Summer is filled with weddings, graduations, vacations, and lots of other reasons to feel fierce in a swimsuit. But if you’ve got an event coming up, and kind of wish you had already lost 5 pounds, it’s never too late. “Everyone wants to lose weight fast,” sighs Tracy Morris, nutrition curriculum designer at Fitbit. “Of course, I want to help you see quick results! But if weight loss is too drastic, your body will fight back—and there’s no point starving yourself, if you’re just going to end up binging and feeling discouraged.” She definitely coaches a more moderate approach. “But that said, if you lose weight quickly at the outset, you are more likely to continue losing weight. It can be incredibly motivating, to see that initial drop.”
So don’t call it a crash diet. Let’s say it’s a strong start. Here’s a healthy eating plan that’s nutritionist approved, so you can slim down and feel awesome for that upcoming event—and then keep the momentum going.
Set a Goal to Lose 2 Pounds per Week
Clinically trained dietitians and accredited nutrition experts agree, you don’t want to lose more than 2 pounds in a week. “Any more aggressive than that, and you start compromising your metabolism,” Morris confirms. So take a look at the calendar, and set a realistic goal for the time you have. If you have 2 to 3 weeks before the big day, awesome! Aim to lose 5 pounds and feel better in your clothes. Just a week before the date? Don’t despair. You can still de-bloat a bit and drop a couple of pounds.
Cut Your Calories by 500 to 750 per Day
Next, crunch the numbers. Figure out how many calories you really need, and reduce that number by 500 to 750 calories per day, in order to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week. The food logging feature in the Fitbit app makes it extra easy. Just don’t dip below the bare minimum your body needs—1200 calories per day for women, or 1500 for men.
Eat Fresh and Clean to Lose Weight Fast
But of course, where those calories come from makes a big difference. Morris recommends a natural detox—no pills, no shakes, just fresh, whole foods. Here’s how to do it the healthy way:
- Cut alcohol. Alcohol is a toxin, and it undermines weight loss in several ways. Give your liver a break, save the calories, and sip on sparkling water.
- Cut added sugar. Sugar isn’t just high in calories, it causes inflammation. Nearly half of added sugars come from drinks, so put down the soda, as well as the cookies and candy.
- Cut salt. Sodium helps your body hang onto water, which is why it makes you bloat. Ditch processed foods, which contribute 75 percent of the sodium in an average diet.
- Eat lots of colorful fruits and veggies. Morris recommends making a big veggie soup, loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and water—to fill you up.
- Drink lots and lots of water! Aim for 2 to 3 liters per day. Once you stop eating those processed foods and salt, water will flush out your system naturally.
Start Strong: Tracy Morris’s 7-Day Kick-Start Diet
Okay, so you knew you’d have to cut back on wine and brownies. But what can you eat? Morris has a meal plan for the first week that makes hitting those calorie counts super simple. Even though she hearts whole grains, for the first 2 days, she recommends dropping grains, and focusing on lots of fruits and veggies, with small servings of protein. By days 3 and 4, you can start reintroducing grains, but keep portions small, and time them early in the day.
|Saturday||Green smoothie||Bowl of veggie|
|3–4 oz salmon + veggies|
|Sunday||Berry smoothie(with ½ cup |
plain, low-fat yogurt)
|Bowl of veggie|
|3–4 oz grilled|
|Monday||Green smoothie(with ½ cup|
|3 oz chicken + ½ cup quinoa + |
|Tuesday||Overnight oats + fruit||3 oz tuna + |
½ cup quinoa +
|3–4 oz grilled|
|Wednesday||Overnight oats + fruit||3 oz turkey + |
½ avocado +
|3–4 oz stir-fried|
toast + 2 eggs
|3 oz smoked |
½ avocado +
|3–4 oz lean |
steak + veggies
wrap + ½ cup
black beans +
|3 oz turkey + |
½ avocado +
2 slices whole-
Fill a plate withwhatever you
Morning & afternoon snacks: 2 pieces of fruit, veggies, and a small handful of nuts.
Morris recommends starting on a Saturday, just in case your energy is a little low, so you don’t have to struggle through the office. But wait, what about working out? Don’t sweat it, first steps first. During the first week, get 30 to 60 minutes of walking in every day. By the second week, once you’re enjoying small portions of whole grains, that’s when you can pick up a couple of strength workouts.
Finish Stronger: Keep Up the Momentum
“People love the 7-day plan,” says Morris. “They’re super excited at the beginning, and they love that big drop that comes with cutting out carbs, alcohol, and sugar. But I care even more about what you’re eating the day after the event, not to mention the following weeks and months.” So right away, reset your weight goal. And check in with your mindset and motivation. Because looking great at a pool party is great, but it’s not the end goal! Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is really about your long-term health and happiness.