The Conscious Gut

4 Day Diet Plan To Lose 10 Pounds: Building Healthy Eating Habits From The Ground Up

Rapid Weight Loss Diet: Is It Safe?

Many of the people who are trying to slim down wish for this process to be as rapid as possible. However, most of the time extreme diets that claim to be the quickest way to lose weight are actually unhealthy. This is why it may be very hard to find a perfect nutritional plan, one that would bring the desired results without wreaking havoc on one’s body. So how about a 4 day diet plan to lose 10 pounds? Does it really contain a magical weight loss tool, or is it just another health hazard? You are encouraged to read on to find out more.

Rapid Weight Loss Diet: Is It Safe?

Despite alluring promises, most popularized rapid weight loss diets often lack any significant scientific backup. Their claim to fame is to help you trim a couple of inches in no time, without mentioning the risks involved as well as the possible harmful effects on your health. This is why, before deciding which nutritional plan is the best, you first need to look at what some of the experts have to say on the matter.

Nutritionists recommend that the healthiest and most sustainable weight loss pace is around 1-2 pounds (0.45-1 kg) a week. Since 1 pound of fat equals about 3,500 calories, in order to slim down safely you need to reduce your daily caloric intake by 500-1000 calories (21). Now do the math, is it possible to shed 10 pounds in only 4 days? Well in general it is, but there are some definite “ifs” and “buts” to it.

First, the total weight loss count will probably not be the desired loss of fat at all, but also muscle and water mass loss, of which could be regained shortly after you finish your dieting regimen.

Second, not so many people can manage to lose that much weight in such a short period of time, due to having a lower initial weight, in which case it will be more difficult to shed pounds.

And third, even if you could manage to lose 10 pounds in 4 days, it may not be safe for your health (6). In most cases, such a rapid weight loss is not approved by the health experts, but when it is, it requires constant medical supervision.

Risks of Rapid Weight Loss

  • Slower metabolism

Rapid weight loss can slow down your metabolism, and this in turn will make it harder for you to lose weight in the future. A 2016 study conducted on the contestants of the TV-show “The Biggest Loser”, showed that the metabolism rate in the participants of the study was diametrically opposed to the amount of weight they lost. In other words, the more pounds they shed, the slower their resting metabolic rate (RMR) got. Such an outcome led to significant weight regain.

  • Dehydration

Losing a lot of weight in a short period of time can result in dehydration, which is often accompanied by various unpleasant symptoms, such as headache, constipation, muscle cramps, and lack of energy. A new research found that a 2% decrease in water weight may cause increased mental fatigue, sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, and apathy.

Severe dehydration can also increase the risk of heat-related conditions, hospitalization, or even lethal outcome, as happened in 1997, when 3 collegiate wrestlers died of hypothermia and dehydration caused by their pre-competition weight-cutting methods (12).

  • Hair loss

Drastic reduction in your daily energy intake may lead to a nutrient deficiency which may result in hair loss. The lack of vital nutrients can negatively affect your hair health, damaging the structure of your hair and disrupting its growth (2).

  • Losing of muscle instead of fats

As was mentioned before, not all pounds that you shed with the help of rapid weight loss are your fat mass. One study showed that a very low calorie diet may lead to a rapid loss in water and muscle mass.

  • Poor immune function

Another negative consequence of a nutrient deficiency is a weakened immune system. Failure to provide your body with the proper amount of essential micronutrients can lead to a higher risk of various infections, a condition which increases the longer one sticks to a highly restrictive diet (10).

4 Day Diet Plan To Lose 10 Pounds: How to Lose Weight in a Healthy Way?

Now that you know how dangerous rapid weight loss is, it is time to reconsider your methods of shedding pounds and make a choice in favor of a more gradual, but healthy and sustainable weight loss, rather than trying to melt away a few excess pounds with the help of various extremely strict diet plans that promise fairytale unbelievable results in a very short time, eventually though only end up harming your health. Here are some of the methods that can help you take a healthy slimming down course and see a couple of size reductions:

  • Try Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting has proven to be potentially effective at helping people lose weight, and it is an interesting option for those who don’t like the restrictions of certain types of food or food components while trying to change their eating habits. Rather than telling you what you can and can not eat, this eating approach sets a restriction on time, telling you when and when not to consume your food. There are various types of intermittent fasting, depending on the duration of the eating window. Here are some of the most popular methods of fasting:

  • 16:8 fasting

This type of fasting allows you to eat whatever you want during an 8-hour eating window, but bans any type of food or drink, except for water during the rest of 16 hours.

