Dear Fitness Coach,
I know I don’t have a heck of a lot of time, but I’ve decided I want to lose 10 pounds by New Year’s Eve. My husband is in the military and is scheduled for one week’s leave starting on 12/30. I haven’t seen him in about 7 months and want to surprise him with a new lean self. Right now, I am 175 pounds and 27 years old and have never really worked out. I am willing to starve myself and exercise every day!
Dear Army Wife,
You do not want to starve yourself - that will slow down your metabolism, and you will lose less, not more - and exercising every day isn’t necessary. For any weight-loss program you have to address nutrition and exercise equally. With the following game plan, you should expect to lose about 1.5 pounds a week, which will put you at a 10-pound weight loss by the time you’re reunited with your husband.
Nutrition: You will need to put your body in a 750-a-day caloric deficit in order to take off a pound and half a week, so calorie counting is essential. Start a food log and be absolutely meticulous with counting every calorie. You want to stay in the 1,500 to 1,800 calorie range. The goal is to eat 5 times a day to rev up your metabolism, and make sure you are having protein at each meal or snack. Consider having a protein shake as one of your snacks and or meals. It is a great way of cutting calories without cutting nutrients, and it does fill you up.
Exercise: You are going to need to turn your body into a fat-burning furnace to torch those calories, and the best way to do this is with HIIT (high-intensity interval training) 3 to 5 times a week. Some examples of interval training are Boot Camp or P90X workouts: periods of intensity followed by recovery. If you do not belong to a gym that offers a program like this, consider purchasing the P90X or Insanity DVD. Start off the first week with doing HIIT 3 times, second week 4 times, and third through sixth week 5 times a week.
If you follow the above recommendations, with no deviation whatsoever (no cheat days!), expect to drop a clothing size within six weeks and get into the best shape of your life!