A little love handles is normal, but understandable if you want to shed it to look slimmer. It’s impossible to lose all that hip gold in two weeks, but you can get rid of it quickly by losing weight and reducing your body fat percentage. All you have to do over the next two weeks is to eat right (that is, reduce calories), exercise a little more, and make some lifestyle changes. Keep striving to lose even more belly fat over the long term!
Vegetables are relatively low in calories and high in vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber to keep you healthy and full. Eat about 2-3 cups of vegetables a day to cut your calorie intake over the next two weeks. You can see how many calories are in a cup of various cooked and raw vegetables at https://www.choosemyplate.gov/vegetables. Eat the full rainbow spectrum every day! Start your meals with vegetables before eating high-calorie foods high in protein and carbohydrates.
Protein helps you build lean muscle mass, which means you’ll burn more calories during the day – even while sitting! About 15-20% of your daily calorie intake should come from lean protein (eat more protein if you’re physically active most days of the week). Eat egg whites, fish, chicken, or red meat with little marbling or fat. Meat-free protein sources for your muscles include tofu, tempeh, seitan, beans, peas, and lentils.
Dairy products are high in calcium and vitamin D, which can help with weight loss in the short term. Women under 50 and men under 70 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D daily. Women over 50 and men over 70 should consume 1,200 milligrams of calcium and 800 IU of vitamin D daily. High-protein Greek yogurt, cow or nut milk, and reduced-fat cheese fill you up and reduce calcitriol, a hormone that tells your body to store fat. Eat unsweetened or minimally sweetened yogurt instead of the sweetened versions. If you’re bored with plain yogurt, throw in some fresh blueberries or raspberries. Fresh mozzarella, feta, goat cheese, and cottage cheese are good choices. Other non-dairy products like green vegetables (such as collards, kale, broccoli florets, and soybeans), orange juice, soy milk, and granola will provide you with calcium and vitamin D throughout the day.
Processed grains (like those found in white bread, white flour pasta, and white rice) have fewer nutrients than whole grains, which can fill you up and reduce your risk of heart disease, obesity, certain cancers, and diabetes. Whole grain products have a lot of fiber. This will make you feel less bloated during those two weeks. Whole wheat bread is an easy substitute, but quinoa, brown rice, lentils, beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, oatmeal, apples, bananas, flaxseed, and chia seeds are also high in high-quality fiber. Eat 25 grams of fiber daily if you’re a woman and 38 grams if you’re a man. It is considered normal to eat 300 grams of carbohydrates daily (at a calorie intake of 2000 calories). However, you should only eat 50 to 150 or 200 grams of carbohydrates daily for the next two weeks in order to lose weight faster.
Healthy fats, such as those found in avocado, olive oil, flaxseed, chia seeds, nuts, and nut butter, are high in omega-3 fatty acids (which help the body regulate how it burns or stores fat). You’ll also feel good and full, which means you’ll overeat less at your next meal. People who eat a lot of omega-3 often have less visceral fat (the harmful fat that lies around the organs) and a lower risk of diabetes. Fats are high in calories, so watch your portion size! Eat less olive oil and butter for the next two weeks. Eat no more than two tablespoons (or two to three servings) per day. It is recommended that men consume 1.6 grams of fatty acids daily and women 1.1 grams. Balance the omega 3 with omega 6! You can find this in safflower oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, sunflower seeds, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Snacks are important to keep your blood sugar levels steady and your metabolism running. It matters how and how often you snack! Don’t eat a sugary snack bar, instead eat nutrient-dense foods like fruit, nuts, or whole grains. Eat snacks only when you’re hungry (ideally only twice a day between main meals) and only between 100 and 150 calories to help you lose weight quickly. Put healthy snacks in your bag, desk, or in the car (anywhere you might get hungry in the late morning and early afternoon). Ready-made protein and snack bars are often high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and processed ingredients. Read the labels carefully to know the serving sizes and ingredient list. If “fructose syrup/corn syrup” and/or “palm oil” are on the list, don’t eat the bar! A good protein smoothie made with yogurt, almond butter, and oatmeal or diced apple with 2 tablespoons of peanut, sunflower, or almond butter will keep you going longer and full of healthy proteins, fats, and fiber.
People who drink sugary soda or juice and eat a lot of sugar have more belly fat because they’re consuming more calories and sugar. Therefore, it is better to drink water for the next two weeks and only eat dessert once a week to lose weight quickly. If you treat yourself to something, then pay attention to your portion size! If you enjoy snacking, reward yourself with natural sugars from strawberries or dark chocolate (both contain antioxidants). Strawberries covered in dark chocolate are even better!
