It is possible to lose weight quickly and safely, and keep it off. You know the best bit? You don’t even have to hit the gym.

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When you consider that a sack of potatoes weighs in at 2kg, imagine how amazing it would feel to be 2kg lighter this time next week. While there are many fasts and fads that will see you drop fluid weight quickly, it is much harder to achieve true weight loss in such a short time frame. With some focus though, and a few little tricks of the trade, it is possible to lose a couple of kilos in a week, in a safe and sustainable way.

CHOOSE A LIQUID BREAKFAST

A protein-based shake, meal replacement or even Greek yoghurt with a little pureed fruit are all high protein, calorie controlled options that will simultaneously help to keep you full until lunchtime, but keep your calories up to half of that you would usually consume at breakfast. A meal replacement is simply a concentrated form of milk protein fortified with the nutrients that you would usually get in an entire meal, for just 180-200 calories.

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REPLACE A MEAL

While strict diets tend to cut out meals and slash calories which often make them difficult to stick to, the simple act of swapping one meal each day for a vegetable or salad-based option means that you are still eating plenty, but significantly reducing your calorie intake. Vegetable based soups particularly work well, as their large volume and high water and fibre content help to fill you up. If soups are not your thing, a salad packed full of leafy greens, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes and capsicum and enjoyed with an extra virgin olive oil dressing will contain fewer than 200 calories and again keep you full for several hours.

LATE AFTERNOON PROTEIN

Diets often fail when we go too hard, too fast and find ourselves famished and binge eating whatever we can find. It is for this reason that topping up your calorie intake with a late afternoon protein-based snack serves two purposes. Firstly it controls your appetite in the late afternoon and breaks up the day, but most importantly it means that you can then keep your final meal of the day lighter as you will not be as hungry. The best options at this time contain a small amount of carbohydrate to help control sugar cravings and 10-20g of protein. This translates into some wholegrain crackers and cheese, a nut-based snack bar, Greek yoghurt and berries with a few nuts or a carb/protein-based snack such as a Bounce Ball.

GO LO-CAL AT NIGHT

A small, light dinner is the key to weight loss success. Often our dinner meal comes in at 600-800 calories when we really only need 300-500 calories depending on your gender, activity levels and size. This translates into a small 100-150g piece of chicken breast or fish and 2-3 cups of mixed vegetables. The larger the serve the vegetables, the more satisfied you will be. They are also more filling cooked rather than raw (cook them in extra virgin olive oil).

CHECK YOUR TIMING

Ideally we need 10-12 hours without food overnight, yet most of us have just 8-10 hours at most in between eating. Extend this timing by eating your first meal by 8am but then prioritising a small dinner by 7pm at the latest which may mean you need to eat your dinner with the kids, before the gym or at work for best results.

JUST WALK

When we commit to a new weight-loss regimen, we often ramp up the training, but exercising more when we are eating much less can mean the differential between calories in and calories out for weight loss is too great. Avoid this when you are cutting back your calories by simply using walking as your daily exercise. Aim for at least 10,000-12,000 steps each day which will support a 1-2kg weight loss over the course of a week.



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