Lose 1kg in one week! It’s a trope we see everywhere. And while it’s possible that someone can lose that much in that time period, it really depends on your metabolism and loads of other factors unique to you, including physical activity and body composition.
Weight loss ultimately comes back to the concept of calories in, calories out: Eat less than you burn and you’ll lose weight. And while it’s possible to lose water weight quickly on a low-carb diet, I certainly wouldn’t advocate for it. The diet itself can trick you into thinking that this eating style is working — when really, you might gain back what you lost as soon as you eat carbs again. That can feel incredibly dispiriting if you want results that last longer than a week.
Based on my experience in nutrition counseling, most of us tend to snack on foods that aren’t nutrient-dense, but are high in calories. Major culprits often come in the form of refined grains like cereals, chips, crackers, and cookies but also calorie-packed drinks like juice and soda. Skipping sugary beverages is often the easiest way to lose weight faster. You don’t feel full from drinks, so swapping those out for sparkling water or unsweetened tea and coffee is the best place to start.
1. Eat more vegetables, all of the time.
It’s that simple, I promise! If you think about making any meal mostly veggies (at least of anything that you’re having), you’re on the right track to better health.
2. Build a better breakfast.
All meals are important, but breakfast is what helps you start your day on the right track. The best, heartiest breakfasts are ones that will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and stave off cravings later in the day. Aim to eat anywhere between 400 and 500 calories for your morning meal, and make sure you’re including a source of lean protein plus filling fat (e.g., eggs, unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, or nut butters) and fiber (veggies, fruit, or whole grains). Starting your day with a blood sugar-stabilizing blend of nutrients will help you slim down.
3. Drink more coffee.
Start your day with a cup of joe. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, which can reduce bloating, and an excellent source of antioxidants, which protect your cells from damage. You can have up to 400 mg — about a venti Starbucks coffee — daily, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Not much of a coffee drinker? Tea is also a natural diuretic, and types of herbal tea such as dandelion or fennel root can also lend a hand. In fact: When a recent study compared the metabolic effect of green tea (in extract) with that of a placebo, researchers found that the green-tea drinkers burned about 70 additional calories in a 24-hour period.
4. Eat spicy foods — seriously!
It can actually help you cut back on calories. That’s because capsaicin, a compound found in jalapeño and cayenne peppers, may (slightly) increase your body’s release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which can speed up your ability to burn calories. What’s more, eating hot peppers may help you eat more slowly and avoid overeating. You’re more likely to stay more mindful of when you’re full. Some great choices besides hot peppers: ginger and turmeric.
5. Take a walk!
Exercising at any time is good for you, but evening activity may be particularly beneficial because many people’s metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it elevated for another two or three hours, even after you’ve stopped moving. Plus, it’ll help you relax post-meal so you won’t be tempted by stress-induced grazing that can rack up calories.