We know–Rome wasn’t built in a day. It take time to put on pounds, and therefore takes time to drop ’em. That said, there are plenty of small tricks that—if you consciously put into action immediately—can kick-start the process and help you lose weight in a week. Yep, really.
Commit this to memory: some carbs are good.
Most of think cutting carbs is the be-all end-all weight-loss answer, but your body needs them to do its job and burn calories. The trick is to cut the refined—aka “bad” carbs—sugar, white flour, starchy veggies like potatoes—and incorporate reduced amounts of healthy sources like veggies and legumes, says Wes Ferguson, a celebrity fitness trainer. Cutting sugar will reduce calories, lower your insulin levels and stimulate fat loss.
Up your fiber.
While watching your carbs, ensure you’re getting plenty of fiber in the form of leafy greens, broccoli, cabbage, berries, celery, and mushrooms. This helps effectively eliminate waste so it’s not sticking around in your gut, says Ferguson.
Try warm lemon water.
Drink warm lemon water first thing every morning to prime your metabolism for the day. This will support detoxification and keep you regular, says Jessica Wyman, a certified nutrition coach and yoga instructor. If you can handle it, try adding a pinch of cayenne.
Fill your plate fresh produce.
Cut back on meat and grains this week and fill your plate with steamed, roasted, grilled, sautéed, or stewed veggies which are packed with nutrients and will keep you full. Jazz them up with various cooking oils and spices.
Avoid processed foods.
You’ll avoid unnecessary calories from white flour, desserts, candy, soda, and dairy that offers little nutritional value, and also also the sodium that makes you all bloated and retain excess water.
Take an anti-gas supplement.
TMI? Maybe. But if you’re bloated, that’s embarrassing too. Many people are embarrassed by a bloated tummy, and this will break up the gas bubbles, says Ferguson.
Double up at the gym.
Your workouts don’t have to be long, you could do 20 minutes of cardio in the morning and some dumbbell exercises on lunch break or after dinner – but it must be done daily, says Ferguson. The more quick workouts you can fit in, from 4-minute Tabata exercises to a 30 minute abdominal class, the better. Also, take the stairs whenever possible instead of using an elevator. You’ve heard it before, but simple changes like this are a great way to get incidental exercise, and burn calories without planning a workout.
Sweat it out.
And yes, that means enjoying a bit of luxury “me time” in the hot tub or steam room. Ferguson says it will help to rid your body of toxins and water weight, plus it’s good for your skin!
Drink only water.
You can have some coffee or tea before a workout for some extra energy. But no sports drinks, juice, or soda – they all have sugar. Spice up your water with sliced cucumber, mint leaves, belly-busting blueberries, lemon, or even fresh ginger. Plus, drink a glass of water before each meal to feel fuller and to avoid overeating. While water doesn’t have a magical fat-burning property, nutrition experts say keeping hydrated can stop overeating, as many people confuse thirst with hunger.