When it comes to weight loss, I firmly believe that sustainability is key. By eating a variety of whole, unprocessed foods you’ll be giving your body all the nutrients it needs to look and feel its best, while dropping the excess pounds.
And without turning to starvation or fad diets, you’re also much more likely to keep the weight off long term.
That said, I get that there are times when you just need to drop a few pounds fast.
To help you out, I’ve been doing some research on how celebrities and athletes shed weight so quickly. MMA fighters strategically cut and gain weight in a matter of days before fights and jockeys lighten up before huge races.
But this dramatic shedding of pounds comes at a price. The dangers of cutting weight include hormonal imbalance, malnutrition, decreased muscle strength, poor kidney function, disorientation, mood swings, and blurred vision.
So you can see why I definitely don’t recommend you follow the weight loss plan of a professional wrestler!
In addition, losing weight quickly can also lead to bad skin, hair loss, and stretch marks…skinny is never worth that.
However, used in moderation, and when combined with sensible eating plans, some of the tips and tricks employed by professional athletes and celebrities do hold some merit and may help boost weight loss efforts.
Watch Your Fluid Intake
Drinking gallons of water and then gradually reducing daily amounts until they consume almost nothing is one way professional fighters manage to manipulate their pre-fight weigh in results. This form of severe dehydration can cause dizziness, fainting, headaches or, in extreme cases, seizures, and even death.
Why not go with the science backed methods of using water to maintain a healthy weight instead?
Make sure to drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water each day to fill you up, this is especially useful if you consume large amount of water before your meals.
As you’re upping your water intake, you won’t have room for sugar laden beverages like sodas and fruit juices.
Getting bored with plain water all day long?
Here’s something else to try.
Sweat It Out
I’ve come across stories online that claim you can burn around 500 calories in a 20 minute sauna session. Given that the average American male would have to run at 6 miles per hour for almost 40 minutes to achieve this same calorie burn, I’m skeptical to say the least!
Taking to the sauna is touted to be one of the quick weight loss methods employed by wrestlers, boxers, and bodybuilders. Unfortunately, the weight that you lose while you sit in these hot little boxes is merely water weight.
And what do you think will happen once you grab your water bottle to quench that inevitable thirst? Exactly!
The same goes for sweating it out in a hot bath.
You’ll lose water weight, but that isn’t going to make a major difference in your appearance. If you want to try using a sauna to help you along, I say go for it. If nothing else, you’ll be at lower risk of death by cardiovascular disease or stroke, as one Finnish study recently showed.
Just make sure to limit your use to 20 minute sessions and hydrate properly.
Hit The Gym
Even though the sauna might not be the miracle you’re looking for, there is one proven way to sweat it out, and that’s by exercising regularly.
You’ve probably heard about the hardcore gym goers who claim to drop weight in mere minutes by wearing a sauna suit or garbage bags whilst exercising.
Not only do they look ridiculous but, much like using an actual sauna, they are simply dehydrating to lose water weight. Sauna suits are so dangerous that the National Collegiate Athletic Association banned their use in training after three wrestlers died from using them.
Instead, be smart. Hit the gym for a combination of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and weight training.
If you feel you need the extra boost, try a cup of coffee or pre-workout an hour before working out. You’ll have more energy and be able to push yourself for longer. One clinical trial showed that participants could cycle for over 90 minutes after just one cup of coffee, compared with just 75 minutes without caffeine. You don’t need to train that long, but caffeine will typically increase your ability to perform.
Always check with your doctor before taking on a new exercise regime and ask the staff at your gym to tailor a plan to your specific needs.
Skip The Salt
Another one of the tricks that MMA fighters and other athletes swear by when it comes to dropping weight fast is reducing sodium from their diet.
When we eat something salty, our body retains the sodium from that food. We also temporarily retain water until the body can get its sodium and water levels back in balance.
While salt is an essential nutrient, the American Heart Association states that most people consume twice the recommended daily intake of sodium. With 75% of that coming from salt added to processed foods and restaurant meals, you can safely put the salt shaker down and trust you’re already getting enough to meet your needs.
Between reducing your salt intake and drinking plenty of water, you should notice effects within a few days. The water weight you’ve been carrying around thanks to the excess sodium will begin to drop off.
Of course, given that sodium is essential for nerve and muscle function, restricting salt intake to extremely low levels as a long term strategy is not advised.
Enjoy A Balanced Diet
It should go without saying that a balanced diet is key to weight loss, something even the most extreme of weight cutting athletes seem to agree with.
To supercharge your weight loss efforts, without collapsing with hunger, why not incorporate a variety of these super foods into your diet?
Try Natural Boosters & Suppressants
When you’re aiming for rapid weight loss, you may need to give your body a helping hand. There are a few foods and natural supplements that can do just that.
Spice up your meals!
In place of salt, why not add herbs and spices to your food for some much needed flavor without the bloat?
Certain spices have been shown to increase our metabolism. Liven up your dinnertime with coriander, turmeric, black pepper, cumin, cloves, mustard and garlic.
If you’re after something sweeter, add a pinch of cinnamon or ginger to your smoothies or oatmeal so you feel fuller for longer.