With the abundance of diet plans available to lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks, it can be hard to decide what’s right for you. That’s where I come in! I’ll show you 3 diet plans that will help get you down to your goal weight in no time.
Start a Two-Week Diet
A meal plan for extreme weight loss might do the trick, but it can also put your health at risk. Stay on the safe side and come up with a diet plan that meets your nutritional needs. For example, if you have an active lifestyle and engage in regular exercise, a high-protein diet with moderate amounts of carbs might be the best choice.
In a randomized clinical trial published in Obesity Facts in June 2017, subjects who followed a high-protein diet lost more weight compared to those on a moderate-protein diet plan. Both groups experienced a reduction in blood lipids, insulin levels, blood sugar and waist circumference. The high-protein diet group consumed 1.34 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day, while the other group had a daily protein intake of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight.
According to a review published in the November 2014 edition of Nutrition & Metabolism, high-protein diets may reduce body fat mass and suppress appetite. Fish, poultry, lean meat, soy and other protein-rich foods curb hunger and increase energy expenditure, making it easier to create a calorie deficit. Additionally, they help balance ghrelin, leptin, GLP-1 and other hormones that influence appetite.
Fill up on protein to burn more calories and stay full longer. Lean beef, chicken breast, turkey breast, low-fat cottage cheese, eggs, beans and Greek yogurt are ideal for a two-week diet. Chicken breast, for example, has just 110 calories and a whopping 26 grams of protein per serving (3.9 oz). Another healthy choice is low-fat ground beef, which boasts about 21 grams of protein per serving (3.9 oz), however, with more calories than chicken breast, at 243 calories (but still a reasonable amount).
Adjust your daily carb intake based on how active you are. Feel free to eat more carbs on the days when you hit the gym. Your body will use these nutrients to replenish its glycogen stores and recover from training. Reduce your carb intake on your off training days.
Each gram of protein delivers 4 calories. The same goes for carbohydrates. Fat, on the other hand, contains 9 calories per gram. Estimate your daily calorie intake from protein and carbs, and fill the rest with healthy fats like olive oil, avocado and fatty fish.
HOW THE DIET WORKS
You’ll eat around 1,400 calories a day – a safe amount for healthy weight loss. No food groups are cut out and you can eat everything but in reasonable quantities, with lower amounts of fat and sugar.
The diet is also packed with filling high-fibre foods and lean protein, so you won’t feel hungry and succumb to cravings. Plus, because it’s low in salt and filled with potassium-rich fruit and vegetables, it will also help you get rid of excess fluid and lose that uncomfortable bloated feeling – meaning your dress will zip up that bit more easily.
The plan is perfect if you’re feeling a bit bloated
- Breakfast: Poached egg on one slice of wholemeal toast, no butter, with two grilled tomatoes.
- Lunch: Grilled chicken salad made from mixed leaves, chopped red pepper, cucumber slices, chopped red onion, five cherry tomatoes, one sliced chicken breast and 2tbsp low-fat balsamic dressing. Plus one satsuma.
- Dinner: Veggie chilli made using one tin of kidney beans, red pepper, mushrooms, carrots, one tin of tomatoes. Serve with 100g brown rice.
- Breakfast: Bowl of porridge made from 50g traditional oats and 180ml skimmed milk, sweetened with a little honey. Plus one pear.
- Lunch: Prawn pasta made with two handfuls of wholemeal pasta, with 2tbsp tomato and basil sauce, handful cooked prawns, handful of fresh spinach and 2tsp grated parmesan.
- Dinner: Small lean grilled steak served with roasted red pepper, courgette, and butternut squash.
- Breakfast: Two pancakes made with one egg, 25g wholemeal flour and enough semi-skimmed milk to make a batter, cooked without fat in a non-stick pan. Top with 2tbsp fat-free yoghurt and a handful of berries.
- Lunch: Tuna salad wrap made with wholemeal pitta, 1tsp low-fat mayo, lettuce, tomato and 6oz tinned tuna. Plus one apple and a glass of fruit juice.
- Dinner: Mozzarella cod made with cod fillet baked in foil with basil leaves, one tomato and a matchbox sized piece of cheese, served with mixed steamed veg.
