We’ve all been there, two weeks to go until your summer holiday and you still haven’t reached your ‘summer body goal’. It can be SO frustrating after working so hard to lose weight healthily and sustainably for months before, but fear not – there are ways to shed a little bit more weight, super quick, just in time for your holiday.
**This is not a long term weight loss plan, is it unsustainable and you will likely put back on the weight you lost very quickly after**
So, there are a number of simple things you can do to make you drop those last few pounds very quickly in time for your holiday!
1. Firstly, REMOVE ALL UNHEALTHY SNACKS FROM YOUR HOUSE!!
The temptation to snack or go on a massive binge has always been a big downfall for me, even more so when I’m restricting my calorie intake as being hungry makes me want to eat the whole house. You are far more likely to reach for something healthy when you get peckish, if there are no high calorie foods tempting you to stray. But do not use needing to remove all unhealthy snacks as an opportunity to eat them all! I’m guilty of doing this on more than one occasion … “But if there’s no snacks left in the house tomorrow morning I can start fresh on my diet with no temptations left”. A good way of getting around this is to throw them all into bin bag and take them to your parents or friends house for safe keeping until your diet is over, or ask them to eat them for you! I hate waste, and throwing yummy snacks away would break my heart! The foods this ‘unhealthy category’ involves is anything processed, including the obvious chocolate, sweets and crisps.
2. Plan Your Food For The Day
As soon as I wake up I like to grab my notebook and plan what food I’m going to eat in the day, I’ll often add in how much of the food I’m planning to eat and at what time I’m going to eat these at too. Having a structure for the day lets me visually plan my day and how I’m going to organise my meals. I cannot stress how useful this is to do, as if I feel hungry I will go straight to my notebook to decide what to eat from my plan, rather than mindlessly gobbling the nearest thing to me. It let’s me feel more in control of the food I’m putting into me, which has been a massive game changer for when my mind tells me it’s time to snack.
3. Keep a Food Diary
Grab a paper notebook and a pen and keep it with you throughout the day, everything you eat needs to be written down. I’ve found using paper and pen compared to doing it digitally works far better for me personally, however using your iPhone ‘notes’ app could work just as well. When I first started doing this, it really shocked me to see how quickly calories added up throughout the day. Through using my food diary I realised having a nibble on all my boyfriend’s snacks and meals was increasing my calorie intake significantly. To combat this I started grabbing my own snack such as an apple or satsuma to eat whilst he was eating. I found doing this really helped to avoid adding surplus calories onto my daily intake that contained no nutritional value.
4. Don’t ‘Restrict’
Avoid telling yourself, “I CAN’T EAT THAT”, from experience doing that just makes me want to eat that type of food far more. Swap those thoughts for, “I can eat whatever I’d like, but I’m just going to have the smallest bit of it to keep me satisfied”. Trying to keep to a clean diet can only happen strictly for so long, especially when you enjoy snacking as much as me. This approach definitely helps me to stop going on a binge, as I have what I want without going overboard. It helps to allow yourself a little treat every day, as it stops you excessively craving it. My secret pleasure is having a latte, they taste so yummy and are something I really look forward to drinking. I’m loving the instant Nescafé latte range at the moment, I bought pretty much every flavour in my last food shop heehe. I try to avoid buying them from Costa, Subway, Greggs e.t.c unless I’m out of the house all day, as they are fairly high in calories and are more expensive than making them yourself. (If you do buy one when you’re out you can make it less naughty by getting a smaller size and by requesting skimmed or soya milk.) Give yourself your little treat, but aim to keep the treats to a maximum of 100 calories per day.
5. Water, Water, Water, Water.
I CANNOT stress this enough. WATER!! Water is key to losing weight, is boosts your metabolism and suppresses your metabolism. I have always hated drinking water, I could easily go days and days without drinking any water at all. I used to suffer from continuous headaches all through my school years, purely from my dislike of drinking it. I not only hated drinking it, but also the feeling of it sloshing around in my stomach. However, when I started introducing drinking water regularly throughout the day this sloshing feeling completely disappeared and now I don’t notice it at all. To begin introducing the routine of drinking more water, I relied on Oasis and orange squash to make drinking liquids more enjoyable. This allowed me to slowly progress to drinking pure water regularly, which has done me massive favours to avoiding water retention. HOW MUCH TO DRINK?? Well, the advised volume of water to drink per day is to divide your body weight (in lbs) by 2 and drink that number in ounces. For example, I weigh 106 pounds, so 106 divided by 2 = 53, I would therefore aim to drink 53 ounces of water per day (equivalent to roughly 1 and a half litres). You can easily work this out using the google conversion calculator! Some websites advocate as much as 4 litres per day, but for me personally, this is a target I would struggle to meet. Even now I still sometimes get to the end of the day having completely forgotten to drink any water, so to avoid this I often set an alarm on my phone to go off every half an hour throughout the day to remind me to keep drinking.