Most supermarkets have all the healthy food on the outside and the processed junk food in the middle of the store. Shop outside at the supermarket. Fill your shopping cart with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Eat only whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein for the next two weeks.
When it comes to losing weight (and losing fat), it’s important to understand portion sizes. When cooking or in a restaurant (especially if the portions are large), pay attention to how much you are actually eating. If you’re dining out, share an appetizer with a friend, or bring your Tupperware and take half of your meal home to avoid overeating. Measure portion sizes with your hand: Cooked vegetables, dry cereal, sliced or whole fruit: One fist = one cup of cheese: One index finger = 43 grams of Pasta, rice, oatmeal: One palm = half a cup of protein: One palm = 85 grams of fats: One thumb = one tablespoon
Go for a jog, run, or brisk walk every day for the next two weeks to burn calories and fat. Aerobic exercise also releases endorphins, which make you happier and more confident after a good workout. If you feel good, then you can do these two weeks. You save a lot of calories and move a lot. It can be exhausting, but don’t give up! Always speak to a doctor before starting a new exercise program. When you’re just starting out, start slow and easy until you’ve worked your way up to 30 or 40 minutes. For example, start by jogging for 15 minutes and walking for the remaining 15 minutes. After the first week, jog the full 30 minutes. Get faster and train harder.
If you choose something that you enjoy doing, then the next two weeks will be much easier. Swimming, kickboxing, dancing and other sports count towards your 30 minutes (minimum) of aerobic exercise. Get your heart pumping for at least 20 to 30 minutes with your chosen sport so that you get a good sweat. Swimming is a good low-intensity option that’s easy on your joints. Take a dance class with friends or family to have more fun!
When you lift weights, you build muscle. This is necessary to fuel your metabolism and burn fat throughout the day. A combination of strength training and aerobic exercise is more effective at losing weight than either alone. Strength training doesn’t count towards your daily minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic activity. If you don’t know how to properly train with dumbbells, train on machines. If you weigh yourself every few days, remember that muscle weighs more than fat. Do not worry. These muscles will help you shed more belly fat in the next two weeks! Start with simple and well-known exercises like bicep curls, push-ups, pull-ups, tricep curls, lateral raises, and chest presses. Do three sets of eight to ten reps. You should train with enough weight that you can properly perform the exercise for a full set, but need rest between sets.
HIIT will get your heart rate up and your muscles will be surprised. It’s more effective at burning more calories in a shorter amount of time (as opposed to low-intensity exercise with little to no variation). Do HIIT at least 3-4 times a week (or do shorter HIIT sessions daily in addition to aerobic exercise). For example, sprint for 30 to 60 seconds while jogging. Recover by jogging at a moderate pace for two to four minutes before sprinting again. Even walking can become a HIIT workout by varying the speed and incline. Walking is a great alternative if you have bad knees or other joint problems. Make this workout 20 minutes on the treadmill: 3 minute warm-up at a 5 percent incline 3-minute brisk walk at a 7 percent incline 2-minute brisk walk at a 12 percent incline 2-minute moderate pace walk at a 7 incline Percent Two minutes of brisk walking at a 12 percent incline Two minutes of slow to moderate walking at a 15 percent incline One minute of moderate walking at a 10 percent incline Two minutes of brisk walking at a 12 percent incline Three minutes of cool down at a gradient of five percent
Train your core You train and tone your abs and back muscles. There’s no such thing as “spot” training, but the more you work your core, the more lean muscle you’ll build and the more calories you’ll burn during the day. Plus, you’ll improve your posture (you’ll look slimmer) after just a week of core training! Do some yoga moves like planks, warrior twists, and cobras to stretch and tone your core.
COUNCIL OF EXPERTS Certified Personal Trainer Laura Flinn is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Certified Personal Trainer, Weightlifting Athletic Performance Coach for the USA, and Certified Sports Nutritionist with additional qualifications as a TRX Suspension Instructor. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Laura runs her own personal training program, specializing in topics such as weight loss, muscle building, cardiovascular training and strength training. Laura Flinn Certified Personal Trainer Our Expert Agrees: Core exercises help you look tighter overall. A combination of healthy eating, cardio, and resistance exercises burns fat all over the body, and core exercises help to tone and strengthen the abdomen.