- Breakfast: Smoothie made from semi-skimmed milk and a handful of mixed berries, plus 25g nuts.
- Lunch: Half a tin of tomato and lentil soup with a granary roll, plus one pot of low-fat yoghurt.
- Dinner: Tuna kebabs made with one tuna steak chopped into chunks and alternated on a skewer with red and yellow pepper slices. Grill and serve with steamed broccoli and green beans.
- Sliced apple with 1tbsp peanut butter
- Low-fat fruit yoghurt
- Small handful mixed nuts
- Two oatcakes with half a sliced avocado
- Two chopped carrots with 2tbsp low-fat hummus
- A 150ml glass of red or white wine (once a week)
- Breakfast: Half a can of reduced sugar and salt baked beans, with one slice of wholemeal toast. Plus an apple.
- Lunch: Sushi of three California rolls, cup miso soup, plus two slices of fresh pineapple.
- Dinner: Moroccan lemon chicken made with chicken breast baked in foil with six chopped green olives, one garlic clove, lemon slices and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with oven-roasted vegetables.
You can have a glass of wine once a week on the diet
Greggs encourage people to ‘eat healthier’ by buying ring doughnuts not jam ones
- Breakfast: Bircher-style porridge made with semi-skimmed milk, 50g oats, one grated apple, chopped almonds and mixed berries.
- Lunch: Prawn sandwich made with two slices wholemeal bread and a handful of prawns mixed with natural yoghurt, tomato and salad leaves. Plus one banana.
- Dinner: Honey-glazed pork chop. Grill one chop with 1tsp of honey spread over it, serve with sauteed broccoli, sugar snap peas and green beans.
Oatcakes topped with avocado make for a healthy snack
Experts let slip secrets to dodge diabetes and they include ditching booze and fags
- Breakfast: Two toasted English wholemeal muffins spread with Marmite.
- Lunch: Bowl of chunky veg soup plus an open salmon sandwich made with two slices of wholegrain bread, tinned salmon and 1tsp balsamic vinegar.
- Dinner: Grilled lamb chop with steamed broccoli, peas, carrots and 1tsp mint sauce.
Your Two-Week Clean-Eating Plan
Follow these guidelines for success:
- Mix and match breakfast, lunch, and dinner and add one to three snacks when you’re hungriest. Three meals and two snacks will equal about 1,800 calories per day (500 calories per meal; 150 per snack).
- Create a schedule for your meals and snacks. If you go more than five hours without food, insert a snack to keep your body from getting hungry and from breaking down precious muscle.
- Eat a meal 90 to 120 minutes before your workout. If you can’t get one in, fuel up with a snack 20 to 90 minutes beforehand. If your workout session doesn’t finish around your scheduled meal time, grab a recovery snack like chocolate milk, Greek yogurt, or a protein smoothie to help replenish fluids and provide a balance of nutrients for recovery.
- If you’re still hungry after you finished your allotted daily meals and snacks, drink a cup of tea or other zero-calorie beverage; it may not be hunger but rather boredom, thirst, or another emotional response.
- If you are still hungry for several days on the plan, you may need to add an additional snack into your daily eating regimen.
- Enroll a friend (or two or three!) to follow this two-week clean eating diet with you. It’s always helpful to have someone to discuss accomplishments with and help you up when you’re feeling down. Friends help you stay motivated and positive. Having support is an important part of any diet.
Set Realistic Goals
First of all, make sure you have realistic goals. It took you months to gain that extra weight, so it won’t go away within days. The safe rate of weight loss is one to two pounds per week. To reach this goal, you must create a 3,500- to 7,000-calorie deficit, since one pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that faster weight loss is unsafe, though. There are cases when medical professionals recommend low-calorie diets with quick results. These diet plans have been proven beneficial in obesity treatment. Furthermore, very-low-calorie diets appear to be more effective than gradual programs, according to a study published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology in December 2014.
However, these diet plans are typically recommended in severe cases and require medical supervision. If you’re only slightly overweight, you can slim down without resorting to extremes. Something as simple as cutting out your daily latte can make a big difference.
