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4 WEEK WEIGHT LOSS DIET PLAN (WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE)

4 WEEK WEIGHT LOSS DIET PLAN (WEIGHT LOSS CHALLENGE)

With New Year’s Day came new resolutions. We vowed to change our lifestyle, an important aspect of this journey being weight loss.

The benefits of weight loss for an improved body image, a robust immune system, and protection against diseases cannot be emphasized enough.

According to John Hopkins Medicine, “losing weight to achieve a healthy weight according to one’s height has many health benefits such as low blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It alleviates stress on bones and joints, brings down high blood pressure, and reduces the workload of the heart.”

This should give you all the encouragement you need to take the first step towards maintaining a better lifestyle.

1. Fast Way to Losing Weight

Though anytime can be your weight loss season, with summer around the corner, the urge to shed those stubborn extra pounds tends to increase.

We encourage you to achieve your desired results in a specific time frame. Weight loss can be a long process.  Wasting a couple of years without a weight loss plan and hoping that your bodyfat will miraculously disappear is no plan at all.

It is important to have a proper diet plan that will not only help you lose weight quickly but also help you to maintain weight loss healthily.

2. A Guide to Prepare for 4 Week Diet Plan

Trim your waistline in just four weeks. Yes, it is possible. We have prepared a diet plan backed by evidence so that you do not waste your time and energy experimenting with bizarre weight loss regimes. Remember, the aim is to lose weight and maintain weight loss!

Before you dive right into the diet plan, review the following steps to prepare yourself so that you lose weight mindfully and stay motivated throughout the process.

2.1. Step 1 - Food Journaling & Keeping Track

A scientific survey published at PubMed Central (PMC) archive at the U.S National Institutes of Health’s National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM) has proven that keeping a track of what you eat every day helps improve weight loss for the following reasons:

  • Food choices - It allows you to make healthier choices and pay attention to your consumption of junk food.
  • Quantity - You track the portions and number of meals you eat in a day. Small portions five times a day are a better way to lose weight than eating large portions three times a day.
  • Consistency – Timing matters. Therefore, tracking helps you to eat mindfully and during specific times of the day.

Harvard Health experts stress maintaining a food diary or a journal as keeping one helps you lose twice as much weight as those who have no record of their eating patterns and habits.

2.2. Step 2 - Use Technology

Every morsel of food that passes through your lips adds up. A small piece of chocolate, a donut with tea, and a handful of buttery popcorn are incremental extras that will cause you to gain weight.

Carrying around a journal to jot down all these little snacks can be tedious. Therefore, use technology to your advantage. Phone apps such as Lose It, Calorie Counter, or Nutrition Facts are available to help you keep track of your dietary intake.

2.3. Step 3 - Grocery Shopping

Make sure you stock up on all the healthy food you need so that you do not have to rush to the market to restock or temporarily put your diet plan on hold.

Declutter your kitchen cabinets, remove all the soda and frozen pizza from your freezers and refrigerators and head over to the grocery store. Replace all your afternoon and midnight snacks  (chips and cookies) with fresh vegetables and fruits.

Invest in food that is low in calories and high in nutrition. You can opt for whole grains, lean meats, nuts, and seeds.

Here is a shopping list to help you get started. Feel free to tweak it around to add your own “healthy favorites.”

HEALTHY PANTRY ESSENTIALS

HEALTHY PANTRY ESSENTIALS

2.4. Step 4 – Start an Exercise Routine

Diet plans work best when paired with an exercise routine. In order to lose weight, it is important to create a calorie deficit.

Understanding Calorie Deficit:

“One lb of an average adult’s body fat usually contains about 3,500 calories. Therefore, for a person to lose that 1 lb. of fat in a week needs to create a calorie deficit of 3500 calories, that’s 500 calories a day.”

Starving and cutting down calories to lose more than 7,000 calories or 2 lbs of body fat in a week is not recommended.

Instead, it is better to exercise to burn more calories than you are taking in.

Cardio exercise and strength training are the best workouts to incorporate into your 4-week plan as these exercises help gain muscle mass and improve your metabolism rate.

3. Don’ts of Losing Weight

Keep in mind, it is possible to be over-ambitious with losing weight as losing more than 10 lbs can be detrimental to your mental and physical health.

You will find aggressive advertisements promising rapid weight loss through juicing, over-exercising, detox programs, etc. Though it is not entirely impossible to lose weight using these methods, you shouldn’t rely on them for two reasons:

  • Most of the weight you lose is water and not body fat. Furthermore, you lose muscle mass this way.
  • You gain weight again almost as quickly as you shed it. A  return to old habits and your weight increases again, only this time it will be even harder to lose it.

