OK, if you really need to lose some weight quickly, and only have 7 days to lose weight, then there are a few options which we discuss below. Firstly we provide a simple daily diet plan for you to follow and then you will find a weekly fitness and strength training schedule that you can do.
A weight loss plan that aims to lose around 2 pounds per week is generally safe and reliable, anything more than this enters the realms of fad and crash diets. But, if you really only have one week to lose some extra body fat, what is the best way? Here are our tips to help you to get fitter and lose some weight in 7 days. If you want to make a change in a week then you have to be prepared to exercise hard and follow the diet. Really you need to make this workout a permanent part of your new and improved lifestyle!
If you do not feel confident doing this alone then you will benefit from our personalized weight loss plan - we will create a customized plan for you and then guide you over the next 6 months.
Body Fat Reduction Plan
To lose body fat as quickly and safely as possible you must eat a very lean diet and also exercise. Failure to follow the plan will result in failure to lose body fat. You will feel hungry and your muscles will ache – do not expect quick gains with no pain!
If done correctly this plan will start to build lean muscle and improve fitness while also burning fat. Do not expect to lose weight extremely rapidly though. You will hopefully be gaining muscle and losing fat, so net weight loss may be zero in the short term. But you will be in a better shape, and in a better position to carry on losing weight in a healthy and sustained fashion.
7 Day Fitness Plan
If you have not exercised in a while you may find this difficult, but you must do it if you wish to burn of fat in just 7 days. Always stretch afterwards.
Remember, you are not exercising specifically to burn off fat. You are exercising to increase your daily calorie deficit (burning more energy) and also increase your metabolism (building muscle).
Light Cardio: In the morning perform a 30-45 minute light cardio session to raise metabolism. This can be a brisk walk, jogging or a swim for example.
Weight training exercises: Squats, Calf Raises, Push ups, Shoulder Press and Dips. 3 sets of 8 exercises for each. Increase the weight if too easy, decrease if you struggle to complete 8 repetitions. See our weight training articles for more advice on building strength, with workouts, exercises and methods explained.
Diet: Breakfast should either be oats or wholemeal toast and eggs. Lunch is soup (no bread). Dinner a salad with protein (egg, chicken or fish).
Interval Training day: 20 minutes intensive interval training. 30 second sprint followed by 90 second recovery. Ten 2 minute intervals with 10 sprints. You can do this with any exercise – running, swimming, elliptical trainer, cycling, skipping etc. Work as hard as possible. See the Quick Intensive Cross Training Workout to learn how to train properly.
Diet: Same as Monday.
Longer Cardio Day: Today you need to do one longer cardio session. This can be jogging, cycling, rowing, brisk walking, elliptical etc. However, you must exercise for 60 minutes today.
Diet: Today you need to limit calories as much as possible, but do eat some carbohydrate an hour before exercising and again afterwards. This should be a small snack, such as 1 banana, 1 slice of brown bread or a couple of oranges.
Cardio Session: A morning cardio session of around 30 minutes. Steady exercise to get the body moving and burning fat.
Weight training exercises: Deadlifts, Pull Ups, Curls, Single Arm Dumbbell Rows. 3 sets of 8 exercises for each.
Diet: Lots of proteins to help muscle recovery and less carbohydrates, so eat just eggs for breakfast, then a small salad with plenty of chicken, pork, beef or fish for lunch. All portions should be small.
Cardio: Longer, steady cardio with 2 sprints at the end. So at least 30 minutes of jogging with a 1 minute sprint (long sprint, around 400m), then a recovery of 3-5 minutes, then another sprint before the final recovery jog. In total you should be exercising for around 40-45 minutes. Stretch afterwards. Read these running tips from a top trainer.
Diet: Similar to Wednesday – fewer calories to aid fat reduction.
Core Training: Calisthenics, Yoga, Dynamic Stretching, crunches. Perform crunches to failure, aim to do 100. Aim to exercise for at least 45 minutes. Alternate between upper body and lower body exercises. If in doubt jog on the spot until you decide what to do next. This helps to teach you to take control of your fitness sessions. Empower yourself!
Diet: As Monday.
Activity day: Sunday is a good time to get active with friends and family, so a long walk or a trip to the park are good choices.
Diet: Keep your meals small and lean, high in protein. If you are having roast dinner you can treat yourself to the beef, broccoli and carrots, but nothing else – and have a small portion!
