Protein Sparing Modified Fast and Rapid Weight Loss Diets: How to Lose 10 lbs in 2 Weeks | Not Your Average Fitness Tips

Protein Sparing Modified Fast and Rapid Weight Loss Diets: How to Lose 10 lbs in 2 Weeks

With summer only a few weeks away, I thought now was the best time to discuss a protein sparing modified fast and other rapid weight loss diets.  Rapid weight loss diets can help you lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks, but they are not sustainable for long periods of time.  I’d caution that these types of short term dieting approaches are extremely restrictive and require intense focus and effort.  Empty your fridge and shut off your cell phone because the protein sparing modified fast and other rapid weight loss diets only allow a strict menu of choices.  These diets tend to be low in carbs as well.  Some people do fine on low carb diets; others are irritable and miserable.  If you’re the latter group, your friends will probably hate you for 2 weeks.  That’s why rapid weight loss diets should only be done for special events or once in a lifetime occasions.  If you want to lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks, then here are a few strategies to get you there.  Some of these are excerpted from my free How to Get a Beach Body in 2 Months report.

How to Lose 10 lbs in 2 Weeks

Is it really possible to lose 10lbs in 2 weeks?  Yes it is but it requires an extremely restrictive diet that should only be done for a few weeks at a time.  In my opinion, the best approach for this 2 week diet is a protein sparing modified fast.  It sounds more complicated than it really is.

The basic premise is that you significantly reduce your calories but ensure you get enough high quality, low fat protein to maintain muscle mass.  Low glycemic vegetables are the only other foods you are allowed to eat.  Because of the significant caloric restriction, high quality essential fatty acids and multivitamins must be taken.

Protein Sparing Modified Fast

What are the specifics of this diet?  Here’s the approach as outlined in Visual Impact for Women:

  • Eat 6 calories per pound of target body weight
  • Eat 0.7 grams of protein per pound of current body weight
  • All other calories are green vegetables
  • Take a multivitamin
  • Take 6 grams of Omega-3 fish capsules per day
  • No drinks except black coffee, tea, diet soda, water
  • Don’t eat 3-4 hours before or 1 hour after a workout

If you do the math, you can see how extreme this diet is.  Calories will be restricted to less than 1,000 on a daily basis for a lot of people.  Protein will probably make up more than half your diet.  Additionally, that protein should be low in fat so you’re restricted to skinless chicken/turkey, lean beef, egg whites, non-fat cheese, and protein powder.  There’s no room for any other carbs beyond vegetables either.

For all this effort, does the diet even work?  In truth, the protein sparing modified fast diet was originally designed for the morbidly obese.  In a six week study, the average obese dieter lost 32lbs of body fat.  This approach also works for people who aren’t obese because it creates a significant caloric deficit.  Don’t forget, in addition to this diet, you’re still performing an intense workout routine.  If you do the math, the overall deficit may not be enough to lose 10lbs of body fat, but when you add in water weight, you should be able to lose 10lbs in 2 weeks.

Velocity Diet

The Velocity Diet is another rapid weight loss diet.  I don’t claim to know everything about this diet but it’s a 28 day long approach that involves 5 meals of shakes and supplements.  Once per week, you’re allowed a healthy solid meal as one of your 5 meals.  As you can tell, your diet will be pretty bland since you’re limited to shakes and supplements for the vast majority of the time.  Additionally, it’s very restrictive since the only calories you get are from the shakes.  The principles are similar to the protein sparing modified fast in that you get adequate protein and necessary vitamins and minerals while eliminating other non-essential foods.  The 28 day approach makes this a little more challenge but should help you form good eating habits for the rest of your life (it takes around a month to break bad habits).

2 Shakes and a Chicken Breast Salad

Rusty Moore developed this very simple approach.  I remember reading about it as part of phase 3 of his Visual Impact Muscle Building course.  For breakfast, you have a protein shake.  For lunch, you have another protein shake.  For dinner, you have a chicken breast salad.  It’s kind of brilliant in its simplicity, right?  You’re getting plenty of protein from the shakes and chicken and getting nutrients from the salad.  It’s tough to keep this up for 2 straight weeks but may be much more doable for some people than the protein sparing modified fast or Velocity Diet.  You can read more about this on the Fitness Black Book Facebook page.

Rapid Weight Loss Diets

Your desire to perform rapid weight loss diets is probably driven by how important it is for you to lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks and get in great shape.  Theoretically, you can actually perform these diets for 2-3 months at a time.  However, I would highly recommend alternating between 1-2 weeks of these extremely strict approaches and 1-2 weeks of a more moderate diet approach.  Alternating is important because you could risk health problems if you simply try to do a protein sparing modified fast or other rapid weight loss diets on their own for too long.  Bottom line, I’d probably just use these approaches to rapidly lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks prior to a big event.  From there, go back to losing weight over the long term with approaches like the Anything Goes Diet or Eat Stop Eat.

