Home » The Fastest Way to Lose Weight and Keep it Off
Are you looking for the fastest way to lose weight? Join the club. It’s probably one of the most popular preoccupations of overweight individuals. However, if you did finally find the fastest way to lose weight, would you be willing to make drastic changes in your life to succeed?
A lot of people, after learning that I counsel people on how to lose weight, immediately want to learn about what I consider the fastest way to lose weight. So, I start telling them, and before I am 10 minutes into what they need to do, they start looking worried. I have even had some people cut me off, and then make up an excuse to run off. Most people do not want to change the way they live, or behave. They only want to keep doing the same things they’ve always done, and magically get skinny.
Needless to say, this type of thinking does not work. Weight loss requires change. A lot of weight loss requires a lot change, or change that is sustained for a longer period of time. If speedy weight loss is your goal, the fastest way to lose weight will usually require a sudden and dramatic shift in the way you look at food and how it equates to the way you look and feel.
The Most Common Ways to Lose Weight
Cut down on carbs
A different way of viewing weight loss identifies the problem as not one of consuming too many calories, but rather the way the body accumulates fat after consuming carbohydrates—in particular the role of the hormone insulin. When you eat a meal, carbohydrates from the food enter your bloodstream as glucose. In order to keep your blood sugar levels in check, your body always burns off this glucose before it burns off fat from a meal.
If you eat a carbohydrate-rich meal (lots of pasta, rice, bread, or French fries, for example), your body releases insulin to help with the influx of all this glucose into your blood. As well as regulating blood sugar levels, insulin does two things: It prevents your fat cells from releasing fat for the body to burn as fuel (because its priority is to burn off the glucose) and it creates more fat cells for storing everything that your body can’t burn off. The result is that you gain weight and your body now requires more fuel to burn, so you eat more. Since insulin only burns carbohydrates, you crave carbs and so begins a vicious cycle of consuming carbs and gaining weight. To lose weight, the reasoning goes, you need to break this cycle by reducing carbs.
Most low-carb diets advocate replacing carbs with protein and fat, which could have some negative long-term effects on your health. If you do try a low-carb diet, you can reduce your risks and limit your intake of saturated and trans fats by choosing lean meats, fish and vegetarian sources of protein, low-fat dairy products, and eating plenty of leafy green and non-starchy vegetables.
Reduce your calorie Intake
Some experts believe that successfully managing your weight comes down to a simple equation: If you eat fewer calories than you burn, you lose weight. Sounds easy, right? Then why is losing weight so hard?
- Weight loss isn’t a linear event over time. When you cut calories, you may drop weight for the first few weeks, for example, and then something changes. You eat the same number of calories but you lose less weight or no weight at all. That’s because when you lose weight you’re losing water and lean tissue as well as fat, your metabolism slows, and your body changes in other ways. So, in order to continue dropping weight each week, you need to continue cutting calories.
- A calorie isn’t always a calorie. Eating 100 calories of high fructose corn syrup, for example, can have a different effect on your body than eating 100 calories of broccoli. The trick for sustained weight loss is to ditch the foods that are packed with calories but don’t make you feel full (like candy) and replace them with foods that fill you up without being loaded with calories (like vegetables).
- Many of us don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. We also turn to food for comfort or to relieve stress—which can quickly derail any weight loss plan.
Eat less fats
It’s a mainstay of many diets: if you don’t want to get fat, don’t eat fat. Walk down any grocery store aisle and you’ll be bombarded with reduced-fat snacks, dairy, and packaged meals. But while our low-fat options have exploded, so have obesity rates. So, why haven’t low-fat diets worked for more of us?
- Not all fat is bad. Healthy or “good” fats can actually help to control your weight, as well as manage your moods and fight fatigue. Unsaturated fats found in avocados, nuts, seeds, soy milk, tofu, and fatty fish can help fill you up, while adding a little tasty olive oil to a plate of vegetables, for example, can make it easier to eat healthy food and improve the overall quality of your diet.
