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Our Quick and Brilliant Slim-Down Plan for Rapid Weight Loss

Rapid weight loss is not only possible, but also just as effective for long-term slim-down success as the slow and steady method.

In fact, you're no more at risk of gaining the weight back if you drop pounds quickly according to a recent study published in the journal Diabetes & Endocrinology. Have a big party or vacation coming up? This 10-day plan is perfect for getting you in shape—fast—without the risk of gaining back the pounds you worked so hard to shed. Use it when you're in a pinch, then go back to the methods you use for long term success.

Note: depending on the circumference of your gut, results may vary.

Go to Bed

woman sleeping

Exhaustion is a sneaky saboteur of your weight loss efforts, and your stomach is often the first thing to suffer. "Sleep deprivation disrupts your metabolism, seriously sabotaging efforts to maintain an ideal weight," says Jana Klauer, M.D., an obesity researcher at NYC's St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital. Sleep deprivation throws off leptin levels, a hormone that tells your body how much potential energy it has stored, confusing your body the next day. Your body has no idea how much energy it has banked, so you end up storing fat instead of burning it.

In addition to making your days easier and more enjoyable, getting sufficient sleep will prevent lags in energy and help reduce carb cravings, notes Klauer. It does something even worse for your figure, too. "Sleep deprivation causes a drop in the production of human growth hormone," Klauer adds. This ensures the fat your body stores goes straight to your stomach. Aim for 7 hours of solid sleep a night.

Power Up with Protein

wild salmon

Protein should be the primary focus of your diet, since it's the main component of muscle tissue. During this superspeed slim down, aim for 1.5 grams of the muscle-builder per pound of your targeted body weight. To stay fueled throughout the day, spread your protein intake out between all of your meals, whether you eat three big meals or five to six smaller ones. Under normal conditions, you should eat about 1 gram per pound of body weight. Note: make a point of getting protein after a workout.

Have a Carb Strategy

sprouted bread

A sure-fire way to get real hangry real quickly? Cut out carbs. Completely slashing your carbohydrate intake will melt away the the pounds, but you'll also be left with some not-so-pleasant side effects that can make it hard to go about your daily routine, like exhaustion and lethargy. "Carbs are essential for life as our brain and CNS require them continuously to work properly. Restricting carbs completely will allow for any muscle mass to be metabolized to provide us with energy," says trainer and RD, Tim McComsey. As long as you use them correctly and choose the right ones, carbs don't have to hit the curb. "To get lean, a balance of the right amount of carbs first thing in the morning and after workout is ideal," he says.

Have a small portion of carbs in the morning, and another post-workout.

9 Days of Lifting

trainer and client lifting weights

To trim down your stomach and get toned, you have to build muscle; to build muscle, you're going to have to hit the weights. For the next 10 days you're going to lift for 9 out of 10 days.

Perform your lifting workouts at night; interval training will be a part of your morning routine.

Here are your splits:

Day 1: Legs
Day 2: Chest
Day 3: Back
Day 4: Shoulders
Day 5: Arms
Day 6: Off
Day 7: Legs
Day 8: Chest
Day 9: Back
Day 10: Shoulders

7 Days of Intervals

treadmill run

If you're looking to slim down quickly, you want to focus on ditching the flab; that's where interval training comes in. This particular type of exercise is extremely effective for transforming your physique. Although high intensity interval training (or HIIT for short) doesn't need to be part of your normal gym routine—studies have found that no matter what type of exercise regimen you complete, there's no difference in levels of ghrelin, a hunger-regulating hormone—it will stoke your calorie-burning fire outside the gym when you're looking to lose weight quickly.

Perform interval workouts in the morning on an empty stomach.

Day 1: On
Day 2: On
Day 3: Off
Day 4: On
Day 5: On
Day 6: Off – perform a paced run at 60 minutes
Day 7: On
Day 8: On
Day 9: Off
Day 10: On

Get Laid

couple cuddling
Testosterone is responsible for helping weight lifters put on more muscle and recover faster from their pump sessions (don't worry, ladies, you don't have enough of the hormone to build bulky muscles). Increasing your hormone levels to the ideal numbers is a delicate balance of lifestyle, nutrition, exercise and stress. Too much stress in day-to-day activities can release fat-storage hormones like cortisol, making it tough to build the physique you want. Luckily, there's an enjoyable way to decrease these unwelcome hormones and boost muscle-building testosterone. According to Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, family physician and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, "Our best evidence identifies regular exercise, a good night's sleep, and plenty of sex as our best bets at increasing our muscle-building hormone king (aka testosterone)."

Try and "get some" every night.

Drink Up

green tea and weight loss

Pick the right pre-workout drink and you're looking at increased returns for your hard work. We suggest either black coffee or green tea.

Two cups of black coffee will deliver about 200 mg caffeine for few calories. Researchers in the UK found that the caffeine improved overall exercise performance by 11.2 percent. Imagine getting 11 percent more out of every workout, just because you had a shot of caffeine before you hit the gym.

Not a coffee drinker? Go with green tea. In a recent 12-week study, participants who combined a daily habit of 4-5 cups of green tea each day with a 25-minute workout lost more weight and belly fat than the non tea-drinking exercisers thanks to the brew's catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers the release of fat from fat cells and helps speed the liver's capacity for turning fat into energy. (Pair it with cups of these 4 Teas That Melt Fat for the best results.)

Courtesy of Men's Fitness

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