33 Responses to “Protein Sparing Modified Fast and Rapid Weight Loss Diets: How to Lose 10 lbs in 2 Weeks”

  • jessica:

    So how do you make the new weight stick? Wouldn’t you just gain back some (or even all) of the weight once you re-introduce carbs and other foods even? I notice that when I eat at maintenance calories or even slightly below after I go low-carb I gain back weight. It could be water and/or glycocen, but it’s definitely mentally tough to see that scale go up.

    Do you have any tips to help make the weight loss stick after a rapid fat loss diet like these? Thanks!

  • Jessica,
    That’s the million dollar question! That’s also the reason I’m not a huge fan of rapid weight loss diets. After these diets, you will regain water weight as you mentioned, especially as you reintroduce carbs. One initial recommendation is to not just look at the scale. Take measurements with a tape measure or skin caliper so you know if you’re really gaining back fat or just water weight. As for maintenance diets, you’ll have to find an approach that works for you but intermittent fasting is my preferred method for keeping the weight off. I’ll throw in some carb cycling as well but don’t like to let my diet affect my lifestyle too much. I’d be happy to discuss some other possible methods depending on your unique situation. We can either discuss through back and forth comments here or via email if you’d prefer.
    Dave

  • The Protein Sparing Modified Fast you talked about kind of reminds me of the no-carb diet outlined by Tim Ferriss in the 4Hr Body. I tried that diet (just for kicks) and found it extremely difficult to stick with. You don’t realize how hard it is to find foods with no carbs until you try.

  • God I love the internet. I had no idea that so many other people tried the same diet I have.
    I followed Lyle McDonald’s outline in his rapid weight loss book.
    I did it a bit differently…
    I normally plan way ahead if I want to look extra lean for whatever reason, and every year I try to look my best for the Burning Man festival.
    One year… instead of dieting 8 weeks out like I usually do, I kept everything normal, but 3 weeks out… I was focused like a laser on a very low calorie diet laid out by Lyle.
    I chose 3 weeks for two reasons;
    1. It gave me an extra week just in case
    2. I was committed considering the event I was attending. Anyone who knows me can tell you I have a very healthy ‘vanity’ muscle.
    So…
    [+}it does work
    [+]it *will* test your discipline
    [+]take full advantage of the veggies- they help a lot by acting as a filler
    [+]do not ‘reward’ yourself when it is over. The week following completion is just as challenging in my opinion.
    I found it also helps if you have a job or hobby that keeps your minds attention so that you do not keep thinking about food.

  • Good tips… I’m with you, I would much rather take a long term approach that sticks rather than a crash diet.
    I am however a fan of taking protein shakes first thing in the morning and have found it to help me in keeping body fat lower.

    -Sam

  • Srdjan,
    I completely agree. Finding good low carb foods is a challenge, especially for the long term. At best, I do some carb cycling but need to refuel from time to time.

    Chad,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. Excellent insights.

    Sam,
    Protein in the morning is a good idea. I skip breakfast a lot, but when I do eat it, I usually go with the protein shake as well.

    Dave

  • I think for a short term way to lose weight, this would be great, but for the long haul I would just stick with intermittent fasting. The best thing about these diets are that they are for a short term, get ready for an event, type of diet. If they were for a longer term, not many people would stick with it. I know I wouldn’t because you never mentioned drinking a few margaritas in any of these diets! :-)

    -Kelly

  • Hi Dave

    These all look great strategies to drop weight quickly or help get through a dreaded fat loss plateau. At the moment I try to follow the Paleo diet as closely as possible with some intermittent fasts thrown in for good measure. I have also increased the ratio of my cardio training to try and burn more calories. At the moment this doesn´t feel too extreme and I am losing fat consistently however for those last stubborn 2 kilos I will probably ramp it up for a couple of weeks and use the Rusty 2 shakes and a chicken salad option.
    Cheers
    Howard

  • Dave,
    Great info for people trying to get in peak condition (at least to the naked eye). I have tried the 2 shakes and chicken salad but couldn’t stick with it. I am more into the long term approach, and it is working well. Paleo + Intermittent fasting!

    That being said, I still want to push the envelope to see how ripped I can get. I know I can push a bit harder. It’s a matter of curiosity now….So I will try one of your suggestions a few weeks out from my vacation!

    From your list..if you had the pick the easiest diet to stick with, which method would you chose?

    Cheers,
    Jordan

  • Kelly,
    You’re absolutely correct. Unless your job is dependent on staying in top condition, there’s no reason someone shouldn’t enjoy a drink or two every once in a while.

    Howard,
    Sounds like you have a great plan in place to get lean!

