How To Lose Weight Fast
Numerous individuals aspire to lose weight for various reasons, and unfortunately, many succumb to the allure of quick-fix fad diets promising rapid results. While there are strategies to expedite weight loss, it’s vital to comprehend that losing weight too fast can have adverse consequences.
In reality, successful and sustainable weight loss is more about the journey and less about reaching a specific weight on a scale in a short amount of time. Professional guidance on the most effective approaches to lose weight and maintaining it in the long term is presented below.
Why Rapid Weight Loss Shouldn’t Be Your Priority
The “lose 5 pounds in a week” diet fallacy is alluring, but rapid weight loss may not be beneficial for achieving your weight loss goals. Losing weight quickly, particularly via fad diets or crash diets, usually results in the loss of more muscle mass and water weight and less fat mass, which can make it challenging to maintain the weight loss.
Maintaining lean muscle is important in weight loss because it plays a key role in metabolism. Muscle helps you burn more calories. But when you lose weight too quickly, you lose muscle, and your body slows down calorie burning. Rapid weight loss can even cause permanent slowing of metabolism.
Looking at How to Lose Weight Fast
Fast weight loss frequently leads to yo-yo weight cycling, a phenomenon experienced by many chronic dieters. A study of former contestants on “The Biggest Loser” found that participants’ metabolism slowed as they lost more weight quickly, and they regained a significant amount of weight lost during the competition.
Moreover, an Australian study published in The Lancet found that while dieters lost the same amount of weight, those who lost weight gradually lost 10% more body fat and 50% less lean muscle than those who lost weight quickly. Rapid weight loss can also lead to increased appetite as metabolism decreases, making it difficult to maintain the weight loss.
Quick-fix fad diets also often lead to nutrient deficiencies. “And rapid weight loss—especially when you cut carbs—is often largely water,” says registered dietitian Ellen Albertson. “What’s more, if daily calories are low, the body may also use muscle mass as fuel, further reducing metabolism, as muscle mass is metabolically active.”
The key takeaway is that safe and sensible weight loss is preferable. We recommend losing half a pound to 2 pounds per week as a safe rate. With this objective in mind, here are some proven ways to shed pounds and maintain the weight loss in the long run.
12 Tips from NATEFIT for Safe and Sustainable Weight Loss
- Implement Long-Term Lifestyle and Behavior Changes: When trying to lose weight, it’s important to think of it as a long-term goal rather than a quick fix. Making sustainable lifestyle and behaviour changes, such as eating healthier and exercising regularly, can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight over time. Setting SMART goals can help you stay motivated and track your progress.
- Focus on the First 5% to 10%: Rather than overwhelming yourself with a large weight loss goal, aim to lose a modest amount of weight, such as 5% to 10% of your total body weight. This can lead to significant health benefits, such as a lower risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Reduce Your Intake of Ultra-Processed Carbs and Sweets: The quality of the foods you eat is important for weight loss. Consuming fewer ultra-processed carbs and sweets, such as sugary snacks and soft drinks, can help you lose weight faster. Instead, focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Eat More Plants: A plant-based diet can promote weight loss and has numerous health benefits. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories and high in fibre and water, which can help you feel full and satisfied. Aim to consume five to nine servings of produce per day.
- Pump Up Your Protein: Eating more protein can help reduce appetite and prevent muscle loss while losing weight. Women over 50 may need more protein than younger women and men to maintain muscle mass. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and legumes.
- Drink More Water: Drinking plenty of water can help you feel full and reduce cravings. Water is also necessary for the body’s process of burning fat for energy. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day and try drinking two cups of water before each meal.
- Eat a Well-Rounded Breakfast: Skipping breakfast is associated with overweight and obesity, as well as poorer quality diets overall. Eating a balanced breakfast with protein, healthy fats, and quality carbs like fresh berries can help you think more clearly, perform better, and improve your mood.
- Stand Up and Move More: Increasing your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) can help you burn more calories throughout the day. Small changes, such as standing more, taking the stairs, and carrying your groceries instead of using a cart, can add up to significant weight loss over time.
- Get Enough Sleep: Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate hunger and appetite, leading to increased food cravings and overeating. Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night to help support your weight loss efforts.
- Manage Stress: Chronic stress can lead to weight gain and increased belly fat. Finding healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones, can help you stay on track with your weight loss goals.
- Practice Mindful Eating: Eating mindfully, or paying attention to your food and the sensations in your body while eating, can help you avoid overeating and make healthier food choices. Take time to savour your food, chew slowly, and avoid distractions like phones or TV while eating.
- Keep a Food Journal: Keeping track of what you eat and drink can help you identify patterns and make changes to your diet. A food journal can also help you stay accountable and motivated.
For more information on health and fitness, check out our podcast: the Down & Dirty Podcast