How to lose a few pounds fast

Published by Sarah Horrocks
Published on 16 February 2009

Need to lose a few pounds in record time without ruining your health or exhausting yourself? Here’s our 3-step plan.

Phase 1: Only eat protein and vegetables
This phase significantly reduces your energy intake by selecting foods that surprise the body and bring about significant and rapid weight loss (2 to 3 kilos) but don't make you lose muscle mass. Eating little carbohydrate makes the body use up its reserves, while lots of lean protein fills you up and nourishes muscle mass. Lots of vegetables (rich in fibre, water, vitamins and minerals) prevent deficiencies and fatigue.
What do you eat? Lean protein (fish, shellfish, soy, beef (except steaks), skin-free poultry, eggs without added fat, low fat ham, dairy produce and as many vegetables as you like.
A typical day:
Breakfast: 1 unsweetened drink, 1 serving of dairy, 1 serving of lean protein.
Lunch and dinner: Raw vegetables or protein, lean meat (150g) or fish (200g min), as many vegetables as you want.
Duration: One week max.

Phase 2: Gradually re-introduce carbs
This phease enforces weight loss and makes it last. After a very restrictive phase, it’s important to slow things down a little so that you don’t tire your body out. This phase re-introduces some carbs everyday, increrasing your energy intake gradually to prevent brutal insulin secretion, which is the hormone that causes fat storage.
What do you eat? Lean protein, as many vegetables as you want + 2 pieces of fruit + 2 slices of bread.
A typical day:
Breakfast: 1 unsweetened drink, 1 serving of lean protein, 1 dairy product, 1 to 2 slices of wholemeal bread, 10g low-fat butter.
Lunch and dinner. Raw vegetables or a helping of protein, lean meat (150g min) or fish (200g min), unlimited vegetables, 1 piece of fruit.
For how long? Until you reach your target weight.

Phase 3: Return to a balanced diet
At this stage, the objective is to stay at your target weight. Don't get into bad habits: you need to watch what you eat and adopt a new, healthier approach to eating. Concretely, prolong the re-introduction of carbs by eating measured quantities in order to get your body used to using more energy gradually. if you find you put weight back on quickly, have a day back on Phase 1 to get you back on track. Finally, get some exercise: at least 30 mins of walking every day.
What do you eat? Lean protein and unlimited vegetables + 100g cooked startch + 2/3 pieces of fruit and 2/3 slices of bread.
A typical day:
Breakfast: 1 unsweetened drink, 1 serving of protein, 1 dairy product, 2 to 3 slices of brown bread, 10g of low-fat butter.
Lunch: Raw vegetables or a helping of protein, lean meat (150g min) or fish (200g min), wholemeal starch (100g cooked), 1 piece of fruit.
Dinner: Raw vegetables, lean meat (100g min) or fish (150g min), unlimited vegetables, 1 piece of fruit.

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