While starving yourself won't do much for your weight loss efforts, there are ways you can modify your eating habits to increase your dieting success. By reducing the amount of solids foods you eat after 2 p.m. and focusing on a liquid diet the rest of the day, you can better control the amount of calories you eat. Also, because you are likely more active in the early part of the day, eating this way will ensure that you spend the calories you eat.
Start the day with a balanced breakfast. Have a serving of carbohydrates (whole grains or fruits) and a portion of lean protein, such as turkey sausage, skim milk or scrambled eggs. You can add variety by using vegetables some days and add them to omelettes or sandwiches.
Have a complete lunch that features all food groups. Two servings of complex carbohydrate (whole grains), a serving of protein and two cups of vegetables provides all needed nutrients and an appropriate amount of calories without affecting your weight loss efforts.
Have a protein or meal replacement shake mid-afternoon. You can choose from ready-to-drink canned meals or buy protein mixes at the gym or health food store. If you choose the second option, mix with water or skim milk to save on calories.
Drink an additional shake during dinner time. Choose a shake that contains 250 to 300 calories per serving, so you are taking in enough calories and nutrients to keep you energized. You can also have a soup for dinner, but keep in mind that this may have fewer calories and nutrients, so it may affect your overall energy level. For best results, alternate soup days with shake days.
Consider making your own shakes if money is a concern. You can do so by using frozen berries or bananas, skim milk and a couple of tablespoons of dried skimmed milk powder. Mix all ingredients in a blender. This will provide protein power, as well as nutrients.
Things You'll Need
Ready-to-drink canned shakes
1/2 cup frozen berries or 1 banana
1 cup skim milk
1 to 2 Tbsp. dried skimmed milk powder
Don't forget to have 8 to 10 glasses of water a day. Water will keep hunger at bay, so you won't feel deprived for bot having solid foods after 2 p.m. Also, water accelerates metabolism and flushes out toxins, so it helps keep you healthy during the dieting process.
Pay attention to how you feel while following this program. As long as your energy levels remain high and you don't become sluggish or dizzy, you can continue following this diet. Ideally, though, you should use this as a way to jumpstart your weight loss efforts and switch to solid foods after 7 to 10 days.