7 Week Diet Plan To Lose Weight

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7 week diet plan to lose weight is a straightforward and simple way to lose weight quickly. It focuses on meal prepping and minimizing calorie intake. The diet was created by nutritionists based on the Mediterranean diet in which fish, fruits, whole grains and nuts play an important role.

The 7-week diet plan will take you through a series of steps that gradually remove obstacles to weight loss leaving you with an easy to follow plan plus a set of long term goals to maintain your new figure.

How Much Weight Can You Lose in 7 Weeks?

close view of a person wearing black leggings standing on a home scale on a wooden floor

A healthy seven-week weight-loss goal is 7 to 14 pounds.

The amount of weight you can lose in seven weeks really depends on each individual. Genetics, age, starting weight, nutrition and your amount of physical activity all play a part.

One thing is for sure, though — you have to create a calorie deficit to lose weight.

Keep reading to find out how to do just that, and how to keep the weight off in the long run.

It’s recommended to lose weight slowly. Most people can safely lose about 1 to 2 pounds weekly, which translates to about 7 to 14 pounds in seven weeks, according to obesity medicine and nutrition expert .

How to Lose Weight in 7 Weeks

Unfortunately, there’s no magic drink or pill to get your body to ​safely​ shed unwanted pounds and fat, so you have to put in the work.

And if you have a lot of weight to lose, understand that you won’t be able to hit your goal in seven weeks. But with dedication and consistency, you can lose up to 14 pounds — give or take a few.

1. Safely Cut Calories

Your first step is to figure out how many calories you should be cutting from your daily diet. Use an online calculator like LIVESTRONG.com’s MyPlate app to figure out an appropriate calorie intake target based on factors like your age, sex and current weight.

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You should be taking in fewer calories than you burn daily to start torching fat — about 500 to 1,000 calories fewer — in order to lose those 1 to 2 pounds per week, per the Mayo Clinic. That calorie deficit allows you to burn fat, but it shouldn’t trigger “starvation mode” that could eventually lead to muscle loss.

In order to cut or burn that many additional calories every day, you’ll probably need to rethink your nutrition as well as get a workout plan going.

2. Focus on Nutritious, Unprocessed Foods

Not all calories are created equal, so what’s actually in the calories you’re eating? Because in terms of eating healthfully and for weight loss, it’s all about where your calories are coming from and how those calories affect you metabolically, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

A balanced diet to help you lose unwanted fat and support a healthier body includes a variety of foods from all the food groups, and little to no refined carbs, saturated and trans fats or processed foods.

Watch your portion sizes, too, as too much of any food can hurt your weight loss if you consume more than you burn.

“Stay focused on foods that aren’t processed,” Dr. Stanford says. “I would focus on lean protein, whole grains, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables, since we know that the consumption of processed foods can cause weight gain.”

And just stay away from fad diets — the ones that promise too-good-to-be true results, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Most of those diets don’t offer balanced nutrition and can actually be dangerous. Not to mention that you usually gain back whatever you lose once you stop following the diet.

Warning

Talk to your doctor before changing your nutrition. If you choose a low-calorie diet (fewer than 1,200 daily calories for women or 1,500 daily calories for men), your doctor should monitor your progress to ensure your health and safety.

3. Add Exercise

According to the Department of Health and Human Services’ ​Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans​​,​ adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity weekly, along with at least two days of muscle-strengthening activity to reap maximum health benefits.

Remember that the object is to burn more than you take in, so physical activity can help you reach a calorie deficit. For instance, if you want to cut 700 calories from your daily intake, 250 of those calories can come from working out, and the other 500 can come out of your diet.

And there’s so much you can do! Walking and jogging, swimming, biking, hiking, group fitness classes, strength training, HIIT workouts — the sky is the limit on physical activity. You just have to find what you enjoy and are willing to do long-term.

“Do what your body can do that you enjoy and won’t harm you — activities that you can sustain,” says Dr. Stanford. “If you like dancing or hula-hooping, then you should be doing it. Whatever really brings you joy and excitement that will reduce stress.”

