Generally, health professionals will tell you that you should aim to lose about 2 pounds per week when you’re dieting. That’s a healthy rate of weight loss with enough calories to provide the nutrition your body needs, and is most likely to lead to long term weight loss. There are times, however, when you want to lose weight more quickly than that. Whether you need to take off five pounds before the big party Friday night or want to jumpstart your diet with a big victory, these diets can help you do just that.
A note of caution, though: always consult your doctor before starting any rigid diet, even if it is only meant for the short term. These diets are not meant for long-term weight loss, nor are they intended for long-term use. If you have a reason to want to lose 5 to 10 pounds quickly – perhaps for an upcoming event or to get yourself over a weight loss plateau – talk to your doctor about which of these diets might be helpful.
The 3-Day Diet
Lose 5 – 7 pounds in three days.
The 3-Day Diet has been around in various incarnations since at least the 1980s. It features an extremely restrictive 3-day meal plan that must be followed precisely. The resulting weight loss is mostly water weight, so this diet is really only suitable if you’re trying to look great for a special event. Under no circumstances should you attempt to follow it for more than the prescribed three days, and you should always give your body time to recover before attempting it again.
You’ll find the menu for the 3-Day Diet on various websites around the Internet. Keep in mind that it’s a fad diet meant ONLY for short term use.
The 7-Day Cleanse Diet
Lose five to 11 pounds in seven days.
Similar to the 3-Day Diet, the 7-Day diet promises to help you lose considerably more weight in a short period of time than you’ll typically lose on a low-calorie diet. Unlike the 3-Day Diet, the 7-Day Diet doesn’t give menus and amounts. It only lists food types that are allowed during the diet period. This 7-Day Diet plan is essentially a cleanse, so expect to lose a lot of water and waste weight. Again, this is not meant to be a long-term diet. You should not lather, rinse, repeat with the 7-Day Cleanse or you’ll deprive your body of important nutrients.
You also should not follow this diet if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, are nursing or have any medical issues, particularly those that require regular medication. Always talk to your doctor before beginning a strict weight loss or cleanse diet. You can find the menus for the 7-Day cleanse diet on various websites around the Internet.
The 7-Day Biggest Loser Diet
Lose 3 to 5 pounds a week
Ladies Home Journal asked Biggest Loser nutritionist Cheryl Forberg to design a 7-Day Diet based on the plan followed by contestants on the reality show. She came up with 7 days’ worth of menus that each include 3 meals and 2 snacks packed with all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy while you drop weight.
Each daily menu gets 45 percent of its calories from healthy carbs, 30 percent from protein and 25 percent from healthy fats, in accordance with the guidelines recommended by the USDA. You can find the full meal plan on the Ladies Home Journal website. Just add 60 to 90 minutes of moderate physical activity 3 to 4 times a week and watch your weight melt away.
Cabbage Soup Diet
Lose 10 pounds in 7 days
The Cabbage Soup diet has been around for a few decades, and it still crops up as a fad diet every few years. The claims are that it helps you lose weight faster because of the unique combination of foods and their effect on the body’s metabolism. Like most other diets designed for quick weight loss, it’s not meant to be used for any longer than the 7-day period because it doesn’t provide all the nutrients needed for your health.
If you have IBS or suffer from any digestive conditions, this is not the diet for you because it could trigger symptoms. It relies on very low calories and lots of fiber to get rid of excess water weight. If you want to lose weight before a big event, this diet could help, but you shouldn’t use it to lose large amounts of weight or expect the weight loss to last once you return to your normal diet. You can find the recipe for cabbage soup and the daily menus online at various websites.
Lose 10 pounds in 12 days
The grapefruit diet is similar to the cabbage soup diet in that it relies upon you eating a strictly regimented and measured menu for a limited period of time. The diet dates back to the 1980s, and requires you to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice 3 times a day while restricting calories to fewer than 800 daily.
More recently, researchers studied the effects of grapefruit on weight loss and found that eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice can, indeed, speed weight loss. They designed a study with 100 dieters and divided them into three groups. One group ate grapefruit three times a day. One drank grapefruit juice three times a day. The third did not eat grapefruit at all. None of the three groups made any other changes to their regular diet. At the end of the 12 weeks, the two groups that ate grapefruit or drank grapefruit juice had lost weight while the non-grapefruit group lost nothing.
The combination of grapefruit with a low-calorie diet can help you lose weight quickly, in part, scientists think, by helping your body control insulin. As always, consult your doctor before starting this or any other weight loss regimen. It’s especially important to consult your doctor with the grapefruit diet if you take any medications on a regular basis, because grapefruit can interfere with the way many medications work.
These five diets are designed to help you lose weight much faster than most doctors recommend, but they can be useful if you use them in moderation. Always talk to your medical professional before starting on any fast weight loss diet, and follow any instructions he offers.