Learn How to Lose Weight in 7 Days (Easy & Effective Hacks) 

Written by Nathan | Updated on 9 November 2021

If you’re going away on vacation in a few days or are trying to lose weight for your next big event, you’ve come to the right place to learn how to lose weight in 7 days! That’s right, with some easy hacks like drinking more water, eating lots of protein, and even changing the size and color of your plates, you can shed some weight in just a week.

Read on to find out how to start losing weight in the next week with just a few simple changes.

Can I Really Lose Weight in 7 Days?

Yes, it’s truly possible to shed a few pounds in less than a week by simply cutting down on carbs or salt, but this is more so a quick way to retain less water and is a last-minute fix rather than a sustainable way of living. While you may not shed 10 pounds of fat in 7 days, you can lose 5+ pounds with the two hacks mentioned, as some more sustainable methods below. 

For long-lasting and quick weight loss, you need to be in a calorie deficit. Or in other terms, you need to burn more calories than you consume. 

It’s pretty easy to figure out how many calories you burn daily by using a calculator found online. Or eat the same amount of calories for a week or two, weigh yourself, and adjust calorie consumption depending on if you gained, lost, or maintained weight. 

A deficit of 500 calories is a good starting point for quick weight loss, but any deficit will work; it just depends on your goals and time frames. At a 500 calorie deficit, this will allow you to lose approximately a pound every week, which is within a healthy weight loss range. To lose more, you’ll need to consume less, but it may be unhealthy in the long term.

Suppose you’re a sedentary 5’4″ woman who weighs 150 lbs. According to www.calculator.net, you’ll need 1,692 calories per day to maintain your weight. To lose weight, you’ll need to consume 1,200 calories a day – around 500 less than you need.

If you exercise 4-5 times every week, though, you’ll need around 2000 to maintain the weight or about 1,500 a day to lose weight fast. So, there are two paths to quick weight loss – proper nutrition and adequate exercise.

How to Lose Weight in 7 Days Through Conscious Eating

Nutrition is vital for sustainable weight loss – and calories aren’t the only thing that matters. By choosing the right foods and fixing dietary habits, you can quickly lose weight in 7 days and even more afterward! 

Eat More Protein

Increasing protein intake can help you feel satiated with less food and fight hunger. This macronutrient has a powerful effect on hunger management hormones like ghrelin and GLP-1,[1], and if you increase your protein intake from 15% to 30%, you’ll consume an average of 441 fewer calories a day. [2] Over 12 weeks, this comes out to a loss of 11 lbs!

Make sure to have a protein-heavy breakfast since it can help you opt for a smaller lunch and consume fewer calories throughout the day. A breakfast of eggs or quinoa will satiate you far more than bread and butter.

Eggs, chicken breasts, Greek yogurt, lentils, and fish are healthy, versatile protein sources. Plus, protein plays a significant role in maintaining and building muscle

Curb Your Carbs

When you consume refined carbohydrates like white rice, bread, and pasta, they’re converted to glucose much more quickly than other nutrients. This conversion causes a spike in insulin, making it more likely for your body to store energy as fat, especially if they’re short-chain carbs like sugar and you’re not exercising before or after. 

Carbs get a bad rap with the whole keto trend, but carbs are an important part of most diets and in general, avoid refined or processed carbs at all costs. 

Oh, and carbs will make you look “fuller” since they store or retain water. Have you ever wondered why you weigh so much the next day after having a carb-heavy meal at Olive Garden? 

A diet high in protein and low in refined carbs promotes muscle gain and fat loss. Some people follow an extremely high protein or ketogenic diet that constitutes 80% of their daily nutrient intake, but this isn’t necessary for weight loss – more protein and decreasing dirty carbs will work either way.

Swapping refined carbohydrates and sugary foods for unrefined is a good idea. Switch from white rice and bread to brown, sugary snacks to fruits, soda to fruit-infused water, buttered toast to oats, and fruit juice to naturally sweetened smoothies – it’s good for your health and can keep you full for longer!

Up Your Fiber

Fiber can increase satiation or feelings of fullness because the small intestine can’t digest it, and it keeps blood sugar controlled. Have a lot of fruits and vegetables – they’re excellent sources of fiber, besides whole-grain bread, oats, beans, pulses, and nuts.

