If you think the deadline has passed to get your body ready for summer, beaches and a midriff baring swimsuit, don’t fret. You still have time. Many weight loss experts say that you can lose a few extra pounds within a month.
So whether you’re planning a last-minute vacation or the warmer months have just snuck up on you, you can get yourself swimsuit-ready. Give yourself at least four weeks to stick with a diet that might be a bit more restrictive than you’re used to, and you should be able to see the results you want. But before we get into the five diets you might consider, follow these dos and don’ts to choosing a diet that is healthy.
Do Eat a Variety of Foods. For example, diets that limit food choices to liquids or a single food won’t give you enough nutrients and you could harm your health.
Do Consider a Doctor’s Opinion. You’ll want a diet that is physician-approved. You can also do a quick Google search to see if any doctors critiqued the diet you may follow. And talk with your healthcare provider, especially if you have a health condition, such as pregnancy, a liver condition or diabetes.
Do Exercise. Diets that say you don’t need to exercise may be too good to be true. A healthy lifestyle is balanced with healthy foods and physical activity.
Don’t Limit Calories Below what is Sustainable for You. If you’re tired, overly hungry, or your blood sugar levels are out of whack, the diet isn’t working for you.
Don’t Stay on a Restrictive Diet for Long Periods. Quick results may require lifestyle changes that aren’t sustainable for health reasons.
Don’t Be Negative. There’s no point in following a diet if you're setting yourself up for failure. Be positive with the healthy lifestyle changes you’re making. Appreciate your body and all it can do for you. If you go into this with any negative feelings, you won't have a good experience.
1. Control portions
Cutting back on the amount of food you eat can be done by measuring portion sizes. There are a few different diets that dictacte portion sizes. For example, a piece of protein the size of a deck of cards, vegetables compacted to the size of a baseball, and a piece of cheese the size of your thumb. 21 Day Fix color codes plastic containers for you to fill with any food that passes your lips. Green is for veggies, purple for fruit, red is used for meat and other proteins, yellow is for carbohydrates, blue is healthy fats, and orange is for nuts, seeds and salad dressing. There is also a portion-controlled smoothie cup for drinks. It simplifies food intake so that you get all the food groups without the hassle of counting calories. It also recommends regular 30-minute workouts. The diet was created by trainer and mom Autumn Calabrese, who, as a bikini model, understands how to drop weight quickly.
2. Speed Up Your Metabolism
When you fast for a period of time, you can slow your metabolism down and halt weight loss as your body goes into starvation mode. To speed it up, some diets encourage small meals and snacking, so that you’re eating between four and five times a day. Television trainer and celebrity weight loss coach Jillian Michaels’ Ripped in 30 Days meal plan involves four scheduled meals: breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner. Even she admits the diet is strict, but because of the constant eating of healthy foods, you don’t feel like you’re missing out. For example, one day could include these four dishes: waffles and bananas for breakfast, Mexican pizza for lunch, a protein bar snack, and black bean chili for dinner. She even includes fast food options, like a veggie sub from Subway.
3. Limit Calories
This is a tried, tested and true way to diet. Limiting calories can make a big impact, especially if your regular caloric intake is high, above 2,000 calories. Good Housekeeping created this 1,300-calorie diet for quick weight loss, all while eating a variety of foods (even sneaky cheat meals). Since flavors, including sweet, spicy and savory, can all be low-cal, you can enjoy a diet that ranges in taste. This way you don’t get bored of “diet food.” There is one caveat, though. Your beverages shouldn’t have calories. Since they don’t make you feel full or satisfied, your drink choices must have no calories and still keep you hydrated. So you don’t cut into the calories you can dedicate toward food, drink water, soda, seltzer, unsweetened black coffee, and/or tea. Juices, soda pop, lattes, etc. are off the list. The seven-day diet can be done every four weeks.
4. Be Prepared
Diets often fail because of lack of healthy food choices. You know, you’re out between soccer games or other events, and all your kids want to eat are burgers and fries. And there are those days that just sneak away and you don’t think about dinner until you just get home – and that delivery number is just too tempting to call. Batch cooking can help with keeping healthy foods on hand and ready to eat; to prepare, start with a healthy grocery list. Dietitian Joy Bauer’s grocery list offers a full week’s worth of diets that won’t tempt you to binge or cheat on your diet. The convenience of having healthy foods in your home help you make food decisions easily. This diet promises to drop 10 pounds in a month.
5. Cleanse Healthily
Cleanses have had a bad rap, mostly because the most extreme ones (just juice, or a maple syrup-cayenne concoction) are void of food over a certain period of time. But there are cleanses that can be very healthy. Clean eating, which is generally thought of as a whole-foods diet with no processed foods, is a much smarter approach. Dr. Oz, along with Dr. Junger, created the Clean Detox. It’s a 30-day detox, that involves sipping a “detox” shake in place of breakfast, but you still eat lunch and dinner. Then you have a hearty lunch, which includes dark greens, healthy fats and a source of protein. Dinner is lighter fare, such as an entree salad. Foods the diet avoids include, dairy (including whey protein), eggs, gluten, refined sugars, soy, caffeine and alcohol, beef, pork, peanuts and corn oil. These are swapped for fruits, vegetables, brown rice, stevia, beans, green tea, fish, chicken and turkey, coconut oil and plant-based protein powder.