9 Steps to Help You Lose Weight Quickly
The decision to lose weight can feel like an uphill battle. Fast-tracking your initial weight loss is one way to jump-start your journey and inspire you to keep going for the long haul. However, rather than launching into a pattern of yo-yo dieting, where you make big changes, lose weight, and then go right back to doing what you were doing before, it’s essential to use this weight loss as a way to propel you into a steady stride.
If you decide to embark on an accelerated approach to weight loss, our tried-and-true tips will teach you how to lose weight fast.
How to Lose Weight Fast and Easy With These 9 Steps
In very basic terms, carbohydrates provide energy to power your brain and muscles, protein helps maintain muscle, and fat is stored energy. When you ingest a surplus of energy, your body stores it for later use, but if you keep overeating, your body keeps storing it, and never gets around to using it — kind of like unread emails piling up in your inbox.
If you want to torch through the excess storage, it requires changing your eating habits — while maintaining an active lifestyle.
1. Reverse the grains and veggies
“Right-sizing your portions is essential,” explains Cassetty. “When you order a bowl for lunch, it’s often the reverse of what it should be. Grains should not be the star. They should be the side dish.” Instead, for a healthy meal, double down on vegetables, eat carbs in the correct portions, such as a half cup of rice or pasta, and aim for 4 to 6 ounces of protein. Fruits and vegetables and grains are all sources of carbohydrates, but fruits and vegetables have significantly lower calorie counts.
2. Reduce your carb intake (if you’re overdoing it)
“I’m probably one of the few dietitians who won’t knock keto,” says Cassetty. “I believe if you’re doing something healthfully and it works for you that is what’s important. However, it’s not the approach I take or recommend because many people find it difficult to maintain.”
We typically recommend keeping your carb intake to 40% of your total calorie intake with a focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also, carbs contribute to water retention and water weight. “When you reduce carbs, you’re flushing water from your system and you’re going to notice results fast. But keep in mind, the initial water weight will come back once you reintroduce carbs.”
3. Get your fats from plants
Low-carb diets have been found to be more effective in fast weight loss than low-fat diets, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, if you embark on a low-carb, high-fat diet plan, focus on plant-based fats versus bacon and butter in order to build a healthier plate.
4. Choose a regimen you can stick to
If you can’t imagine going a day without bread or something sweet, then going cold-turkey could be setting yourself up for failure. “Even for a short time, you need to choose a diet which is sustainable in order for it to be effective,” explains Cassetty. Instead, try to make healthy swaps like opting for a proper portion of whole-grain bread or a small piece of dark chocolate in moderation.
5. Create structure and plan
Planning meals in advance or even meal prepping can help spur weight loss because it eliminates on-the-spot food decisions. “We make so many food decisions throughout the day, eating can become overwhelming,” says Cassetty. “On a basic level, many diets simply provide rules and structure to minimize decision-making.”
6. Amp up the breakfast protein
“When you sleep, your body breaks down protein,” explains Cassetty. “You should have 20 to 30 grams of protein at breakfast to start the rebuilding process; [this gives] you a slight metabolic boost and is more filling.” If you’ve tried intermittent fasting and you’re skipping breakfast, your body is breaking down protein until your first meal.
7. Sync with your circadian rhythms
“There’s very good evidence that eating according to your circadian rhythms helps promote healthy weight,” says Cassetty. “The ideal time frame is to give your body two hours to digest before going to sleep. I recommend 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. as a good 12-hour window without meals or snacks.”
8. Get solid sleep
“It’s really important to get good, quality sleep,” says Cassetty. “Sleep deprivation tends to increase hunger and drive cravings for the wrong types of food.” Studies have linked sleep loss to a decrease in leptin, or the hormone that lets you know when you’re full.
9. Be mindful of drinking sugar
Eliminating sugary drinks and sodas will supercharge weight loss and stabilize cravings; however, even seemingly healthy options can be sneaky sources of sugar. “Read labels because many plant-based milks are sweetened with added sugar,” recommends Cassetty.
Can You Lose Weight Fast Without Exercise?
The simple answer is yes; however, this question is vastly more complex than a yes-no response. “When it comes to weight loss, the biggest part is what you’re putting into your mouth,” says Samantha Cassetty, M.S., R.D., a nutrition and weight loss expert with a virtual counseling practice based in New York City.
Does this mean you should cancel your next sweat sesh and toss in your dumbbells? Absolutely not. The truth is, you can lose weight even faster if you combine good nutrition with exercise.
Other benefits of exercise:
- It can help you not only burn more calories, but also build muscle, which increases metabolism.
- It can boost your mood, which can decrease emotional or stress eating.
However, it’s also important to be realistic about how many calories you’re burning and not take shortcuts.“People have this idea that they can hit the gym and lose weight instantly, but, studies have found that we and our devices tend to overestimate the number of calories we’re actually burning,” explains Cassetty. One study published in the Journal of Personalized Medicine found that among seven popular fitness-tracking devices the most accurate device was off by an average of 27 percent, and the least accurate was off by 93 percent when it came to calories burned.