Healthy eating is essential, but there are some occasions in life when you just need to lose a few pounds fast to look your best for a special event! Although short-term diets cut your calorie intake dramatically for a week or two, you can still enjoy eating delicious foods. Forget cold, raw-vegetable-stick-diets and discover easy, low-cal dishes. You’ll love these practical ways to stop chocolate cravings, yummy substitutes for potatoes and white rice, and how to create a tasty, personalized short-term diet! Also check out the 5 Most Effective Weight Loss Programs for Women- U.S. Diet Awards!
The most successful short-term diets are based on fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables, with lean protein from fish, pulses, cottage-cheese and lean meat. This combination is nutritious, tasty, varied and contains fiber and protein to give your stomach a satisfying feeling of fullness.
Feeling full is vital to tempt you away from calorie-laden processed snacks. It’s not easy to go ‘cold-turkey’, but the best short-term diets start by cutting out ‘nutrition-poor/calorie-rich’ processed foods. So for fast results, do not eat any candy, cakes, chocolate bars, savory snacks, ‘no-sugar’ fruit drinks or sodas – and that includes ‘diet’ drinks, too!
Best beverages for dieting
Soda, diet soda or ‘no-added-sugar’ fruit juice, all contain lots of synthetic sweetener that’s as bad for you as sugar. The body doesn’t discriminate between sugar and artificial sweeteners and responds to both by releasing insulin and storing fat! After water, the best low-calorie drink is an inch of all-natural fruit juice in a glass, topped up with water. Containing just a little fruit sugar, you get a low-calorie drink tasting of fruit, not sugar. Moreover, it helps reduce your craving for artificially over-sweetened drinks.
Another sure-fire calorie cutter is switching to drinks like unsweetened mint tea or chamomile tea, which you can drink hot or chilled. I drink them for flavor with virtually no calories! No more than one cup of green tea a day, though, as it’s packed with caffeine and causes serious side-effects if you drink too much. Coffee with skimmed milk and no sugar or artificial sweetener also gives your body caffeine, so try not to combine green tea and coffee on the same day.
Drink cocoa for your ‘chocolate fix’
Our obsession with chocolate is based on the sweetness of milk-chocolate. Dark chocolate, with 70% or more cocoa content, is a healthier option in small amounts. However, who can keep any bar of chocolate in the house and only eat a couple of squares a day? I solved my need to taste chocolate frequently in a very simple way! I drink 100% pure cocoa powder every day, instead of instant coffee or tea.
Cocoa existed as a bedtime drink, long before ‘drinking chocolate’, which is full of added sugar, hit the stores. In fact, cocoa contains as much caffeine as tea, so you can drink it anytime for a delicious chocolate fix. Make it with boiling water and a little skimmed milk, just like a mug of instant coffee. 100% pure, de-fatted cocoa powder gives all the yummy flavor, without the fat and sugar in chocolate!
Appetizing ‘fast-food’ snacks
If you’re going to lose weight in the short-term, you need to eat fruit and vegetable foods you genuinely enjoy! Keep your fruit bowl and fridge full of your favorite fruit; it’s the best ‘fast food’ and weight-loss fix you can get! I often have a peach, a few grapes, an apple, a banana or a handful of almonds for breakfast, because I like easy access, sweet foods! On a short-term diet, you can afford to buy the expensive fruits you love. Sweet melon sprinkled with ginger powder is a luscious dessert. And if you don’t overdo it, fresh or frozen grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc. can be eaten like candy!
Get creative with cottage-cheese
Breakfast/snack on leftovers from dinner the day before, such as cold chicken, which is full of protein and keeps you feeling full for longer than cereals. Cottage-cheese mixed with cooked salmon, tuna, salad ingredients, cooked lean meats or cold cooked vegetables is really tasty and very low in calories! Think about the low calorie foods you already like and invent new ways to combine them for a quick weight loss over a week or two!
Flavorful low-cal main meals and side dishes
Carbohydrates get turned into sugar by the body, so for a swift weight-loss, cut out bread, cereals, potatoes and pasta. Eat meals based on grilled fish or lean meat, like chicken breast or turkey bacon, with vegetables. Or use recipes for protein-rich pulses like chickpeas, lentils and black beans. And you must try cauliflower sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and slow-roasted with caramelized onions! It’s a tasty and low-calorie addition to any diet. For all white rice dishes, use cauliflower rice as a low-calorie substitute!
I found it difficult to cut potatoes from my evening meal, until I substituted them with thick slices of steamed cauliflower. I know cauli isn’t the same as potatoes, but having a white food where the potatoes used to be satisfies my visual sense of a ‘good meal’! If you’re careful not to over-cook cauliflower slices, they have as much ‘bite’ as a slice of potato.
Ratatouille – the dieter’s friend
If you’re not a fan of vegetables yet, try serving them with caramelized onions cooked slowly in a little oil. Caramelized onions taste sweet naturally and transform the flavor of any vegetable dish! Ratatouille is the dieter’s friend and there are lots of easy recipes for this crunchy, tomato-ey vegetable stew! I love broccoli and always cook extra, so I have a stash of cooked broccoli in the fridge to snack on. Fill your fridge with your favorite cooked veg or sweet, mandarin-orange segments ready for when you feel peckish!
Be more active
Try to be more active while you’re on a quick weight loss diet. This speeds up weight-loss and keeps you too busy to sit around thinking about food! If you don’t like gym workouts or running, which most of us don’t (!) there’s usually plenty to do around the house. Paint the guest room, wash-down paintwork, clean the windows, weed the garden or re-organize your wardrobe. Anything that keeps you busy and leaves you feeling pleased with yourself is a great help!
With 100’s of new, healthy and low-cal recipes online and some basic cooking skills, you can design a made-to-measure diet plan that really works for you. Because the best short-term diets are those you can stick to!