6. Make Drinking Water Interesting
Drinking room temperature water every day doesn’t appeal to me at all. I switch this up by varying the way I consume water, by adding different components into it and drinking it at different temperatures. I have often read that drinking ice cold water can boost your metabolism, as your body uses more energy to warm the water up once it is inside you. I will often put a bottle of water in the fridge at night, along with filling up the ice cube tray in the freezer. I then pop some ice cubes into the bottle when I wake up which keeps the water colder for far longer. Another way to make drinking water more interesting is to add in fruit, you can buy bottles that conveniently contain a fruit compartment. I bought mine really cheap from Aldi and Wilko, their fruit bottle range contains an array of super cute colours and the bottles are the perfect size for carrying around throughout the day between lectures. From experience I find that citrus fruit works brilliantly, I often add slices of lemon, limes and oranges in together. I usually prepare this in the evening so that the fruit has has time to give the water a super fruity taste by the time I come to drink it in the morning! I’ve experimented with other fruits such as berries which can also work well, I found strawberries and blueberries give a great taste, but I avoid raspberries as they just fall apart when the water is shaken leaving the water with lots of bits. Tea: green tea, fruit tea, toffee tea, english breakfast tea. I love tea and there are soo many varieties on offer to make every cup interesting and tasty. Most tea can be drank calorie free (woohoo), but even tea that requires milk can be kept low calorie by using skimmed, soya or almond milk. BooTea is a brand of tea that advertises itself as a weight loss supplement and the 14 days ‘day’ and ‘night’ tea are now both sold separately for £11. I really enjoyed this brand and it fits really nicely into my routine of losing weight before a holiday. Yes, the night tea does contain a laxative. But don’t be alarmed!! It’s a very gentle laxative and helps both the process of losing weight and going to the toilet – especially useful when you’re only consuming small volumes of food in the run up to a holiday. The taste of the teas were quite strong, but I enjoyed them because of the feeling they gave me after drinking them. The night tea tastes strongly of aniseed (liquorice kind of taste), but even as someone with a strong dislike of aniseed I did enjoy drinking them.
6. Fruit Is Your Best-friend
I am a firm believer of ‘a calorie is not a calorie’. 200 calories of chocolate is not equal to 200 calories of strawberries. When I’m trying to lose weight I will only eat raw foods, completely unprocessed and in it’s natural form. I will have fruit continuously throughout the day, mostly sticking to berries, apples (pink ladies are my absolute fave) and satsumas. Some fruits such as grapes have a high natural sugar content, so it is best to avoid consuming these in large quantities. However, eating in moderation is key and allowing yourself a handful of grapes each day will aid your weight loss not hinder it. If you enjoy eating grapes like me, I highly recommend trying them frozen! They taste so good, and it makes for an interesting alternative. Eating dried fruit can also be very yummy, but I highly recommend avoiding all pre-dried fruit packets from the supermarket. Not only are they extremely over priced, but they often have high added sugar to make them taste really sweet. It is so easy to dry your own fruit using a dehydrator, and is far healthier and far less calories. Dehydrators can be bought for as little as £25 in some shops/online and are well worth the investment. All types of foods can be dehydrated when you’ve finished your diet, such as beef to make beef jerky if you’re a meat eater! Fruit I use most in the dehydrator includes mango, apple, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi, pineapples and bananas (but literally any fruit can taste amazing). Dehydrated raspberries taste great sprinkled on top of natural yoghurt for breakfast, but when I’m losing weight before a holiday I tend to avoid as much diary as possible.
7. Less Isn’t Always Better
Small portions, raw foods and continuously eating throughout the day are all fundamental to quick weight loss. Whilst you should be mindful of the number of calories you are totalling each day, weight loss is not as simple as needing to ‘burn more calories throughout the day than what is consumed’. To keep your metabolism as high as possible you should aim to eat every three hours from when you wake up until you go to sleep. I am a big advocate of avoiding three set meal times each day, as eating small portions throughout the day has enabled me to lose more weight. If I was to wake up at 7am and go to sleep at 12pm I would aim for roughly 6 times throughout the day when I am eating.
