Help - Need to loose 10 lbs in 6 weeks!
hounds...looking for assistance. i need to loose approx 10 lbs in the next 6 weeks, as i am getting married and want to look my best. i live a very busy lifestyle in NYC, and like most hounds, food is my weakness. can hounds help me with the following:
1. lunches - what are some creative (yet easy) things i can bring for lunch?
2. snacks - i work long hours in an office where candy is all over the place. i need some better snack options.
3. dinner - i get home late (probably later than i should be eating). i like to make basic chicken with veggies, etc....but sometimes that gets old. any recommendations?
I'm really just looking for some general tips and success stories to keep me focused...this way, i can return to my hound ways come the honeymoon! thanks.
Eat only when hungry.
Eat only what's delicious.
You'll notice after you've eaten a certain amount of what's delicious, it starts tasting less delicious.
That's your body telling you it's had enough.
Repeat when hungry,
That's all there is to it.
Take a vitamin/mineral pill for insurance.
The rest is just commentary:
I speak from profound experience (bad then good).
Diets do not work - you already plan to go back to your old eating ways. You already plan to re-gain the weight.
You want to be always really enjoying your chow,
yet not so full you feel bad.
Lots of great suggestions below. Here's yet another.
1st 3-5 pounds:
Follow, to the letter, the 3-day diet below.
2nd 7-10 pounds:
Eat appreciably less of what you usually eat, without alcohol. If you feel like drinking, don't eat.
Don't freak out!!! You don't sound like a compulsive eater or dieter, so don't make any huge changes at such an important time. There's no harm in trying to lose some weight but be sure to nourish yourself properly too. Exercise and stretch a lot and your improved muscle tone and attitude over six weeks will be vastly more important than any amount of weight you can lose.
Per Dr. Perricone, two tips that have helped me drop weight. Drink green tea in place of coffee. Something about a substance (not the caffein) in coffee that "locks in your glucose retention" or something like that. He promises that if you skip coffee for six weeks, you'll drop ten pounds. Also, when you are eating, eat protein first - then veggies and starches. If the system recognizes protiens first, it sends out a more effective grouping of enzymes and keeps the metabolism revving.
Keep a food journal and include everything. Even if you have only a bite of something. Tedious - but it works.
Also, keep in mind that it's muscle tone that will make you LOOK better. You will look better with a toned body with zero weight loss than you will having lost 20 pounds... focus more on resistance training than on the scale.
And get your teeth whitened! A great smile trumps a bit of tummy every single time!!
Just a caveat - I gave up coffee last summer. For about three months I had no coffee at all, then I went back to one cup every day or two, decaf or half-caf (I had had about three cups a day before, sometimes four). I didn't drop a pound. And I didn't drink soda or anything as a replacement, just more of the bloody water I seem to be drowning in. Admittedly, I've got a statistical sample of one here, but I can personally attest that I didn't have much success with the no-coffee approach.
Depending on your size 10 pounds (as pointed out by another poster) may or may not be a lot. I'm doing Weight Watchers-- though more or less maintenance now-- and most people lose about that fast when they start, provided they haven't already been dieting. It's basically a 1000-1200-calorie diet.
Last fall I wanted to look thinner for a big event with photographs. I'd say I was about 10-15 pounds overweight at the time. I stopped using salt and cut out most caffein and sugar, not to mention alcohol. Basically, anything I'd heard contributes to bloating. If you normally eat a lot of salt, you probably have quite a bit of water weight on you. Also, restricting your carbohydrate intake drastically, a la Atkins, will really help you drop any water weight. I couldn't be bothered with that, but even just with the other measures I was able to lose the bloat. Crazy as this may sound, sleeping with your head on a couple of firm pillows to elevate it may help.
I have to say, I look thinner in those photos than I do now, even though I weigh less now.
What you eat is only half of it.
If you think that you can't cut food too much....do the following:
Cut all alcohol.
Forgo all fruit juice, soda or any high fructose bevvies.
Drink lots of black coffee, no cream.
Drink lots of water, bubbly or no, with lime juice.
Altoids. Lots of 'em.
Don't get hung up on poundage. Find an outfit to measure your progress instead.
"What you eat is only half of it."
So true.... the other half is EXERCISE! Weight loss occurs when the # of calories expended is greater than the # of calories ingested. So you've got to work on both ends of the equation, unless you want to go on a near-starvation diet of 1200 cals/day.
