How to Drop 5kg in 28 Days

Is it really possible for average Joes and Janes to shed 5 kilos in 28 days without following a bland and restrictive diet?

The answer is yes!

But look, if you’re skeptical, we get it. After all, we’re bombarded by “get ripped now” and “drop 25 pounds in a flash” programs at every turn.

And if you’ve ever followed one of these quick-fix schemes, you know they fail miserably at the job of getting you lean.

Don’t let that discourage you! You really can lose weight and fat in record time with a few simple steps.

So, in this article, you’ll discover 5 powerful steps to lose 5 kilos in the next 28 days.

Important: these steps are scientifically proven to lower the number on your scale. They are not pulled out of thin air by some “weight loss guru” because they sound sexy. (Which, by the way, is a common practice in the fitness industry.)

Let’s do this!

Step 1: Slash the Calories

Losing weight is simple, at least in theory: if you consume fewer calories than you burn, the number on your scale will go down [1-3].

An experiment by Mark Haub, a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University, clearly demonstrates this. 

He consumed cakelets, Little Debbie snacks, sugary cereals, Doritos, and other junk food but maintained a deficit of 800 kcal per day. 

The result? In two months, professor Haub lost 27 pounds and dropped his body fat from 33.4% to 24.9% [4].

Sure, that’s not a healthy weight loss approach. And if you do the math, you’ll see that he also lost a fair share of lean body mass. But the fact remains that in order to lose weight, you must be in a negative energy balance. 

Thereby, your first step to slimming down is tracking your calories.

There are various apps that make calorie tracking easier. Two popular ones are MyFitnessPall and Cronometer.

Don’t have the time or too lazy to track calories? Well, consider this: one review found that programs using calorie counting led, on average, to 7 pounds (3.3 kg) more weight loss [5]. So keep track!

Step 2: Cut Back On Sugar 

On average, we consume 19.5 teaspoonfuls of sugar a day [6]. That’s roughly 120,000 empty calories per person each year!

Such staggering sugar intake is not only terrible for your health, but it also wreaks havoc on your body shape.

Why? Well, first off, sugar doesn’t satiate hunger effectively, especially when ingested in liquid form. As a result, those calories usually end up on top of the energy you already consume [7].

It’s why added sugars are one of the main reasons for 63% of Australians being overweight or obese [8].

However, not only does sugar promote fat gain, but it can also cause water retention, thus giving your body a “soft” look.

Why’s that? Because sugar causes a sharp rise in insulin levels. This increases re-absorption of sodium in your kidneys, which in turn makes your body hold onto excess fluids [9-10].

For those two reasons, cutting your sugar intake is one of the most effective and fastest ways to slim down.

This includes expelling fruit juices from your diet. They contain as much sugar and calories as sugary soft drinks, sometimes even more [11]. 

One study found that when overweight individuals drank 480 ml of grape juice a day for three months, they developed insulin resistance and their waist circumference increased [12].

Does the same apply to whole fruits? The answer is no.

Fruit is loaded with fibre, has a high water content, and a lot of chewing resistance. For these reasons, it is very filling and aids your weight loss efforts [13-16].

Step 3: Up Your Protein 

Whether you have a lot of weight to lose or just want to get rid of those last few bits of “stubborn fat”, eating more protein is one of the easiest and tastiest ways to achieve it.

One study found that when subjects raised their protein intake from 15% to 30% of their daily energy consumption, they lost on average 11 pounds in 12 weeks [17].

Impressive, especially when you consider that the participants didn’t make any other changes to their diet.

But why is protein so effective at getting you lean? The reason is that protein is highly satiating.

Protein raises the satiety hormones Peptide YY, GLP-1, and cholecystokinin while reducing the hunger hormone ghrelin [18-21]. 

Besides, protein has a high thermic value, which refers to how much energy goes into digesting and processing it.

Carbs have a 5-10% thermic value and fat only 0-3%, while protein has a thermic effect of 20-30% [22]. 

This means that if you consume 100 calories from protein, only 70 to 80 of them end up as usable by your body.

But the power of protein doesn’t stop here. Getting enough protein also prevents muscle loss on a diet [23]. This enhances your sex appeal and keeps your metabolic rate buzzing. 

How much protein should you get daily to optimize your fat loss efforts, I hear you ask?

Aim for between 1.8 and 2.7 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily [24]. So, if you weigh 70 kilos, get between 126 and 189 grams of protein a day.

Step 4: Limit Your Salt Intake

Another fast way to lose weight is by cutting back on your salt intake.

The reason is that sodium increases fluid retention both inside and outside of your cells [25-27]. In other words, sodium makes you hold onto water.

That’s one of the main reasons why the number on your scale is usually higher the morning after you eat at a restaurant.

Fortunately, it also works the other way around: if you cut your salt intake, your body sheds excess water.

Sure, this drop in weight doesn’t come from fat mass, but it will give you a leaner and denser look.

To reduce sodium consumption, ditch canned and pre-packaged foods as they’re usually loaded with sodium. Instead, prepare your meals yourself from whole foods.