In addition, fiber can help facilitate proper bowel movements for those who go days without going #2. Increased fiber intake alone can help lose weight fast and set them up for a healthier digestive tract. 

Practice Proper Portioning

Portion control is an intuitive way to control your diet and how much you consume. If you regularly go out to restaurants and fast-food places, you’re likely eating much more than your body needs since most serve huge portions of food. Doubling the size of an appetizer can increase its calories by 30%![3]

Even at home, you might be overeating if you use large plates and other utensils. Brian Wanswick, the author of Mindless Eating, says that you can instantly reduce your portion sizes by using smaller dishes, cups, and bowls. [4]

Reducing your diet portion sizes by 10-20% can facilitate weight loss. After all, a larger plate can make 200 grams of rice look like very little, while a smaller utensil can trick your brain into seeing it as more satisfying.

Watch Liquid Calories

Liquid calories in the form of sodas, fruit juices, coffees, milkshakes, sweet teas, etc., aren’t low-calorie and can add up quite quickly. Even alcohol can sabotage your weight loss efforts – just 12 ounces of beer contains 103 calories!

Drinks can be insidious but unnoticed villains – they don’t make you feel full the way food does. Staying away from beverages, especially those with added sugar, is the best thing to do. Instead of sweetened tea, try drinking naturally sweet herbal teas. Swap your Starbucks rainbow frappe with a black coffee, too – it has virtually no calories, and you can still reap the benefits of caffeine.

The best alternative to sodas, of course, is water! If that’s too boring, drink some fruit-infused water, zero sugar Gatorades, or smoothie instead.

Try Mindful Eating

Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention and immersing yourself in your surroundings. Mindful eating, therefore, is eating food slowly and without distractions. People who are distracted during meals can end up eating 10% more than they would otherwise. [5]

To be mindful, don’t watch TV or YouTube while at the table – don’t have any electronic distractions at all. Plan to eat at a table instead of in your car or while walking between meetings at work. Even checking your food more thoroughly can be a form of mindfulness. You may try to cook different recipes to make eating more an experience than just a mindless chore.

Attempt Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is implementing fasting and eating periods at regular intervals. The most common method of intermittent fasting is the 16:8 method – fasting for 16 hours of the day and eating like normal within an 8-hour window.

Whether intermittent fasting works for you depends entirely on your personal preferences. Studies show that up to 24 weeks of this practice leads to weight loss in overweight people,[6] but it’s not the only way to lose weight. Being mindful of your diet in general works for everyone.

A 1-Day Sample Diet Plan

This diet plan is by no means all-encompassing or a reply to everyone’s dietary needs, but it’ll give you a good idea of varied meals throughout the week while keeping yourself full.

  • A High-Protein Breakfast – Boiled eggs and avocado toast with some veggies on the side can make for a healthy, quick, and filling breakfast. You can also try a bowl of oats with unsweetened soy milk with a banana or apple on the side. Drizzle some honey and cinnamon on top to give it a naturally sweet kick.
  • If you like drinking something with breakfast, a protein smoothie is a healthy alternative. Just pour a scoop of chocolate protein powder into a blender and blend it with a banana, honey, and unsweetened milk for a quick drink.
  • A Balanced Lunch – For your lunch plan, a big salad is a great idea. Fill a bowl with your favorite leafy greens and other veggies, and throw in a small portion of protein like chicken or fish. Drizzle some olive oil (high in good fats) and lemon on top for some flavor and dig in.
  • For cold days, a healthy homemade soup might be better for your soul. Add some tomato with a mini whole-wheat pita sandwich and thinly sliced roast beef. You can also grab a quarter-cup of hummus as a dip.
  • A Filling Dinner – For dinner, give yourself a more considerable portion of lean protein along with a salad with more exciting textures like beetroot or avocado. You can also steam 100-200 g of brown rice with grilled chicken or salmon or replace the rice with whole-wheat pasta. 
  • Any combination of protein and filling carbs in your diet will work. Make sure not to leave the table hungry to avoid giving in to midnight snack cravings. Speaking of snacks…
  • Some Satisfying Snacks – Though you shouldn’t constantly snack throughout the day, always keeping some healthy snacks on you will help you say no to that slice of cake or bag of chips. A banana is an excellent on-the-run snack, as is any other fruit.
  • Plan to drink black coffee or herbal – it’ll aid you in holding off on the soda and sugar cravings. If you need something more filling, take out some time to make a fruit salad and enjoy!