Tip

Each person’s rate of weight loss is different. What works for one person may not work for another. The key is to be patient and consistent.

4. Get Enough Sleep

It may not be the first thing that comes to mind, but getting adequate sleep is important for weight loss. And by adequate, we mean aiming for seven to nine hours of shut-eye a night, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When you don’t spend enough time between the sheets, you may crave more calorie-rich foods, have less willpower around food and have less energy for exercise — all of which can sabotage your weight-loss efforts.

Do you struggle with sleep? Follow this seven-day kickstart plan for better zzzs.

5. Manage Stress

Stress and weight gain are linked, so it’s important to take steps to manage your stress levels on a daily basis. Stress can ruin your motivation to work out and eat healthy, mess with your sleep, slow your metabolism and even prompt your body to store more fat.

To tame stress, follow these tips from the Cleveland Clinic:

  • Get good quality sleep consistently
  • Exercise regularly
  • Take a balanced approach to food
  • Practice relaxation-focused activities like meditation, breathing exercises or yoga
  • Don’t take on extra responsibilities that make you feel overwhelmed
  • Connect with loved ones
  • Find a therapist who can help
Happy young woman sitting at home with pen and paper

How to Maintain Healthy Weight Loss

While losing weight can be challenging for many people, keeping it off is even more difficult. This is why fad diets don’t really work, and healthy eating and exercise should become a part of your lifestyle.

After losing the weight you wanted to lose, whether it be in seven weeks or seven months, John Hopkins Medicine suggests a gradual 200-calorie addition to your diet of healthy, balanced foods. If you still continue to lose weight, additional calories should be introduced until the right balance of calories to maintain your new weight is determined.

Continue to choose healthy food, stay active with activities you enjoy, get enough sleep and reduce stress to help with weight maintenance. And of course, if you need extra support, seek the help of peer/support groups or a medical professional.

7-Week Diet Plan

To be healthy and sustainable, a seven-week diet plan needs to do more than simply restrict your daily caloric intake. It should provide a balance of all the food groups your body needs to obtain essential nutrients – whole grains, lean protein, fruits, vegetables and high-calcium foods like dairy – while being easy enough to follow without strenuous effort. One way to do this, suggests the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to follow a basic template that divides your recommended servings and portions for each meal throughout the day. You won’t need to guess what you’re eating every day for the plan’s seven weeks, and you can be certain to consume enough for proper health without going overboard. Ask your doctor if you need help designing a diet that works for you.

Sample Breakfast Plans

You might plan breakfasts on your seven-week plan to include a 1-ounce serving of grains, 1 cup of low- or nonfat dairy or other calcium-rich food and 1 1/2 ounces of protein. A slice of whole-wheat toast topped with peanut butter and roasted, unsalted sunflower seed kernels paired with a glass of milk or a calcium-fortified plant milk such as almond or soy milk would fulfill these requirements. Other good breakfast grain options could be cooked oatmeal, a whole-wheat bagel or a ready-to-eat cereal that has 3 or more grams of dietary fiber and less than 240 milligrams of sodium and 7 grams of sugar per serving. Steer clear of high-fat breakfast meats like bacon, sausage or ham in favor of poultry-based alternatives.

Sample Lunch Plans

During your seven-week diet, a typical lunch menu could consist of two 1-ounce servings each of protein and grains, 1 cup of vegetables and 1/2-cup serving of dairy. One sample lunch could be a sandwich containing 2 ounces of turkey breast or lean roast beef and reduced-fat cheese with a side salad. Another option might be a pasta salad containing grilled chicken breast or tofu and chopped raw vegetables served with milk. Choose whole grains like whole-wheat bread or whole-grain pasta over refined-grain choices such as white bread, regular pasta and white rice. They contain more nutrients, including fiber, which can aid with weight loss by keeping you feeling fuller longer. If you’re a vegan, strict vegetarian or lactose-intolerant, you can get the calcium you need by substituting fortified plant milk, juice or bread products or including plenty of dark, leafy green vegetables in your diet.