    Jordan,
    I’m in a similar situation right now…just seeing if I can really get that ripped look before a vacation later this summer. The protein sparing modified fast and velocity diet are too extreme for me. If I had to pick, I’d go with 2 shakes and a chicken salad. However, right now I’m just doing carb cycling and meal timing. In addition to intermittent fasting and just trying to eat well during the week, these strategies seem to give me an extra boost. I still like my cheat day on the weekend too!

    Dave

  • Dave,

    I’m really looking forward to checking out Joel Marion’s Xtreme Fat Loss Diet which is being launched next week. I’ve read all the preview materials and this looks to be very effective for dropping fat in a relatively short period of time (cycle length is 25 days). The thing that sets it apart from every other program I’ve seen is that it stresses the synergistic effect of strategically combining fasting, cheat meals, and workouts with a laser sharp focus on dropping fat quickly.

    Alykhan

  • Great post. A good way to drop a few pounds for a photo shoot or some other important event.

    Also a great way to jump start your diet for the summer.

  • Alykhan,
    Thanks for the heads up on Joel Marion’s new product. It sounds very similar to the approach I am currently taking that incorporates meal timing, carb cycling, fasting, and cheat days.

    Jason,
    Certainly not for the average dieter, but these rapid weight loss diets are nice for once in a lifetime occasions.

    Dave

  • Never heard of most of these diets before! I’m definitely going to have to try them out when I start cutting for the summer.

  • Nathan,
    Right before summer is the optimal time for any of these…they’re really tough so only use them sparingly!
    Dave

  • Velocity was tough,and probably the hardest out of the ones above, but from what I saw with the results, it worked great for many people.

    Thanks for posting this selection Dave.

  • Ahmed,
    I’ve never personally tried Velocity but it definitely sounds challenging. The length of the diet as well as being shakes only for the most part is tough.
    Dave

  • Michelle Griffin:

    I have done this before… actually much more extreme than this. I was able to shed of 10 lbs in seven days and here is what i did…

    1. Weight train M-W-F-Sun (5am-7am)
    2. Do evening runs (from M-Sat, 7pm-8:30pm)
    3. NEVER EAT CARBS (yes)
    4. Eat only egg whites, apples, oranges, tuna, chicken breast for the whole week

    Now I was able to lose 10 lbs in almost 7 days. I was able to replicate it twice, but you have to be in fairly good shape to do this. Running and weight training on the same day for almost 5 days is really draining. You have to be focused on your goals and it is not advisable to do this always. I only did it 2 times.

    Michelle of 4thebeach beach chairs

  • Michelle,
    You’re right, this isn’t something you want to do on a regular basis. In fact, the protein sparing modified fast was originally just done for the morbidly obese.
    Dave

  • Joe:

    Dave,

    What brand of protein powders do you like to use? I was looking at the ProGrade stuff but it is kind of pricey. Looking for something that is equivalent quality wise but maybe a little more affordable.

  • Joe,
    I actually don’t use protein shakes any more. I just eat plenty of lean meat, chicken, etc. ProGrade is definitely top notch but pricey. You get what you pay for. I used to drink Muscle Milk because I enjoyed the taste. Way back in the day, I used Myoplex. Neither of those was a pure protein shake though, more of a post workout drink. Sorry I can’t offer any more insights.
    Dave

  • Toni:

    Dave,
    Wow, I just did the math from VI’s recommended calories and I would be allowed to eat 744 calories daily. Very extreme indeed. It could work if you were say, getting ready for an event like a wedding, vacation or a high school reunion but other than that, it just doesn’t seem worth being that restrictive. BTW, I’ve heard that women do better on low-carb diets than men.
    ~Toni

  • Toni,
    Yep, the protein sparing modified fast is extremely rigid…that’s why it should only be done for a short time and was originally just designed to help the morbidly obese.
    Dave

  • Natasha:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your reply to my HIIT question. I enjoyed reading the how to get a perfect beach body and have decided as of next week to implement the fitness programme.

    I’ve also decided to have a go at this diet but I have a few questions.

    I started the diet yesterday and i’m finding it so hard already!! I Lack will power!

    What I’d like to know is am I able to eat fish on this diet, salmon, mackarel, tuna? and I know it says strictly green vegetables but are tomatoes allowed and red onion? also what about fruit.

    I’m not sure on how much protein I should be eating, at present I weigh 125-126 lb. Yesterday I averaged only 800 cals, this was having two meals which consisted of chicken salad and egg and tomatoes in the morning As a snack I had some almonds. Is this too low an amount I should be eating?and are the almonds allowed?

    As a treat am I also allowed some peanut butter?

    I know ur probably going to say I’m not allowed it but what’s your thoughts.

