I really didn’t want to write this article.
But I keep getting this question, over and over. Especially before the beach season – and also before Christmas.
How can I lose weight fast?
Hopefully, you know all about the sensible ways to lose weight. But what if it’s too late for that now?
Maybe you are going on holiday, or an important family occasion is coming up. Or you just want to look great at your office Christmas party this year. You need to get slimmer – and fast.
What can you do?
I am going to outline some ways you can lose weight in 1 month or less, on a low-carb diet. Plus some tips and tricks to make it easier.
But I will stress this one more time – slower is always better for weight loss. It’s easier, healthier and more likely to succeed in the long term.
So only use the tips below if you are truly desperate for this short-term weight loss, and are in good health overall.
- you have a medical condition or are under medical supervision for any reason
- you are pregnant or breastfeeding
- your BMI is over 30, or under 18
- you would like to lose over 25% of your current weight
- you are under 18 or over 60 years old
How to lose weight fast on a low-carb diet
If you have 2-4 weeks – Atkins Induction
This timeframe is actually quite sensible, and perfect for Atkins Induction.
According to the original Dr Atkins’ guidelines, you need to cut your carbs to 20g a day for at least 2 weeks. Dr Atkins set the upper limit of Induction duration at 6 months, provided you follow all the guidelines. So you can easily do it for 2-4 weeks.
Cutting down carbs will eventually lead to ketosis – a metabolic state where your body burns fat instead of glucose for fuel. You will have lots of energy, and those extra pounds will start to melt. What to expect during Atkins Induction >>
You can lose between 2-8 pounds during Induction, depending on your current weight and other individual parameters.
IMPORTANT – read the full rules of Atkins Induction, and make sure you follow them precisely. Do not ever go below 20g of carbs a day.
Get the official Atkins Diet book on Amazon >>
If you have 1-2 weeks – Fat Fast, followed by Atkins Induction
If you only have 1-2 weeks, I would still recommend Atkins Induction. But we would need to speed it up by doing a Fat Fast in the beginning.
Dr Atkins devised the Fat Fast for people with high metabolic resistance, who need a long time to break into ketosis. If you have less than 2 weeks to lose weight, you need to induce ketosis as fast as possible.
For the Fat Fast, you need to count calories. Consume about 1000-1200 calories a day, with 80-90% of it coming from fat. Fat is very filling, so it will be easier than you think. Ketosis should kick-in within 2-3 days.
Read this guide to Fat Fast at ruled.me website
IMPORTANT – do NOT do Keto Fast for longer than 4 days. Once in ketosis, switch to standard Atkins Induction immediately.
Get the Fat Fast guide on Amazon >>
If you have 3-7 days – Dukan Attack
Most low-carb diets tend to be also high in fat. Dukan is an exception. It is low in both fat and carbs, with a heavy emphasis on protein. It is harder to stick to than low-carb high-fat diets, but is very effective for fast weight loss.
Dukan Attack is the first stage of Dukan. You need to cut out all fat and all carbs, and have pure-protein meals only. You also need to supplement your fibre intake with oat bran.
IMPORTANT – read the full rules of Dukan Attack, and make sure you follow them precisely. Do not stay on Attack for more than 7 days.
Get the official Dukan Diet book on Amazon
For all three scenarios described above
- Do NOT try to “improve” your chosen diet (e.g. Atkins, Dukan) by cutting out even more foods or going below the recommended quantities. Diet guidelines are precise for a reason – making sure your weight loss is effective and healthy.
- Track your food intake using a food diary or an app. If you don’t do this, you will underestimate the amounts you consume and might derail your diet as a result.
- Take supplements to support your health and well-being while you diet: a high-quality extra-strong multivitamin, fish oils, fibre, Co-Enzyme Q10. Read more about low-carb diet supplements.
- Do some exercise, but go gently. If you already have an exercise routine, push it back by about 10-15%. If you don’t do any exercise at all, start by going for a walk for at least 20 minutes a day.
Now we are moving on from reasonably sensible solutions to the land where only the truly desperate should go.
If you have 1-3 days left – Laxatives and colonic cleanses
This tip is a bit ew, so if you are squeamish, skip to the next section now.
Now the timeframe is really getting ridiculous. It is impossible to shed any meaningful amount of fat in such a short time, no matter what you do.
But if you are desperate to look a little bit slimmer than usual, consider this extreme (and not very sensible) solution.
Our bowels are full of you know what. If you empty your bowels completely, you can lose a couple of pounds (it won’t be fat but still) and your tummy will be flatter. This might save you a couple of centimetres or more around your waist. You will feel lighter overall.
You can either do this with laxatives (carefully!), or by booking in for a colonic cleanse procedure.
The balance of your gut flora might be disrupted by these procedures. Consider taking probiotics afterwards to restore the balance.
By the way, this is the secret behind many so-called weight-loss pills. They are basically mostly laxatives.
If you have 1 day – Spanx!
If you really don’t have any time left for anything, then Spanx is the answer.
If you haven’t tried it before, it is well worth considering. In a league above your standard shapewear, Spanx can hold in all the wobbly bits and make you look slimmer overall.
Sizing is important – the garment has to be exactly right, otherwise it won’t do its job properly. So it’s best to shop in a real store where you can try it on. If buying online, read the size guides and reviews before purchasing.
You can get Spanx from most department stores and online retailers.
Buy Spanx on Amazon
- Do NOT go into all-out fasting mode. It will not work. You will not lose any weight and might damage your metabolism so that it will be even harder in the future.
- Do NOT buy weight-loss pills. Best-case scenario, they are just laxatives as described above. Worst-case scenario, they might contain all sorts of dodgy compounds and damage your health.
- Do NOT suddenly crank up your exercise routine (e.g. running times) dramatically. Increase it by no more than 25% a week.
How much weight can I lose in one month?
The amount of weight you can lose depends on multiple factors. It is impossible to predict without knowing the details about your current weight, health, diet and activity levels.
Generic factors to bear in mind
- Your current weight / BMI. The more fat you have to lose, the easier it will be to start losing it (obviously, provided you stick to your diet). The hardest weight to shift is the last 10-15 pounds – when you are almost at your ideal target weight, but not quite.
- Muscle to fat ratio. The more muscle you have, the easier it is to lose weight. If you don’t do any strength exercise, you should definitely consider it.
- Level of physical activity. It is much better to eat more and exercise more, than to eat little and do no exercise. If you are physically inactive, weight loss will be much harder.
- Age. As you get older, your metabolism slows down, and it get harder to lose weight. Exercise can help to reverse this decline – especially strength training.