diet

'I need to lose 4kg in two weeks'

Friday, January 20, 2006
Judy Davie

Dear Judy,
I have a very important function to go to in two weeks and really need to lose about 4kg. I know crash dieting is not good for me but can you tell me what the quickest and healthiest way to lose weight is?


You are right; crash dieting is not good for you and while I do not recommend it, if you're determined to lose weight over this short period of time, there are a few things you can do (but I can't guarantee you'll keep the weight off when you stop!).

A diet where you can lose weight quickly in two weeks is The South Beach Diet. With this diet, during the first two weeks all carbohydrate-rich foods are prohibited. As carbohydrates are the body's preferred fuel for energy, without them the body burns stored body fat instead.

While it is absolutely not recommended to do this on an ongoing basis, with discipline it is an effective way to shift weight quickly.

The basic rules are quite simple. Eat five times a day, from the list of allowed foods shown below. Throughout the day drink plenty of water or herbals teas. Decaffeinated coffee and tea is permitted with low fat milk but no added sugar.

Foods to avoid in the first two weeks of The South Beach Diet

  • All baked items (bread, biscuits, cakes, pastry)
  • All grains (rice, wheat, oats, barley, couscous)
  • Pasta and pasta products
  • Potatoes and potato products (chips, French fries, wedges)
  • All fruit (two weeks only)
  • Selected vegetables (beetroot, carrot, corn, green peas, sweet potato, pumpkin, turnips and squash)
  • High fat diary produce (ice-cream, whole milk, full fat cheeses including brie, cheddar, camembert etc)
  • Selected meat (fatty cuts, ribs, chicken/turkey wings and drumsticks, duck, processed meats, honey-baked ham, bacon, liver)
  • Sweetened condiments, eg, tomato, barbecue, sweet chilli sauce

Foods to eat in the first two weeks of The South Beach Diet

  • Choose from 100g lean meat, chicken and turkey breast, boiled ham
  • Eggs
  • Fresh fish and fish canned in brine - Tofu
  • Low fat cheese and low fat dairy (two cups a day)
  • Up to ½ cup legumes or pulses (adzuki beans, black eyed peas, black beans, butter beans, kidney beans, lentils, lime beans, haricot beans etc)
  • Selected vegetables (artichokes, rocket, asparagus, broccoli, bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage, capers, cauliflower, celery, spinach, silverbeet, eggplant, endive, fennel, garlic, green beans, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, mustard greens, okra, onions, parsley, peppers, pickles, radishes, spring onion, seaweed, snow peas, tomato, watercress, zucchini).
  • 1 serve of any of the following nuts each day: 15 almonds, 4 brazil nuts, 15 cashews, 3 tbs flax seeds, 25 hazelnuts, 8 macadamia nuts, 2 tbs peanut butter, 20 peanuts, 1 tbs pine nuts, 30 pistachios, 3 tbs pumpkin seeds, 3 tbs sesame or sunflower seeds, 15 walnuts.
  • ½ tbs of the following oils (canola, olive, corn, flax, grapeseed, safflower, sesame)
  • Other fats (1/3 avocado, 1 tbs no-sugar mayonnaise, 15 olives)
  • Seasonings (pepper, no-added-sugar salsa, lemon and lime juice, horseradish sauce, ½ tbs soy sauce, tamari, ½ tbs miso, stock).

As with any other diet, stepping up the amount of exercise you do is a sure fire way to increase weight loss, and eat early in the evening to allow your food to digest before going to bed.
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