Do I Need to Exercise for Quick Weight Loss?

Not necessarily if you want to shed water weight through cutting out carbs and salt, but this is a quick fix, and results will vary. So if you genuinely want to look your best seven days from now, it’s best to incorporate some exercise. Or, at minimum, increasing your daily step count. 

Any exercise helps! Some ways to get up and running include:

  • Walking – You should strive to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. To start, though, begin walking 1,000-2,000 steps on the first day, 3,000-4,000 the next, and so on. Try walking to work or the grocery store! Walking gradually increases stamina and is excellent for cardiovascular health, too.
  • Running – Running has the same benefits as walking but burns a lot more calories. If you’re already reasonably fit, you can try a beginner’s running program like Couch to 5K. Just make sure to get good running shoes to steer clear of injuries!
  • Weight-Lifting – Lifting weights promotes muscle growth, especially with a diet high in protein. Don’t worry about looking “too bulky” – gaining muscle tones your body, and lifting heavy not only burns calories while you’re lifting but facilitates fat loss. Even if you lift light, it’s a good idea to incorporate weights into your workout routine.
  • HIIT – People who do HIIT workouts can burn up to 28.5% more fat than people practicing regular moderately intense exercise. [7] In a study where one group of participants did a 10-minute HIIT workout while the other group did 50 minutes of continuous training, both showed the same level of oxygen uptake. [9] 
  • High-intensity interval training or HIIT pushes your body to its limits within a short amount of time. During HIIT workouts, a person’s heart rate reached 80% of its maximum capacity,[8] so avoid them if you have a heart condition or other chronic illnesses. If you’re healthy, though, you should attempt a HIIT workout! 

The best way to create a workout routine is to combine multiple types of exercises – lift some weights on one day, do cardio or HIIT the next, and walk at least 10,000 steps a day, and you’re well on your way to creating a healthier you.

General Weight Loss Tips

Besides proper nutrition and exercise, cultivating better lifestyle habits can aid in healthy and quick weight loss. These weight loss tips will help you lose weight and feel healthier and more refreshed in general.

Don’t try to lose 20 lbs in one week – it’s unlikely to happen, and if it does, it’s undoubtedly not ideal! Set a realistic goal like 1-3 lbs every week. Most people only lose a pound every week, so losing more than 2lbs a week is rare unless the individual is significantly overweight or loses water weight. 

Even if you’re trying to shed belly fat and look fit for a particular event, settle for a realistic 2-4 lbs. This amount of loss should be noticeable, make you feel accomplished, and provide you with a stable foundation to lose weight in the future. 

Get Enough Sleep and Manage Your Stress

Sleep deprivation increases the levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and decreases leptin, the satiety hormone, cursing you with uncontrollable hunger pangs. Besides this, not getting enough sleep also makes you crave unhealthier, more calorie-dense foods!

Even if your sleep is just poor quality, it can slow down your metabolism or the rate at which your body converts calories to energy, leading to higher fat storage. [10] It even increases insulin and cortisol production, promoting fat storage. [11] Make sure to get at least 7-8 hours of deep sleep every night.

On top of sleep, stress releases hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which typically decrease appetite. Under constant pressure, though, cortisol can remain in the bloodstream for a long time. This persistence of cortisol causes an increase in hunger pangs and, if you’re chronically stressed, can drive you to stress-eat. [12]

8-week stress management programs can significantly decrease BMI in overweight and obese children and adolescents. [13] Doing yoga, meditating, practicing breathing techniques, spending time in nature, and just taking a break once in a while are all effective methods of managing stress.

Skip Diet Foods, Drink More Water

Though diet options like diet sodas and other zero-calorie foods may seem like the obvious alternative to their sugary, high-calorie counterparts, they’re full of artificial sugars like sucralose and aspartame.

Over 30 years of studies have found no evidence that diet drinks and foods prevent weight gain. [14] Since they’re artificially sweet, they still trigger the sweet receptors in the brain, so there’s a high chance they may still make people crave sugary foods and make it harder to follow a proper diet.

Though it may sound illogical, 60% of the time, we respond to thirst by eating instead of drinking![15] The same part of the brain controls hunger and thirst, but most people aren’t very in tune with their bodies.