I lost 10 lbs before my wedding last year by cutting portion sizes, stopping snacks, and exercising 5-6 times/week (half-hr of cardio - running, swimming - plus 40 mins of resistance work per session). But I did it more gradually, over 4 months. I actually lost 5 of those 10 lbs in the last 6 weeks due to stress - my dad was seriously ill and in the ICU for that time and even though I didn't have time to plan and eat healthy meals and ate quite a lot of junk food (hospital cafeterias are not the most healthy places, particularly after office hrs), the weight just dropped. But I wouldn't recommend that method to anyone!
Turn off the AC! Hot, humid weather really diminishes appetite, as I've found out. I'm not kidding.
Also, you'll crave healthy, cool things like crisp salads, not substantial, heavy meals or sweets.
Also, replacing a meal with a nutrition bar (whatever brand you like, but make sure it has some protein and fat) helps. And yeah, count the calories.
re: Sir Gawain
re: Sir Gawain
But don't forget, lots of so-called nutrition bars are made w/high fructose corn syrup and other such things. I've found Luna bars, particularly the Cranberry Nut, to be the best b/c they're made w/brown rice syrup, so you're not getting the highly refined sugars.
I have been trying not to chime in on this, mostly b/c you all will think i'm crazy...particularly b/c i love to eat and write and think about food!
However, this spring, I lost 10lbs in 2 weeks, b/c I was trying to make weight for Lightweight rowing(and yes, my timing was stupid, i should've started earlier, but didn't realize that the competition was as close as it was). To begin with, I was lean and very fit, so this was tough and I ended up losing 15 in the end and that was about 10% of my original weight. Basically, the key to losing weight successfully is to up your exercise a lot, instead of 1hr/day, work out 2, or instead of 30min/day, 1hr, if you find the time... Then, as lots of folks are pointing out:
skim milk in coffee
NO processed or refined sugars and flours.
Eat just whole grain carbs
try to restrict carb eating to bfast.
Carbs retain 3x their weight in water overnight, so consider that when weighing yourself.
Drink lots of water.
Sir Gawain is right about the AC!
Eats lots of vegetables and lower sugar fruits
No fruit juice or soda
lower salt intake, but really, that's more for pre-weigh-in than anything else.
Most of all portion control: eat less, exercise more, is the only way to go. It's not easy, not at all, but if you drink lots of water, stage your eating appropriately through the day (5 small meals works well) and when necessary chew sugarless gum, you will be able to lose 10lbs in 6weeks for sure!
Good luck. It's not really fun...but the time will be over soon enough and hopefully you'll be where you want. Like many things, if you want this enough, you will make the sacrifices!
whoops. and lots of lean proteins: chicken, fish, turkey, tofu, egg whites. Beans are good protein but higher in carbs. I eat a lot of salads with grilled chicken, or I eat turkey burgers or fish, with a salad on the side. Tofu-egg scramblers are tasty too, feta is best as it's lower in fat than most cheese.
Alright, on the homecooking board I posted some advice.....but then I got to thinking about my recent 'success story': letting go of the ideal.
I'm actor in NYC. I needed new headshots and I desperately wanted to lose 10lbs before the big day. I didn't. I eat healthy, I exercise, but I did not lose weight. I was just on the verge of beating myself up about it and feeling self-conscious when I stopped and gave myself a good talkin' to. This is what I said:
You are what you are. 10lbs is an ideal someone put in your mind, probably society. It's completely a social context. Be the very best YOU, just as you are. Accept and love yourself. Enjoy this experience.
So, as granola hippy as it may sound, I did, and my shoot was fabulous and I love how I look and I can actually look at my pics and say 'I look great!'. I've also been overweight my whole life, so disliking how I look RIGHT NOW has always been an issue and may not be for you.
Anyway, my two cents. Good luck with your wedding and love how you look no matter!
I think people need to be realistic about how much they can lose within a short period of time. Working out and eating healthy is the best way to do it, but from my experience, has also been the slowest. I encourage people to stick to a workout routine even if they gave up on losing those 10 lbs. Your body will thank you for it.
The only trouble is that "society" is who one typically wants to think "s/he looks great". Self-acceptance is great, but it just ain't the same as actually having a good/great body. There's nothing wrong with trying to lose weight for a special occasion, so long as you remain sensible about what's realistic.
10 lbs in 6 weeks - much depends on what percentage this is of your overall weight. If you're smallish and thinnish now, it may be a lot. If you're tall and big-boned, it's definitely possible.
krissywats, I always love your posts.
Can I give some contrarian advice to the original poster? Chow down!