Decide how much weight you want to lose and then use the 3,500-calorie rule to determine your daily energy intake. Be careful not to eat too few calories or it may hamper your ability to get all the nutrients needed for good health. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute suggests women shouldn’t eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day and men no less than 1,500 calories. Talk to your doctor for specifics.
Make a list of foods you enjoy and eliminate those with a lot of sugar and calories.
Beware that many seemingly healthy foods are packed with sugar, trans fats and chemicals that promote weight gain. Here are some examples:
- Flavored yogurt
- Granola bars
- Protein bars
- Dried fruit
- Store-bought trail mixes
- Breakfast cereals
- Fruit juices
- Store-bought smoothies
- Bran muffins
- Canned soups
- Frozen dinners
- Microwave popcorn
- Baked potato chips
Dried fruits, for instance, are rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. Their sugar content, though, can hamper your progress. A single serving of raisins (1.4 oz) provides 120 calories and 31 grams of carbs, including 29 grams of sugars. One serving of red grapes (2.5 oz), by comparison, has only 50 calories, 13 grams of carbs and 11 grams of sugars.
Top Clean-Eating Dos and Don’ts
Everybody says they eat clean, but you’d be surprised at what passes for a clean diet. Here’s how to stay on track.
DO make time to prep ingredients in advance. Once a week, cook proteins like chicken and beef. Spend about 10 to 15 minutes prepping vegetables either at night or in the morning before heading out (not too far in advance or they can lose nutrition and wilt).
DO make a shopping list organized according to the flow of the supermarket. Most stores start with produce, so begin your list there and continue with the types of foods you encounter as you walk through the aisles. This will make your trip more efficient.
DON’T forget to measure ingredients so you don’t end up with large portions. Even an extra tablespoon or two of salad dressing or oil can add up to hundreds of extra calories. It’s fine to make extra if you’re saving half for later—just don’t overdo it.
DON’T forgo cooking and end up speed-dialing pizza or Chinese food delivery. If you go out for a quick bite, plan it in advance at a restaurant that offers healthy fare.
DO hydrate on water and low-calorie drinks throughout the day. Aim for about 8 to 10 cups per day. (Remember fruits and vegetables do count toward your daily fluids.)
DON’T choose sweet treats just because they are labeled “organic” or “GMO-free”—they are still junk food! If you choose to indulge, build it into your diet and plan for a reasonable portion. (Check the serving size before eating.)
DO get right back on the diet if you fall off the wagon. Everyone eats more than they should every so often. However, you need to brush it off, focus, and stay motivated to continue.
DON’T avoid carbs entirely—you need them to help provide energy for workouts. Just choose the right ones. Have a pre-workout snack about 20 to 90 minutes before exercise, with carb-rich offerings such as ½ cup oatmeal with low-fat milk, 1 brown rice cake topped with 1 tbsp hummus, or ½ peanut butter and banana sandwich.
Clean Cuisine Shopping List
- Avocado, olives
- Lean proteins like eggs, chicken breast, turkey breast, tuna (fillet or chunk light), salmon, pork loin, lean beef, tofu
- Black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, lentils (no salt added)
- Berries, apples, pears, citrus, banana, melon, grapes, lemon
- Veggies and fruits: lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, sweet and russet potatoes
- Whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, whole-wheat (or legume) pasta, buckwheat (soba) noodles, sorghum
- Rolled oats, whole-grain waffles
- 100% whole-grain crackers, wholewheat pita, wholewheat wrap, thinly sliced whole-grain bread, whole-wheat English muffin
- Unsalted dry-roasted peanuts, almonds, pistachios
- Natural peanut or almond butter
- Low-fat milk or almond milk
- Olive oil, nonstick cooking spray, sesame oil
- Balsamic vinaigrette or other oil-based salad dressing
- Nonfat plain Greek yogurt and low-fat cottage cheese
- Cheese like crumbled feta, whole-milk ricotta, part-skim mozzarella, cheddar
- Agave syrup or 100% maple syrup
- Whey or plant-based protein powder
- Granola or muesli
- Salsa, hummus, pesto