While chugging water, in general, can help you feel full, drinking it before and after meals is particularly effective. Drinking half a liter of water 30 minutes before lunch or dinner reduces hunger, and participants who drink it before meals lose 44% more weight than those who don’t. [16]

Water also serves as an alternative for calorie-rich sodas and drinks – especially fruit-infused water!

Track Your Calories

Most people overestimate how much they burn while exercising and underestimate how much they eat. Many neglect to count liquid and snack calories, leading to confusion about why they don’t seem to be losing weight despite “doing everything right”.

Tracking your calories and workouts can eliminate this problem. Multiple health apps, like MyFitnessPal, are available on both Android and iOS. Inputting the food you eat takes less than five minutes out of your day and can help you hold yourself accountable.

Studies show a positive correlation between tracking food intake and weight loss. [17] Even something as simple as a pedometer to track how many calories you burn while walking can help. If nothing else, limiting portions is a simpler alternative, although it’s definitively less empirical. 

Curb Cravings and Reduce Water Retention

Most fast food goes heavy on salt, making you retain more water. Skip out on sodium-heavy food and have more potassium-rich things like bananas and cut out alcohol to drop the water weight, i.e., water that builds up in and is retained by your body, making you look puffy and bloated.

Clearing food from your workspace or counters can keep them out of sight and out of mind to ultimately curb the desire to eat food when you see it. If you keep candy, chips, or other snacks at your work desk, hide them away!

Imagine eating berries or nuts if you want to eat while you’re working, studying, etc. If you’re not hungry enough to eat a whole apple and enjoy it, you’re not hungry – just bored. Drink some water and carry on.

Eat at Home and Pay Attention to Colors (Foods & Dishes)

Try to cook your food and eat at home as much as possible. Not only is home-cooked food more filling, but cooking allows you to consume more mindfully and eat a variety of foods. It’s common to hear that you should eat the rainbow, and this will always ring true due to the unique vitamins and nutrients found in plants of different colors. 

Ending on a tip that may sound silly – but it’s not! According to a Cornell University study, people tend to eat more if the color of their food matches the color of their plates, like eating white rice from a white plate. [18]

Eating from high-contrast plates like red if you’re eating white-colored food to facilitate weight loss. Eating from red plates might reduce your food intake since people associate red with warnings and stop signs. [19]

Is it Risky to Lose a Lot of Weight in 7 Days?

The most likely outcome of trying to lose too much too fast is you’ll likely gain it back as soon as you go back to your regular eating habits. It isn’t possible to lose weight fast without drastically changes, which is more like a short term gimmick, rather than a sustainable lifestyle change for weight loss and health that’ll stay long-term.

You might also lose more muscle mass, making you weaker and less toned. In a study of 42 people, the group which lost weight with a daily 1,000-1,500 calorie deficit over five weeks lost more muscle mass and less body fat than the other group, which lost weight with a 500-750 calorie deficit over 15 weeks. [20]

While weight loss through a calorie deficit can lower your resting metabolic rate, it’s mainly a risk with rapid weight loss or too large of a caloric deficit. This reduction means you’ll burn fewer calories while at rest, which is counter-intuitive to your weight loss goals.

More than anything, extreme quick weight loss can deprive your body of the nutrients it needs to remain healthy, prevent you from ever feeling full, and land you in a loop of yo-yo dieting. 

So, know your motivation for weight loss and be kind to yourself. Also, if you suffer from any medical conditions, be sure to consult your doctor before starting any diet or exercise routine. Ultimately, it’s possible to learn how to lose weight in 7 days, but it’s more important to see it as a stepping stone to a fulfilling and lifelong fitness journey. 

References

[1] Lejeune, M. P., Westerterp, K. R., Adam, T. C., Luscombe-Marsh, N. D., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2006). Ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 concentrations, 24-h satiety, and energy and substrate metabolism during a high-protein diet and measured in a respiration chamber. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 83(1), 89–94. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16400055/

[2] Weigle, D. S., Breen, P. A., Matthys, C. C., Callahan, H. S., Meeuws, K. E., Burden, V. R., & Purnell, J. Q. (2005). A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 82(1), 41–48. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16002798/

[3] Rolls, B. J., Morris, E. L., & Roe, L. S. (2002). Portion size of food affects energy intake in normal-weight and overweight men and women. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 76(6), 1207–1213. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12450884/

[4] Wansink, B. (2011). Mindless eating. Hay House UK Ltd. 

