Let’s get one thing straight; trying to lose weight fast is not usually a good idea. With that said, there are times when it is necessary. If you have the time, it is better to develop a meal plan for extreme weight loss and focus on long term sustainability.
You can lose a significant, but safe, amount of weight with a low-calorie, nutrient-packed meal plan and exercise.
Furthermore, severely restricting calories can result in health problems, including fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, fatigue, gout and gallstones. The only time meal plans for extreme weight loss diets should be followed is when they are medically necessary and supervised by a doctor. Very low calorie diets providing 800 calories or less are sometimes necessary in cases of obesity in which the excess weight poses more severe health risks than extreme weight loss.
Setting a Safe Goal
Weight loss at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week is generally considered safe and effective for the long-term. However, some experts states that in the beginning of a weight loss program, it’s OK to kickstart weight loss at a faster rate of 3 to 5 pounds per week for the first two weeks. Anything above 5 pounds a week is too much. After the first two weeks, you should transition back to losing weight at a rate of no more than 2 pounds per week.
Therefore, you can set different calorie goals for different phases. Calorie needs are highly individual and have a lot to do with genetic factors related to metabolism. They also take into account gender, age and activity level. Rather than try to determine your exact calorie needs, focus instead on setting a daily calorie reduction goal.
Generally, reducing your calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories each day results in 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week, according our research. Depending on your current calorie intake, that’s often achievable through diet alone.
However, if you want to aim a little higher in the beginning, creating that kind of calorie deficit just through calorie-cutting could prove difficult if you’re not currently eating an extra 1,500 to 2,000 calories a day. Therefore, you will have to combine a reduced-calorie diet with exercise to reach your goals.
It’s Not Just About Calories
Simply cutting calories is one thing, but if you’re eating an unhealthy diet, it will be very difficult to feel satiated and satisfied on fewer calories. It’s also not going to benefit your overall health.
When significantly reducing calories, maximize the calories you do eat by making sure they are nutrient-packed. This will ensure you get all the nutrition you need while losing weight. Cutting out foods and drinks that are high in calories but low in nutrients is key.
Foods You Should Be Eating
The first step in developing a meal plan for extreme weight loss is to understand what foods you should be eating and which you need to avoid.
Here are some of the best foods to be eating if you’re hoping to lose weight:
Whole eggs – high in protein and other nutrients, helping you to get nutrition without excess calories
Leafy Greens – While being very nutritious, leafy greens are also very good at filling you up without loading you up with calories.
Salmon – the protein, healthy fats, and other nutrients in salmon will help you to stay feeling full and offer an array of other health benefits.
Cruciferous Vegetables – The most common ones are broccoli and cauliflower, although cabbage and sprouts are also cruciferous. These types of vegetable have a high fiber content helping you to stay feeling full for longer.
Leans Chicken Breast – You can also eat lean beef. Despite the poor reviews of late, both of these meats are high in protein, which helps you feel full while burning more calories than any other food type.
White Potatoes – It’s normal to want to stay away from white potatoes, but they actually have almost every nutrient you need; you can survive for an extended period on just these!
Beans & Legumes – Lentils, kidney beans, and even black beans are all very high in protein and fiber; you’ll feel full quickly after eating these.
Dairy – You may be surprised to find that dairy products are usually very high in protein. It provides energy to repair muscles and help you to stay feeling full. Cottage cheese is a great example of something that has a high protein content and low fat/carbohydrate content.
Nuts – A small handful of these will help you to feel full as they are full of protein. They can even boost your weight loss achievements by increasing the speed of your metabolism.
Whole Grains – These are generally loaded with fiber helping you to stay feeling full.
Grapefruit – Eating just ½ a grapefruit before a meal will increase your weight loss abilities.
Chia – These seeds are 40% fiber and absorb 11-12 times their weight in your stomach leaving you feeling fuller for much longer.
This isn’t the complete list of best foods to eat to lose weight, but it’s enough to show you that your diet can be varied and food can still be enjoyable.
How Intermittent Fasting Can Help
Intermittent fasting is the practice of not eating. The idea is to only eat within a planned period of time, extending the period of the day you don’t eat.
In basic terms, this will lower your calorie intake, which will virtually guarantee that you lose weight. However, avoiding food for several hours will also put your body in a process known as ketosis. This is because your body is unable to obtain energy for carbohydrates, as it usually does.
Instead, your body will burn fat inside your fat cells, boosting your weight loss achievements. However, it should be noted that starving your body for too long will encourage it to store fat.
The Importance of Nutrition
It is possible to reduce your calorie intake by eating just one fast-food burger a day. This can actually help you to lose weight because you’re eating fewer calories than your body needs.
But, one burger will not offer all the nutrition you need. If you don’t get the right nutrients, then your body will stop working so efficiently.
It is important to be aware of your daily nutrition requirements. Being aware will help to ensure your meals are balanced and healthy. Of course, you can use supplements for specific vitamins or minerals. But, this should not be seen as a way of getting all the nutrition you need.
Carbohydrates – these are essential for energy. If you don’t have enough, then your body may try to consume the protein in your muscles and bones.
Protein – This is essential for the repair and growth of all the cells in your body, including your muscles. There are 9 essential amino acids that cannot be made by the human body but need to be consumed every day. You can get all of them from a varied diet.
Fats – Surprisingly, these are not your enemy when trying to lose weight. Your body actually needs fat as a form of energy; it is twice as potent as carbohydrates. Of course, you need the right fats. Focus on mono and polyunsaturated as well as omega-3.
Calcium – You need this for strong bones and teeth. It is also essential for blood clotting and muscular contraction.
Iron – Iron deficiencies are becoming common, which is concerning when this is vital for several functions in the body.
Zinc – This is actually very useful at boosting your immune system. But, it is also an essential part of the testosterone production process.
Vitamins – All the vitamins have their place and help your body to function properly. It’s important to get enough of them on a daily basis.
Additional Tips for Extreme Weight Loss
There are several extra things you can do to help ensure you stick to your meal plan for extreme weight loss and really achieve your goals:
- Skip the sugar.
- Drink water 30 minutes before a meal.
- Consume plenty of fiber.
- Eat Slowly.
- Use a smaller plate.
- Drink water before snacking.
- Set goals & remember that even extreme weight loss can take time!
- Start a food journal.
- Choose your own path. After all, everyone is unique.
- Read the ingredients; you’ll be surprised what’s in some things.
- Have a glass of water when you think you’re hungry; it may just be thirst.
Exercise Is Key
Here’s the truth: If you really want to lose a lot of weight quickly, you have to combine a nutritious, reduced-calorie diet with regular exercise. Aerobic exercise such as brisk walking, jogging and cycling burns calories to help you deepen your daily calorie deficit Resistance exercise, such as weight lifting or body weight exercises, helps build lean muscle mass. Building muscle while dieting is critical, Lean muscle is more metabolically active than fat; the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolism, and the more calories you burn round the clock. Additionally, because fast weight loss often results in muscle loss, it’s important to combat that by working to build new muscle.
Plan to meet the minimum exercise guidelines from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise each week, along with two total-body strength training sessions. For even greater benefits, shoot for 300 minutes or more of moderate-intensity cardio exercise or 150 minutes or more of vigorous exercise along with strength training.
Keep in mind that, just as with extreme diets, extreme exercise regimens are also risky. Moderation is key to long-term success.