  • 5:2 fasting

The 5:2 fasting allows you to follow your regular diet for 5 days a week but restricts your daily energy intake to about 500 (women) and 600 (men) calories during the other 2 days. It is important to have at least one non-fasting day between those two days where you are restricting your food intake.

  • Alternate day fasting

This method is based on the principle of fasting every other day. Depending on the level of strictness that you prefer, it may require the consumption of only 500 calories during the fasting period, or completely refrain from eating any food at all.

Evidence shows that intermittent fasting could help reduce 3-8% of body weight over 3-24 weeks. Such an eating approach may result in the loss of 0.55 to 1.65 pounds (0.25–0.75 kg) per week.

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  • Try Vegetarian diet

This diet is popular all over the globe and gains more and more popularity with each passing day. A vegetarian diet is mostly plant-based. Like with intermittent fasting, there are different types of vegetarian diets:

  • Lacto-vegetarian diet

This nutritional plan bans the consumption of meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and products that contain these foods, but allows dairy products.

  • Ovo-vegetarian diet

Ovo-vegetarians avoid meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products, but are allowed to eat eggs.

  • Lacto-ovo vegetarian diet

This diet requires you to exclude meat, fish, and poultry from your menu but allows the consumption of dairy products and eggs.

  • Pescatarian diet

This type of diet forbids the consumption of meat and poultry but allows fish, dairy and eggs.

  • Vegan diet

The strictest type of vegetarian diet, which is often considered being a separate nutritional plan, vegan diet bans all animal-related products, including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, and honey.

Some studies suggest that following a vegetarian diet may bring positive weight loss results, however more long-term research is needed.

  • Track your diet and exercise

If you want to lose weight, you should be aware of everything that you eat and drink each day. One of the most effective ways to do this is to log every item that you consume, in either a journal or an online food tracker.

What Can You Eat On A 4 Day Diet Plan To Lose 10 Pounds

Weight loss can be achieved by counting calories. Although an average adult man requires around 2,500 calories a day, and an average adult woman requires 2,000 calories a day, this number varies individually, depending on such factors, as your age, sex, initial weight, metabolism, level of physical activity, and others (4). You can calculate how many calories you personally require with this calories-burned-calculator.

As you already know, a 4 day diet plan to lose 10 pounds is not a healthy weight loss tool and can lead to various negative side effects. So, instead, here is a simple meal plan that will help you safely shed a couple of pounds without harming your body:

Day One

Breakfast: Avocado and Egg Toast (1)

Ingredients

  • ¼ avocado
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted
  • 1 large egg, fried
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon scallion, sliced

Calories: 271

A.M snack

  • 1 medium pear
  • 1 oz. cheddar cheese

Calories: 216

Lunch: Balsamic-Dijon Chicken with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/2 Balsamic-Dijon Chicken breast, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. Lemon-Tahini Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. sunflower seeds

Calories: 353

P.M snack

  • 1 medium orange
  • 8 almonds

Calories: 123 calories

Dinner: Squash & Red Lentil Curry with Brown Rice (16)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 ½ cups diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder or garam masala
  • 1 (20 ounce) package 1 20-ounce package cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomato or one 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 (14.1 ounce) can 1 14-ounce can lite coconut milk
  • 5 each lime wedges
  • 1 chopped fresh cilantro for garnish

Calories: 552

Daily totals – 1,515 calories, 74 grams protein, 62 grams fat

Day Two

Breakfast: Peanut Butter-Banana Cinnamon Toast

Ingredients

  • 1 slice whole-wheat bread, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 small banana, sliced
  • 1 pinch cinnamon to taste

Calories: 266 calories

A.M snack

  • 1 kiwi

Calories: 42

Lunch: Slow-Cooker Vegetable Soup (with 3 Tbsp. hummus and 6 seeded crackers)

