Looking for the fastest way to lose weight in two weeks naturally? In this case, the best strategy is to cut down on carbs, fill up on protein and reduce your calorie intake. High-intensity workouts that combine plyometrics and full body circuits can increase your calorie burn and speed up fat loss.
Simple strategies, such as cutting back on carbs, reducing your energy intake and limiting sodium, can help you lose up to 10 pounds in two weeks. However, you'll also lose muscle and water weight, not just fat.
Is Rapid Weight Loss Safe?
Crash diets have long been blamed for metabolic slowdown, weight gain, hormonal imbalances and impaired immune function. These weight loss plans are unsustainable in the long run and deprive your body of vital nutrients. According to Dr. Amy Pollak, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, yo-yo dieting may increase the risk of dying from heart disease.
Read more: PROs and CONs of the 10 Most Popular Diets
Furthermore, these diets plans don't lead to lasting weight loss, as the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health notes. Detox programs, cleanses and other fad diets have no proven benefits and may worsen existing health conditions.
Juice fasting, for example, can help you drop a few pounds, but you'll also lose muscle. Additionally, fruit juices are high in sugar and can lead to diabetes, insulin resistance and weight gain when consumed in excess.
As the Mayo Clinic points out, the key to lasting weight loss is to change your diet and exercise habits rather than starving yourself or skipping meals. The general recommendation is to lose no more than two pounds per week. These guidelines are subject to debate, though.
According to a December 2014 study published in Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, the rate of weight loss doesn't affect the weight regained in the long run. A small clinical trial featured in the journal Obesity in February 2016 confirms these findings.
The subjects who were placed on a strict diet providing only 500 calories per day for five weeks followed by a four-week meal plan matching their energy needs had similar results in terms of weight loss and weight regain as those following a 1,250-calorie diet.
The trial included only 57 participants, but is of interest due to its design and focus. These findings indicate that, whether you try to lose weight in a slow, steady manner or at a fast rate, you can expect to lose and gain the same amount of weight in the long run.
However, these studies say nothing about the potential risks of quick weight loss. Additionally, the subjects were under medical supervision. It's one thing to follow a custom diet developed by professionals and another to use unproven methods like colon cleansing or juice fasting for weight loss.
How to Lose Weight Fast
Some dieters want quick results — otherwise, they lose their motivation and quit within days. Others are simply trying to lose a few pounds for a wedding, a cocktail party or other special events.
The good news is that you can lose 10 pounds in two weeks. Just beware of the risks involved, which range from nutrient deficiencies, metabolic damage and muscle loss to gallstones and digestive distress.
Rapid weight loss following a restrictive diet can slow down your metabolism, deprive your body of nutrients and promote gallstone formation.
Before getting started, determine your daily calorie needs if you want to lose 10 lbs. in two weeks. One pound of fat equals around 3,500 calories, as reported by Harvard Health Publishing and other organizations. This means that you must create a 3,500-calorie deficit, whether it's by eating less, exercising more or both, to drop one pound. Now multiply that number by 10.
If your goal is to lose 10 pounds in two weeks, you need a 35,000-calorie deficit. That's not too realistic.
Another option is to drop water weight by reducing your sodium intake and eating foods with diuretic properties. Interval training, such as HIIT, will leave you drenched in sweat and boost your metabolism, which can further accelerate weight loss.
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, has been shown to reduce total fat mass, visceral fat and abdominal fat in a meta-analysis published in the journal Sports Medicine in February 2018.
This workout method involves short, intense bursts of exercise followed by brief periods of rest or low-intensity training. It can be applied to strength training, body weight exercises, cardio workouts or full body circuits. A typical HIIT workout can include burpees, push-ups, high knees, plank jacks, mountain climbers, running and more.
Eat Fat to Burn Fat
Consider switching to a ketogenic diet to get faster results in less time. This eating pattern is low in carbs and high in fat, causing your liver to produce ketone bodies for fuel. As a result, your body enters ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body's energy comes from stored fat and ketones instead of glucose.
The ketogenic diet is considered an effective way to lose weight and keep it off, as long as you can stick with the program. It's clinically proven to suppress appetite, increase fat breakdown, boost metabolic efficiency and prevent the formation of new fat cells, according to a February 2014 review featured in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
Beware that ketogenic diets are very restrictive. Most versions limit carbs to 50 grams per day and protein to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight per day. By cutting down on carbs, you'll not only lose fat but also shed water weight.
Each gram of glycogen, the form in which your body stores sugar in the liver and muscles, holds approximately 3 grams of water. Therefore, you can get leaner just by reducing your daily carb intake.
Don't be afraid to eat fats — your body needs these nutrients to sustain itself and function properly while on a diet. Fill up on mono- and polyunsaturated fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, tuna, salmon, avocado and extra virgin olive oil.
Cutting down on carbs isn't that difficult. Swap potatoes, rice, pasta and other starches for leafy greens. Use coconut, almond or konjac flour (an herb with a starchy corm) instead of grain flour. Replace sugary beverages with plain water, lemon water or unsweetened tea. Snack on low-carb, high-protein foods like walnuts, pecans, almonds, cheese and boiled eggs.
Flush Out Excess Water
As mentioned above, certain foods and plants can help you lose water weight. Stinging nettle, for example, has been used as a natural diuretic for centuries.
According to the American Botanical Council, this herb is rich in polyphenols, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and amino acids. The council reports that, in clinical trials, stinging nettle has been shown to improve insulin response and lower blood sugar levels, among other health benefits.
Depending on your preferences, you can either cook with nettle leaves or drink nettle tea to flush out excess water. Beware that natural diuretics may carry side effects or interact with certain medications. Additionally, more research is needed to assess their safety and efficiency. Use them with caution and consult your doctor beforehand.
- Mayo Clinic: "Mayo Clinic Minute: Why Yo-Yo Dieting Might Be Bad for Your Heart"
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: "Detoxes and Cleanses"
- Mayo Clinic: "Weight Loss: 6 Strategies for Success"
- The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology: "The Effect of Rate of Weight Loss on Long-Term Weight Management: A Randomised Controlled Trial"
- Obesity: "The Effect of Rate of Weight Loss on Long-Term Weight Regain in Adults With Overweight and Obesity"
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: "4 Ways Low-Calorie Diets Can Sabotage Your Health"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Simple Math Equals Easy Weight Loss"
- Sports Medicine: "Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training on Total, Abdominal and Visceral Fat Mass: A Meta-Analysis"
- MDPI: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health: "Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe?"
- NCBI: Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism: "Nutritional Ketosis and Mitohormesis: Potential Implications for Mitochondrial Function and Human Health"
- DeAnza College: "Overview: Carbohydrates"
- American Heart Association: "The Skinny on Fats"
- American Botanical Council: "Food as Medicine: Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica, Urticaceae)"
- Mayo Clinic: "Can Natural Diuretics Reduce Fluid Retention and Help With Weight Loss?"
- World Action on Salt and Health: "Water Retention"
- KoreaMed: "Dietary Salt Intake and Hypertension"