Diet and Weight-Loss / August 16, 2012

Diet Detective’s Fast and Extreme Weight Loss Guide For Weddings, Reunions and Bathing Suit Season

By Charles Platkin, PhD

Yes, you can lose weight fast enough to make a significant difference in how you look. Granted this is not the healthiest way to lose weight, but if you stick to the plan, you will more than likely be fit and healthy in time for your event. I’m giving you this information with hesitation, because it’s not a diet you should follow forever, and you will probably gain the weight back (mostly because it’s too hard to stick to).

Finally, I have to add this disclaimer: You must see a physician before starting any weight-loss program, even one you read about online or in a newspaper — including this diet. The following is ONLY for those who have a medical doctor’s approval. Once you’ve been cleared, simply follow these steps and you will shed pounds fast.

Step 1: Toss Out Every Last Bit Of Junk Food From Your House
Anything that is even questionable. Gone. Don’t take no for an answer from any member of your family. Just do it. This is not about being “PC.” It’s about getting the job done — end of story.

Get rid of ALL the foods in your home that are tempting. If you live with other people, you need to get them on board from the start ­ and they need to be very committed to your new lifestyle. How do you expect to lose weight if your spouse or kids are bringing home your favorite unhealthy foods?

Step 2: Eat Egg White Vegetable Omelets
I’m sure you’ve heard time and time again that breakfast is a very important meal. Yes it is, but I’m not talking about coffee and a muffin. Every morning, without fail, you need to eat a four- to eight-egg vegetable egg white omelet. Chop up anything you like — peppers, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, tomatoes — and toss them in the center of the omelet. Then fold the eggs over the veggies and cook briefly on both sides. Get creative and try new combinations to keep things interesting.­ For instance, try mixing salsa and avocado into your eggs for a change.

Use liquid egg whites. They’re a bit more expensive than whole eggs, but if you want quick, this is the answer. About a cup, which equals six egg whites, has only 60 calories and 12 grams of protein. Use a 12-inch pan if you have one. The larger the heated surface, the quicker the cooking process. Coat the pan with cooking spray, heat it up and simply pour in the cup of liquid whites. Now add a few bits of broccoli, some green and red peppers, onion, salt and pepper, and cook. You can even have a slice of 100 percent whole-grain bread (with no sugar added) with your scrambled eggs. I like the Ezekiel 4:9 bread by Food For Life. It does have a bit of added sugar (Organic Malted Barley), but it’s low in calories and, overall, a good bread.

Step 3: Eat Lots Of Non-Starchy Vegetables
And I mean lots. Just when you think you’ve eaten enough broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, peppers, asparagus, etc., eat more. You need to eat at least 2 to 3 cups at every meal. The vegetables should be prepared with some sort of oil spray, pepper, sea salt, herbs and fresh garlic if you like it. Avoid using any oil or butter. Try grilling your vegetables. Make them taste very good. If you’re not sure how to make vegetables taste great, learn. Experiment by reading cooking blogs.

Step 4: Eat Clean and Lean Protein with Your Vegetables for Lunch and Dinner
What do I mean by clean and lean protein? Clean means no oil, butter, cream or anything but seasoning. Lean, well, lean means no fat. So, for every meal you should eat a reasonable amount of protein that’s low in fat (e.g., fish, egg whites, skinless chicken and turkey breast, and beans).

Why eat protein? Protein slows the movement of food through the digestive tract, and slower stomach emptying means you feel full longer and get hungrier later (increasing satiety) than when you eat foods that are lower in protein. Research also suggests that high-protein meals lead to a reduced subsequent calorie intake. Protein also helps keep blood sugar stable, avoiding the quick rises that can occur when you eat carbohydrates that are rapidly digested (e.g., white bread).

Also, eating foods that are low-fat, low-carb and high in protein will help you avoid other less-healthy, high-calorie foods that do not keep you full.

Sources of Protein
Poultry: Choose primarily chicken and turkey, and make sure to select lean cuts. The leanest poultry choice is white meat from the breast, without the skin. Although skinless dark meat is leaner than some cuts of beef or pork, it has nearly twice as much fat as white meat. Many grocery stores offer ground chicken and ground turkey, which may have as much (or more) fat as ground beef if it includes dark meat and skin. So ask for ground breast meat. Here are a few tips for making your poultry healthier:

  • Remove the skin, either before or after cooking, to reduce the fat content by almost half. Leaving the skin on during cooking will keep the meat juicier. But keep in mind that if you remove the skin after cooking, the fat underneath will have melted, and some will have been absorbed into the meat ­ which is also why it is juicier.
  • Trim all excess fat from poultry before cooking.
  • Rather than using fat such as butter and oil to enhance poultry’s flavor, try flavored vinegars, wines, herbs, spices or citrus fruit.
  • Cook poultry without added fats by baking, roasting, broiling, grilling or poaching.
  • Stir-fry in olive or canola oil, or better yet, use cooking spray.
  • Avoid duck, which is very fatty.

Fish: Fish is a great source of both protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. However, the FDA advises against eating shark, swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury. Five of the most commonly eaten fish and seafood products that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish. Another commonly eaten fish, albacore (“white”) tuna, has more mercury than canned light tuna. You can take a look at fish mercury levels on the FDA website.

Here are some tips from the United States Department of Agriculture:

  • The leanest beef cuts include round steaks and roasts (eye round, top round, bottom round, round tip), top loin, top sirloin and chuck shoulder and arm roasts.
  • The leanest pork choices include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin and ham.
  • Choose extra-lean ground beef. Look for at least 90 percent lean. You may even be able to find ground beef that is 93 or 95 percent lean.
  • Choose lean roast beef, ham or low-fat luncheon meats for sandwiches instead of luncheon meats with more fat, such as regular bologna or salami.
  • Avoid meat that is heavily marbled, that is, streaked with fat. Look for meat with the least amount of visible fat.

For cooking:

  • Trim visible fat beforehand.
  • Broil, grill, roast, poach or boil meat instead of frying.
  • Drain any fat that appears during cooking.
  • Skip or limit the breading — it adds fat and calories, especially since it causes meat to soak up more fat during frying.

Step 5: No Sugar or White Foods
Yes, I said it. Do not eat or drink anything — and I mean anything — with added sugar, or white foods such as cake, bread, muffins, flour, rice, pasta, crackers and cereal. If you want to know more, you can read my interview with Gary Taubes. Can you eat fruit? Yes, but most of your carbohydrates need to come from non-starchy vegetables. You can eat apples, oranges, pears, peaches, etc., but no more than one or two per day during this period of time. Keep in mind, this is just until you shed the weight for your upcoming event.

Step 6: Exercise Cardio and Strength Train Daily
This is a must. Just because it’s Step 6, doesn’t mean that it is less important. And if you think you can really lose weight by walking up the stairs rather than taking the elevator or escalator, think again. What you should do is walk for at least 90 to 120 minutes per day, every single day. Are you thinking that’s too much, that you could never fit that into your already busy life? If so, you need to understand that you don’t have to do the entire 120 minutes all at once, ­ you just need to get it in at some point during the day. Also, you can bike, use an elliptical trainer or swim instead of walking.

Then, in addition to walking every day, you also need to do strength training about two to three times per week. Most important, pick core exercises that focus on your abdominal and back muscles. See the following for a great start: At-Home Fitness: 8 Exercises You Can Do Right Now and More Exercises You Can Do At Home.

Step 7: Drink Lots of Water
You need to stay hydrated. This means drinking enough water. How much? Probably at least five to eight glasses per day. Can you drink coffee, tea, etc.? Yes, as long as it’s plain, or with skim milk and one or two sugars at most.

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