Losing weight can be a challenging endeavor, especially when you’re aiming for significant results in a short period of time. While rapid weight loss isn’t always the healthiest approach, there are ways to shed some pounds in a sustainable and effective manner over a two-week period. If you want to know how to lose weight in 2 weeks, this article will guide you through a holistic approach to achieving your weight loss goals without compromising your well-being.
Reduce Your Calorie Intake
It is a very simple idea that lies beneath all weight loss strategies: Eat fewer calories than you burn each day. So decreasing calorie intake is a fundamental element of any weight loss plan. When you cut back on calorie intake, the body will fill the calorie deficit by burning fat stored in your body. You need to determine your new daily calorie value. This value depends on your weight loss goals (target weight and time frame), level of daily physical activity, age, etc. There are digital solutions to determine your calorie value or you can consult a dietitian for this purpose. Prepare a meal plan, schedule it, and stick to it every day. This is very important.
When preparing your meal plans to meet your new calorie goal, you must take into account the following factors.
Include Lot of Protein: Protein helps you to regulate appetite and satiety hormones in a way to make you feel full. This is mostly due to a decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a rise in the satiety hormones.
A research study revealed that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories helped participants eat 441 fewer calories per day and lose 11 pounds over 12 weeks, on average, without intentionally restricting any foods.
If you are currently eating a grain-based breakfast, you can consider switching to a protein-rich meal, such as eggs. Eggs, oats, nuts and seed butter, sardines, and chia seed pudding are some of the good choices for a high-protein breakfast. Additional examples of protein-rich foods include chicken breasts, Greek yogurt, lentils, almonds, and quinoa.
Include Plenty of Vegetables and Fruits: Fruits and vegetables are extremely healthy and weight-loss-friendly foods. They are low in calories and fat, but high in fiber (the typical equation of a successful weight loss plan). They also contain lot of vitamins and minerals. Several studies have shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables tend to weigh less.
Include Whole Foods: Avoid food that contains lot of added sugar and refined carbohydrates. Instead, eat whole foods. Wherever possible, you should swap refined carbs and sugary foods for more healthy choices. Good food swaps include:
- Whole-grain rice, whole-wheat pasta, and whole-grain bread instead of white versions.
- Fruit-infused water and herb teas instead of high-sugar sodas.
- Fruits, nuts, and seeds instead of high-sugar snacks.
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that involves regular short-term fasts and eating meals within a shorter time period during the day. The two best intermittent fasting methods are the following:
- Alternate-day Fasting: Fast every other day and eat normally on non-fasting days.
- The 5:2 Fasting: Fast on 2 out of every 7 days. On fasting days eat 500–600 calories.
We don’t recommend the 16/8 fasting method. In this method, you need to fast for 16 hours a day and eat only during an 8-hour window. To accommodate this particular eating window, most people have to skip their breakfast. But, skipping breakfast is a great blunder in your weight loss journey.
Keep this in mind. You must adopt a healthy eating pattern on non-fasting days and should avoid over-eating.
Here is one piece of advice. If you really want to use exercise, then it is better to avoid intermittent fasting (IF) because you can always reduce calorie intake by just following a low-calorie meal plan as we have seen at the beginning. The additional advantage is that you will get more space to schedule your workout and be relatively free in choosing workout intensity. But with intermittent fasting, the workout is both space-constrained and intensity-constrained.
Moreover, studies revealed that people who fasted overnight and exercised did not lose more weight than people who ate before exercise.
How to combine intermittent fasting and workout is a challenging question. If you really want to use both, please read our article The art of smooth pasting exercise on IF.
Combine Cardio with Strength Training
Exercising is one of the most common methods to lose weight, apart from dieting. To lose weight in two weeks you need to exercise one hour each day. If you don’t have a current exercise routine, start with 30 minutes per day and then slowly increase this to one hour. When doing the workout, it is very important to allot half the time to cardio and half the time to strength training.
Drink Plenty of Water
It is true that drinking water can help with weight loss. Studies revealed that drinking half a liter of water may increase the calories you burn by 24–30% for an hour afterward. There is also evidence to prove that drinking water before meals may result in reduced calorie intake. Interestingly, people sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. As a result, they may end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is all that they need.
Get Quality Sleep
Insufficient or poor-quality sleep slows down your metabolism. This forces the body to store unused energy as fat. In addition, poor sleep can increase the production of insulin and cortisol which also promote fat storage. Above all, your sleep quality results in poor regulation of the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin.
Several studies have shown that getting less than 5–6 hours of sleep per night is associated with an increased incidence of obesity.
Tracking Your Diet and Exercise
Tracking fitness progress is a critical aspect of your weight loss journey. With numerous technological advancements in recent years, fitness and weight loss tracking apps are easily accessible to help you achieve your goal. An estimate shows that in 2020, more than 71, 000 health and fitness apps were released globally. According to 2021 data, total health app downloads stood at 2.48 billion.
It is also possible for you to track your fitness and meal plans in a food journal or through body measurements and photos.
Most weight loss programs and personal trainers require you to keep a food and exercise journal to help you monitor your progress. The benefits of tracking diet and exercise are the following.
- Tracking holds you more accountable.
- Helps you in data-driven modifications in diet.
- Helps you in determining what foods make you feel bloated, what foods give you more energy, and many more.
- Helps you easily keep track of your protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake.
- Helps to drive the focus and direction of your weight loss journey.
Research studies revealed that there is a positive correlation between weight loss and the frequency of monitoring both food intake and exercise.