A seven-week lifestyle makeover can help you feel energized and healthy, but it may or may not be enough time to slim down your face and stomach significantly. You can, however, lose enough weight during this time frame to make a noticeable difference. Combine diet and exercise over the seven weeks to slim down all over -- including in your face and stomach.
Set Goals to Slim Your Face and Stomach
You likely won't be able to completely transform your body in just seven weeks, but you'll be able to lose between 7 to 14 pounds. That excess weight will come from all over your body, including from your face and stomach. To lose weight, you'll need to create an energy deficit -- a difference between how many calories you burn and how many calories you eat. For safe weight loss, you should generally eat 500 to 1,000 fewer calories every day.
Start your weight loss journey by estimating your energy needs. An online calculator makes it easy to plug in your info and figure out your approximate calorie burn. For example, a 23-year-old woman who is 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighs 170 pounds and leads a lightly active lifestyle needs roughly 2,350 calories daily to maintain weight. Cutting her daily intake to 1,350 calories would allow her to lose 14 pounds over seven weeks; reducing her intake to 1,850 calories would allow her to lose 7 pounds in that time.
You can cut calories aggressively to create a 1,000-calorie deficit, but don't drop your calorie intake too low. Anything less than 1,200 calories for women or 1,800 calories for men increases the chance you'll slow down your metabolism, which might actually make you gain weight in the long run. You'll also face a higher risk of developing nutrient deficiencies when eating so little food.
Slim Down with Fat-Burning Foods
Slimming down -- especially on a tight timeline -- requires eating the right foods for fat loss. Include plenty of lean protein and fiber in your diet. Part of your daily calorie burn comes from digestion, and, because protein takes more energy to break down than carbs or fat, eating protein-rich foods is an easy way to boost your metabolic rate. Meals high in protein and fiber also digest slowly, preventing hunger between meals, and simply eating more fiber can trigger significant weight loss, notes Harvard Medical School.
To up your protein intake, add a dollop of Greek yogurt or a scoop of protein powder to a smoothie; include beans or lentils in your salad; reach for nuts and seeds at snack time; include lean chicken, tempeh or fish in your lunches and dinners. Make sure you include veggies or fruit at each meal as a source of fiber, and eat whole grains, like brown rice or whole-wheat toast, for more fiber.
Burn Stomach Fat With Interval Exercise
While you can't specifically lose weight from your face and stomach, a workout routine that includes high-intensity interval training -- also called HIIT -- can give you a little boost when it comes to burning belly fat. Working at a high intensity triggers physiological changes in your body, explains Len Kravitz, Ph.D, writing for the University of New Mexico, and may encourage burning stomach fat. HIIT is also great for your cardiovascular health, so you should notice a significant increase in your fitness, which can keep you motivated to stick to your tight timeline.
Include two to three HIIT sessions in your routine, on nonconsecutive days to allow for proper recovery between sessions. Alternate sprints, which can range from 15 seconds to a minute, with recovery, which is 1 to 2 minutes at a slower pace. Repeat the intervals for a 20- to 30-minute cardio workout.
Instant Slim-Down Tips
It might take a few weeks to start seeing the effects of your seven-week diet and exercise routine, but you can give the appearance of a slimmer stomach and face almost instantly. Practice good posture throughout the day by rolling your shoulders down and back, pulling your shoulder blades together and lifting your chest. Slouching naturally gives the appearance or a rounded stomach, so correcting your posture can make your abs look instantly flatter.
Another almost instant slimmer is to cut sodium from your diet. Sodium triggers excess fluid retention, which can slightly expand your waistline, as well as make your face look puffy. Just avoiding processed foods and restaurant meals will likely help you lower your sodium intake, but you can also cut out salt by avoiding cottage cheese, canned veggies and soups, and store-bought sauces and salad dressings.
- Baylor College of Medicine: Adult Energy Needs and BMI Calculator
- Harvard Medical School: Making One Change — Getting More Fiber — Can Help With Weight Loss
- McKinley Health Center: Breaking Down Your Metabolism
- University of New Mexico: Metabolic Effects of HIIT
- Colorado State University Extension: Sodium and the Diet