If you're in a hurry to lose weight for a special occasion, such as a reunion, wedding or holiday, there are simple ways to tweak your routine to drop pounds faster. Using certain steps, you can expect to lose up to 5 kg -- or about 1 stone -- within a matter of weeks, depending on your starting weight and fitness level.
Use meal replacements. Drinking a liquid meal replacement shake, such as SlimFast, in place of a regular meal has been proven to be effective for fast weight loss. Researchers found that regularly drinking meal replacements improved a man's likelihood of losing weight and keeping it off for more than a year. John Foreyt, Ph.D., recommends drinking a 180-calorie SlimFast shake for breakfast, and even replacing lunch if you're really in a hurry to lose. Have a sensible dinner and you'll see a positive change in the number on the scale within a matter of weeks.
Try interval training. Cardio intervals -- alternating periods of high intensity exercise with slower, more moderate effort -- has been proven to be more effective at burning body fat than steady-state cardio workouts. Celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson, whose clients include Penelope Cruz and Jennifer Lopez, knows the benefits of interval workouts. "They can change your body in ways that would take much longer to accomplish with regular, steady cardio. You'll see a difference in weeks," he says. Incorporate interval workouts into your exercise a few times a week, and keep workouts short. Interval routines, because they are higher-intensity, are best kept to 30 to 40 minutes long.
Minimise starches. Temporarily cutting out starchy foods -- even fibre-rich whole grains -- and focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables results in speedy weight loss. This is because the body uses more water to digest and metabolise the nutrients in starchy foods, so eliminating them creates almost instantaneous fluid loss. Seeing the number go down on the scale so quickly is enough to give you a mental boost to keep up with your weight loss efforts.
Ditch the diet soft drinks. You might think that replacing regular pop with diet versions will save you calories and lead to weight loss, but think again. Researchers found that people who consumed three or more servings of diet soft drinks daily doubled their risk of becoming overweight or obese within seven to eight years compared to those who did not drink diet soft drinks. That's because the artificial sweeteners in diet soft drinks may stimulate the body's sugar receptors, causing cravings for more high-calorie sweet foods. For optimum weight loss in the shortest amount of time, drink water.