Sample Dinner Plans

For dinners, plan on a balance of all the food groups. Try two 1-ounce servings each of protein and grains and a 1-cup serving each of vegetables, fruits and calcium-rich foods. Serve 2 ounces of grilled salmon with 1 cup of cooked brown rice, steamed vegetables, fresh seasonal fruit and a glass of milk, or have a meal such as two whole-wheat tortillas filled with sauteed pork loin and topped with shredded cheese and your choice of raw or sauteed vegetables. Vegetarians might have a lentil, kale, vegetable and barley stew with a whole-grain roll. Round out the meal with a dessert of fresh fruit. To keep your fat and calorie consumption as low as possible, don’t fry your meats, coat them with breading or eat them with creamy, high-calorie sauces. Instead, pick grilling, roasting, broiling or steaming, and use as few heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats like olive or canola oil as possible.

Sample Snack Plans

Wise snacking can help you achieve success during your diet by helping you stave off hunger while supplying much-needed nutrition. Snacking poorly on chips, cookies, candy, commercial baked goods, fried foods or buttery popcorn, however, can pack on empty calories and inhibit weight loss. Plan for two nutrient-dense, low-calorie snacks each day — one midmorning and another in the late afternoon. Include at least two of the food groups in each snack. For example, your midmorning snack might contain one fruit serving and 1/2 cup of dairy, such as sliced fresh fruit mixed into nonfat, unsweetened yogurt. Your afternoon snack could contain a serving of grains and 1/2 cup of vegetables. Five whole-wheat crackers paired with raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli or celery would be a good choice.

1-2LB A WEEK IS THE HEALTHIEST RATE OF WEIGHT LOSS

Losing 1-2 pounds per week is the most healthy rate of weight loss for most people. Losing more than this amount can cause a variety of health problems, including electrolyte imbalances, constipation, fatigue, and muscle loss. Losing more than 2 pounds per week is also dangerous for some people and can lead to gallstones and muscle loss. The best way to lose weight safely is to follow a diet plan that is safe and effective, and that is one that fits within your lifestyle.

People who wish to lose weight naturally want to do so quickly, but the fact is that it’s better to lose weight gradually – around 1 to 2 pounds per week – than to rush the process. The goal should be to lose weight steadily, but it’s normal to lose more than that when starting a slimming plan. Losing weight at this pace will increase your chances of keeping it off long-term. It’s not about following some fad diet or doing extreme exercise. It’s about establishing healthy eating habits and a regular amount of physical activity.

FAST DIETS

How much weight can I lose in seven weeks depends on several factors including age, gender, and activity level? To figure out how much weight you can safely lose, you can use the National Institutes of Health Body Weight Planner. Rapid weight loss is dangerous and may lead to malnutrition and severe fatigue. Instead, lose only a couple of pounds per week to prevent health risks and to make the most of your seven-week weight loss goal. During this time, it is advisable to add aerobic exercise to your workout program.

However, be aware that it takes time and effort to lose weight. While losing 20-30 pounds in seven weeks may seem impossible, it is possible to do so safely. Remember that the most important factor is your health. If you don’t eat enough, you may experience side effects such as dizziness, insomnia, and fatigue. Losing seven pounds in seven weeks is also difficult for those with high blood pressure and diabetes.

CARB-CUTTING STRATEGY

You can follow a Carb-cutting strategy to lose weight within seven weeks by cutting your carb intake drastically. This method is very effective because it allows you to lower your calorie intake naturally. By limiting your carb intake drastically, your body will start burning stored fat for energy instead of burning carbs. Moreover, cutting your carbs drastically allows you to control the hormone insulin which increases your appetite when you consume carbohydrates.

If you are just starting your weight-loss journey, carb cycling won’t make much difference. It can detract from the big rocks that push you forward. However, if you’re an experienced weightlifter, carb cycling may be very useful. Moreover, some people have metabolic problems that can’t tolerate carbs. They may end up feeling tired and bloated. These people may need to eat low-carb diets for a long time to see any effect.

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