How To Lose Weight Fast: 5 Evidence Based Steps Anyone Can Follow
Most people who aim to lose weight want to achieve their goal as quickly as possible. In fact, most diets fail because they simply don’t show results fast enough. Putting in lots of effort for little return causes people to lose motivation. In turn, we reach for comfort food to ease our negative emotions.
Moreover, most ‘quick fix’ diet plans leave you starving, unsatisfied and in the end, make you put more weight back on than you lost in the first place.
However, according to scientific research you can learn how to lose weight fast without either of the above consequences. I’m here to tell you how.
#1 - Cut Out Carbs
Cutting out carbs is one surefire way to lose weight fast by dumping the refined sugars and starches from your diet and in turn, using stored body fat as fuel.
White bread, refined grains and sugars all increase your insulin levels which is the main fat storage hormone in the body. These culprits leave your body continuously in fat storage mode, with increased hunger levels.
Without carbohydrates for fuel, your body is forced to use stored fat as fuel. Many people who cut refined grains and sugars from their diet see significant weight loss, as much as 10 pounds in the first week, without counting calories.
In fact, research has shown that a low carbohydrate diet is more effective than a low fat diet for women hoping to lose weight fast (source).
This was illustrated most prominently in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study compared weight loss between two groups of people; one on a low-fat diet and one on a low-carb diet. Participants were observed for 12 months and the results were astonishing. The low carb group lost a huge 7.3% of body weight, compared with only 4.5% for those on the low fat plan (source).
A large volume of research has also been conducted to determine whether low carb diets can lower blood sugar in patients with type II diabetes. One study proved that “a low-carbohydrate diet is more effective in reducing body weight than healthy eating in both diabetic and non-diabetic subjects” (source)
Moreover, by lowering insulin levels, your kidneys more effectively remove excess water from your body. This results in less bloating and releases excess water weight.
#2 - Eat More Protein
When restricting carbohydrates in your diet, around 30% of your daily calories should come from protein.
Moreover, research has shown that a diet full of high protein meals can actually lower your desire to eat and reduce obsessive thoughts about food by up to 60% (source).
Protein is an essential nutrient which is involved in every cell in the human body. The importance of including protein in your diet can not be overstated. Protein synthesis is needed for everything from building stronger muscles to growing your hair.
Good sources of protein include:
- Meat - beef, pork, lamb, bacon
- Poultry - chicken, turkey
- Seafood - salmon, tuna, shrimps, lobster
- Dairy - organic milk, yogurt
- Eggs - organic eggs are best
#3 - Eat More Vegetables
Loading your plate with vegetables is a great way to fill yourself up and ensure your diet is packed with all the essential nutrients you need.
Moreover, studies have shown that packing your meals with vegetables can help you to lose weight fast (source). Especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage and cauliflower. These types of vegetables have also shown to be beneficial to your health in other ways, such as fighting cancer (source).
Although vegetables do contain some carbohydrates, they are in very low amounts. Also, they are naturally occurring in fruit and vegetables, therefore, easier processed by the body, unlike refined carbohydrates such as those found in grains.
Even filling a plate with vegetables several times a day won’t find you going over around 30 net carbs daily.
Some of the best low carb vegetables include:
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
#4 - Include a Cheat Day
When it comes to losing weight fast, many people have misconceptions about nutrition. One of the best ways to reap weight loss benefits quicker is to include a cheat day in your week. This is for a number of reasons, let me explain why.
Firstly, being successful with weight loss is as much about mental strength as it is what you put into your body. Making the right food choices, having will power and feeling motivated all impact success.
Nothing is more draining on motivation than eating the same meals day in and day out and not seeing results. That is one reason why cheat days work. They allow you to eat all that food you’ve been craving in order to get it out of your system and get back into the hard work of dieting.
Now of course, you’re thinking, ‘but Helen, won’t that ruin my diet?’ The answer is no. This is because being successful in losing weight fast is about what you do the majority of the time. Eating poorly one day won’t make a difference, in the same way only eating healthy for one day doesn’t make a difference, it’s what you are doing long term that counts.
Secondly, science tells us that cheat days are necessary to lose weight fast (source).
When you start to cut out carbs and lower your caloric intake, it goes swimmingly - at first. That is until the hormone leptin kicks in. This hormone is responsible for telling your body when you’re starving. This means your body tried to hold on to your fat stores and your weight loss plateaus.