If you get all fit looking and trim, for the rest of your life you'll be looking at those wedding photos and thinking about how much fatter you are than you were back on your wedding day.
7 years later and with a family now, I'm in way better shape than I was on my wedding day (and with a better haircut), and if I ever want to feel good about myself, I just whip out the photos.
do you have access to a refrigerator/freezer and microwave at work? if so, bring in things like ready-to-eat baby carrots or celery sticks or a bag of edamame to snack on. dip the carrots in homemade hummus by combining a can of chick peas, fresh-sqeezed lemon juice, a clove of garlic. mix in a food processor or mash and gradually add some of the chick pea juice to the consistency you like. put a light layer of reduced fat peanut butter on the celery. microwave some shelled edamame in a mug at work. i keep a box of veggie burgers and a bag of whole wheat rolls (martins, i think) at work for when i forget to bring last night's leftovers. i add a little ken's lite vidalia onion salad dressing on top.
definitely cut out soda, even diet, and stick to water or water or seltzer with lemon juice. soda is my biggest downfall and it's hard to kick the habit. i have been mixing a pitcher of crystal light lemonade with the juice of half a lemon and then adding the other half sliced. i find the real lemon negates the 'diet' taste. i fill a cup with half the lemonade and half seltzer when i'm craving soda.
if you are pressed for time, definitely try and make or prep meals ahead on weekends. wash, cut and bag individual portions of veggies to grab on the way to work.
good luck. i'm sure you'll look beautiful.
Since it doesn't sound like you're going for a formal plan (WW, Atkins, So Beach, etc.), I offer you one piece of advice (I lost 65 pounds on WW in the past year): whatever you decide to eat, prepare what you think is a reasonable portion in keeping with your weight loss goals.
Then eat half. Put the other half away for another meal.
And if you don't have a regular exercise plan, walk everywhere you possibly can, including up and down stairs.
That is great! I've really been able to maintain my weight as I've gotten older with increasing my activity level. This also means that I don't have to watch what I eat as carefully, which I hate to do.
For the OP, I'd recommend a combination of the other posters comments: (I do this when I come back from vacation and I need to lose weight, then I switch back to a more moderate eating plan to maintain. It's easier especially since nothing is off limits.)
1) Keep your chow-ish diet but immediately reduce the portion size by half, either through having the restaurant pack half of it away immediately or deliberately putting only half your usual serving on your plate at home. (This assumes you're eating a pretty balanced chow-ish diet and not bingeing on food like enchilads.)
2) Increase your water consumption and cut out all other drinks except maybe unsweetened brewed ice tea or coffee
3) Run or do some cardio for 20 minutes every day
4) Do some light weightlifting 3-5 times a week. Muscle tone will do wonders for the fit of your clothes and the more muscle you gain, the faster your body will burn calories as increasing muscle mass raises your metabolism rate.
5) Don't concentrate so much on weight loss as much as a combination of weight, body composition (% fat, % muscle) and how your clothes fit. As my trainer keeps pointing out to me, if I lose an inch of fat and gain an inch of muscle I'll end up weighing more because muscle weighs more than fat, but I'll look a hell of a lot better (and my metabolism will be hoigher so I can splurge a little more on eating.)
Good luck and congratulations.
re: Jonathan Saw
There was an article in the NYTimes recently that actually questioned the link between lifting weights & seeing a boost in metabolism or a link to losing weight overall...Can't remember the exact details, and unfortunately it's now only for purchase! But regardless, link to the lead is below.
A friend of mine lost A LOT of weight by eating pretty much what he wanted, but only half of it (he ate out often).
Cutting out alcoholic beverages for a while really helps. And switching completely to drinking (a lot of) water and maybe some unsweetened tea instead of sodas will help, too.
Eat fish instead of chicken all the time--so many more varieties!
I've been able to lose weight fast on the atkins diet. I don't recommend this as a long term life style change, but to lose weght in a short amount of time, it works. Eat nothing but protein until you're close to reaching your weight goals and gradually add in atkins-friendly veggies. Once you start adding veggies your weight loss will slow a bit, but you will still lose weight. You can choose to be healthier on atkins by choosing lean meats. For breakfast, I used to get an egg-white cheddar cheese omelet everyday. For lunch, I would go to the salad bars and only choose meat items or have sashimi for lunch with just soy sauce for dipping. Dinner again would consist of all meat, eggs and or cheese. For snacks, I'd get hard cheeses, a hard-boiled egg, or sugar-free jello.
