Can You Really Lose Weight With a Crash Diet or Short Term Fitness Plan
By Douglas Fye, PT DPT OCS
The short answer is: no, it’s not likely you’ll lose any real weight in just a few short days of exercise or diet. That’s why most experts recommend losing about 2 pounds per week.
As you probably already know, it is difficult to change your old behaviors and form new habits. It requires commitment and can take several months of discipline.
However, it’s possible to start developing healthy exercise and eating habits in just a few days. In turn, this can help you drop all the weight you want—5 pounds, 10 pounds or more.
So what can you do to jumpstart your health & fitness, starting today? Well, if you begin by searching the internet, you may discover SparkPeople or MyFitnessPal which are both online tools that aim at guiding you to better health.
Online memberships in SparkPeople.com and MyFitnessPal.com are free and you can use them to create many different strategies to help in your fitness and weight loss journey. For SparkPeople, initially you are asked what your current weight is and how much you want to lose per week.
They will then devise a calorie based diet to follow. Always remember this is just a guide and you should follow the diet your physician’s office provided to you. Tracker tools are available so you can track your daily intake. There is even a calorie counter to help. Fitness trackers are also online. They encourage at least five 30 minute cardio fitness sessions per week and they provide instructional videos.
Group support is available on the site and many members post regularly about their experiences. Topics such as Motivation, Wellness, Nutrition, Healthy Heart and Diabetes programs are also described at length.
Their 4 week challenge is divided into 4 parts:
- Fast Break - gets you planning and thinking about what you want to change.
- Healthy Diet Habits - reviews healthy eating techniques, foods and recipes.
- Lifestyle changes - revolves around exercise, mindfulness exercises and similar strategies.
- Spread the Spark - encourages sharing your success, your stories and yourself with other members.
Similarly, MyFitnessPal tracks diet and exercise to determine your best caloric intake to suit your goals. You may enter the name of the food or scan a barcode of over 5 million foods. You can also enter the number of minutes you spend exercising and it will calculate the calories burned. Then those calories are added to the total number of calories you should eat that day.
For anyone who is thinking about improving their health, SparkPeople and MyFitnessPal are recommended as helpful online tools that can definitely jumpstart your journey to better health and fitness.