Take the stairs or walk more over the next two weeks. Take a 10-20 minute walk after eating to help your body digest better, burn extra calories, and keep your metabolism running. Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk the rest of the way. Walk errands if you live close to the store. If you can, walk or bike to work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
Diet and exercise are important, but sleep and stress also affect how your body uses and stores fat. Lack of sleep and high levels of stress release cortisol, which tells your body to store fat in your belly. If you have something stressful at work or in the family for the next two weeks, do your best to manage that stress well. Do at least ten minutes of mindfulness meditation daily. Yoga can relieve stress. You’ll also tone up your muscles and burn calories! Talk to your doctor if you think you may have a sleep disorder (like insomnia or sleep apnea) that is causing you not to sleep well.
Detoxifiers are only effective in losing weight if you eat a healthy diet (liquid foods won’t give you all the nutrients you need). No matter what the hot new diet program promises, there is no magic bullet! Fad diets can do more harm than good, especially if you’re not consuming enough calories or skipping an entire food group (which can lead to malnutrition).
If you eat too little, your body will go into fat-saving mode. Eat breakfast, healthy snacks, and fresh meals. Eat no less than 1,200 calories per day (as a woman) or 1,500 calories per day (as a man). A healthy calorie deficit is between 500 and 1,000 calories per day. Two weeks isn’t a long time, so save about 700 to 1,000 calories a day. Cut out unnecessary calories at every meal. Put mustard on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise and eat them open. You can also replace the bread with a salad or a wrap. Eat cauliflower rice with vegetables, salad or as a side dish. Substitute zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for pasta to reduce your calorie intake. Use a calorie counter to know your daily calorie needs to lose weight.
While you will lose weight if you eat fewer calories, you should focus on quality rather than quantity. Counting calories can make you enjoy your meals less and make you feel bad when you go over a certain calorie count. Think about calories, but don’t become obsessed with numbers. For the next two weeks (and beyond!) focus on feeding your body quality nutrition. 100 calories from an apple affects your body differently than 100 calories from apple pie. Apple naturally has sugar and lots of fiber. Apple pie has added sugars, saturated fats, and simple carbohydrates.
If you eat when you’re in a hurry or distracted, you may enjoy the meal less. Instead, eat more slowly and pay attention to the structure and flavor of your food. People who eat mindfully eat more slowly and therefore feel fuller with less. Turn off your cell phone, television, computer, radio, and other distractions while eating for the next two weeks. Put everything you need to eat on the table at the beginning of the meal so you don’t have to pick something up mid-meal. Chew your food thoroughly and focus on flavor and texture. Think about how grateful you are for everything on your plate. If you eat roasted beets, remember all the care and effort it takes to grow, transport, and cook those beets so you can enjoy them.
If you smoke, you may think it will help you stay slim. Smokers have more visceral fat than non-smokers. If you want to lose belly fat fast, then away with the fags! Use lozenges, gum, or patches to wean your body and mind from nicotine. What smoke triggers do you have? How can you get rid of the craving? For example, if you always smoke in the car, chew a toothpick to keep your mouth busy and/or sing along to your favorite song to distract yourself.
It is often the case that you lose more weight in the first two weeks than afterwards. If you keep at it, you’ll still lose weight. If you’re at least 15 pounds over your ideal weight, you’ll see good results for the first week or two, and after that it becomes harder to lose belly fat. This is normal, so don’t give up! Break through the plateau by changing your habits (e.g. rethinking your diet and training plan), eating fewer calories and changing your workout. You may not have a plateau in two weeks, but if you keep trying, you’ll notice stagnation in a month.
It’s exciting when you see that number getting smaller and smaller. However, this value says nothing about the water weight and the different types of fat in your body. Weighing yourself every day for the next two weeks isn’t very helpful because you can weigh more or less depending on what you’ve eaten and how much water your body is retaining. Only weigh yourself every few days for the next two weeks. Fat in your thighs, buttocks or arms is healthier than a “beer belly”. Measure your waist with a tape measure to track your belly fat. Wrap the tape measure around your waist at the level of your navel (not the slimmest part of your stomach). Don’t suck in your stomach or pull the band too tight.
Consult your doctor before changing your diet and exercising if you have a chronic medical condition or joint problems. He may suggest training with a physical therapist to keep you from doing harmful exercises. He may also send you to a nutritionist. Drink lots of water. Dehydration causes your body to retain water. You look like you’ve gained weight. Add lemon to your water bottle for vitamin C and antioxidants. Add a few slices of orange, kiwi, lemon, or grapefruit to the water.