Savoir Flair’s resident Fitness Dorks, Diya and Julia, answer all your burning questions on health, fitness, and weight loss in this new monthly column. If you’ve got a question, ask the Dorks by emailing email@example.com.
Q: I’ve got a big wedding to attend next week and I need to lose a few pounds to fit in the dress I want to wear. Help!
A: We all have special occasions for which we want to look our best and drop a few pounds to feel really confident. Let’s be clear from the get go: You can’t lose fat in just a week. You can only lose fat by having an ongoing healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise and a good, clean diet. But you can lose some water weight in a week. And, believe it or not, water weight can sometimes make you look fatter than actual fat!
Click through the gallery for our strategies to lose water weight and tricks to look slimmer so you can look your absolute best in just a week.
Drink Liquid Meals
Eat homemade clear soup or Lean95 instead of two of your daily meals. It’s easiest to eat a good breakfast and swap out your lunches and dinners with liquid meals. Jamie Oliver’s chicken and vegetable soup recipe is a winner.
Lean95, AED 250, Organic Foods & Café and Holland & Barrett
Juicing is a great idea if you want to give your digestive system a break and to detox while you drop a bit of water weight. Bear in mind the weight will come back on when you come off the juice fast, but it’s good to flush your system out once in a while. Make sure you’re drinking mostly vegetable juices and not fruit juices as fruit sugars can cause insulin spikes and lead to more fat storage. You can read about our experience with juicing here.
One-week juice detox, AED 1,100/SAR 1,123, Café Baroque, Jumeirah Beach Residences, Dubai, Tel: (+971) 4 361 4252
Wrap It Up
There’s been a lot of hype around body wraps recently – most famously on the Tyra Banks and Dr. Oz shows. And while we don’t believe in quick fixes as a lasting solution, a body wrap can help your body let go of some water weight for a fast result. Follow the instructions carefully and make sure to drink the required amounts of water to get the best out of the wrap.
It Works The Ultimate Body Applicator, AED 425/SAR 434, Souq.com
Ban These Items
For the next week, cut out sugar (not even fruit or fruit juice), alcohol, dairy, beans, soy, grains (rice, quinoa, and corn), salt, sauces and dressings, and packaged foods (including protein bars). Instead, build your meals around lean meats and plenty of vegetables, and drink lots of water. Season your meals with lemon and herbs instead of salt and sauces so you don’t lose on flavor. This diet will deplete your glycogen stores and remove intramuscular water so you’ll ‘lean out’.
Avoid snacking in favor of eating three square meals a day, but if you do feel hungry, eat some nuts, seeds, or vegetables. Be careful though – more than a handful of nuts a day will ruin your chances of losing weight.
Reduce Subcutaneous Water
This is a trick employed by fitness models and bodybuilders to make sure they look good before competitions and photoshoots. The idea is to get your body to release excess water under your skin by first giving it a lot of water, and then reducing the amount day by day. Click through to the next slide to see the instructions.
Day one: Four liters of water
Day two: Two liters of water
Day three: One liter of water
Day four: Half a liter of water
Day five (the day of the event): No water, or less than 250ml
You can also take ‘Water Pills’ the night before the event, and the day of the event to get rid of any remaining water retention. Releasing subcutaneous water will also reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Diurex ‘Water Pills’, AED 95/SAR 97, Life Pharmacy
Getting the recommended amount of sleep has countless health benefits, but did you know it also increases the production of fat-burning hormones, reduces cortisol levels (that promote fat storage), and increases your base metabolic rate (the calories you burn doing nothing)? Hit the pillow as much as you can to make sure you’re getting the most from your sleep.
Try Shapewear and Compression Wear
Corset ‘training’ using compression corsets can definitely help create a more nipped-in waist over time. Try sleeping and working out in Tecnomed’s ‘Fitness Waist Snatcher’ for a week for a flatter, smaller waistline. On the day of the event, opt for shapewear from Spanx to ensure a smooth, ripple-free silhouette under your dress.
Tecnomed Fitness Waist Snatcher, AED 350/SAR 357, Le Corset
Use Skin-Firming Creams
‘Slimming’ creams definitely do not help you lose weight, but a new generation of ‘toning’ creams can create a visible improvement by firming and tightening your skin, improving elasticity, and encouraging lymphatic drainage from the skin’s cells. Our favorite? Nip + Fab’s ‘Tummy Fix’.
Nip + Fab ‘Tummy Fix’, AED 82/SAR 84, Luxola
Brush and Scrub
Cellulite ruins even the most toned pair of legs – encourage your body to let go of the toxins and water retention that make its appearance worse. Before you shower, dry brush your entire body with upward, circular strokes before scrubbing with a coffee scrub. The brushing sloughs off dead skin and gets your blood circulation going, while the coffee encourages lymphatic drainage so you’ll lose water from the cellulite-ridden areas.
Frank ‘Body Scrub’, AED 55/SAR 56, Frank Body
Sweat It Out
Sitting in a sauna for 20 minutes each day will help you lose more water weight. Make sure to drink water while you sit in the sauna to prevent dehydration. You could also do a Bikram Yoga session to get a workout in too.
Bikram Yoga class, AED 110/SAR 112, RAWR Yoga, Concord Tower, Media City, Tel: (+971) 4 423 2808
Choose Clothes That Flatter
It’s amazing how the right cut, length, and color can dramatically slim you. Try hiding a belly with something Grecian and draped, wearing dark colors to streamline, wearing the same color head to toe to create an optical illusion, or wearing light colors on top and darker colors below. A larger skirt can draw attention to your upper body and hide a heavy hip or butt. Pair with the highest heels you own to create an elongating effect.
Vionnet dress, AED 16,382/SAR 16,725, Net-a-Porter
Contour Your Face
The right makeup tricks can make your face look slimmer too and give you cheekbones, a slim nose, and angles you never knew you had. Here’s how to contour like a pro.
MAC ‘Mineralize Powder’, AED 109/SAR 111, The Dubai Mall
Achieve a Photoshop Effect
Want bronzed, more toned, firmer, more perfect-looking legs? Try Prtty Peaushun – a light-reflecting cream that’s used by stars such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Rihanna. The cream hides subtle imperfections and enhances muscle tone to give you the illusion of a slimmer, sexier silhouette. It can literally appear as though you’ve dropped a couple of pounds. It’s a bit sticky, so be sure to let it dry before you slip your dress on.
Prtty Peaushun ‘Skin Tight Body Lotion’, AED 144/SAR 147, Anthopologie
Drink a Cup of Coffee Every Day
Coffee is a natural diuretic, and drinking a cup a day can help with water retention. Be sure to drink it before noon, though, or you’ll have trouble sleeping at night.
Use the opportunity after the event to kick-start your long-term health and fitness routine and keep the weight that you’ve lost off for good. Water weight comes back on quickly, so for lasting slimness you’ll need a fit and healthy lifestyle that includes cardio, weight training, and a clean eating plan.