Want to Lose Weight on a Deadline? Do it the Healthy Way

Sometimes we want to lose weight on a deadline as there is that ideal outfit or a special occasion, and we know the date. It could be as early as a week or a month, and we have a few kilos to lose. So our first instinct is to look online and try to follow the diet trend that is emerging at the top of the search. Sometimes we manage to lose a few kilos in a jiffy. But what happens next? The usual outcomes are nutritional deficiency, feeling exhausted, overeating and putting on all the weight lost. So rather than going for the fad and popular diets, can one do weight loss healthily? Read on to know more:

Fad Diets vs Healthy Eating

A study on 42 overweight and obese individuals revealed that rapid and slow weight loss improves lipid and glycemic profiles. It also helps body goals such as reducing waist circumference and hip size and appearing lean. However, shortening the time it takes to lose weight can decrease anticipation and prevent the anxiety of seeing slow results.

Many fads exist on the internet, in magazines, and pass-through word of mouth about rapid weight loss. A study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2016 shows that more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight. Of these 1.9 billion people, more than 650 million people were obese. It explains the popularity of fad diets; people can grow distressed by slow weight loss, and hence they begin to try everything to lose weight. Often, these sources suggest dangerous diets such as the one-meal-a-day diet, 1000 calories diet, and coffee diet. Another study performed on 593 girls aged 9 to 20 years showed that girls who wished to be thinner were four times more susceptible to developing disturbed eating habits.

Healthy weight loss aims to lose weight and maintain the weight one arrives at. It also seeks to energise people, unlike the fad diets that induce exhaustion and deplete one of the essential nutrients. This article will explore healthy weight loss methods that will be easy on both the body and the mind.

Steps to Lose Weight on a Deadline

Set a Clear Goal

Having a clear goal or intention around your weight loss journey can help organise and plan one’s weight loss regime. In addition, it can help you track your progress and see how far you have come in your journey.

It is best to write down the weight you want to lose and in how many days you want to lose it. For example, you can write, “I will lose 10 kgs by the end of the next 2-3 months.” It also helps to stick this intention somewhere you can see it often. For example, you could stick it on the fridge, the wall above your desk, or even above your bed.

Being reminded of your intention often can help one be consistently motivated to lose weight each time they see their intention. Research shows that though obese individuals are less likely to set goals, setting targets increases their likelihood of losing clinically significant amounts of weight. It even showed that sometimes exaggerated targets improved their results.

Another study showed that setting goals, self-efficacy or self-motivation, and knowing the benefits of weight management can increase motivation for weight loss among obese people. This motivation can also improve by regular exercise.

Assess Your Ideal Calorie Intake

Once you have gathered the necessary drive to lose weight, it is time to develop a plan to lose weight. It starts with assessing how many calories we need to intake to be healthy. The daily ideal calorie intake changes based on age, the person’s metabolism and physical activity per day. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends consuming around 2000 calories per day for a person with healthy body weight.

It means that the calorie intake during the duration of the weight loss journey will be slowly getting closer to 2000 calories per day. However, this also means that the calorie intake per day during the diet may not be 2000 calories since we are still moving towards it.

Determine How Many Calories to Consume While Losing Weight

The number of calories to consume during weight loss depends on the weight loss goals of individuals. Certain people may want to “bulk up” or develop their musculature and lose fat. Essentially, in these cases, the overall weight tends to increase. However, they lose a significant amount of fat weight. The weight gained is from the developed muscles.

Others may not want to develop their muscle system. Instead, they may want to become lean. Unlike “bulking up,” it will decrease overall weight.

A calorie deficit diet can help people lose weight quickly. A calorie deficit diet is where one consumes fewer calories than the number of calories they use. For example, a study shows that people with a 600 kcal deficit diet experienced more weight loss than ones with a conventional low-calorie diet of 1200 calories.

The calories needed to lose weight is a calculation of your activities and goals. But, again, expert nutritionists can help identify this.

Incorporate Foods That Help Lose Weight Quickly

A study shows that low-carb diets are metabolically effective in short-term weight loss. However, it is not optimal for maintaining the weight long-term. As per a study, the Mediterranean diet is effective in weight loss. The Mediterranean diet is also suitable for health because it is a balanced diet with diverse micro-nutrients.

However, the study says that formula diets are most effective for rapid weight loss. Formula diets contain ingredients that do not need time for digestion. They readily absorb into the body. These diets are for short term use only and are for specific patients.

The study also emphasises eating high-quality carbohydrates and fats in a balanced diet for weight loss and preventing weight-related health risks.

Health risks that a balanced diet with high-quality carbohydrates and fats can prevent are:

  • Coronary heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer

Another study shows that fruits, vegetables, and dairy low in fat can help attain and maintain weight loss.

A diet composed of various fruits, vegetables, whole grains, high-quality proteins, carbohydrates, and fats is a healthy diet. To aid weight loss, one must also eliminate processed sugars, refined grains, and other processed foods. This type of diet is not only good for losing weight but also for maintaining their ideal weight.

Get Moving

Research shows that exercise can prevent gaining weight after one has lost weight. Hence, activity can put a stop to the yo-yoing effect. The yo-yoing effect refers to people gaining and losing weight perpetually in a cycle.

