Skip to content
Back Back to Insurance menu Go to Insurance
Back Back to Saga Money Go to Saga Money
Back Back to Saga Magazine menu Go to Magazine
Search Magazine

How to lose weight in seven days

Siski Green / 20 August 2019 ( 12 January 2022 )

Want to look slimmer in one week? Here's how with our quick weight loss tips to kick-start your journey.

Baked eggs with spinach and tomatoes
Cut the carbs - try eating eggs with veg instead of toast.

Perhaps you have a special occasion to get to, or have only recently noticed your trousers are feeling a bit snug and you want to shift things fast. Losing weight should not really be seen as a quick-fix, and indeed research has found that slow, steady weight loss is more sustainable and easier to stick to, but there are things you can do that will see immediate results, particularly regarding the water weight you might be holding onto after eating a lot of processed carb-heavy foods.

Here we look at the changes you can make for some quick results, and you can follow our guide to dropping a dress size in six weeks for results over a longer period. One pound of fat contains about 3,500 calories so to lose weight you will need to be burning more calories than you're consuming, and to not be eating foods that encourage your body to maintain water. These tips will quick-start your weight loss adventure and provide some basic principles you can continue to follow to shed the excess pounds.

Day one: Quit the carbs

Make your body work on the stored carbohydrates in your body rather than using the easy-to-eat pasta or bread carbs you usually eat. That way, you’ll burn off more fat when you’re exercising. You’ll also probably feel slimmer because carbohydrates can cause bloating too.

Eat boiled egg with slices of tomato for breakfast, eat a salad full of fibre-packed vegetables and sprinkled with seeds rather than sandwiches for lunch, and try mashing up carrots or cauliflower instead of potatoes or pasta with dinner. Plenty of leafy green vegetables and protein-rich foods like chicken, fish or tofu are good low-carb options.

While studies have found following a diet with plenty of carbs doesn't stop you losing weight (as long as you're still on a calorie deficit) cutting them in the early days of your new regime can get some quick results. 

Exercise: Rather than going for aerobic exercise, build some muscle, which will help you burn more calories even when you’re not doing anything. So lift weights or do some bodyweight exercises such as lunges, squats and push-ups. 

Your home muscle-strengthening programme

Need more time to talk to a doctor? Saga's GP phone service offers unlimited access 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Find out more about our GP phone service.

Day two: Quit the booze

You might not think your nightly glass of wine makes much of a difference to your waistline but when you think of the 840-odd calories per week that adds (with one serving being around 120 calories), not to mention the snacks you’re more likely to indulge in eating during or after your wine, you’ll realise the importance of quitting alcohol if you want to lose weight quickly. 

Exercise: Give your muscles a chance to rest today and go for a long walk, swim or cycle instead. Don’t push yourself hard, the idea is a slow burn over a longer period of time. That way you won’t get overtired and decide to give up on tomorrow’s exercise.

Swim your way to fitness

Day three: Flavour your water

Drinking more water helps you in so many ways but for weight loss it’s especially useful. Being properly hydrated will give you more energy making you more likely to stick to your exercise plans, it’ll help you digest your food properly which means you won’t get so bloated and you’ll also likely to feel less hungry if you drink just before a meal. It's especially important if you're eating a lot of fibre-filled veggies as fibre draws water into the bowel and you can become dehydrated if you increase fibre intake without increasing the amount of liquid you're drinking.

Add a sprig of peppermint, a squeeze of lemon or a splash of juice to make water seem more appealing and help you drink more throughout the day. 

Exercise: Do short bursts of high-energy exercise today, every hour or so. So spend an hour reading or writing on the computer, then do 20 jumping jacks before you sit back down again.

Next, jog on the spot for two minutes as fast as you can, then get on with what you were doing before. Doing short bursts like this means you’re more likely to really push yourself each time, burning lots of calories without exhausting yourself. What's more, studies have found that interval training (short bursts of exercise) speeds up the metabolism and increases how many calories your body is burning when resting.

How much water do you really need to drink?

Day four: Nibble on berries and oranges, instead of apples

Apples might seem like the obvious healthy diet food and they are good, but berries are better. That’s because berries, grapes and citrus fruits contain less fructose than apples or melon or pears, for example, which eases digestion, reducing bloating and helping you lose weight as you’re eating high-fibre foods. 

Exercise: Hit those muscles again with some weight or body weight exercise moves.  

Day five: Skip the salt

You might be surprised to discover that shaking the salt cellar over your dinner is what’s making your trousers tight. That’s because too much salt makes your body retain more fluid, making you feel sluggish (and possibly preventing you from exercising too) and adding to your waistline.

So check labels of dressings and sauces that you add to your food, and rather than adding salt at the cooking stage when it can be hard to gauge how much you’re using, add it afterwards. Use herbs and spices to boost flavour (and nutritional value) and use low salt soy sauce or vegetable stock in cooking.

Exercise: Have a long walk, swim or cycle, again aiming for a longer time exercising but without too much effort. 

How to get rid of water retention

Day six: Do some research

Go online and search for recipes with high vegetable content. Cooking from scratch and trying new recipes will help you feel more in control of your diet and your weight, and it’ll allow you to find new dishes that are both healthy and tasty. So look for recipes with kale, spinach, broccoli, green beans and cabbage, for example.

Filling up on veggies like this will help you on your quest for weight loss because they are full of water and fibre. Just as important, eating vegetables makes you feel healthy, which helps give you the confidence to stick to your diet and exercise regime. Now cook up a storm in the kitchen. 

Exercise: Do short bursts of high-energy exercises throughout the day, as above.

How to cook kale

Day seven: Go shopping!

Invest in some comfortable exercise clothing. It needn’t be lycra or even sporty-looking, the point is that you feel comfortable moving about in it.

All too often exercising feels uncomfortable because your bra straps or underwire make movement difficult, or your tummy feels squeezed as you do crunches, or the material makes you sweat too much. Spending money on new clothes specifically for exercise will also give you an added incentive to stick to it! 

Exercise: Take a break. Have a long bath, get your partner to give you a massage, go to the local sauna. Treat your body kindly so that you feel good about it!

10 unusual ways to burn 500 calories - including shopping

Nb: If you aren't used to exercise, see your GP before you start. They'll be able to tell you the right type of exercise for you, and give advice on starting slowly and building up gently.

Try 12 issues of Saga Magazine

Subscribe today for just £29 for 12 issues...


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.