You already know the rules: You must burn off more than you eat in order to lose weight. You know this. You need to drink more water. You know this. You shouldn’t have cake for breakfast. You really should know this. You’re reading this because you want to lose weight faster. Well the concept is very simple. In order to lose 5 pounds in 10 days without dieting you need to redefine 4 things: How you eat, how you workout, how you sleep and your perception of weight loss.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse, or nutritionist. The information listed here is what worked for me and is based on my own life experiences. Please consult your doctor before starting any new fitness plan. There are some affiliate links in this post.
Plan your meals and make them as clean as possible. This means bringing your lunch to work, keeping a homemade snack in your bag, carrying a water bottle around and outside of groceries, trying really hard not to spend any extra money on food during the week. Give yourself a $20 limit to eat out twice during the week (hey, I forget my lunch sometimes too). Or, if you work from home, cook 2 or 3 big meals on the weekend, pack them up and stick them in the fridge or freezer for the week. You can lose 5 pounds quicker if you’re eating meals that you prepared yourself. I often bring my lunch and snacks to work with me in a Bento box or one of these.
If you have absolutely no idea how to meal plan, join a meal planning service like CookSmarts. They offer different diet options that you can chose to have sent to your inbox every week (including vegetarian) and you can mix and match according to you or your family’s needs. You’ll learn how NOT to waste food and the mix and match style keeps it all interesting. Plus whatever meals you pick out they give you a shopping list for! (Not bad for $8 a month right?)
Even if you feel your diet is already pretty good and you don’t want to make any changes to it, working out doing some form of cardio for 3 hours a week will help you lose 5 pounds. Some examples are:
- Stationary bike
- elliptical machine
- Treadmill (walking on an incline)
- Rowing machine
You want to workout at a pace that it’s difficult (but not impossible) for you to hold a conversation. If 20 minutes is too much at first then start by doing each exercise for 10 or 15 minutes and work your way up to it. DO NOT WORK OUT FOR LONGER THAN 20 MINUTES ON EACH EXERCISE. If a particular exercise is getting too easy, then increase the intensity on the machine.
If you are just getting back into working out (like I was) or have a hard time motivating yourself at home, you should consider joining a gym. BUT DO NOT PAY MORE THAN $20 A MONTH TO JOIN. The gym doesn’t need to have everything, it just needs to have 3 pieces of cardio equipment you can use. Even the gym at your local YMCA or the hotel workout room has everything you need to complete the workouts above and to get fit.
For those of you who do not belong to a gym, or are short on time, you can lose 5 pounds by working out tabata style by doing TWO 7 minute workouts every day. You can either repeat a workout twice in a row or do one workout in the morning and one at night before bed. (This will help you sleep better as well). Some of my favorites can be found at the sites below, and they’re all free!
Lack of sleep can actually make you gain weight. You might not need a full 8 hours of sleep to be completely rested, but I can assure you you are not as effective as you think you are on only 3 hours of sleep. Not getting enough sleep does several things:
- Shifts your body clock into thinking it’s time to eat again
- When you’re tired you make bad food choices
- Your body repairs your immune system, and rebuilds tissue and skis cells while you sleep.
- The hormone cortisol is regulated when you sleep. (Cortisol is vital in regulating stress and fat loss)
One of the best ways I’ve been able to track my sleeping is with my MisFit Shine Fitness and Sleep Tracker. It not only tracks your sleep patterns, but it will play soothing sounds to lull you to sleep and wakes you up with a calm alarm of your choosing. You can also download the free Sleep Time App for your phone which tracks your sleep patterns via movement.
Change Your Perception of Fitness
Will you lose more weight quicker if you workout more than 3 times a week? Probably. Will you lose 5 pounds more quickly if you only eat 1300 calories a day? Definitely. Can you train your body to do more on less sleep? Sure. But if you have a busy life, job and maybe a significant other, do you really want to count calories, work till you pass out and never see your kids/partner? I didn’t think so. So you have some weight to lose. Instead of looking at how hard it is to lose 20 pounds, think about how easy it is to lose one pound. Then think about how easy it would be to lose one pound…twenty times. One thing I learned after I went through my own health crisis is that anything is possible one day, one step, one choice at a time.
- What do you guys think? Is this a pretty simple way to lose weight? Would you try it?
- Cortisol and Weight Loss
- Thoughts on Tabata – Fit Bottomed Girls
- Cortisol and Stress – About Health
- Fitting Clean Eating Into a Busy Life – A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss