With the promise of defined muscles, better athletic performance, and healthier organs, it’s no surprise that reducing fat is the top objective of many fitness transformations. So, how do you start to lose weight? And more importantly, how much progress can you really expect to see in just 14 days?
This guide will answer all those niggling questions and help you find sustainable weight loss solutions to carry beyond a 14-day challenge. We’ll also debunk all the misleading information found online. These Instagram Influencers may boast the buffest bodies, but the quick fixes that they advise will not get you the best results in the long run. By following this guide, you’ll make weight loss a reality rather than a social media fad.
Arnold Schwarzenegger once said, “if it jiggles, it’s fat.” While this isn’t strictly true, as muscles aren’t rock-hard 24/7, targeting body fat is a great place to start on your quest for your dream body. All you need is 14 days and a long-term mindset. So what are you waiting for? Let’s start!
We’ll begin with an important disclaimer in any fitness transformation. While so many people seem to share the same physique goals, every body is different. There’s no one-size-fits-all attitude to weight loss that will work for everyone. There is, however, science-backed research that supports every tip and trick that this guide divulges.
But be warned. A lot of the information that so-called professionals spurt out can reverse hard-earned progress and create toxic relationships with fitness and food. We’re here to bust all those myths, so keep reading to make sure you don’t fall into the traps that the diet industry sets out for you.
14-Day Weight Loss Challenge
So what do I really mean by “weight loss”? And is weight loss something everyone should aim for? Your “weight” generally refers to your overall body mass. But most weight loss aspirations aren’t just about lowering that number on the scale.
If you want to look lean and strong, it’s actually body fat you need to lose, rather than weight. This is our first piece of advice when it comes to switching up your mindset and starting a fitness transformation. Your weight loss goals shouldn’t be centered around that bathroom scale but rather on how you look and feel.
Not everyone has fat to lose either. If you weigh more than you think you should or have a high BMI, this doesn’t mean you need to lose weight. Muscle weighs more than you might think. Even if you carry more body fat, you don’t have to get rid of it.
What Does Weight Loss Look Like?
Reducing body fat isn’t all about being slim. Boasting lean muscle and little fat will make an individual look strong and lean. You would want to go for this because it lies between the boundaries of being jacked and skinny.
Physical characteristics of being lean include defined muscles and muscle striations. Having a lower body fat percentage will make abdominal muscles visible, so less body fat will likely mean defined abs.
Preparing For Your Weight Loss Challenge
Before you get started on any fitness challenge, you need to make sure you’re prepared. From tracking your progress to making sure a fitness journey is something you can commit to, preparation should always come first.
Take Progression Pictures
Taking full-body physique pictures before you set out to complete any new fitness challenge will be more rewarding than using only your weight as a marker of progress.
A lot of factors outside of your body fat percentage will contribute to how much you weigh, including muscle mass, water weight, and even the time of day. In the short time frame of 14 days, you may not see a huge drop in weight. If you do, this could signal muscle loss or more concerning health conditions.
Set your sights on smaller changes in your body. Using progression pictures can help you spot these and can be used throughout your fitness journey. Photograph your back as well as your front, as small muscular changes can be seen in the least expected places.
Being in the Right Mindset
I’ve mentioned mindset before, and I’ll mention it again. Fourteen days is a short time to achieve fitness, and your expectations may be ahead of you. Starting your fitness journey for the right reasons and with the right frame of mind won’t only prevent failure but will also protect your mental health in the long run.
Ask yourself why you want to lose weight and if you’ve suffered negative associations with food and fitness before. Also, think about whether setting out on another journey will be positive for you. There’s no better change you can make for yourself than having one that prioritizes your happiness over anything. Make sure the changes you plan to make are for yourself and your health and not because of what you see on Instagram.
Also, remind yourself that quick fixes aren’t sustainable. This is why this challenge is designed to help you continue your fitness journey rather than abandon it after 14 days. Are you ready to commit? If so, keep reading.
This article will focus on the science and breakdown of dieting for weight loss. Why? Because you can’t out-train a bad diet. While a combination of eating clean and regular exercise will have you on your way to losing weight, the only way to reduce body fat is by eating in a calorie deficit.
You can achieve this through your workouts, but it will be most effective if you know how much you should be eating and how the foods you eat will affect your progress. Trying to out-train a bad diet will be exhausting, unhealthy, and less sustainable in the long run, so fix the problem at the source and make sure you understand nutrition before setting out.
This requires knowing your maintenance calories so that you can decide on a healthy deficit to be in. The fastest transformations will occur when you situate yourself in a deficit of 500 calories, meaning you eat 500 fewer calories a day than you burn. But you will see progress from smaller deficits. Anywhere between 300 to 500 is a good place to start.
The calculation for your maintenance calories takes your height, age, gender, and weekly training intensity into consideration. Many online calculators will work this out for you. But it’s not just the number of calories you consume that matters for progress.
How your calories break down into different food groups is also essential in how quickly you’ll lose weight. These subcategories are called macronutrients or macros, and they are all essential to bodily functions. However, they all perform different purposes in the body that will aid different areas of your training.
Here’s a quick breakdown:
- Carbohydrates – are your body’s main source of energy.
- Protein – the building blocks for muscle. It digests longer than carbs and fats, making it the best for keeping you satiated or full.
- Fats – highest calorie per gram count and most fattening, but is essential in absorbing vitamins.
When it comes to losing weight and eating less, we recommend swapping out your carbs for more protein. This makes you feel fuller even though you’re consuming fewer quantities of food. Now there are a lot of myths about carbs and fat, so let’s debunk some of them to help you change your diet effectively.
|Carbohydrates||The most fattening macronutrient and what you should always avoid.||Carbs are not the most fattening. They have the same calories per gram as protein. But unused carbs/energy will convert and be stored as fat in your body. Since carbs are often delicious to eat and don’t make you feel full, they can easily gain weight.|
|Protein||Has to be eaten within 30 minutes of a workout||Eating protein after a workout is great for recovery and building muscle. But your protein should be eaten evenly throughout the day, and not all in one go because of a session! Aim for 30g+ at each meal for optimum muscle growth and recovery.|
|Fat||Unhealthy for you and very fattening.||Fat is beneficial in moderate amounts as it helps vitamins to be absorbed into the bloodstream. It’s saturated fats that can have negative effects on your health in large doses. This goes beyond just weight.|
How to Start a 14-Day Weight Loss Challenge
Non-exercise Aerobic Thermogenesis
The calories that you burn in a day are increased by your daily activities. While workouts and concentrated cardio can raise this number, you don’t really need the gym to lose weight.
Most of the calories you burn will actually be from your non-exercise aerobic thermogenesis or NEAT. This is the activity that you do outside of structured exercise, like cleaning your apartment or walking to work. Focusing on increasing your NEAT during your 14-day challenge will significantly affect weight loss, even more so than working out.
The gym should be viewed as a tool for changing body composition and building strength. While boasting more muscle can increase the calories you burn, in a short time frame like 14 days, upping your NEAT will have a greater impact on daily calorie burn.
Every day for 14 days from the start of your challenge, aim to walk 8,000 to 12,000 steps every day. This will have you burning more calories every day and benefitting from steady cardio without exhausting yourself on the treadmill. The greatest advantage of taking a walk is that walks don’t necessarily make you feel hungry or exhausted, unlike jogging or running. This lets you lose more weight without wanting to eat more in return.
Water boasts immeasurable health benefits for the body. Aside from promoting healthy skin, organs, and hair, water flushes toxins and is thought to help promote a healthy metabolism.
Water can also help fill you up. While it shouldn’t be used to restrict food consumption, dehydration is often confused as hunger signals by your body. So when you feel like your stomach is an endless void, try upping your water intake and you’ll feel far more satiated.
For 14 days, try to consume up to two to three liters of water, starting from the moment you wake up to an hour before you go to bed. Don’t be concerned about bloating and water weight. Your body will adjust to this new intake and reap the benefits in the long run.
For your 14-day challenge, integrating a sustainable and effective workout routine can really help you see faster weight loss in such a short time.
But as stated, aim to use your training to change your body composition rather than burn calories. Evaluate how much time you can commit to training, between three and six days a week, and focus on building muscle and strength while in a calorie deficit.
Training for three to six days a week for two weeks will have you starting to see small changes in your muscle mass and how your body proportions its weight.
Example At-home 14-day Training Plan
Try out this example five-day training plan that targets your whole body and does not require any gym equipment. Perform weekly, every week, for optimum results:
- Day 1 – lower body workout (repeat x 4)
- Squats x 20
- Glute bridges x 20
- Bulgarian split squats x 10
- Lunges x 10
- Day 2 – upper body and abs workout (repeat x 3)
- Bench push-ups x 10
- Push-ups x 10
- Lying leg raises x 10
- Plank 30 secs
- Crunches 30 secs
- Repeat x 3
- Day 3 – active recovery
- 12,000 steps
- Day 4 – lower body workout (repeat x 4)
- Hip thrusts x 20
- Squat jumps x 10
- Donkey kicks x 20
- Step ups x 10
- Repeat x 4
- Day 5 – full body circuit (repeat x 4)
- Squats x 20
- Burpees x 10
- Mountain climbers x 10
- Tricep dips x 10
- Star jumps x 20
- Repeat x 4
Continue this routine in the ongoing weeks, and increase the intensity and resistance in your workouts to get into a sustainable habit of exercise and progression.
Frequently Asked Questions for 14-Day Weight Loss Challenge
How can I lose weight in 14 days without dieting?
If you want to lose weight in 14 days without dieting, you need to reach a calorie deficit through exercise and NEAT alone. But this method can prove tricky and puts you at risk of over-exercising. The best approach is to view your nutrition as a sustainable and long-term change to your eating, not a temporary, restrictive diet. Eat clean, high-protein foods and fuel your body with your recommended calories.
What kind of results can you expect in two weeks?
Fourteen days is not a long enough amount of time to see serious changes in weight and body composition. But it is a good time frame to build sustainable habits to take with you into your fitness journey in the future.
What is a realistic amount of weight I can lose in two weeks?
Through a healthy deficit of 500 calories a day, a reasonable amount of weight to lose in two weeks is approximately 2 lbs. This is calculated from 3500 calories a week, equaling one lb of fat burnt. Although this may seem like a small amount, any more dramatic weight loss could be damaging to your health or signal muscle loss. So don’t be disheartened by slow progress and continue your fitness journey beyond two weeks.
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
This 14-day challenge isn’t a sure-fire way to your dream body. Remember that there are no quick fixes, and you won’t achieve a dramatic transformation in 14 days. What 14 days will give you is the building blocks to a fitter future along with healthy habits you can carry beyond two weeks.