A report from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that U.S. adults in 2013-2016 reported exercising and eating less food than before as weight loss methods.

Some forms of exercise that people can opt for in weight loss are:

  • Aerobics
  • Cardio training (swimming, biking, etc.)
  • Playing sports (tennis, basketball, etc.)
  • Dancing
  • Yoga

You Can Try Intermittent Fasting for Losing Weight

Intermittent fasting refers to an eating pattern where people switch between eating and fasting in a scheduled manner. Usually, people opt for 8 hours of eating and 16 hours of fasting in 24 hours. You can easily do it by eating from 11 am to 7 pm.

Research says that there is great promise in treating obesity when intermittent fasting is involved. Research also suggests that intermittent fasting is safe and can produce more than 5% weight loss. It can also improve many markers of metabolic health in obese individuals.

Encourage Yourself With Results and Rewards

It is essential to focus on your progress rather than how much weight is still left to lose. Many people get discouraged by calculating how much weight they need to lose. Instead, people can easily motivate themselves by tracking how much weight they have lost. This process can give them a sense of accomplishment and fulfilment. Rewarding also can be used to encourage oneself to complete the weight loss journey.

It is also essential to reward yourself for the progress you have made. It keeps the weight loss journey fun and provides an intensive way to lose weight. For example, some rewards for weight loss could be visiting a place you have always wanted to visit, gifting yourself something you have always wanted, or even an entire day of relaxation.


Quick weight loss can help reduce the anxiety surrounding weight loss. However, it is essential to do it under the guidance of an expert. Rapid weight loss can happen in healthy ways.

Many people find the first blockage in their weight loss journey as a lack of motivation. Setting clear goals can help overcome this blockage. Another obstacle people face is continuing to be motivated through their weight loss journey. Some people are only enthusiastic about their weight loss regime initially and soon lose motivation. However, it is essential to track one’s progress in tackling such situations.

Some practical ways of losing weight on a deadline are determining your ideal weight, incorporating a calorie deficit diet, and rigorous exercising. In addition, you need to consume foods that help you lose weight and intermittent fasting.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. What is a reasonable time frame to lose weight?

A. The CDC deems weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week a steady and reasonable speed of weight loss. However, this time frame can vary according to metabolism, diet, daily movement, and energy expenditure, among other factors.

Q. What is a reasonable time to lose 20lbs?

A. According to the CDC, a steady speed of weight loss is 1 to 2 pounds a week. Therefore, going by this standard, a reasonable time to lose 20 lbs would be 2 to 4 months.

Q. How can I slim down in 7 days?

A. Intermittent fasting combined with a calorie deficit diet can help one slim down in 7 days. To have a lean body, it is also essential to exercise. Exercising can tone your muscles, giving you a slimmer appearance.

Q. Will I lose weight if I stop eating for 3 days?

A. Starvation is not ideal for weight loss. Research links it to stunted bone growth, developmental delays, low bone mineral density, and decreased cortical strength. Another study links starvation to impaired cognitive abilities, spots in vision, prickling sensation in the hands or feet, desire for isolation, low sexual drive, and emotional imbalance.

Q. What are the stages of weight loss?

A. The stages of weight loss are glycogen depletion, dehydration, fat loss, plateau, and metabolic recovery. Glycogenic depletion is when the body uses the energy reserves in various fat-storing organs, such as the liver, after entering a calorie deficit. During the fat loss phase, people will notice significant weight loss. Plateau is when the weight loss stops. It is because the body has run out of stored energy. Finally, metabolic recovery is the phase where the body regains a proper energy balance. During this phase, one may notice slight weight gain. However, this is healthy and nothing to worry about.

Q. How long will it take to lose 30 pounds on a 1200 calorie diet?

A. The time it takes to lose weight on a particular amount of calories differs from person to person. For example, it would take one 3 to 6 months on average to lose 30 pounds on a 1200 calorie diet. It is based on CDC; one can lose 1 to 2 pounds per week on average.

Q. Where is the first place you lose weight on your body?

A. The body utilises fat stored in organs such as the liver and kidney. It is because these organs store visceral fat around them. Visceral fat or hard fat is the first fat layer under your skin. It is before soft fat. Soft fat is usually stored in the belly, thighs, and back.

Q. How far do you have to walk to lose 1 pound?

A. Research states that 1 pound equals 3500 calories. Usually, it takes walking 1 mile to burn 100 calories. Hence, it will take walking 35 miles to lose 1 pound.

Q. What Breakfast is Best for Weight loss?

A. A breakfast rich in probiotics that aid digestion can help weight loss. An excellent example of this is yoghurt. Oats are good for overweight people. Hence, oats with yoghurt are a good breakfast choice.

Q. Is working out 30 minutes a day enough to lose weight?

A. Thirty minutes of exercise per day is good for weight loss. As long as one exercises every day, they will significantly reduce weight. However, if one wants to exercise for less time while still losing weight, high-intensity workouts can come in handy.

Q. How can I reduce my stomach fat?

A. A consistent balanced and calorie deficit diet combined with exercise that targets the abdominal muscles can effectively reduce stomach fat. Exercises that target the stomach are crunches, running, swimming, and cycling.