4. What Makes This Diet Plan Different?

This diet plan will help you lose weight in a realistic, sustainable, and healthy way with its following attributes:

Short-term and sustainable - This is a short-term diet plan. It works fast and when you complete the diet plan, you can switch to intermittent fasting or even keto to maintain health and weight loss for the long term.

Keeping up your exercises and refraining from adopting old eating patterns will also keep unwanted fat at bay.

Lose up to 10 lbs. – The diet focuses on eating foods that are low in fat and high in protein, fiber, and water content. The high-protein intake along with resistance training increases muscle mass and speeds up metabolism.

The high fiber and water content make you feel full even if the meal has low calories, making it possible to lose 8-10 lbs. of body fat (2 - 2.5 lbs. per week).

5. Who Should Follow a 4 Week Diet Plan?

This diet can be followed by anyone who wishes to lose weight fast. The reasons may vary, from wanting to lead an active lifestyle, shedding extra weight that makes your bones and joints ache, wanting to have more energy, or feeling good showing off your fit body. Anyone can benefit from this diet.

6. How to Follow Through the 4 Week Weight Loss Challenge?

To shed 10 lbs successfully, try these breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas for the next four weeks. You can play around and experiment a bit with the ingredients as the lists do not contain recipes but are provided to help you create meals that are perfect for this diet challenge.

6.1. Breakfast Ideas

  • Almond and pecan, no-oil, and sugar-free granola with any plant-based yogurt and berries.
  • Spinach, blackberries, banana, and oat-milk smoothie.
  • A crispy and clean salad with two large boiled eggs, peas, cucumber, almonds, and walnuts.
  • In tomato and basil omelet, you can add fillings of your choice such as mushrooms, spinach, zucchini, or bacon.
  • Overnight oats topped with peanut butter and chia seeds. Pair it up with any fresh fruit available at hand.
  • Whole grain bread sandwiches –add a generous amount of hummus, arugula, tomatoes, and avocado.
  • One apple, a bowl of plant-based yogurt with flax seeds, nuts, and strawberries.
  • Burritos made with gluten-free wraps, boiled chicken shreds, green/black olives, onions, and chipotle sauce.
  • Spicy oatmeal with canned corn and beans topped with salsa and avocado.

6.2. Lunch Ideas

  • Whole-wheat tortilla wraps with mashed avocado or homemade hummus, pieces of hard-boiled eggs, and chicken.
  • Lightly seasoned, baked salmon filet along with baked vegetables – carrots, mushrooms, sweet potatoes.
  • Whole wheat tuna sandwich. Add chopped red onions, cucumber, tomatoes, and lettuce for a filling lunch.
  • Chicken and arugula salad – toss together with two cups of arugula, half thinly sliced beetroots, boiled chicken chunks, chickpeas, and a light splash of olive oil.
  • Chickpea salad – 1 ½ cup of boiled chickpeas, one diced tomato, one diced onion, half cucumber, chopped parsley, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. You can add paprika powder to add flavor.
  • Quinoa and chicken salad – oven-bake chicken cuts in light olive oil, toss it together with cooked quinoa, lemon juice, cilantro, and fresh vegetables of your liking.
  • Chicken curry with boiled brown rice.
  • Tomato and carrot soup with baked chicken breast/salmon filet.

6.3. Dinner Ideas

  • Grilled chicken skewers with mixed vegetable salad and brown rice.
  • A small bowl of brown lentil and spinach soup.
  • One grilled chicken breast/fish served with quinoa/couscous and salad.
  • Two egg omelets with tomatoes and bell peppers with a slice of multigrain bread.
  • One baked sweet potato topped with baked beans and grated cottage cheese.
  • Oven-bake asparagus and salmon filet in olive oil.
  • A chicken and vegetable stir-fry cooked in olive oil and topped with sesame seeds. You can serve this with oats, quinoa, or rice.

6.4. Snacks and Savories

It is natural for you to have those afternoon cravings. You can certainly satiate those cravings with healthier options:

  • One apple sliced with peanut butter.
  • Four almonds and five walnuts
  • Five strawberries and a few raisins.
  • 1/2 cup of grapes.
  • Cucumber and carrot sticks with hummus.
  • Whole-grain crackers with almond butter.
  • A small cup of fruit yogurt
  • A handful of unsalted peanuts

7. Takeaway

This appealing 4-week diet plan promises significant results not just in terms of weight loss but also in enhancing your health and lifestyle.  Four weeks are enough to establish healthy habits and eating patterns that maintain weight loss.

To get the desired results, it is advised to commit to the guidelines mentioned. The outcome of drinking enough water, eating small portions, tracking your food habits, and following an exercise program over the course of a 4-week diet plan depends on you.

Related: Why Do You Gain Weight on Diets?

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