Q:“My friend is getting married in 5 weeks and I need to drop about 12 pounds (5.5kg) to fit into my tux. Is that a reasonable amount of time? Is there a general timetable rule on weight loss?”
12 lbs weight loss in 5 weeks is definitely do-able…though I don’t usually advocate losing weight too quickly as it tends to be regained more easily. But having a goal in mind is great for keeping you going when your willpower is flagging – so keep the tux hanging in a prominent position (even next to the fridge!) to ensure you stay on track. Generally losing 1-2 lbs a week is pretty easy to achieve without feeling deprived. Losing 12lbs in 5 weeks is a bit harder and doesn’t leave much room for snacking and treats so prepare yourself for a bit of work!
I recommend cutting out alcohol for the next 5 weeks which adds unnecessary calories and weakens willpower.
Ensure you aren’t taking in calories from other drinks when water can do.
Stock up with plenty of fresh veg to keep you full and wholegrain carbs for slow release energy and fibre.
And try using an app like MyFitnessPal to keep a record of calories so you can ensure you are accounting for all you eat (no sneaky extras that you ‘forget’ to count). It also helps you to keep a check on portion size.
Also important is exercise. A mixture of aerobic (brisk walks, runs, swims, tennis etc) and resistance exercises like weights have been shown to help burn calories but also reduce belly fat. And that has been shown to improve metabolic issues like diabetes as well as help you do up your tux! Remember, though, that muscle weighs more than fat so focus more on how much better your tux is fitting than the number on the scales which don’t accurately reflect actual fat loss.
Finally, make sure you get a full night’s sleep wherever possible – it’s more difficult to keep a healthy focus when you’re tired.
If you keep to that, you won’t only be fitting into your tux but you will be feeling fit enough to celebrate all night! Have fun!
Dr. Sally Norton is happy to answer questions you might have about health and diet. Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org