I accepted a challenge to lose 7 lbs. in 30 days. It's April 30th and weigh-in is May 1st. As of this morning I have lost nothing.... Time to get serious. There is $150 on the line here. I did some quick research on the safest ways to lose the weight in a short period of time.
First, strategies that are out for safety reasons:
Long duration of strenuous cardio
Although these strategies are out, the reality is I will be dehydrating myself in order to hit my target. It's way too late to actually burn off fat. My current weight is 191lbs and my target weight is 184 lbs. but I also want a buffer of ~1 lb. So, after a bit of strategizing, here is the 'safest' strategy I came up with to lose 8 lbs. in a day:
Starting Weight: 191 lbs.
Start the day with 40 minutes of intense cardio. This will boost my metabolism for the day and burn some calories. I did the Murph. A description of the workout can be found here. After completing the Murph, I have lost 1 lb. I have a ways to go....
Weight: 190 lbs.
Water. Lots of water. Today, I will drink 2 gallons of water. I could go buy distilled water to avoid all salt, but I will settle for tap water. Yes, I am peeing about every 30 minutes.
Coffee. Coffee is a natural diuretic and I tolerate it well. I normally drink 2 cups per day (morning), but under the circumstances, I will up it to 2 cups with each meal to keep kidneys activated!
No Sugar or Salt today. Sugars are stored as glycogen and tie up water in a 1:3 ratio respectively. Salt has to be balanced in your body by holding on to water. Reduce sodium and your body has no choice but to eliminate water. Breakfast today was a chocolate protein shake with a full vitamin package. Its my own recipe of whey, real cocoa and artificial sweeteners. Lunch was salad (lettuce, cucumber, tomato, and steak tips, NO DRESSING) and more water and coffee. At 6pm even though I am drinking a ridiculous amount of water, am down another 1.2 pounds.
Weight: 188.8 lbs.
Hot Shower. I set my shower to very hot temperature which is barely tolerable. I set a timer for 10 minutes and get in. After the10 minutes, I towel off. Another 0.6 lbs. gone. Its 7pm now I am down 2.8 pounds. You could also fill a tub with hot steaming water. This will work just as well.
Weight: 188.2 lbs.
Sleep. There is body of work which covers the importance of sleep, stress and its positive impact on body weight. I head to bed at 9:30pm for 8 hour of sleep. I get up twice to urinate during the night. I wake up at 5:30am and have lost 2.2 lbs.
Weight: 186 lbs.
5 Mile Run. It's a cool morning and I want to get my metabolism going. After 2 coffees, I head out for a run through town. Since I have lost 5 pounds already, I take a nice slow paced run. It feels great and I am rewarded with another 2 pounds lost.
Weight: 184 lbs.
Hot Shower. As before, I set the shower as hot as I can tolerate and jump in for 7 minutes letting water run head to toe. After toweling off I have sweat out another 0.8 lbs.
Weight: 183.2 lbs.
The strategies employed to lose 8 lbs. in a day were taken from several sources as well as my background in biochemistry. The hot shower technique, which really surprised me, was from Tim Ferris. We have all heard about water, but I think it really helped curb my hunger throughout the day. Although this was a 24 hour exercise, I am very disciplined to get at least 7-8 of sleep per night on a fairly regular basis.
Although I went out to dinner and had a couple cocktails pushing my weight up to 186.5 lbs. I decided to add a second day and shoot for 14 lbs. I wake up Sunday to find I am back down to 183.5 lbs. I eat eggs, coffee, blueberries and strawberries and then out the door for another slow 5 miler. I'm down to 181.5 lbs. After a shower (HOT), I am down to 181.3 lbs. A big salad at noon and I stop drinking water for the day. At 6:15pm, I am at 183 lbs. and have noticed I am not visiting the bathroom as frequently. I take 3 consecutive hot 10 minute showers with a 5 minute break and lose only 1.1 lbs. I feel pretty lethargic after this so I stop. Before heading to bed I am 181.9 lbs. After 8 hours of restless sleep I weigh in at 180.2 lbs.
So I lost close to 11 lbs. in about 60 hours without using any fad diets, cleanse techniques, or medications. The key was essentially flushing the body with water and avoiding processed food high in sodium and carbs.