You should also increase your potassium intake. Potassium is a mineral that acts in an antagonistic way to sodium.

While sodium brings water into your cell, potassium pumps it outside and so decreases water retention [28].

Step 5: Drink Enough Water

Staying hydrated is not only crucial for general health, but it can also lead to a drop in body weight.

Why? Well, to begin with, being well-hydrated reduces water retention [29].

The reason is that your body always wants to maintain a healthy fluid balance. If you’re constantly dehydrated – which is the default state for most people – your body will hold onto water to prevent fluid levels from becoming too low.

However, if you stay hydrated, your body will dump excess fluids. This reduces the number on your scale and gives you a leaner and denser look.

But that’s not all. Drinking water – especially before your meals – also helps you lose fat by keeping your calorie intake in check.

One study found that drinking water 30 minutes before a meal increases weight loss over a three-month period by 44% [30].

Several studies back this up. When overweight individuals increase their water intake, they lose a significant amount of weight and fat [31-33].

You can see now that drinking water (especially before your meals) is an easy way to advance your weight loss efforts. It decreases both water retention and your energy intake.

While the optimal water intake varies among individuals, an effective way to check your hydration status is by evaluating your urine.

Your urine should be clear to light yellow. If it is darker, you’re dehydrated and need to drink more water.

Step 6: Get Enough Sleep

Bad sleep and excess weight go hand in hand. Adults with poor sleep are 55% more likely to become obese. In children, this number rises to a staggering 89% [34].

What’s especially worrisome is that just a few days of sleep deprivation are enough to take a toll on your body shape.

One study allowed 16 adults to sleep only five hours over five nights. As a result, they gained an average of 0.82 kilo (1.8 pounds) over that short time-frame [35].

Why does poor sleep lead to weight gain? The main reason is that it increases food consumption [35-36]. Just one hour less of sleep can boost food intake by as much as 45% [36].

This is because poor sleep increases hunger by changing your brain chemistry. Sleep deprivation lowers satiating hormones such as leptin while raising the hunger hormone ghrelin [37].

Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer those havoc-wreaking effects of sleep deprivation on your body shape: just get enough sleep and you’ll experience fewer hunger cravings plus have a much easier time getting rid of excess weight.


1. Golay, A., Allaz, A. F., Morel, Y., De Tonnac, N., Tankova, S., & Reaven, G. (1996). Similar weight loss with low- or high-carbohydrate diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 63(2), 174-8.

2. Leibel, R. L., Hirsch, J., Appel, B. E., & Checani, G. C. (1992). Energy intake required to maintain body weight is not affected by wide variation in diet composition. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 55(2), 350-5.

3. Strasser, B., Spreitzer, A., & Haber, P. (2007). Fat loss depends on energy deficit only, independently of the method for weight loss. Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, 51(5), 428-32.

4. Park, M. (2010, November 8). Twinkie diet helps nutrition professor lose 27 pounds. Retrieved from

5. Hartmann-Boyce, J., Johns, D. J., Jebb, S. A., & Aveyard, P. (2014). Effect of behavioural techniques and delivery mode on effectiveness of weight management: systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression. Obesity Reviews, 15(7), 598-609. 

6.  Ervin, R. B., & Ogedn, C. L. (2013, May). Consumption of Added Sugars Among U.S. Adults, 2005–2010. Retrieved from

7. Bray, G. A., Nielsen, S. J., & Popkin, B. M. (2004). Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 79(4), 537-43.

8. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2016. Australia’s health 2016. Australia’s health series no. 15. Cat. no. AUS 199. Canberra: AIHW

9. Horrita, S., Seki, G., Yamada, H., Suzuki, M., Koike, K., & Fujita, T. (2011). Insulin resistance, obesity, hypertension, and renal sodium transport. International Journal of Hypertension, 2011, 391762.

10. Tiwari, S., Riazi, S., & Ecelbarger, C. A. (2007). Insulin’s impact on renal sodium transport and blood pressure in health, obesity, and diabetes. American Journal of Physiology. Renal Physiology, 293(4), 974-84.

11. Gill, J. M., & Sattar, N. (2014). Fruit juice: just another sugary drink? The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, 2(6), 444-6.

12. Hollis, J. H., Houchins, J. A., Blumberg, J. B., & Mattes, R. D. (2009). Effects of concord grape juice on appetite, diet, body weight, lipid profile, and antioxidant status of adults. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 28(5), 574-82.

13. Schroder, K. E. (2010). Effects of fruit consumption on body mass index and weight loss in a sample of overweight and obese dieters enrolled in a weight-loss intervention trial. Nutrition, 26(7-8), 727-34. 

14. Ello-Martin, J. A., Roe, L. S., Ledikwe, J. H., Beach, A. M., & Rolls, B. J. (2007). Dietary energy density in the treatment of obesity: a year-long trial comparing 2 weight-loss diets. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 85(6), 1465-77.

