Over the last few decades, our society has turned from one of patience and reaping what we sow to one of MTV and microwave ovens, which is to say we have lost our cultural patience and developed societal ADD. 

We want it, and we want it NOW! 

Bearing this observation in mind, it should come as no surprise that one of the most often-asked questions of me is, "How do I lose X amount of pounds by such-and-such date?"  The fitness magazines have noticed this trend as well, evident by the fact that just about every headline reads, "Lose 15 lbs by the end of the month."  If this is a question you have pondered yourself, then I invite you to read on.  I just happen to have a system for when you need to Look Fabulous Fast.

Before I get into my system, though, allow me to digress for a moment.  The main reason weight loss results seem so elusive is that we tend to look for the quick fixes. 

Although we can see accelerated success from certain programs, by and large, excess weight is a problem that can't be solved that way.  I won't get into too much detail now, but just know that without a stable foundation, your house of cards will most likely crumble.  This program works best as an adjunct to a "normal" fitness and weight loss plan, not in place of one.

Okay, now that you've allowed me to say my piece, here's my system to Look Fabulous Fast.

Step 1. Decide on your program.

Whether you create your own workout and diet plan or whether you follow in the footsteps of someone who has done it before, you need a strategy.  Be prepared to workout longer and more frequently than normal and also to be much more strict on your diet.

Step 2.  Mark your calendar for the time period you'll be trying to lose weight and eliminate as many things as you realistically can. 

Extreme weight loss requires focused intensity, the likes of which can't be sustained for long periods of time, but can work in the very short term.  Streamline your calendar to eliminate distractions and potential schedule conflicts.  Mark down the days you'll be working out and don't let anything get in the way of those workouts.

Step 3.  Prepare, Prepare, Prepare. 

The more prepared you are at the outset of this extreme program, the better your results will be.  The last thing you want is to be derailed because you were caught in a position where your only choices were bad ones.  As much as possible, have meals prepared ahead of time and frozen.  We're trying to create our own convenience.  Once again, this is short term, so you can buckle down for a few weeks.

Step 4. Have an "Emergency Kit." 

It is a good idea to strategically place some back up supplies so that if all else fails, you can still stay true to your plan.  Have sneakers, shorts, a tee shirt, and some socks in your car in case you forgot to pack your gym bag and you don't have enough time to make it home.  Also keep some protein bars or shakes stashed in your desk at work just in case you can't get to real food.  It's also not a bad idea to have some back up workout plans ready in the event that you need to keep your workout short.  These shorter workouts shouldn't be the backbone of your program, but they are a better alternative to skipping a workout.

Step 5.  Be disciplined and remain strong in the face of criticism. 

Now that you've formulated your plan, it's time to execute it.  Friends and family may try to discourage you from being so extreme, but remember, you wanted to do this.  People who don't believe they can do something often try to tell you that you can't do it either.  Don't let other somebody else's excuses become your own.  If your reasons are strong enough, you'll do it no matter what.

There you have it ... my 5-Step Look Fabulous Fast Plan.  Is it extreme?  You bet'cha, but extreme circumstances call for extreme measures.  Sprinkle this in a couple times during the year when you really want to ramp up your results, or use it when "emergencies" pop up.

Chances are you wouldn't be able to follow this plan for very long because it is very demanding - but if you stay true to it for a few weeks at a time, you can see amazing results!