You obviously do not need to exercise in this exact order or on these days, this is to provide you with a guide. You may want to focus more on weight training, circuit training or yoga for example, so switch some days around. But this is the ideal level of activity and type of weekly exercise routine that you need to do to start getting really fit and losing weight.
It really does help a lot if you can exercise for at least 45 minutes every single day. Ideally some days you should exercise more. Do not let anyone (other than your doctor) tell you that this is too much exercise, it is not. The human body is designed to move, the muscles need to work to be healthy.
Exercise More to Burn More Fat
If you can do more, then do more, but do not risk injury, and remember that you are on a calorie restricted diet so your energy levels will be lower. Do not feel tempted to reduce calories further as you risk going into starvation mode and you will burn less fat and risk overtraining. The best time to exercise intensively is around 45 minutes after your lunch, you should have most energy at this time. For walking, jogging and running you can exercise the first thing in the morning.
The cardio in the morning helps to raise your metabolism before the weight training in the afternoon. This maximizes fat burning by raising your metabolism throughout the day. Consume only low GI carbohydrates to ensure that you have a steady supply of sugar for energy and do not risk an insulin rush (which causes fat accumulation).
Although it is impossible to lose a lot of weight in just one week, if you start right with daily exercise and daily dieting then you can start to make some big changes. Exercise is vital for healthy weight loss and makes weight loss so much easier. If you have any questions ask below.
Really losing body fat should be a long-term goal, and we discuss how that is done in more detail in How to Lose Belly Fat and Get a Flat Stomach.
A Typical Daily Diet Plan
Note that you should only eat one of each meal option per day. The rest of the day you can drink water. Keep portions small. You should be eating no more than 1000 calories a day. Remember, this is for 1 week only. Long term dieting of this type is not healthy.
- Breakfast: 2 eggs on 1 thin slice of whole grain toast / a banana with yogurt / small bowl of muesli with milk / 3 egg omelette with ham
- Lunch: Small green leafy salad with smoked mackerel / chicken with fresh vegetables / fish with salad /meat and vegetable stew
- Dinner: Tomato soup / other thin soup / roasted chicken / mackerel fillets
Key tip: Keep portions small. You can eat stews and salads, but use a small plate and eat slowly and thoughtfully.
Alternative 1 Day Meal Plan
This is a healthy meal plan with some additional calories so that you can start working harder on the fitness and still fuel your muscles. The most common reasons people give for not eating healthy food are:
- “I do not know how to make healthy food, it is too complicated”
- “I do not have time to make healthy food”
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but this does not mean that you must still eat like a King if you are wanting to lose weight. Here is a healthy breakfast recipe:
- 3 boiled eggs
- 1 slice of wholemeal bread, toasted
Boil the eggs for 4 minutes and eat with a single slice (or no bread at all if you want to lose weight quicker).
Put some wholegrain pasta on the boil. While this is boiling pout a tin of chopped tomatoes, or passata, into a saucepan. Add some salt, pepper, mixed herbs and a little spice of your choosing. Let that simmer while the pasta is cooking.
Pop some meat balls on a medium grill. In approximately 12 minutes you have a delicious, freshly prepared, meal of pasta and meatballs in tomato sauce. This is healthy, full of energy and protein.
If you are working out then you may need a little extra in the evening. Make a salad using mixed lettuce, cucumber, rocket and sliced fresh peppers. Mixed in a tin of tuna fish and drizzle in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, toss and serve.
You can add any other salad items you like. If you hard boil some extra eggs at breakfast time, you can add these to the salad, with some capers and add some cheese, and you have a healthy, tasty fish salad, full of proteins and nutritious carbohydrates.
Some alternative diet options are provided below in the fitness plan itself (see above).
Typical Weight Loss Mistakes
Every year people make the decision to lose weight but then go about it the wrong way. There is so much bad information on the Internet nowadays that it is hard to know what is good advice and what is bad.
Too often people say “I have tried everything to lose weight, but nothing works” when really they mean “I have done 50 crunches and bought some low fat energy bars and I am still overweight“. To avoid you falling into the same trap, here are the most common ways to fail at losing weight.
Ever since Beyonce Knowles mentioned that she went on the Lemonade Diet / Maple Syrup (which is actually just a fast) other people have wanted to try it too. There are several reasons not to do this diet:
- It is unhealthy.
- You will put the weight back on again after the starvation process has finished, and maybe more weight than you lost.
- It is unpleasant!