15. Ledikwe, J. H., Blanck, H. M., Kettel Khan, L., Serdula, M. K., Seymour, J. D., Tohill, B. C., & Rolls, B. J. (2006). Dietary energy density is associated with energy intake and weight status in US adults. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 83(6), 1372-8.

16. Sartorelli, D. S., Franco, L. J., & Cardoso, M. A. (2008). High intake of fruits and vegetables predicts weight loss in Brazilian overweight adults. Nutrition Research, 28(4), 233-8.

17. Weigle, D. S., Breen, P. A., Matthys, C. C., Callahan, H. S., Meeuws, K. E., Burden, V. R., & Purnell, J. Q. (2005). A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 82(1), 41-8.

18. Lejeune, M. P., Westerterp, K. R., Adam, T. C., Luscombe-Marsh, N. D., & Westerterp-Plantenga, M. S. (2006). Ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 concentrations, 24-h satiety, and energy and substrate metabolism during a high-protein diet and measured in a respiration chamber. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 83(1), 89-94. 

19. Batterham, R. L., Heffron, H., Kapoor, S., Chivers, J. E., Chandarana, K., Herzog, H., . . . Withers, D. J. (2006). Critical role for peptide YY in protein-mediated satiation and body-weight regulation. Cell Metabolism, 4(3), 223-33. 

20.Hannon-Engel, S. (2012). Regulating satiety in bulimia nervosa: the role of cholecystokinin. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 48(1), 34-40.

21. Blom, W. A., Lluch, A., Staflue, A., Vinoy, S., Holst, J. J., Schaafsma, G., & Hendriks, H. F. (2006). Effect of a high-protein breakfast on the postprandial ghrelin response. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 83(2), 211-20.

22. Westerp, K. R. (2004). Diet induced thermogenesis. Nutrition and Metabolism, 18;1(1), 5.

23. Mettler, S., Mitchell, N., & Tipton, K. D. (2010). Increased protein intake reduces lean body mass loss during weight loss in athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 42(2), 326-37

24. 17. Murphy, C. H., Hector, A. J., & Phillips, S. M. (2015). Considerations for protein intake in managing weight loss in athletes. European Journal of Sport Science, 15(1), 21-8.

25. Kojima, S., Inoue, I., Hirata, Y., Saito, F., Yoshida, K., Abe, H., . . . Yoshimi, H. (1987). Effects of changes in dietary sodium intake and saline infusion on plasma atrial natriuretic peptide in hypertensive patients. Clinical and Experimental Hypertension, 9(7), 1243-58.

26. Luft, F. C., Rankin, L. I., Bloch, R., Willis, L. R., Fineberg, N. S., & Weinberger, M. H. (1983). The effects of rapid saline infusion on sodium excretion, renal function, and blood pressure at different sodium intakes in man. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 2(4), 464-70.

27. McKnight, J. A., Roberts, G., Sheridan, B., & Atkinson, A. B. (1994). The effect of low and high sodium diets on plasma atrial natriuretic factor, the renin-aldosterone system and blood pressure in subjects with essential hypertension. Clinical Endocrinology, 40(1), 73-7.

28. Gallen, I. W., Rosa, R. M., Esparaz, D. Y., Young, J. B., Robertson, G. L., BAttle, D., . . . Landsberg, L. (1998). On the mechanism of the effects of potassium restriction on blood pressure and renal sodium retention. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 31(1), 19-27.

29. Negoianu, D., & Goldfarb, S. (2008). Just add water. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 19(6), 1041-3.

30. Dennis, E. A., Dengo, A. L., Comber, D. L., Flack, K. D., Savla, J., Davy, K. P., & Davy, B. M. (2010). Water consumption increases weight loss during a hypocaloric diet intervention in middle-aged and older adults. Obesity, 18(2), 300-7.

31. Stookey, J. D., Constant, F., Popkin, B. M., & Gardner, C. D. (2008). Drinking water is associated with weight loss in overweight dieting women independent of diet and activity. Obesity, 16(11), 2481-8.

32. Vii, V. A., & Joshi, A. S. (2013). Effect of ‘water induced thermogenesis’ on body weight, body mass index and body composition of overweight subjects. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, 7(9), 1894-6.

33. Vii, V. A., & Joshi, A. S. (2014). Effect of excessive water intake on body weight, body mass index, body fat, and appetite of overweight female participants. Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, 5(2), 340-4.

34. Cappuccio, F. P., Taggart, F. M., Kandala, N. B., Currie, A., Peile, E., Stranges, S., & Miller, M. A. (2008). Meta-Analysis of Short Sleep Duration and Obesity in Children and Adults. Sleep, 31(5), 619-626.

35. Markwald, R. R., Melanson, E. L., Smith, M. R., Higgins, J., Perreault, L., Eckel, R. H., & Wright, K. P., Jr. (2013). Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2;110(14), 5695-700. 

36. Chaput, J. P., & Tremblay, A. (2012). Sleeping habits predict the magnitude of fat loss in adults exposed to moderate caloric restriction. Obesity Facts, 5(4), 561-6. 

37. Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T., & Mignot, E. (2004). Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS Medicine, 1(3), 62.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *