First, let me say I’m not a fan of rapid weight loss. Why? Because I’ve seen way too many people lose weight and gain weight in a pattern that repeats itself more than a politician makes promises he can’t keep. They go on some version of a grapefruit, hot lemon water diet, lose pounds, go to an event, eat everything in sight and gain the weight back plus a few for the road. Then they get frustrated with dieting, throw the towel in and gain more weight, then go on another quick weight loss diet….. ah, well, you get the drift.
And though I’m not a fan of taking off pounds quickly, I get this question so often that I figured it was time to tell the world how to lose weight quickly and safely for an event. So, here are my rules of the road (in no particular order):
• Don’t believe the hype. Celery doesn’t have negative calories and hot lemon water or dousing your food with pepper isn’t going to speed your metabolism. Sure, you can drink hot lemon water or diluted cranberry juice but the only effect you’ll notice is frequent urination and possibly a placebo effect.
• Keep a food journal. Doing so will keep you accountable. Be sure to write down every BLT (bite, lick and taste).
• Lower your sodium intake. Sodium makes you retain water. Yes, we do need some sodium but I don’t recommend cutting it during exercise. Instead, cut down on sodium throughout the day when you are not active.
• Eat 300-400 calorie meals evenly spaced throughout the day.
• Make ½ of your plate vegetables or a mix of vegetables + fruit (do not consume large amounts of fruit at one time).
• Add protein to every meal.
• Add a portion of whole grain carbohydrates (1/4 of your plate) to your meals if desired.
• Cut out added sugars.
• Cut out all alcohol.
Don’t stay on a low calorie and/or restrictive diet for a long time or you may end up with several nutrient deficiencies. Or, you might just end up grouchy. Neither one is very good.
What about quick weight loss pills and services? Steer clear of the pills/supplements (oftentimes they combine diuretics with laxatives). Diuretics alone are generally safe if used as directed. However, they can lower your blood sodium (called hyponatremia; this can be very harmful for the body) and cause a drop in blood pressure so, use with caution. As for the body wraps etc., I don’t know anything about these and, until something has research to back it’s use or I’ve tried it myself and noticed a difference, I just can’t recommend it. If you are going to give a body wrap a try, opt for one with a guarantee.
If worse comes to worse and you don’t fit into your favorite dress or suit, look at this as an opportunity to buy a snazzy new outfit that will make you look more in style and hide that extra 5 lbs at the same time.