It’s that time of year again: holiday season. With all the festivities and family gatherings on the horizon, we all want to look and feel our best. The good news is it doesn’t have to take forever to drop those few extra pounds you’ve been holding onto. By simply making a few simple diet and lifestyle changes, you’ll be able to slip into your holiday dress in no time.
Here, we asked two weight loss and nutrition pros to share their top tips on how to lose 10 pounds of fat in four weeks flat just in time for the holidays.
1. Practice intermittent fasting
Registered and licensed dietician Carol Aguirre recommends intermittent fasting as an effective short-term weight loss strategy. “It forces you to reduce your calorie intake since you are limiting your meal intake to a short window of time,” she says. “It is very important to eat mostly healthy foods during your eating window. This won't work if you eat lots of junk food or excessive amounts of calories.”
There are a few different intermittent fasting protocols you can follow. Aguirre suggests the 16/8 method which involves fasting every day for 14-16 hours and only eating 2-3 meals during an 8-10 hour eating window. That may sound like a long time to go without eating but remember you’ll be asleep for a lot of those hours.
Also, keep in mind that losing weight can also make your skin look saggy in the process as it loses its plumpness. If this happens, consider taking collagen supplements, such as Taut’s Advanced Collagen Drink, to keep your skin looking firm and full.
2. Consume caffeine
Good news for coffee and tea lovers. Consuming caffeine can actually assist you in dropping a few pounds. “Caffeine can help increase metabolism and decrease appetite in some people,” says registered dietician Brocha Soloff. “Or, if not lower appetite at least provide a sense of satisfaction.” That said, this tip alone isn’t going to do all the work for you. It’s still very important to pair it with a healthy diet and lifestyle if you want to lose weight.
Watch out for caffeinated drinks that contain unhealthy sugar example - high fructose corn syrup and artificial sugar, as drinking too much can work against your weight loss efforts. It is recommended to drink coffee and tea without any added sugar, in oder for caffeine to work on burning off your body fat.
3. Eat lean, healthy proteins
Soloff recommends getting your lean, healthy proteins during these next four weeks as we go into the holidays. “You should aim for 1g/kg protein per day which is about 80g for the average adult,” she says. “Women need 3-4 oz protein per meal and 1-2 oz for snack while men need 6-8 oz per meal.” Healthy proteins include fish, chicken, lean steak, low-fat dairy, greek yogurt, and legumes. However, overdoing it with the protein also isn’t such a good idea. Soloff adds that eating excess proteins can get converted into glucose and get stored as body fat.
4. Reduce your carbs
Although carbs are undeniably delicious, if you want to see the pounds melt off fast, both Aguirre and Soloff agree that you’re going to need to cut back on them. And they’re not just talking about refined carbs like pizza, pastries, and pasta. Soloff also recommends cutting down on healthy carbs like quinoa and whole wheat bread which can impact your weight too. “You can lose several pounds by following a low-carb diet for just a few days,” Aguirre says. “A short-term decrease in carb intake can also reduce water weight and bloating.”
To ensure you still stay full and satiated, Aguirre recommends replacing the carbs with low-carb veggies such as bell peppers, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, kale, and cauliflower.
5. Avoid sugar and junk food
As tempting as they may be, sugar and processed foods (aka junk food) are not your best friend when you want to slim down quickly. Instead, Aguirre recommends focusing on a simple diet made up of whole, nutritious foods. “These foods tend to be very filling and make it easier to eat fewer calories without getting hangry,” she says. So when you go to the grocery store, fill up your cart with more fresh foods and less packaged stuff.
6. Lower your calorie intake
At the end of the day, weight loss is just math. If you decrease the number of calories you consume, you will drop some weight. The ideal number of calories you can consume while still losing weight depends on various different factors such as your age, height, current weight, activity levels, and metabolic health. On average, however, Aguirre says, “Women need to eat about 2,000 calories per day to maintain and 1,500 calories to lose one pound of weight per week. An average man needs 2,500 calories to maintain and 2,000 to lose one pound of weight per week.”
Cutting back on calories doesn’t have to be a scary, difficult thing. Remember the idea is not to be starving. That’s not a healthy way to go. Aguirre recommends some easy tweaks to help you accomplish this goal such as not snacking or eating after dinner, ditching condiments and sauces which tend to be very calorie dense, and not drinking your calories. Beverages, especially ones with a lot of sugar, contain a ton of calories. Stick to water, tea, and coffee instead. There are also many calorie counting tools and apps that can help you keep track of your calories and make the weight loss journey so much easier for you.
7. Detox your gut
Good gut health is also important when it comes to not just overall health but also weight loss. “Having a greater abundance of bacteria in our gut is associated with being thin, while having less bacteria is linked to being obese,” Aguirre says. “A study in the journal Cell shows that it may be possible to alter the levels of gut bacteria for weight loss.”
According to Aguirre, sugary foods can stimulate the growth of unhealthy gut bacteria and contribute to weight gain so it’s best to avoid them. Same goes for artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and saccharin which reduce the good bacteria in the intestines.
In order to detox your gut, she also suggests avoiding foods with unhealthy fats. “Healthy fats such as omega-3s support beneficial bacteria in the intestines, whereas too many saturated fats may contribute to the growth of disease-causing bacteria,” she says.
Instead, she suggests including more high-fiber foods into your diet that are good for gut bacteria. This includes foods such as raspberries, artichokes, green peas, broccoli, lentils, chickpeas, beans, and whole grains.
Of course, in order to really see the pounds shed, you’ll also need to include some exercise into your lifestyle for the next four weeks (and beyond). This will help accelerate the results and ensure you show up at all the holiday fetes feeling like a million bucks.
Prevent Sagging Skin Due to Weight Lost
One last note, when you start to shed fat off your body, you will also lose some of those good fat that keeps your skin and face plump and full. The best defense against losing the firmness and fullness and prevent skin from sagging is to feed and load up your skin and body with the best marine collagen peptides.
Taut Premium Collagen Advanced Formula is the perfect solution to help replenish your skin collagen, restore the firmness and density, and prevent more sagging due to fat lost.
Each tiny glass bottle of Taut Premium Collagen contains high concentration 13,000mg of pure marine collagen peptides with 6 skin loving ingredients (elastin, hyaluronic acid, grape seed extract, ceramide, Vitamin C) that work synergistically to help plump, smooth out wrinkles, firm and hydrate your skin. In case you wonder about calories, Taut Collagen is high in protein (13grams) and low in sugar (2 grams derived from plant sugar stevia), so drinking Taut will only help in your weight loss efforts, yet keep your skin looking youthful. You can also see the before and after pictures.