You've finally made me admit it - the sugar is the reason I have that little bit extra around the middle and thighs. I work out often, I have a healthy lifestyle and I'm happy with my body most days. I eat well, lots of vegetables, nothing fried or too terrible for me. But I'm not as thin as I could be, and I know that the sugar is to blame. I like treats. So let's say I have an event coming up (my wedding), and I want to get as lean as possible while knowing that this might not be a permanent body change, but more of a "these photos will be on my wall for the rest of my life" thing.
I'm not asking for a crash diet, but if I did cut out the sugar, it would be more realistic if I'm looking at 6 weeks rather than 6 months. And do you mean all sugar - not just the chocolate, but the honey in my tea, the fruit? So how drastic does this have to be, and how long until I start seeing results (maybe 8 pounds worth)?
Sometimes we find ourselves in sticky situations where we need to drop weight fast, and although I am not a fan of this as a way to lose weight, I do understand that there is a time and place for it in our lives. Whether it is an upcoming wedding, a big birthday milestone or needing to drop weight for a race (like running a marathon) we can find ourselves scrambling to drop a few pounds.
You are right that sugar is the big culprit in weight gain as well as in preventing us from losing the weight too. If we are constantly providing our bodies with instant energy, there is no reason for us to break down the energy we already have stored in our bodies.
If you have been a long-time reader of my column then you know that I preach small changes, and would normally not suggest cutting something out completely but rather a more moderate approach. However, like you, I find myself currently stuffing my thighs into my jeans and with fall just around the corner I need to shed my summer weight fast or I will be breaking the bank and buying a new wardrobe.
If you have 6 weeks to get to your best weight you can and I would not recommend anything more than a 12 pound weight loss in that time. If you strive to lose more than that you can be damaging your health, so 2 pounds a week is all you should be going for. You should start to see the results within about 3 weeks so try not to step on a scale until then.
With that being said, as the weight starts to fall off over these next few weeks you are going to have to continue to make more changes and sacrifices to continue the weight loss. You will be restricting your diet enough so these increases need to come in the intensities of your workouts. Get that heart rate higher and push those workouts longer.
And yes I mean ALL sugar, even the honey you put in your coffee. You can have one or two pieces of fruit a day (not in a juice as you need the fibre to cut back the sugar content in the fruit) and that is it. No more dairy, no more alcohol, no more chocolate, no more bread. You are going to eat clean. If it comes out of a package, put it down. The only things that you are allowed to eat are things that you will make yourself: lean protein, complex grains (like quinoa) and fruit and vegetables.
Also, you need to pay attention to the glycemic indexes of foods, as foods that are higher on this scale will have more sugar. For example, potatoes have a higher glycemic index than yams, so when trying to add a healthy carbohydrate to your grilled chicken, opt for yams.
You are only going to get out what you put in, so if you want to look what you think is your best on your wedding day, sacrifices need to be made. Clean eating, lots of water, daily workouts and consistent nights of 8 hours of sleep are all important in helping you reach your goal.
Attached - Busy Philipps leaving the gym the other day.