Need to Lose a Few Pounds Fast? Here’s How
Exercise and a healthy diet are the keys to losing weight before a big event
Each month WebMD Magazine puts your questions about fitness to top
exercise and motivational experts. This month, Katie Coakley, 30, a travel
public relations professional from Vail, Colo., seeks help on dropping weight
quickly before a big trip. She gets advice from Jennifer Cohen, author of No
Gym Required: Unleash Your Inner Rock Star and fitness director of The
Yorkville Club in Toronto.
Katie’s Q: I’ve been battling my weight my whole life. There are times
when I get in the swing of things and pay attention to my workouts -- and then
my schedule gets crazy at work or something else gets disrupted, and 10 to 15
pounds later, I’ve undone all my hard work. Now I have a big work trip to New
York coming up in a month, and I’ll be seeing a lot of professional colleagues.
I want to look good for them -- this is an image-oriented business!
To help Coakley fast-track her workout results, WebMD asked fitness expert
Jennifer Cohen to weigh in. Her mantra: You can get fit anytime, anywhere, no
excuses. You can get great results on your own if you’re willing to commit.
That means amping up the cardio -- if you’re doing half an hour a day, do 45
minutes. If you’re doing 45, do an hour. “And you have to be eating healthy --
lots of fruits and vegetables, with regular small meals to keep your metabolism
hopping,” says Cohen. “But if you need a few extra tricks, here’s what I call
the real-people version of how celebrities get red-carpet ready.”
for weight loss
Drinking hot herbal tea throughout the day keeps you full without adding
lots of calories. In the winter months, you’re always craving comfort food to
keep you warm, and tea satiates that craving.
An apple a day keeps the weight away
Apples are Cohen’s No. 1 go-to food for losing weight. They have a lot of
fiber and take a long time to chew. An 80-calorie apple will make you feel full
for quite awhile.
Watch your diet at restaurants
When you eat out, tell the waiter not to bring the bread basket (Katie’s
confessed downfall) or the dessert menu or the cheese tray. You can even ask
ahead of time for half your entrée to be wrapped to go.
Do the plank exercise
Lying flat on your stomach, push yourself up onto your elbows and your toes,
with your back straight, abs tight, and nose pointing at the floor. Hold this
posture for one minute. Do three one-minute planks every day, and you’ll see
much better and faster results than with crunches.
Do lunge exercises, too
In your office or living room, do “walking lunges.” Take a five-minute break
and lunge across the floor to the wall, then back again. Or do the same thing
while watching TV or talking on the phone.