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How to Lose Weight Fast (the Healthy Way)
by Becky Duffett

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.




SaturdayGreen smoothieBowl of veggie soup3–4 oz salmon +
SundayBerry smoothie
(with ½ cup plain, low-fat yogurt)
Bowl of veggie soup3–4 oz grilled chicken +
MondayGreen smoothie
(with ½ cup plain, low-fat yogurt)
3 oz chicken +
½ cup quinoa +
chopped veggies
3–4 oz mahi-mahi + veggies
TuesdayOvernight oats + fruit3 oz tuna +
½ cup quinoa +
chopped veggies
3–4 oz grilled chicken + veggies
WednesdayOvernight oats + fruit3 oz turkey +
½ avocado + whole-wheat wrap
3–4 oz stir-fried shrimp + veggies
ThursdayWhole-wheat toast + 2 eggs3 oz smoked salmon + ½ avocado +
whole-wheat wrap
3–4 oz lean steak +
FridayBreakfast burrito
(whole-wheat wrap + ½ cup black beans + 1 egg)
3 oz turkey +
½ avocado +
2 slices whole-wheat bread
Treat dinner!
Fill a plate with
whatever you want.

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.

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Fitbit Sense 2 Smartwatch
Fitbit Charge 6
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This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.