    Kind regards

    Natasha

  • Natasha,
    If you’re technically following the diet, then you should stick with green veggies, avoiding the others and fruit. I’d recommend using the framework as a starting point rather than forcing yourself to strictly follow it though. For example, try to average around 10x your target weight in calories per day…in that case, you’d shoot for around 1,100-1,200. You can have some days where you eat less and other days where you eat more if you’d prefer as long as you average around 1,150 each day for the week. Protein is good because it’s filling. 100g of protein would be good…that would be 400 calories. I’d limit carbs as much as you can…maybe 100g per day as well…that’s another 400 calories. With the carbs, stick with fruit or other natural carbs avoiding sugar and processed foods. Ideally you’d eat less carbs with most coming from veggies and devote more calories to protein, but it depends how well you do with low carb diets. Finally, the remaining 400 calories could be fat…that would be around 45g. That’s where your PB would fit in and fish would fit in (obviously they have both protein and fat). Finally, if you really want to get detailed, try to time the majority of carbs 1-2 hours after your workouts and really limit them the rest of the day. Hopefully that helps provide a little guidance. Please don’t go overboard…remember that you’re already in good shape and it’s only worth sacrificing so much to get into great shape. Let me know if I can provide any more advice.
    Dave

  • Natasha:

    Hi Dave, thanks for your reply. I’m really struggling with breakfast suggestions of food to eat, at the mo eggs seem like a good choice but what else could I have? and with the eggs should it just be the egg white or is the yolk ok too? I’m pretty much sorted for lunch and dinner but just not breakfast. Is demerra sugar also ok to use in tea as it says you’re allowed tea, mostly I drink green tea but do enjoy the odd cup or two first thing in the morning. So far i’m doing ok’ish with this diet plan, I’m usually a carb person, love my potatoes, pasta, cereal, crisps but so far i’m not doing to bad, although a few headaches, is this common? and I am drinking lots of water. Thanks once again for your advice.

    Natasha

  • Natasha:

    Hi Dave just another question, at present I use a site called calorie count to monitor what I am eating and my exercise routines, on this site it states that 100g cooked chicken breast equals about 165 calories. How accurate are thses sites and have you ever used one?

    Natasha

  • Natasha,
    Breakfast is tough but eggs are a good choice. I like them in their full form since you get the most protein. For details I won’t spend too much time on, I think the cholesterol and saturated fat concern with eggs (and many other natural foods) is overblown. I’d stay away from sugar in any form if you can. The headaches are probably just a bit of a withdrawal symptom from the lack of carbs…they should go away. If not, start adding some more carbs back in to your diet. As for calorie counting, some sites are better than others. I try to refer to packaging where I can. If not, some of the online sites like the one you mentioned are a good general starting point. Don’t obsess too much because it’s very difficult to measure portion sizes. Keep me up to date on your progress!
    Dave

  • natasha:

    Hi Dave, just thought I’d say thanks for all of your advice and send you a message to let you know of my progress/downfalls/highs etc. Well I started the diet a week ago Friday, I couldn’t cut out the sugar completely as I love to have a sweet cup of tea in the morning, the rest of the day green tea is fine, so that’s been one of my down falls and also eating some crisps, which have been my hardest thing to give up but apart from that I’ve done great. I can say most of the time now I do not feel hungry, like I used to and I am definatly eating more green veg and protein than I ever have. I had some headaches which I wasn’t sure if it was down to the diet or holiday injections, but today no headache so far.
    I’ve still been exercising and feel pretty good. My weight has dropped. I started at about 125-126 (scales always show something different) and today I weighed myself and I am 121.8 so I’m pretty pleased with that, just a shame the weight still wont come off where I want it to the most!!I’m going to try and stick this diet out for another week so I’ll update you then with further progress.
    Thanks for all your advice.
    Natasha.

  • Wow, 10 lbs in 2 weeks, that diet has to be hard.

  • Natasha,
    Great job putting everything together. 3-4lbs in a week is fantastic, especially at your weight. Some of it was probably water weight but hopefully the lower water retention is helping you look better as well. I hope after all this you let yourself go and really enjoy the vacation…after showing off your well earned beach body of course!
    Dave

  • Jessica:

    Was wonder with the protien shake and chicken salad can you do it like 2 weeks on and then a moderate diet of like 1200 calories for 3 weeks? I am 35 and 5’6 205 pounds I need to get this weight off and any advice is very much appreciated.

  • Jessica,
    If you can handle the diet for 2 full weeks, that sounds good. Just remember that you have to take things relatively slowly overall. While you may lose a bunch of weight over 2 weeks with the diet, the challenge is keeping it off and continuing to make progress. That’s why you need to pace yourself. Ultimately you might want to stick with a moderate diet for 3 weeks and then this more intense approach for 1 week so that every month you make a good deal of progress without burning out.
    Dave

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