If you want to lose weight from a healthy diet and exercise, it maybe possible depending on how much you currently weigh and what your prior daily physical activity consisted of. The more you weigh and the less physically active you were will mean you'll initially lose weight faster. I'm pretty active and am not overweight. I've started working out 3-5 times a week for about 1-2 hours each. I eat healthy about 70% of the time and have only been able to lose 5 lbs in 2 months.
The South Beach Diet could be a good option for you. I did it before my wedding and lost 10 pounds in 4 weeks. You can do it without buying the book as there is a ton of info. on the internet.
Here are some basic food ideas...
snacks: celery with low-fat peanut butter or Laughing Cow light cheese; large handfull of almonds or pistachios; small low-fat yogurt with nuts or fruit mixed in; cottage cheese with cherry tomatoes; string cheese
Lunch: taco ingredients wrapped in a lettuce leaf; salads with nuts, feta, grilled chicken and veggies; Barefoot Contessa's white bean soup (healthy and low-fat, but tastes so creamy);
Dinner: Rub a steak with minced rosemary and garlic then grill and serve drizzled with good olive oil; Roasted veggies; grilled fish; frittata with veggies and a small salad; chicken paremesan without the bread crumbs and low-fat mozzerella; hamburger with blue cheese and mushrooms without the bun or with a whole wheat bun.
I find that lunch is the most difficult so I tend to cook extra for dinner and eat the leftovers for lunch. This diet really worked for me and kept me motivated because the pounds will come off very fast. Also, once you return from your honeymoon, it's a good way to eat during the week, then splurge on the weekends. I'm a major foodie so long term restrictive diets are not an option. Good luck!
I live on a pretty much Atkins/South Beach type low glycemic index diet and have for a couple of years. It is not a bad way to live. To make it real simple think of it as a "no white food diet". No sugar or foods containing sugar, no wheat, this is no bread unless you can find a palatable low carb bread. I find most of them too sweet. No Pasta. No Rice. Eat high fiber foods, lots of leafy greens...eat your salads, meat, fish (no more than 12 oz/week) eggs, dairy, low sugar fruits with lots of fiber are okay but stay away from bananas, most juices and watch for the hidden sugar in a lot of foods you will be amazed if you start checking into the sugar counts in a lot of food. Avoid processed foods too read lables and keep count. Those 10 lbs and maybe a littel more will come off in no time. Walk a lot. Park in the parking spaces farthest from the door, take the stairs instead of an elevator or at least part way, sneak in that exercise you have been missing.
Good luck, it will work!
I just got the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" and it has some recipes that sounds great. However, I have yet to try them so I can't guarantee any results. Let me start by giving you this recipe to "jump start" your diet.
Magical Leek Soup (serve for 2 days)
2 lbs leek
Clean leek and rinse well to get rid of sand. Cut off the ends of the dark green parts, leaving all the white parts plus a suggestion of pale green.
Put the leeks in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to boil, reduce the heat, and simmer uncovered for 20 - 30 minutes. Pour off liquid and reserve. Place leeks in a bowl.
The juice is to be drunk (reheated or at room temperature) every 2 to 3 hours, 1 cup at a time.
For meals, or whenever hungry, have some of the leeks, 1/2 cup at a time. Drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season sparingly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle w/ parsley if you wish.
This will be your norishment for 2 days. You should stick to only drinking water beside the soup. You may have a small meat of meat or fish (4-6oz) with steamed vegetable and a piece of fruit for dinner on the second day.
Generally, the book talks about consuming food in moderation. It also ask you to think about the food you're consuming before eating it. Ask yourself, is this worth the calorie, fat, carb, etc. It suggest to only consume to best and freshest food, so you're not wasting calories. One very important point in the book, beware of what you drink. Drink lots of water (at least 2 liters a day), stay away from juice, soda, mixed drinks (lots of sugar). Wine with meal and herbal tea are fine.
Best of luck to you. Check out the website below for more recipes from the book.
One idea for each:
1. Total yogurt (0% or 2%) and a touch of honey. Maybe some fresh herbs if you need more creativity.
2. Mental caution tape. I come in on Monday morning, observe the candy/junk food table in the break room, and mentally rope it off w/ yellow police tape. Sometimes that actually works for several days. :-)
3. Scrambled eggs and goat cheese. I use 1 whole egg and one white, a splash of skim milk, scramble w/ just a tiny tab of butter (non stick skillet of course), crumble goat cheese (naturally low fat)on top. I find it rich-tasting and satisfying.