5 Fast and Safe Ways to Lose 5 Pounds

As if Monday mornings weren't rough enough: Today my ex-boyfriend Facebook-chats me, saying he's in town and wants to meet up this weekend for a drink.

I'm totally over him and definitely don't want him back (really, I swear), but it would still be nice if he felt just the tiniest -- OK, or a massive -- twinge of regret when I show up looking stunning in the overpriced dress that I will now be buying.

But even the spendiest, most amazing dress I can find at Nordstrom isn't going to look so hot with the extra holiday bulge I've got going on, so I need to lose 5 pounds in 5 days without doing anything drastic.

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Sure, a juice fast or some other psycho weight loss tactic would probably do the trick. But it would also probably get me fired for repeatedly passing out at my desk. A better option? These tips on how to safely drop pounds fast.


Who knew your favorite granola bar or canned tuna could double as a salt lick? In a recent report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about American sodium consumption, researchers found that approximately 75 percent of the sodium in the typical American diet doesn't come from the shaker -- it's added to commercial foods during processing, or while a restaurant cook's prepping your meal. In fact, only about 25 percent occurs naturally or is added at the table or in home cooking, the CDC report explained.

Cut the added sodium and you'll lose water weight and bloat. To tackle the excess white stuff, consume "no more than 500 mg of added sodium per day -- like salt from processed or prepared foods," says Beth Reardon, director of integrative nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine. She says a lot of seemingly "healthy" foods (think processed cereals, cottage cheese, and even frozen vegetable mixes!) are high in salt. Find out which foods you should replace these with here.


It's not very ladylike to talk about poop, but moving those bowels is an effective route to a flat stomach and fewer pounds on that mean ol' scale. That said, this is no time to reach for the laxatives. Natural routes to regularity are your best bet for short- and long-term well-being.

First up, fiber. While the recommended intake is 25 mg per day for women, Reardon suggests eating 35 to 40 g of both soluble and insoluble fiber to lighten your weight and look like you've lost 5 pounds. Both types of fiber are equally important for health, digestion, and preventing conditions like heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and constipation. See which kinds of fiber-packed foods you should choose here.

Supplements, broken into doses throughout the day, can also help -- namely digestive enzymes taken 30 minutes before a meal to aid digestion and probiotics taken 30 minutes after a meal to help regulate bowels, says Reardon. Chelated magnesium, taken before bed, also helps with regularity.

Finally, a cup of hot water with lemon, in the morning or as a nightcap, can also get things moving. "This drink lowers the PH in your belly, which helps preserve natural probiotics and helps activate digestive enzymes," she notes. As a health bonus, all this excretion will help rid your body of toxins, excess estrogen, and lower your cholesterol levels as well.


Nutritionists insist on eating whole foods as a health decree, but it's also a sound weight loss tip. Because you're giving your body what it recognizes as the cleanest fuel, it will digest and metabolize it more easily. If Mother Nature didn't make it, don't eat it. Click here to find out which carbs you should be consuming.


Another healthy way to lose 5 pounds fast is to simply eat one serving of bitter-tasting food, per meal, for three meals a day. "Taste is one of the five corporeal senses, and bitter is a hardwired catalyst for our bodies," says Stephan Dorlandt, a Los Angeles-based clinical nutritionist. "Bitter food stimulates saliva, gastric juice, and bile secretions. These chemical reactions boost digestion, burn fat, detoxify the liver and gallbladder, prevent constipation, and reduce sugar cravings." He says bitter greens are also among nature's healthiest foods in terms of vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K, vitamin B1, calcium, and chlorophyll. See which bitter foods are pound-shedders here.


Though your doc might ask you to inhale and exhale through your chest during a physical exam, this kind of superficial breathing won't do you any good when you're trying to lose weight quickly. According to Pam Grout, breathing coach and author of "Jumpstart Your Metabolism," breathing is the key to sustainable and long-lasting weight loss. Grout, who teaches people how to change their breathing patterns to lose weight, says clients report losing a pound a day.

And yet nine out of 10 of us aren't breathing properly, she says. "Put one hand on your chest, the other on your abdomen. Take a normal breath. If the chest hand goes up rather than out, you're breathing wrong." If you don't breathe properly, you'll take in a third of the oxygen your body needs. "And when the body doesn't get enough oxygen, it can't burn through fat," says Grout.

For more quick weight loss tips, click here.

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