How to Lose Weight in Just Four Days

A top fitness and wellness expert devises an exclusive 4-day plan to rev up and slim down for the big day.

The checklists, the spreadsheets, the running from tasting to site inspection. “Wedding planning can be an energy drain,” says Kim Watkins, owner & head trainer of inSHAPE Fitness, a personal training service in New York City. To the rescue: a wellness program to follow once a month as you plan your wedding. “It’s just four days,” Watkins says, “after which you’ll feel more energized and productive.”

woman on scaleDrink Up

 Start your day with a big glass of water. “A better wakeup than reaching for a sugary drink or even that first cup of coffee,” Watkins claims. Also, drink an 8-ounce glass of water before both lunch and dinner (you’ll feel fuller).

Fuel Up

►Do not consume a single processed carb, says Watkins: no breakfast cereal, bread, pasta, or baked goods. “This is probably one of the single biggest breaks you can give your body,” Watkins says. Eliminating processed carbs can be a challenge, “but bear in mind that it is only for four days!” (Make this your mantra.)

►Breakfast: Eat your first meal of the day within 60 minutes of waking. Try steel-cut or rolled oats, barley, quinoa, 2 percent plain Greek yogurt mixed with oats and fresh fruit. A breakfast “salad” of cut-up veggies topped with yogurt and a touch of balsamic vinegar is another a.m. option. Caffeinated coffee or tea with a little milk is fine—but don’t add any sugar. Take one multi-vitamin with every breakfast.

►Lunch: Forgo pasta and rice for root vegetables like yams, turnips, parsnips, carrots—try them baked, mashed and flavored with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. “You can also try spaghetti squash or use shredded cabbage as a substitute for pasta,” Watkins adds. For protein: go with beans, whole grains or eggs—“nothing fried or breaded.”

►Dinner: On the menu: lightly sautéed or grilled fish or tofu (no beef) and salad with yogurt/ balsamic or olive oil/balsamic dressing. This should be the smallest meal of the day, so indulge with a glass of wine.

►Snacks (twice a day): Apple slices topped with peanut or almond butter is Watkins’ go-to fave. Or treat yourself to a small piece of anti-oxidant-rich dark chocolate. “No more than one ounce, once a day and make it as dark as possible,” Watkins says. On the banned list: chips, bars or baked goods.

►Secret to success: Try to eat all four dinners at home to avoid any slip-ups, says Watkins. Preparing lunch at home and taking it to work is another key to staying on track.

Next: Get a better night's sleep and rev up your exercise routine ►