Whether it's a big event, a vacation that involves bikinis, or something else entirely, women often want to lose 10 pounds—and do so fast. Good news: The secret to quick weight loss doesn't mean you need to spend more time in the gym. [Tweet this fact!]
Losing weight is a 24-hour-a-day lifestyle that consists of proper sleep, nutrition, hydration, and fitness. In fact, in my opinion, 80 percent of all fitness success happens with what you eat. We all know that if you're trying to slim down, the most important formula is calories in versus calories out. However, sticking to a deprivation-style, low-calorie diet will only do one thing: make you crash. Instead aim for 1, 200 to 1, 600 calories daily, and be sure to keep a food journal to know exactly how many calories you're ingesting.
For the fitness part of your plan, use these tips:
1. Do compound exercises. The best bodyweight exercises for weight loss work multiple joints at once. Exercises you do below the navel are a good example since they work the three largest muscle groups in your body: the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus. Working them will cause tiny tears in the muscles fibers, thus creating a large "after burn" effect post-workout, as your body requires a lot of energy (i.e. calories) to repair these tears.
2. Reach your VO2 max threshold. When doing cardio, remember to push yourself to the max, that is your VO2 max. This will train your body to use oxygen more efficiently. A good way to judge this is with the conversation test: If you are able to have a chat during your workout or even during your short rest period in an interval-training workout, you're not working hard enough.
RELATED: 8 Cardio Myths That Are Making You Fat
The Quickest Weight-Loss Workout
The most efficient weight-loss workout comes down to one thing: the fastest way to burn calories. [Tweet this fact!] Metabolic conditioning or interval-training workouts win for burning the most calories during and after your workout since they combine multi-joint exercises and cardio that pushes you to your max. Try this plan.
How it works: Perform the workout 3 times a week, resting at least one day between workouts. Complete both exercises, then rest for up to 60 seconds. (Work your way down to resting for only 30 seconds.) Repeat this circuit six to 10 times. If you feel you have a little more energy after 10 intervals, steer clear of the treadmill to avoid injuries, and finish strong with a calisthenic cardio exercise such as knee tuck jumps or jumping jacks for another few minutes.
You'll need: A medicine ball, a treadmill, a jump rope, and a timer.
1. Medicine ball slams: With feet in a wide stance, lift a medicine ball overhead, then slam it down to the ground as hard as possible, slightly squatting and engaging abdominals. Immediately pick the ball back up, stand up, and repeat. Complete as many reps as possible in 30 seconds.
2. Cardio blast: Sprint on a treadmill (at 6.5 to 7.5 mph), jump rope, or do burpees or knee tuck jumps for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on your fitness level and how much energy you have. Alternate exercises each circuit.