- It does not teach you how to manage your weight.
Only Doing Sit Ups or Crunches
Many people still think that performing exercises like sit ups and crunches will help them to lose weight. This is simply not true, it has never worked, and never will.
Firstly, sit-ups are not good for your back, and if you are overweight and do not have strong abdominals, you are even more likely to have an injury. Crunches are much better for strengthening the abdominal muscles, but strong muscles does not mean fat loss.
The main reason why just doing sit ups or any other abdominal exercise is because spot reduction is not possible, which means that you will not burn off stomach fat by doing lots of stomach exercises. Instead you need to exercise the whole body intensively. If you do not get out of breath or sweat, you are not working hard enough.
Skipping meals to lose weight will just make it harder for you. Our bodies are designed to burn fat for when we need extra energy, but store fat when times become hard and food hard to find. The longer you go without eating, the less body fat you will burn off per hour (this is your metabolism).
By eating more frequent meals you can actually help to keep your metabolism higher and burn more fat. But, it is vital that you ensure more meals does not mean more calories. Spread your food intake out throughout the day.
Many people take this too far and start eating 6 to 8 small meals a day. This is OK if you are a professional athlete and every meal is carefully constructed to provide the optimum nutrition for your needs at specific points throughout the day. For everyone else is is a waste of time and generally involves eating too much.
Join a Gym Without a Plan
Every year tens of thousands of people join gyms to lose weight without actually giving any thought to how they will do this. Joining a gym is not a magic cure for being overweight. You have to work just as hard to lose weight in a gym as you do at home.
The key to successful weight loss is reducing calories. Many people join a gym, workout pretty hard, and then have a large meal afterwards to reward themselves. Even worse, some people start having extra food “to give them the energy” to workout in the gym later. These are fatal mistakes.
If you are overweight, you are already eating too much food, you do not need more to enable you to exercise. Also, avoid “protein shakes” unless you are also severely restricting calories. Many people in gyms will sell you a protein shake, but not tell you that they do it to make a few extra bucks.
Taking Weight Loss / Fat Burning Pills
There are lots of magic pills available, all of which try to boost metabolism or reduce the body absorbing dietary fat. If you are not already exercising and eating a healthy diet these pills are a waste of money and time.
There is a whole discussion on fat burning pills here. The key is, doing more exercise and reviewing your diet will give you much greater results in terms of weight loss than taking some pills.
There are many other ways to fail at losing weight. Most of them involve buying a gimmicky piece of apparatus and then never using it or falling for a weight loss scam. If you have any good stories on ways you or a friend failed to lose weight, then share them here!
If you have any questions, ask below.
Weight Loss Research and Advice from around the Web
Weight loss has been studied at great length over the years and much of what we now know about losing weight is derived from scientific studies into the mechanics of fat reduction. Here are some articles which we have drawn upon.
“Why is gradual weight loss better than a crash diet?” NHS Choices (2010) website, http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/2468.aspx?categoryid=51&subcategoryid=165
“Benefits of sustained moderate weight loss in obesity” by Pasanisi F, Contaldo F, de Simone G, Mancini M. Published in Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2001 Dec;11(6):401-6. Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12055705
“A meta-analysis of the past 25 years of weight loss research using diet, exercise or diet plus exercise intervention” by WC Miller, DM Koceja and EJ Hamilton. International Journal of Obesity (1997) 21, 941±947. Full article: http://www.indiana.edu/~k562/articles/obesity/review%20Miller%201997.pdf
“Effects of Intermittent Exercise and Use of Home Exercise Equipment on Adherence, Weight Loss, and Fitness in Overweight Women” by John M. Jakicic, PhD; Carena Winters, MS; Wei Lang, PhD; Rena R. Wing, PhD. Published in JAMA. 1999;282(16):1554-1560. doi: 10.1001/jama.282.16.1554 Abstract: http://jama.ama-assn.org/content/282/16/1554.short.
There is no Tummy Fit Oil
Please note that we do not, and never have, sold anything called “tummy fit oil”. If you wish to lose your tummy you need to exercise and follow a healthy lifestyle, as set out in the articles on MotleyHealth!
7 Day Exercise Plan Discussion
As this page has been so popular we have moved the questions / answer discussion to its own page: 7 Day Exercise Plan Discussion. So if you are looking for a reply we gave you, then it can still be found there.
More from MotleyHealth:
7 Day Exercise Plan for Fitness and Weight Loss