[5] Robinson, E., Aveyard, P., Daley, A., Jolly, K., Lewis, A., Lycett, D., & Higgs, S. (2013). Eating attentively: a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of food intake memory and awareness on eating. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 97(4), 728–742. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23446890/

[6] Harvie, M. N., Pegington, M., Mattson, M. P., Frystyk, J., Dillon, B., Evans, G., Cuzick, J., Jebb, S. A., Martin, B., Cutler, R. G., Son, T. G., Maudsley, S., Carlson, O. D., Egan, J. M., Flyvbjerg, A., & Howell, A. (2011). The effects of intermittent or continuous energy restriction on weight loss and metabolic disease risk markers: a randomized trial in young overweight women. International journal of obesity (2005), 35(5), 714–727. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3017674/

[7] Ives, L. (2019, February 16). Short bursts of intense exercise ‘better for weight loss’. BBC News. Retrieved November 2, 2021, from https://www.bbc.com/news/health-47242940

[8] Weston, K. S., Wisløff, U., & Coombes, J. S. (2013). High-intensity interval training in patients with lifestyle-induced cardiometabolic disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 48(16), 1227–1234. https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/48/16/1227

[9] Gillen, J. B., Martin, B. J., MacInnis, M. J., Skelly, L. E., Tarnopolsky, M. A., & Gibala, M. J. (2016). Twelve weeks of sprint interval training improves indices of cardiometabolic health similar to traditional endurance training despite a five-fold lower exercise volume and Time Commitment. PLOS ONE, 11(4). https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154075

[10] Killick, R., Banks, S., & Liu, P. Y. (2012). Implications of sleep restriction and recovery on metabolic outcomes. The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism, 97(11), 3876–3890. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5393445/

[11] Wright, K. P., Jr, Drake, A. L., Frey, D. J., Fleshner, M., Desouza, C. A., Gronfier, C., & Czeisler, C. A. (2015). Influence of sleep deprivation and circadian misalignment on cortisol, inflammatory markers, and cytokine balance. Brain, behavior, and immunity, 47, 24–34. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5401766/

[12] Baudrand, R., & Vaidya, A. (2015). Cortisol dysregulation in obesity-related metabolic disorders. Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity, 22(3), 143–149. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517681/

[13] Stavrou, S., Nicolaides, N. C., Papageorgiou, I., Papadopoulou, P., Terzioglou, E., Chrousos, G. P., Darviri, C., & Charmandari, E. (2016). The effectiveness of a stress-management intervention program in the management of overweight and obesity in childhood and adolescence. Journal of molecular biochemistry, 5(2), 63–70. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4996635/

[14] Borges, M. C., Louzada, M. L., de Sá, T. H., Laverty, A. A., Parra, D. C., Garzillo, J. M., Monteiro, C. A., & Millett, C. (2017). Artificially sweetened beverages and the response to the Global Obesity Crisis. PLOS Medicine, 14(1). https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002195

[15] McKiernan, F., Houchins, J. A., & Mattes, R. D. (2008). Relationships between human thirst, hunger, drinking, and feeding. Physiology & behavior, 94(5), 700–708. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2467458/

[16] Dennis, E. A., Dengo, A. L., Comber, D. L., Flack, K. D., Savla, J., Davy, K. P., & Davy, B. M. (2010). Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 18(2), 300–307. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19661958/

[17] Burke, L. E., Wang, J., & Sevick, M. A. (2011). Self-monitoring in weight loss: a systematic review of the literature. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 111(1), 92–102. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3268700/

[18] Van Ittersum, K., & Wansink, B. (2012). Plate Size and Color Suggestibility: The Delboeuf Illusion’s Bias on Serving and Eating Behavior. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(2), 215–228. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662615?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents

[19] Genschow, O., Reutner, L., & Wänke, M. (2012). The color red reduces snack food and soft drink intake. Appetite, 58(2), 699–702. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22245725/

[20] Ashtary-Larky, D., Ghanavati, M., Lamuchi-Deli, N., Payami, S. A., Alavi-Rad, S., Boustaninejad, M., Afrisham, R., Abbasnezhad, A., & Alipour, M. (2017). Rapid Weight Loss vs. Slow Weight Loss: Which is More Effective on Body Composition and Metabolic Risk Factors?. International journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 15(3), e13249. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5702468/

About the Author

Nathan

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.