When trying to start a new diet or exercise regimen, the first two weeks are some of the most important. During this time period, you’ll see significant weight loss, but it will also be the hardest time to get through and stick with the routine. Many diets are broken during the initial two weeks.
Because it’s such a difficult time and weight loss during the first couple of weeks is often dramatic, some people choose to simply go through two week dieting phases with breaks in between. This method does actually work for some people. If you want to try it, there are some basic steps you should take to maximize your weight loss.
During the first phase, you need to assess your starting point. Keep track of your daily calorie intake and average it out over a few days to a week to get an idea of what your “norm” is. You can use an app for this on your phone or computer or you can simply keep a food diary. Do what works for you.
Don’t forget to write down what you’re eating in addition to the calories. Not all calories are created the same and what you put in your mouth matters just as much as its calorie count.
Once you’ve gotten your average, subtract 10%. This is going to be your new target. Analyze your eating habits and see where you could shave off calories. Look for unhealthy foods or items that are high in sodium and cut those first. Don’t completely eliminate foods you enjoy as that will sabotage your efforts when resisting becomes too much.
Once you’ve gotten your target calories worked out, you’ll need to start eating appropriately. Some people find it helpful to use divided plates or portion-control spoons to help them know how much they should eat. If you don’t want to buy extra tools, simply eat off of a salad plate. Fill it like you would normally fill your dinner plate and the portions will automatically be smaller.
Using a smaller plate is also a visual trick that makes your brain think you’re getting a heaping plate full of food when you’re really taking in fewer calories than before. People eat with their eyes as well as their mouths, so try different techniques and see what works for you.
Once your intake is under control, it’s time to start thinking about your output. During a two week diet, it’s important to maximize your exercise opportunities. Work out whenever you can. Everyday activities can become effective workouts instead of chores. Do squats while you fold laundry, lunge down the hallway or do calf exercises while you cook dinner.
In order to lose weight you need to expend more calories than you take in. If you expend a lot more than you take in, you’ll see faster results. It’s entirely possible to lose weight in just 2 weeks, but more importantly, you’ll learn a new way of living that will help you keep the weight off.