If you’re at risk of obesity-related health problems, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes, following a meal plan for extreme weight loss can get the weight off quickly and drastically lower your risk of health complications.
Knowing how to create an extreme weight loss diet for women, weight loss workouts, and other healthy lifestyle habits is the key to rapid weight loss success.
Extreme Weight Loss Tips and Tricks
Obesity is a dangerous disease and associated with many of the leading causes of death in the U.S. – including heart disease, cancer, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Losing weight fast can drastically reduce your risk of these and other chronic diseases and complications associated with them. Follow the tips below to achieve extreme weight loss success!
#1 Track and Reduce Calories
You’ll want to cut calories when creating a meal plan for extreme weight loss.
Aim to eat 1,200 calories daily to lose the largest (safe) amount of weight possible on your own without the need for medical supervision.
Avoid dropping below 800 calories per day, as you might experience symptoms related to very low-calorie diets (VLCDs) – such as nutrient deficiencies, hair loss, fatigue, and even gallstones. To achieve optimal, long-lasting results, combine a reduced-calorie diet with regular exercise.
#2 Consider Meal Replacement Shakes
Try protein powder shakes as meal replacements when extreme weight loss is your goal.
Simply mix protein powder with water or milk (or plant milk) and add extra ingredients if you desire.
For example, you might blend fruit, oatmeal, almond butter, or another nut butter with ice to create a refreshing, nutrient-dense weight loss protein smoothie.
Choose weight loss protein shake recipes containing about 200-300 calories as meal replacements when rapid weight loss is your goal.
#3 Get Lots of Sleep
Sleep is crucial for extreme weight loss, as it gives you the energy needed to get through the day and complete fat-burning workouts. Sleep also helps keep your appetite in check.
Studies show that getting too little rest (less than 6 hours of sleep per night) is associated with higher body mass indexes (BMIs), while longer sleep patterns are linked with lower BMIs.
Aim to sleep at least 7-9 hours each night to optimize extreme weight loss. Sleep in a cool, dark room, avoid caffeine before bed, and set a regular sleep schedule to enhance sleep quality.
#4 Drink Water, Coffee, and Tea
Load up on calorie-free or very low-calorie beverages when you have a significant amount of weight to lose. Women need at least 12 cups of fluids daily to maximize health and wellness.
Drink water ice cold or add fruit chunks (or other low-calorie flavorings) to enhance its palatability.
Coffee and tea are other excellent choices for weight loss. Studies show that caffeine gives your metabolism a boost, increases energy, and helps you burn extra calories and fat throughout the day during weight loss.
Try drinking 2-4 cups of water (or water plus coffee or tea) when you first wake up in the morning, and consume 2 cups of water before meals to help you eat less but still feel satisfied.
#5 Set Goals and Reward Yourself
Studies show that setting goals increases your chance of achieving and maintaining extreme weight loss long term.
Set goals for calories, body weight, body fat, meal plans, exercise, sleep, and even parenting or your career to improve your chance of weight loss and success in other areas of your life!
Write down your goals in a journal and record your weekly results. Reward yourself for meeting goals throughout your weight loss journey.
#6 Eliminate or Limit Alcohol
Alcoholic drinks not only increase your risk of certain cancers, they pack in unnecessary calories that can hinder extreme weight loss.
Some alcoholic beverages provide up to 500 calories or more in a single drink!
If you’re unable to eliminate alcohol entirely, limit it to one drink daily when weight and fat loss is your goal. Avoid sugary mixers.
Instead choose diet drinks, ice, water, or club soda.
#7 Nix Sugary Drinks
Like alcoholic beverages, sugary drinks can also make calories add up quickly.
Because these drinks don’t keep you full very long and the sugar in them is addictive, it's often difficult to reduce calories when sodas, lemonade, juices, and sweet tea are included in your menu.
Choose water, black coffee, and unsweetened green tea instead when extreme weight loss is your goal.
#8 Sit Down Less
Sitting too much is a chronic disease risk factor, even if you work out regularly. Studies show that it's not enough to meet minimum physical activity requirements to reduce heart disease and other chronic disease risk factors.
Even when you exercise 30 minutes daily, if you sit down the rest of the day you're at risk.
When extreme weight loss is your goal, stay active all throughout the day in addition to regular workouts.