8. Keep Yourself Moving
Just before a holiday I always lower my calorie intake which makes me feel constantly tired and makes the thought of doing any exercise extremely unappealing. However, incorporating exercise helps boost weight loss and is therefore necessary to any quick weight loss plan. Fitting this into your routine can be done in a number of ways including when you’re doing the cooking, cleaning, washing or walking to the shops. I’ll often do star jumps or bum kicks when I have spare time, such as when the kettle is boiling. Every little bit of exercise you can fit in throughout the day will add up and heavily contribute to your weight loss target. I will often set my alarm for ten minutes earlier in the morning, giving me time to do a quick ab workout or run up and down the stairs a few times before I take a shower. I do have a gym membership, but I find that when I do a gym session (and restricting my calories before a holiday) I get super hungry afterwards which often results in a binge. So if I do go to the gym during this time period, I’ll keep my sessions short, drink large volumes of water and eat a large portion of fruit directly afterwards. I never over do it on exercise, simply because it’s not safe to excessively exercise and cut calories in one go as it can make your body very run down and susceptible to getting ill (definitely do not want this just before a holiday thank you!!).
9. Vegetables Are Your Secret Weapon
I LOVE to eat soup when I’m trying to lose weight, it tastes so good, is super nutritious and you can incorporate so many different flavours that it never gets boring. Again, avoid tins and packets! Tins are great to eat if you are restricted on time, but if you go down this route make sure you look carefully at the ingredients list. They will often have high sugar and salt added into them to make them taste great, which is detrimental to losing weight quickly. Look for lentil and vegetable based soups and don’t be fooled by ‘weight watchers’, ‘low fat’, ‘reduced salt’ labels as they can be very misleading. If time is on your side, follow my raw food only rule! Buy vegetables in their natural form and make your own soup, there is so many recipes out there on the internet that you’ll be able to make some really great tasting options. I’m aiming to add some of my favourite soup recipes on my blog in the near future, so make sure you watch out for them! Using a blender can switch up the texture of the soup as a lumpy consistency can get boring after a while. You can buy these so cheaply online and in store and again, it will be well worth the investment.
10. Daily Vitamins Are a Yes From Me
I often get worried that I will be missing out on fundamental vitamins when I’m dieting before a holiday, so to combat this I take a vitamin tablet daily. There are mixed opinions on whether vitamin tablets have any substantial effect, but I mainly do it for peace of mind. I also take CLA supplements which are highly controversial as to whether they help boost weight loss, as there are many scientific studies that suggest they both do and don’t help. I have seen weight loss whilst taking them in the past, but as I have always taken them alongside eating low calories, healthy food and drinking plenty of water, I am not able to judge whether they have benefitted me. I have nearly finished off all my CLA supplements and have decided not to repurchase them again in the future.
11. The ‘Number’ Can Be Useful
Okay so, I have one last point to discuss. Weighing scales. I have gone through periods of losing weight both relying heavily on weighing scales and not using them at all. When I want to lose weight at a healthy, slow pace, I often don’t use the weighing scales at all. But in the run up to a holiday I find weighing scales can be really useful at indicating when I need to adjust portion sizes or how much water I’m drinking. My weight loss usually correlates really strongly with how strict I’m being on myself, for example if I let myself eat a large amount unhealthy snacks for a few days I will see that my weight has either stayed the same as it was a few days before I began snacking, or will show a weight gain. The scales then give me that motivation to get back on track and try a little bit harder in the coming days. However, if you are prone to obsessing over small things when it comes to weight loss I would advise you to stay away from them as the number on the scales could actually end up hindering you or causing you to go ‘overboard’ at trying to reduce it.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
Drink lots of water and make it more interesting by adding fruit, ice cubes and making yourself different types of tea. Stick to raw ingredients – fruit and vegetables are perfect for losing weight quickly. I stay well away from ‘carbs’ before a holiday, potatoes and pasta have to stay in the cupboard waiting for when I return! Fit in a little exercise when you can, but make sure you don’t go too hard. Lastly, allow yourself treats, as you will be able to control your cravings far easier if you avoid restricting yourself too heavily.
I really hope this has been useful and given you some helpful pointers on how you can shed a few more pounds before your holiday. If you have any questions or I’ve mentioned something you’d like me to discuss more deeply, do make sure you message me!
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful holiday!
Love Siân xo