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 12 ounces fresh green beans, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 2 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 4 each roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans no-salt-added cannellini or other white beans, rinsed
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • 8 teaspoons prepared pesto

Calories: 317 per 1 ½ cups

P.M snack

  • 1 kiwi

Calories: 42

Dinner: Taco Spaghetti Squash Boats (16)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ cup prepared pico de gallo or salsa, plus more for serving
  • 1 (2 1/2 pound) 1 2 1/2- to 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado, chopped

Calories: 533

Daily totals – 1,221 calories, 55 grams protein, 60 grams fat

Day Three

Breakfast: Fig & Honey Yogurt with Chia Seeds

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 3 figs dried figs, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds

Calories: 259

A.M snack

  • 1 medium orange

Calories: 62

Lunch: Meal-Prep Vegan Moroccan Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients

  • 2 heads butter or bibb lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled to room temperature (see associated recipes)
  • 4 cups Moroccan Kidney Bean & Chickpea Salad (see associated recipes)
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh mint (reserved from bean salad recipe)

Calories: 425 calories

P.M snack

  • 7 walnut halves

Dinner: Zucchini-Chickpea Veggie Burgers with Tahini-Ranch Sauce (22)

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons tahini, divided
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoons white miso, divided
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons onion powder, divided
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh chives plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • ½ cup shredded zucchini
  • ⅓ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 each whole-grain hamburger buns, toasted
  • 1 cup packed fresh arugula
  • 4 slices tomato

Calories: 373

Daily totals – 1,211 calories, 41 grams protein, 51 grams fat

Day Four

Breakfast: Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups with Clementine

Ingredients

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 ½ cups low-fat milk
  • 2 each ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 each large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup toasted chopped pecans
  • 1 clementine

Calories: 387

A.M snack

  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter

Calories: 190

Lunch: Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 slices whole-grain bread
  • 3 tablespoons hummus
  • ¼ avocado, mashed
  • ½ cup mixed salad greens
  • ¼ medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced cucumber
  • ¼ cup shredded carrot

Calories: 325

P.M snack

  • 1 medium banana

Dinner: Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajita Bowls with 1/3 cup cooked brown rice

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 ¼ pounds chicken tenders
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced
  • 4 cups chopped stemmed kale
  • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed
  • ¼ cup low-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons water

Calories: 507

Daily totals – 1,514 calories, 76 grams protein, 47 grams fat

You can modify your 4 day diet plan, but make sure it includes a great variety of foods that will provide you with the proper amount of essential nutrients, to avoid any nutrient deficiencies.

Rapid Weight Loss vs Gradual Weight Loss

At this point, you might still wonder which is better, rapid or gradual weight loss. To help you completely make up your mind, here are the results of a 2017 study, which focused on the effects of these 2 types of diet: slow weight loss (SWL) and rapid weight loss (RWL). Although short-term results of both diets were similar, similar in a reduction in waist and hip circumference, total body water, body fat mass, lean body mass and resting metabolic rate (RMR), the long-term effects showed a greater variation, with further reductions in waist and hip circumference, fat mass and body fat percentage in participants who followed a SWL diet, and only decreased total body water, lean body mass, fat-free mass and RMR in participants who followed a RWL diet (13).

So, based on that study you can draw the conclusion that SWL is overall more successful than RWL, since in the long run it reliably provides a sustainable result, while RWL just leads to slower metabolism and reductions in lean muscle mass and water weight.

The Bottom Line: Is It Possible and Safe to Lose Weight in Just 4 Days?

The answer to that question depends on how much weight you are planning to lose. For example, it is not recommended to follow a 4 day diet plan to lose 10 pounds, since it may significantly harm your health, and bring you unsustainable results. But losing around 1 or 2 pounds during that period is quite safe and even recommended by the nutrition experts.

Remember that your health should be your number one priority, and it is better to choose gradual and healthier weight loss goals, rather than what is rapid and dangerous. To successfully reach your goal, stick to a well-balanced nutritional plan that creates an adequate calorie deficit. Make sure to consult your dietitian before starting to follow any new diet or making any changes in your current nutritional plan.

Alexandra Danieli

Alexandra Danieli, CHC, The Conscious Gut
🥑 Overcome Anxiety and Depression
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