By increasing your caloric and carbohydrate intake for a day, you can tell your body that you are not starving, turning it back into a fat burning machine (source).
You may gain a couple of pounds during cheat day, but this will mostly be water weight which you will lose again within a couple of days.
#5 - Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Strength Training.
Although when talking about how to lose weight fast, exercise is not completely necessary (we already discussed how beneficial cutting carbs alone can be), it definitely helps. Plus, if you want to not only lose weight, but be left with a lean, toned physique, some exercise is particularly beneficial.
The best forms of exercise to help you lose weight fast is a combination of HIIT and strength training. Let me explain why.
Firstly, High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a technique that has been used for a number of years. Initially it was used by professional athletes, however, HIIT workouts have become increasingly popular throughout the fitness scene generally and are now easily performed by anyone.
HIIT workouts push your body to its limits in a shorter period of time. This means you achieve better results faster. In a HIIT cardio workout, you will perform an exercise with 110% effort for around 20 seconds. Then you will take a short rest of 10 seconds before starting again. This 20 seconds on 10 seconds off continues for around 20 minutes and covers a handful of exercises.
Because of the intensity of HIIT cardio, most workouts don’t last long. But this means you can do more in a shorter amount of time. This gets the best results and means no more hours spent running on the treadmill.
Benefits of HIIT
Burn More Calories
High Intensity Interval Training burns more calories than standard cardio workouts. This is because HIIT workouts increase your excess post oxygen consumption (EPOC) or afterburn. Basically this means you can burn more fat even after you’ve finished your workout. In fact, your metabolism will be higher and your will burn more calories for up to 48 hours after you finish your workout. This means you can torch through excess body fat (source).
Do It Anywhere
Most of the time, a HIIT cardio workout doesn’t need any equipment. That is why it’s great for everyone because it can be done anywhere, even at home. You don’t need to go to the gym just to get in an awesome workout. Personally, I like to get outside in the park and blast out a quick HIIT session. It feels great to get outdoors and work out.
HIIT cardio workouts don’t last very long simply because they are often at a much higher intensity level. This is another reason why they’re great for almost everyone. Not having enough time to workout is no longer an excuse.
Secondly, strength training is an excellent addition to everyone’s life, men and women alike. Many people (especially women) have the misconception that strength training is solely for those who want to have huge muscles and look like Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. But strength training has a number of health benefits and is especially good for those looking to lose weight fast.
Benefits of Strength Training:
Burn More Fat
The fact is the more muscle you have, the more fat you burn. By increasing your lean muscle mass you effectively manage how many calories you are burning in each gym session. It even helps you to burn outside of your workouts. In everyday life we are continuously burning calories. Whether it’s doing housework or running to catch a bus, everything we do is using up calories. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn in your everyday activities.
As we age, our bone density becomes impaired. From childhood, our bones are growing and becoming stronger. Old bone disintegrates and new bone is formed as our bones rebuild themselves. For the most part, our bones build more new bone that the old bone we are losing, keeping a healthy balance and therefore good bone density.
This continues until our bones reach their peak bone density which for most people is in their 30s. After this, bone density slowly diminishes as we start to produce less and less new bone. Not building strong enough bones by the time you hit peak bone density can lead to issues like osteoporosis.
Both men and women alike will slowly lose bone density as they get older. Due to changes in estrogen, women tend to lose more bone, quicker.
One way to promote bone health and strength is with regular weight bearing exercise. Strength training can not only help build stronger bones by up to 3%, it can also slow the rate at which our bones deteriorate (source).
Retain Lean Muscle Mass
Even if you are not looking to increase muscle size, it is important to keep the lean muscle you already have. As we get older, our muscles naturally start to diminish just like our bones. Plus, when you are cutting calories in order to lose weight, your body wants to fight that by keeping fat and losing muscle.
Studies have shown that resistance training maintains fat free mass when used in conjunction with a low calorie diet (source).
Strength training not only builds stronger bones and muscles but it also improves the strength of the ligaments, tendons and connective tissue that surround them. This supports your joints as well as helps to give you better balance. This also helps to reduce your risk of injury.
These 5 easy steps can show you how to lose weight fast without starving yourself and in a way which will maintain that weight loss long term.
Moreover, as you can see from the research, the health benefits associated with these diet and exercise methods will not only encourage you to lose weight, but lead a healthier life overall.