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Apr 10

How to Lose Weight Fast (the Smart & Healthy Way)

Summer is filled with weddings, graduations, vacations, and lots of other reasons to feel fierce in a swimsuit. But if youve got an event coming up, and kind of wish you had already lost 5 pounds, its never too late. Everyone wants to lose weight fast, sighs Tracy Morris, nutrition curriculum designer at Fitbit. Of course, I want to help you see quick results! But if weight loss is too drastic, your body will fight backand theres no point starving yourself, if youre just going to end up binging and feeling discouraged. She definitely coaches a more moderate approach. But that said, if you lose weight quickly at the outset, you are more likely to continue losing weight. It can be incredibly motivating, to see that initial drop.

So dont call it a crash diet. Lets say its a strong start. Heres a healthy eating plan thats nutritionist approved, so you can slim down and feel awesome for that upcoming eventand then keep the momentum going.

Clinically trained dietitians and accredited nutrition experts agree, you dont want to lose more than 2 pounds in a week. Any more aggressive than that, and you start compromising your metabolism, Morris confirms. So take a look at the calendar, and set a realistic goal for the time you have. If you have 2 to 3 weeks before the big day, awesome! Aim to lose 5 pounds and feel better in your clothes. Just a week before the date? Dont despair. You can still de-bloat a bit and drop a couple of pounds.

Next, crunch the numbers. Figure outhow many calories you really need, and reduce that number by 500 to 750 calories per day, in order to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. The food logging feature in the Fitbit appmakes it extra easy. Just dont dip below the bare minimum your body needs1200 calories per day for women, or 1500 for men.

But of course, where those calories come from makes a big difference. Morris recommends a natural detoxno pills, no shakes, just fresh, whole foods. Heres how to do it the healthy way:

Okay, so you knew youd have to cut back on wine and brownies. But what can you eat? Morris has a meal plan for the first week that makes hitting those calorie counts super simple. Even though shehearts whole grains, for the first 2 days, she recommends dropping grains, and focusing on lots of fruits and veggies, with small servings of protein. By days 3 and 4, you can start reintroducing grains, but keep portions small, and time them early in the day.

Morning & afternoon snacks: 2 pieces of fruit, veggies, and a small handful of nuts.

Morris recommends starting on a Saturday, just in case your energy is a little low, so you dont have to struggle through the office. But wait, what about working out? Dont sweat it, first steps first. During the first week, get 30 to 60 minutes of walking in every day. By the second week, once youre enjoying small portions of whole grains, thats when you can pick up a couple of strength workouts.

People love the 7-day plan, says Morris. Theyre super excited at the beginning, and they love that big drop that comes with cutting out carbs, alcohol, and sugar. But I care even more about what youre eating the day after the event, not to mention the following weeks and months. So right away, reset your weight goal. And check in with your mindset and motivation. Because looking great at a pool party is great, but its not the end goal! Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is really about your long-term health and happiness.

This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.

Becky Duffett is a contributing nutrition editor for Fitbit and a lifestyle writer with a passion for eating well. A former Williams-Sonoma cookbook editor and graduate of San Francisco Cooking School, shes edited dozens of cookbooks and countless recipes. City living has turned her into a spin addictbut shed still rather be riding a horse. She lives in the cutest neighborhood in San Francisco, spending weekends at the farmers market, trying to read at the bakery, and roasting big dinners for friends.

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How to Lose Weight Fast (the Smart & Healthy Way)

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