plan.
Time Consuming Meal Prep
Who has an hour each and every day to meal prep? Not me — and definitely not you. Yet, many diet plans are complicated enough to require this. If that describes your diet, it’s no wonder if you’re failing.
Alternatively, you want to find an approach that gives you basic and easy-to-implement guidelines that help you realize true success with your program.
This plan should not require hours of extra effort each week. In that case, it’s stealing free time that you should use to reward yourself for good behavior. It should work with your lifestyle, not against it. When you find such a plan, it’ll be cake to stick with it.
Chances are you’ve heard that any diet plan you use should follow a long-term approach. And you’ll need to change your lifestyle so that you’re eating healthy foods and keeping active for overall health in the long-term.
That’s excellent advice.
But what when your diet plan is designed to span months, it can be a motivation killer. So it’s recommended that you set a short term goal, an easy win to prove to yourself you can do it.
How about committing to dieting for 2 weeks only?
That sounds reasonable, right?
Two weeks is optimal because that’s roughly how long it takes to form long-term habits. Two weeks is also a long enough to see good results. Plus, you can choose some easy exercises to go along with it although it’s not absolutely necessary for some.
Anyone willing to lose weigh can diet for two weeks.
Some common resources such as the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute estimate that a person can lose 1-2 lbs of fat per week, and warn against starvation diets that technically make you lose water-weight due to glycogen depletion, which can be dangerous (https://8fit.com/nutrition/glycogen-gluconeogenesis-and-water-weight/)
So the best way to lose weight effectively, is to do it with a carefully tailored plan that gets your body the nutrients it needs to operate healthily and trigger it use fat-stores in your body for energy, and stops storing fat. We are all built differently and our lives can be very different as well – we metabolize food and nutrients differently, so understand there is no one-size-fits-all for weight loss.
However, anyone can lose weight, and some lose a considerable amount in a short amount of time. When this is achieved, the initial transformation can be so remarkable, it provides abundant motivation for continued fat burning. Basically, success breeds success – so set yourself up for it.
So what are some quick tips that you can start doing today? Take a look:
Ten quick weight loss steps you can start taking today!
- Determine your daily caloric intake. There are many calculators online and it’s ideal if you can ask your doctor about this, but for convenience sake, here is one I like: http://www.calculator.net/calorie-calculator.html
- Determine your current caloric intake. Keep a log of what you’re eating and how much for two typical weeks. Then look up how many calories each portion of food had and divide by 14 days. That will be your average daily caloric intake. Compare this with the recommended daily caloric intake above (or from your doctor).
- Decrease your daily caloric intake by 500 calories and notice how you feel, crave, etc. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3406229/
- Incorporate exercise into your day. Go for a walk at lunch time, go for a half-hour bike ride, play pickle ball with friends J Doesn’t matter what the activity is, as long as you’re moving for 30-45 mins per day, that’s a win! A mix of cardio and strength training is best:
- Buy good food! Get excited, go shopping for nutritious food and think about what an improvement in your life you’re making by giving your body the nutrients it needs to operate best. Don’t buy junk food – if it’s not in your house, you’re less likely to “cheat”.
One mistake people make is they deprive themselves of food and then you feel like crap. Don’t make this mistake! You’ll need to satisfy yourself with high protein, healthy fats and maybe a few slow-digesting carbohydrates to stay healthy. Starving yourself will only slow down your metabolism, which is why you feel sluggish and tired.
- Try out a diet plan. It’s all well and good to say, eat right, exercise more, but we all need some guidance – especially when we’re in the thick of it. It’s best to have a guide that you can refer to. There are many out there but you could start with something like the 2 Week Diet, for which we did a quick review here: http://weightlossdietplanbook.com/extreme-weight-loss-diet/
- Hire a trainer. If you can afford it, hiring a trainer can be one of the best things you can do to expedite weight loss – and become healthier in general. They’ll worry about the details and will hold your feet to the fire. If they’re a good, they won’t let you make excuses also.
- Buddy up! If you can’t get a trainer then at least try to find someone to be active with (as recommended above). Knowing someone will be expecting you at the squash court, for example, is a motivator in itself. Plus it keeps it fun!
- Geek Out! Some people recommend gadgets like the Fitbit wristband. I haven’t tried them myself but if you’re into tech, these little guys could be another motivator. Seeing just how inactive you’ve been all day might give you the boost you need to get out there and move!
- Get enough sleep. It’s a message that’s being heard more and more out there now, but we’ll repeat it here. Sleep is important. It’s when your body heals, recharges, cleanses, etc. and is imperative and maintaining a healthy lifestyle and when losing weight. Go to sleep at the same time every day and reduce the amount of light you’re exposed to during the night.
- I will cheat and give you an 11th tip, because it’s also very important. Stay hydrated! Drink water throughout the day. I keep a 1L bottle of water with me most of the day, sometimes I’ll add some fresh lime or lemon juice to add some flavour to it. A friend of mine puts some healthy fruity tea bag in his water to give it some taste and get the good stuff from the tea.
There’s a lot more tips out there, and much more to each, but you can start with this for now.
Best of luck
To summarize, weight loss can be a daunting endeavour, and should be seen as a different approach or method to how you live, and not as a task to achieve. The weight you lose will be a by-product of your new lifestyle.
A long-term approach works best, but set yourself up for short-term easy wins (like steps), to keep yourself motivated, and open to trying different things. If you didn’t achieve your 10% weight loss goal for example, then identify what you could have done differently and try again.
And switch it up every once in a while. Try different foods, different supplements, different exercise activities, do it with friends, etc.
And don’t get demoralized if you “cheat”. It’s normal, part of human nature and we’ve all done it at some point in time. There are even some diet plans that incorporate a cheat day into the diet because it’s so prevalent that people cheat. Forgive yourself and move on.
Hope this helps and best of luck on your weight loss trek!
How about committing to dieting for 2 weeks only?
That’s doable right?
Two weeks is optimal because that’s how long it takes to form long-term habits. Two weeks is also a long enough to see good results, but not short enough to stay motivated.
Anyone willing to lose weigh can diet for two weeks. This is foundational to Brian Flatt’s new 2 Week Diet. In many, many cases, the initial transformation is so remarkable, it provides abundant motivation for continued fat burning. Success breeds success.