Rake your yard, go grocery shopping, walk your dog, clean your windows or floors, use a standing desk at work, or play outside with your kids to burn the extra calories needed to reach and maintain your goal weight for life.
#9 Reduce Refined Carbohydrates
There are certain carbohydrate-rich foods you should include in an extreme weight loss meal plan, such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
However, studies show that reducing your overall carb intake can produce rapid weight loss results.
The Institute of Medicine’s recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for carbohydrates is 130 grams daily, so consume at least this amount to maximize energy and prevent nutrient deficiencies.
By eliminating the unhealthy carbohydrates in your diet you’ll notice improvements in body weight, reductions in fat, and a tighter, more toned figure.
Examples of carb-rich foods to avoid and their corresponding carbohydrate intakes include:
2 slices of white bread: 30 grams of carbohydrates 1 cup of white rice: 53 grams of carbohydrates 1 donut: 23 grams of carbohydrates 1 cup of ice cream: 31 grams of carbohydrates 1 12-ounce can of soda: 38 grams of carbohydrates 1 medium-sized plain bagel: 56 grams of carbohydrates 1 cup of regular pasta: 40 grams of carbohydrates 2 cookies: 33 grams of carbohydrates 1 2-ounce candy bar: 32 grams of carbohydrates
Instead of snacking on these refined grains and sweet treats, focus on fiber-rich foods, protein, and healthy fats to boost satiety and get excess weight off as fast as possible.
#10 Cook at Home More Often
Dining out regularly can hinder an extreme weight loss diet for women, as restaurant foods often contain hidden ingredients or extra calories to enhance flavor.
Furthermore, restaurant portion sizes are usually much larger than what you should eat for weight loss.
Studies show that dining out at fast-food or sit-down restaurants is associated with a higher body mass index.
Cook at home whenever possible to make eating clean and controlling portions for extreme weight loss easier.
A Sample Meal Plan for Extreme Weight Loss
When extreme weight loss is your goal, plan out meals and snacks using a meal plan. A 1,200-calorie plan based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans well-balanced meal plan but MODIFIED for rapid weight loss might include:
- 2 cups of vegetables
- 1 cup of fruit
- 3 ounces (1 1/2 cups) of grains
- 6 ounces of protein foods
- 2 1/2 cups of dairy foods or calcium-rich equivalents
- 4 teaspoons of oils or other healthy fats
- 100 extra calories daily
Try the meal plan (with menu options) below to shed pounds at fast but safe rate:
Breakfast (271 calories)
- 2 ounces of protein foods (2 large eggs – 144 calories)
- 1/2 cup of veggies (1/2 cup of bell peppers – 12 calories)
- 1 teaspoon of oils (1 teaspoon of olive oil – 40 calories)
- 1 ounce of whole grains (1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal – 75 calories)
Snack (230 calories)
- 1 cup of dairy foods (1 cup of plain Greek yogurt – 134 calories)
- 1/2 cup of fruit (1/2 cup of blueberries – 42 calories)
- 1 teaspoon of oils (1/3 ounce of sliced almonds – 54 calories)
Lunch (241 calories)
- 2 ounces of protein foods (2 ounces of canned light tuna – 66 calories)
- 1 teaspoon of oils (1 tablespoon of avocado oil mayonnaise – 45 calories)
- 1 ounce of whole grains (1 slice of Ezekiel bread – 80 calories)
- 1 cup of vegetables (1 cup of carrot sticks – 50 calories)
Snack (207 calories)
- 1 1/2 cups of dairy foods or calcium-rich alternatives (1 1/2 cups of almond milk – 80 calories)
- 1/2 cup of fruit (1/2 cup of strawberries – 27 calories)
- 100 extra calories (1 scoop of protein powder – 100 calories)
Dinner (274 calories)
- 2 ounces of protein foods (2 ounces of grilled chicken or fish – 84 calories)
- 1 ounce of whole grains (1/2 cup of cooked quinoa or brown rice – 110 calories)
- 1 cup of vegetables (1 cup of asparagus – 40 calories)
- 1 teaspoon of oils (1 teaspoon of olive oil – 40 calories)
Total Calories: 1,223
Use this extreme weight loss meal plan (or one like it) so you can plug various foods into the template based on your preferences. Once you get into a routine, weight loss meal and menu planning will feel like a breeze. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ChooseMyPlate.gov provides a good list of portion sizes for each food group to help you plan well-balanced, nutritious menus.