So you want to lose 12 pounds and still eat your donuts?
First off, I have to tell you the truth. This is possible… but only for a short period of time. If you want to drop up to 12 pounds for a weekend at the beach or a sports weigh-in, this is for you. It will ONLY work short-term. As a personal trainer, my goal is to spread fitness knowledge, not skew it. You will minimize your sodium intake toward the end to minimize water retention. It is a low-carb diet, so you will deplete your glycogen stores (your body stores carbohydrate in your muscles in the form of glycogen). You will also limit your water intake in the final days.
You will lose up to 12 pounds of weight, not 12 pounds of fat. A lot of that weight will be water and glycogen. The good news: you will lose 4 or 5 pounds of actual fat in the process if you followed this 12-day program perfectly and let me tell ya, 5 pounds of fat is no joke.
I will explain at the end of this article how you can continue to eat donuts daily and still keep the weight off, but that just won’t happen in 12 days.
There are metabolic differences between men and women.
The average male burns maybe 2200-2400 calories daily. The average female burns about 1600-1800 calories daily. These numbers vary GREATLY depending on your activity level; just look at Michael Phelps’ 12,000 calorie daily diet. We’re talking about the average working class male or female.
Now, in order to lose weight, you need to be eating fewer calories than you are burning. There are 3500 calories in a pound of fat. This diet will help you lose up to 4 or 5 pounds of actual fat given the number of calories you are consuming. The best part: that weight stays off as long as you don’t binge on bad foods afterward. We’ll manipulate your carbohydrate, water, and sodium intake in order to get the final 7 or 8 pounds for the short-term.
Now: The Donuts.
Remember how I said that you need to burn more calories than you consume in order to lose weight? That is literally the only requirement you need to meet in order to lose fat. It’s been proven time and again in science journals and studies. It’s cool, because once you know this, you realize you can fit in some of your favorite junk foods on occasion (though I don’t suggest making this a norm).
What I do suggest is fitting some junk food in if you’re really craving it. Why? Because I’d rather have you squeeze a donut in than break down and binge on 5 or 6 of them. One donut won’t throw you off track. Half a dozen will. Minimize your small junk food treat to once a day though.
The reason I say Krispy Kreme donuts is because a single glazed Krispy Kreme donut contains only 200 calories. If you’re not a fan of Krispy Kreme glazed donuts, any tasty 200 calorie snack will do.
1 Krispy Kreme Donut
8 oz Skim Milk
2 Slices Bacon
6-10 oz Chicken OR Pork Chop OR Fish (or any lean meat)
6-10 oz Broccoli OR Mushrooms OR Zucchini (or any cruciferous vegetable)
4-8 oz Strawberries OR Blackberries OR Raspberries (any seeded berry)
*Ladies, please follow the low end of the ranges. Guys, stick to the high end.
You’ll start your day off with your donut (or any other tasty treat) and some coffee for energy. If you don’t drink coffee, skip it. The milk perfectly complements your donut and gets you some high quality protein as well. Dairy free? Almond milk will do.
For lunch, you’re going to eat some bacon, eggs, and avocado. The extra fat in this meal will curb your hunger and give you that extra energy kick you’ll need on this low-calorie diet. Make sure you drain the excess grease from the bacon though. The extra calories will otherwise throw off your results.
For dinner, you’re going to have a hefty portion of grilled or baked lean meat, complemented with a hefty portion of cruciferous veggies to help keep you full.
Your dessert will be berries: sweet, but healthy and low-calorie. Depending on your schedule, you can have this as a snack at any time during the day. Current studies show that meal timing has little to no effect on your body composition at the end of the day. Feel free to shift this snack to whenever you choose.
Manipulating the Water Weight
For the first 9 days, feel free to salt and season your eggs, meat, and veggies however you want. Drink at least a gallon of water daily to flush out your system. On the last 3 days, refrain from salting anything. Days 10 and 11, restrict your water intake to half a gallon. On the final day, only drink one 16.9 oz bottle worth of water and cut out the bacon – too much sodium.
By manipulating your sodium and water intake in this way, you will flush your system of excess water weight and lose quite a bit of weight in the process. Remember this is NOT fat and will only stay off in the short-term.
The Icing on the Donut
In order to get that full 12 pounds, I suggest going on a 30-60 minute brisk walk every day. This will increase your daily calorie burn by 200-400 calories. Over the course of 12 days, that’s 2400 to 4800 calories. Remember 3500 calories is a pound of fat. You could even walk more. Any extra distance you walk will just be more pounds lost, given you do not increase your food intake.
No cheating on the diet folks. A single bad day will throw off your results, even if you’re just accepting a piece of candy at work. Follow this religiously and you will see results. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and buy yourself some donuts.
The Long-Term Solution
If you’re really looking to transform your body long term and keep the weight off, you have to continue eating in a calorie deficit. The diet stated above is pretty extreme and not the most sustainable, so I’d suggest increasing the daily calories so that it is easier to stick to. If you saw good results following the 12-day plan and found it easy to stick to, then STICK TO IT. Weight loss is all about finding what works for you.
As long as you are eating in a calorie deficit, you will lose weight. It doesn’t matter if it’s donuts or broccoli. Broccoli will obviously keep you more full though and it’s heart healthy – see why broccoli would be the smarter decision?
First, you’ll have to figure out how many calories you can eat daily without gaining or losing weight. The only practical way to do this is by trial and error. Just consume the same number of calories for a week and if you maintain weight, you’ve found your maintenance calories. If you gain weight, drop the calories and try again. If you lose weight, increase the calories and try again.
Once you know your maintenance calories, you can eat 500 calories fewer than that number daily in order to lose 1 pound per week. You could even eat 1000 calories fewer than that number daily in order to lose 2 pounds per week.
In my experience personal training, most people go wrong on cheat day. If you have a cheat day and can eat a good amount of food, you can easily consume enough calories to pack on the entire pound or two you lost during the week. My suggestion to prevent this is to have just one Cheat Meal every week so that you successfully lose weight.
Now that you know how weight loss works, go achieve your goals!
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