You got a big date next week? Got to fit in a new bridesmaid dress next week? Heading to the beach next week? What theme do these 3 situations have in common? ding ding ding!
You need to lose belly fat in one week!
Quick! Throw everything in your refrigerator in the garbage. Put on a sweat suit and start pedaling on a bicycle in the sauna. You got to make weight – fast!
Relax. I’m kidding. There are much easier, healthier and safer ways for you to lose belly fat and look great in one week.
This situation is all too common for my clients and patients, and fortunately, I am going to bring you my secrets. The best part is not that you will look great, but rather that you will lay down the foundation for you to achieve long-term and consistent weight loss so you look great all year around.
How To Lose Belly Fat In A Week
To Be Most Effective, Start Out Realistic
“A goal without a plan is a wish.” It’s good to have high expectations, but without a focus and a plan you will never achieve your goal.
You need to create a baseline of what can be done within your means, and then follow through.
First, you need to understand that your body fat during weight loss will be removed from all sections of your body. There is no such thing as an exercise that can specifically make you lose fat in just your belly.
Your fat is stored everywhere, and when you exercise during a diet you use pull energy from all your fat stores in your belly, butt, arms, and even legs.
You will look great, but do not get frustrated if you feel that you lose more fat from your butt than your belly. There is no medical way, outside surgery, to remove fat from just your belly.
Set Your Daily Calories To Lose Weight Effectively
Dieting is all about expending more energy than you consume. When you have a calorie deficient you lose weight. In order to do that, you must know how much calories you take in. I strongly suggest you try to take the calorie calculator from the National Institute of Health (nih).
The nih Body Weight Planner is great tool for understanding your current caloric intake and exercise and see what adjustments you need to make to achieve a goal weight in a given amount of time.
Uniquely, you can follow your bodyweight overtime so you can make adjustments after this week. However, given that your focus is one losing body fat in one week; use this calculator to find your baseline current caloric intake you need to maintain your weight.
Please keep in mind that there are variations in caloric intake for many calculators. However, the reason I like the nih calculator is because it is the most accurate as it is backed up my years of medical research. You can find it here.
How Many Calories Should You Cut Out?
Suppose you are a woman of moderate physical activity that has a calculated baseline caloric intake of 1900 calories to maintain your current weight.
You may have heard that a pound of fat is roughly 3500 calories. So if you remove roughly 500 calories a day from your diet for 7 days you would theoretically remove 1 pound of fat.
Thus, some people assume if they remove 750-1000 calories a day then they will lose more fat. However, it’s not that simple. If you remove too many calories you go into starvation mode and have low energy.
Instead I suggest you remove roughly 500 calories from your diet from what you normally eat. So in the case of the woman she would reduce her caloric intake from 1900 to 1400 so that she can lose weight but also still have enough energy so that she can exercise and continue on with her day without being drained.
How To Stick To Your Plan To Lose The Most Weight
Life style changes are difficult to make which is why people struggle with dieting. It’s very tough for most people to alter what type of food they eat, but it’s a bit easier to alter how much they eat.
Let’s use an extreme example. Suppose you eat one entire bag of potato chips a day. If I said never eat potato chips, it’s likely the restriction will build up cravings and you will binge eat eventually.
But if I suggest you eat ½ of a bag then you’d be more likely to stay with it for 7 days. Now, by no means is having that much potato chips good for you. However, dieting involves baby steps.
You can’t tell someone to never eat ice cream again when they eat it every day. You have to gradually taper it down.
Similarly, when it comes to dieting for 7 days, adjust your portions and increase your frequency. It’s easiest to start with your carbohydrate intake.
Whatever it is you are normally eating for carbohydrates, reduce it by exactly one half. If you eat a bowl of pasta a day, instead eat ½ a bowl. If you eat a sandwich with two slices of bread, try instead to eat a sandwich with one slice of bread.
You need to be realistic about how much you can cut from your diet because your craving will kick in if you restrict foods to yourself that you normally eat every day.
Pick The Best Foods To Feel Full And Lose More Weight
Since the hunger craving will kick in you need to find alternative sources of food. The best types of food to add to your diet are low calorie-density foods. These are foods packed full of water and fiber, which help you feel full but don’t contain as many calories.
Suppose you eat a sandwich with two slices of bread and you are now eating with one slice of bread but feel cravings. Add some low density foods that you can eat larger portions of and still feel full.
Try bringing some rice cakes with you. Or opt for fiber enriched bread. Other great foods to add are veggies, fruit and fat free soup.
The more of these foods you take in, the more it will satiate your appetite so that you can still limit your caloric intake while maintaining fullness.
My personal favorite to bring with me is a low calorie protein bar for a snack. I eat it very slowly and with a large glass of water. I take my time between bites to savor the chocolate and as I sip water between each bite I feel fuller.
However, for all my meals, I load up on vegetables as it allows me to eat healthy and feel full.
Use A Long Term Mindset To Accomplish Your Goals
As I said before, you need to be realistic about your goal for the week. This builds the foundation for your life.
Try to stay away from fad diets like those that promise if you drink only smoothies for 7 days you’ll lose 20 pounds. No one drinks smoothies all day and every day. You will have such intense cravingsfor regular food that you will break that diet and binge eat.
Some diets preach weight loss and 6 pack abs if you remove all carbohydrates from your diet. That’s crazy. Your body needs carbohydrates for energy. When those are restricted you will purge on bread and pastas.
There is no healthy diet out there in which you can lose more than 10 pounds in a week. It’s unrealistic and not attainable in the long term. Stick with a balanced diet that is with lower calories, and healthy choices, but with a consistent exercise plan.
Add Exercise To Reach Your Goal In Record Time
Hard work pays off! For you to look great and lose weight you need to be consistent in the kitchen and in the gym.
In the gym you need to push the work out harder in order to burn those calories and keep your metabolism in high gear all day so you burn calories while you sleep. However, you should be aware that while you are in the gym you will feel more tired than usual due to your calorie restriction.
The best training to ensure you get the most weight loss and burn fat is to do High-Intensity Interval Training.
Most exercise plans for fat loss focus on regular steady state exercise such as walking and jogging at a moderate intensity for an extended period of time. However, most of these plans have led to relatively negligible weight loss.
However growing medical evidence shows that high-intensity interval training exercise is most effective for reducing fat of overweight individuals. Furthermore, given that one of the major constraints for weight loss is time, the brevity of High Intensity Interval Training protocols is most appealing for those who want fat reduction.
My personal favorite cardio exercise to supplement my weightlifting regime is to do what is called, “Tabata Intervals.” First I do a 5 minute light job, and then I do 8 sets of 20-second sprints and 10 seconds of rest for 4 minutes, followed by 5 minute cool down job.
Warm up – 5 minutes of light jogging
Intervals – 4 minutes (total of 8 circuits)
– Sprint 20 seconds
– Walk 10 seconds
Cool down – 5 minutes of light jogging
High Intensity Interval Training, such as this Tabata training, will raise your metabolism which is what you want in order to lose fat. Even better is that your metabolism will stay at high even after the workout which means that your body will be burning fat for hours after.
You can do Tabata intervals with running, pushups, squats, even jump roping. You can even mix up the workout so you go from one exercise to another during the Tabata Interval.
I should warn you, when you go all out for those 4 minutes it will feel like the worst and longer 4 minutes of all time. Leave your ego at the door.
When I first started Tabata interval training I did 4 alternating sets for a week and eventually was able to work up to 12 sets. Build your stamina. Try to go for 8 alternating sets for those 4 minutes, but if you can’t adjust.
Remember, think long term. If your body can handle it, I strongly suggest you try Tabata Interval training after your strength training by doing sprints, as this is the most physically demanding cardio you can do to get the best results for fat loss.
What Are You Waiting For?
Follow these 7 simple tricks for 7 days and you will lose that belly fat. Look great, feel great, and create a solid foundation for weight loss to continue for long after your meet your fitness goals.
Now have fun in your bikini on the beach next week, and don’t be surprise to get some winks and smiles. ;)
Natural Ways To Lose Belly Fat In A Week
- Start out with realistic goals
- Set your daily calories to lose weight effectively
- Create a caloric deficit of 500 calories per day
- Be persistent and stick to your plan to lose weight
- Pick the best and healthiest foods to feel full and lose more weight
- Use a long term mindset to accomplish your goals
- Add exercise to reach your goal in record time
Rajiv M Mallipudi, md is an internal medicine resident physician, personal trainer, athlete and author. During medical school he and his classmates co-founded and co-led medfit, which is a health and wellness organization that provided personal training and nutrition counseling to the medical student body. As a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter he has broken multiple state and national records. He has over a decade of personal training experience of clients at all levels and finds the profession so rewarding because of his ability to help others achieve their fitness goals. He serves as a contributing writer for Vixen Daily.