Losing those last irritating 5 pounds can be the hardest part of your weight-loss journey. Nothing beats hard work and perseverance when you’re trying to lose weight and keep it off, but there are also a few sustainable ways that you can use to drop those last few pounds and keep them off. Kick things up a notch without depriving yourself by following these steps to a slimmer body next week.
1. Control your portions
Over the years, portions have become supersized. Larger serving sizes make it easy to consume excess calories, even when it comes to healthy foods. Curb your consumption by being mindful of proper serving sizes: a serving of meat should be no larger than the palm of your hand or deck of cards. When it comes to snacking, don’t eat out of the package or bag. When you’re dining out, ask for a doggy bag at the beginning of your meal and immediately place half of your dish in the to-go container so that you won’t be tempted to clean your plate. As a rule of thumb, make sure half of your plate is filled with fruits and colorful veggies at every meal.
2. Exercise in the morning
What do 90% of people who exercise consistently have in common? They exercise in the morning. Exercise in the morning increases your energy levels, which makes you more productive throughout the day and more focused on your work. Also, getting in an early morning workout helps you burn more calories throughout the day. Working out helps to increase your metabolic rate, burning calories for long after you’ve stopped exercising. Also, when you exercise, you tend to be more mindful of your food choices throughout the day. Just remember to do at least 30 minutes of cardio a day!
3. Ban simple carbs and befriend bitter greens
Cutting out all white grain products — such as white rice, spaghetti, sandwich rolls — will instantly slim you down because the simple carbs in these foods cause bloating, especially around your belly. In addition, simple carbohydrates wreak havoc on your weight because they’re digested very quickly, leaving you hungry and more likely to overeat later.
To go a step further, instead of replacing them with healthier yet still bloat-triggering whole-grain bread products, substitute vegetables for the week. This way, a chicken sandwich becomes chicken salad, and chips and dip turn into carrots and dip. The complex carbs from vegetables are digested more slowly, so you remain full longer. And because veggies are mostly water, they also help flush out excess water weight.
Bitter greens like kale, arugula, mustard greens, collards and escarole are summer diet staples that aid in digestion and de-bloating. Recent research has also found that bitter foods are also known to stimulate and support better digestion. These dark greens are low calorie (about 36 calories in a cup for greens), and are packed with vitamins and fiber that your body needs to stay lean. Most bitter greens are also great anti-inflammatories, which can help fight bloating and get you down to your fighting weight.
4. Drink water
It’s very important to stay adequately hydrated – especially when you’re trying to lose weight quickly. Water has zero calories and carbs and little to no sodium, making it the perfect slim-down drink. As a matter of fact, water actually helps flush out excess water weight as well as jump-starts your metabolism. If it’s just too boring, add lemon wedges or mint leaves. It’s been suggested to drink one to two glasses of water before a meal to help cut down on your portions or if you’re feeling hungry.
5. Goodbye, Salt! Hello, spices!
High-salt diets lead to water retention. Cut the salt, and you cut the bloat. Cut out processed foods as much as possible and you will drastically reduce your excess sodium. Food items like salad dressings and sauces are some of the worst culprits. Conversely, spices enhance the flavor of what you’re heating, and can help burn more calories after your meal. Sprinkle some cayenne pepper, bell pepper or jalapeno into two of your daily meals and increase your metabolism.
6. Eat whole foods
Whole foods give you the cleanest fuel for your body. When you want to shed all you can, you want to avoid anything processed. Instead, keep raw vegetables, fruits, whole grains and proteins like cold water fish, beans, and eggs handy if you want to shed 5 pounds fast. Also, limit your fat intake to “healthy fats” only, which include – olive oil, nuts and avocados. Eat “good” fat helps burn fat.
7. Seek professional advice
Many popular diets these days leave you starving, restricting calorie to the point that your metabolism actually SLOWS. But there is a little-known plan called the 2 Week Diet that actually teaches you what to eat and when. This increases your metabolism, allowing you to shed weight and shed it FAST. Those on the diet report losing 12-23 pounds and 2-4 inches in a matter of 2 weeks – all backed by science. Watch this video to learn more about how the 2-week diet works.