Losing weight quickly requires a combination of healthy eating, regular physical activity, and adopting sustainable lifestyle changes. The entire social media is filled with the question of how to lose weight fast. It’s important to note that crash diets and extreme weight loss methods can be harmful to your health and often lead to temporary results. It’s better to focus on making gradual, sustainable changes that you can maintain over time. Having said that here are some safer strategies to help you lose weight fast:
Exercising is one of the most common methods to lose weight, apart from dieting. Besides helping you lose weight, regular exercise helps prevent or manage several health conditions including stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, depression, and anxiety. It also boosts your energy and mood.
So try to find an activity you enjoy and are able to fit into your routine. Exercise at least 30 minutes per day, five days a week.
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that involves regular short-term fasts and eating meals within a shorter time period during the day. Some studies suggest that alternate-day fasting is about as effective as a typical low-calorie diet for weight loss.
The two best intermittent fasting methods are the following:
- Alternate-day Fasting: Fast every other day and eat normally on non-fasting days.
- The 5:2 Fasting: Fast on 2 out of every 7 days. On fasting days eat 500–600 calories.
We don’t recommend the 16/8 fasting method. In this method, you need to fast for 16 hours a day and eat only during an 8-hour window. To accommodate this particular eating window, most people are forced to skip their breakfast. But, skipping breakfast is a great blunder in your weight loss journey.
Keep this in mind. You must adopt a healthy eating pattern on non-fasting days and should avoid over-eating. If you are looking for an intermittent fasting schedule, Eat Stop Eat is a fantastic option.
Tracking Your Diet and Exercise
Tracking fitness progress is a critical aspect of your weight loss journey. With numerous technological advancements in recent years, fitness and weight loss tracking apps are easily accessible to help you achieve your goal. An estimate shows that in 2020, more than 71, 000 health and fitness apps were released globally. According to 2021 data, total health app downloads stood at 2.48 billion.
It is also possible for you to track your fitness and meal plans in a food journal or through body measurements and photos.
Most weight loss programs and personal trainers require you to keep a food and exercise journal to help you monitor your progress. The benefits of tracking diet and exercise are the following.
- Tracking holds you more accountable.
- Helps you in data-driven modifications in diet.
- Helps you in determining what foods make you feel bloated, what foods give you more energy, and many more.
- Helps you easily keep track of your protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake.
- Helps to drive the focus and direction of your weight loss journey.
Research studies revealed that there is a positive correlation between weight loss and the frequency of monitoring both food intake and exercise.
In the present world, most people lead busy lives. They often tend to eat quickly on the run, in the car, working at their desks, and watching TV. As a consequence, many people are barely aware of the food they are eating.
Mindful eating is the practice of paying attention to things like the taste, textures, smells, and temperature while you’re eating.
How to practice mindful eating?
- Focus on eating: Focus your attention on the food you are taking and enjoy the experience.
- Avoid distractions: Switch off your TV and put your mobile phone in silent mode (please keep your phone in a different room).
- Eat slowly: Take time to chew and taste the food. This technique helps you lose weight because it gives enough time to a person’s brain to recognize the signals that they are full, which helps you to prevent over-eating.
If you have chronic stress, you may probably have emotional eating behavior. Make mindful eating a habit and thus overcome emotional eating.
Eat Plenty of Protein
Protein helps you to regulate appetite and satiety hormones in a way to make you feel full. This is mostly due to a decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a rise in the satiety hormones.
A research study revealed that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories helped participants eat 441 fewer calories per day and lose 11 pounds over 12 weeks, on average, without intentionally restricting any foods.
If you are currently eating a grain-based breakfast, you can consider switching to a protein-rich meal, such as eggs. Eggs, oats, nuts and seed butter, sardines, and chia seed pudding are some of the good choices for a high-protein breakfast. Additional examples of protein-rich foods include chicken breasts, Greek yogurt, lentils, almonds, and quinoa.
Cut Back on Sugar and Refined Carbohydrates
Nowadays Western diet is increasingly high in added sugars and this has definite links to obesity. Another villain is refined carbohydrates. Refined carbohydrates are heavily processed foods that no longer contain fiber and other nutrients. These include white rice, bread, and pasta. These foods digest quickly, and they convert to glucose rapidly. When more glucose enters your bloodstream, it provokes the hormone insulin, which promotes fat storage in the adipose tissue.
Please note that our complaint is with refined carbohydrates, not all carbohydrates. In fact, carbohydrates are an important part of most diets. The complex carbohydrates (which come from whole, unprocessed plant foods) are typically full of nutrients.
Wherever possible, you should swap refined carbs and sugary foods for more healthy choices. Good food swaps include:
- Whole-grain rice, whole-wheat pasta, and whole-grain bread instead of white versions.
- Fruit-infused water and herb teas instead of high-sugar sodas.
- Fruits, nuts, and seeds instead of high-sugar snacks.
Drink Plenty of Water
It is true that drinking water can help with weight loss. Studies revealed that drinking half a liter of water may increase the calories you burn by 24–30% for an hour afterward. There is also evidence to prove that drinking water before meals may result in reduced calorie intake. Interestingly, people sometimes confuse thirst with hunger. As a result, they may end up consuming extra calories when a glass of water is all that they need.
Eat Fiber-rich Foods
Dietary fibers are plant-based carbohydrates. Unlike sugar and starch, it won’t digest completely in the small intestine. Including a lot of fiber in your food can increase the feeling of fullness, which is important for losing weight. Major sources of fiber are fruits and vegetables, oats, wholegrain bread, brown rice, pasta, beans, peas, and lentils.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
Insufficient or poor-quality sleep slows down your metabolism. This forces the body to store unused energy as fat. In addition, poor sleep can increase the production of insulin and cortisol which also promote fat storage. Above all, your sleep quality results in poor regulation of the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin.
Several studies have shown that getting less than 5–6 hours of sleep per night is associated with an increased incidence of obesity.
Managing Your Stress Levels
While short-term stress decreases your appetite, chronic stress can have the opposite effect. In fact, long-term stress and obesity are closely related. This is because chronic stress can result in “comfort eating,” which often involves overeating foods that are high in fat, sugar, and calories.
A research study revealed that implementing an 8-week stress-management intervention program resulted in a significant reduction in the body mass index (BMI) of children and adolescents who are overweight.
Effective methods of stress management include:
- Breathing and relaxation techniques
- Yoga, meditation, and tai chi
- Spend some time outdoors, for example, walking or gardening