- We often make the wrong trade-offs. Many of us make the mistake of swapping fat for the empty calories of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Instead of eating whole-fat yoghurt, for example, we eat low- or no-fat versions that are packed with sugar to make up for the loss of taste. Or we swap our fatty breakfast bacon for a muffin or donut that causes rapid spikes in blood sugar.
Do not skip meals
Skipping meals will not make you lose weight faster. If a hectic day makes a sit-down meal impossible, stash a piece of fruit and pack of nut butter in your car or purse and keep snacks in your office desk drawer — anything that will keep you from going hungry!
Going long periods of time without food does double-duty harm on our healthy eating efforts by both slowing down your metabolism, and priming you for another binge later in the day. (Think: You’ve skipped breakfast and lunch, so you’re ready to takedown a whole turkey by dinner!) Make it your mission to eat three meals and two snacks every day, and don’t wait longer than three to four hours without eating. Set a “snack alarm” on your phone if needed.
Avoid emotional eating
We don’t always eat simply to satisfy hunger. All too often, we turn to food when we’re stressed or anxious, which can wreck any diet and pack on the pounds. Do you eat when you’re worried, bored, or lonely? Do you snack in front of the TV at the end of a stressful day? Recognizing your emotional eating triggers can make all the difference in your weight-loss efforts. If you eat when you’re:
Stressed – find healthier ways to calm yourself. Try yoga, meditation, or soaking in a hot bath.
Low on energy – find other mid-afternoon pick-me-ups. Try walking around the block, listening to energizing music, or taking a short nap.
Lonely or bored – reach out to others instead of reaching for the refrigerator. Call a friend who makes you laugh, take your dog for a walk, or go to the library, mall, or park—anywhere there’s people.
For the love of all things spicy
Spicy foods can actually help you cut back on calories.
That’s because capsaicin, a compound found in jalapeño and cayenne peppers, may (slightly) increase your body’s release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which can speed up your ability to burn calories. What’s more, eating hot peppers may help slow you down. You’re less likely to wolfed down that plate of spicy spaghetti — and therefore stay more mindful of when you’re full. Some great adds besides hot peppers: ginger and turmeric.
Eat more fruit, veggies, and dietary fibre
Even if you’re cutting calories, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to eat less food. High-fiber foods such as fruit, vegetables, beans, and whole grains are higher in volume and take longer to digest, making them filling—and great for weight-loss.
It’s generally okay to eat as much fresh fruit and non-starchy vegetables as you want—you’ll feel full before you’ve overdone it on the calories.
Eat vegetables raw or steamed, not fried or breaded, and dress them with herbs and spices or a little olive oil for flavor.
Add fruit to low sugar cereal—blueberries, strawberries, sliced bananas. You’ll still enjoy lots of sweetness, but with fewer calories, less sugar, and more fiber.
Bulk out sandwiches by adding healthy veggie choices like lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, cucumbers, and avocado.
Snack on carrots or celery with hummus instead of a high-calorie chips and dip.
Add more veggies to your favorite main courses to make your dish more substantial. Even pasta and stir-fries can be diet-friendly if you use less noodles and more vegetables.
Start your meal with salad or vegetable soup to help fill you up so you eat less of your entrée.
Get enough sleep
There’s tons of research that demonstrates getting less than the desired amount — about 7 hours — of sleep per night can slow down your metabolism. Plus, when you’re awake for longer, you’re naturally more likely to snack on midnight munchies. So don’t skimp on your ZZZ’s, and you’ll be rewarded with an extra edge when it comes to losing weight.
Lift light weights
It’s a one-time investment you’ll never regret.
Here’s why: Strength training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories — at work or at rest — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The more lean muscle you have, the faster you’ll slim down. How do you start strength training? Try some push-ups or a few squats or lunges. Use your free weights to perform simple bicep curls or tricep pulls right in your home or office. Do these exercises three to four times per week, and you’ll soon see a rapid improvement.
The degree to which exercise aids weight loss is open to debate, but the benefits go way beyond burning calories. Exercise can increase your metabolism and improve your outlook—and it’s something you can benefit from right now. Go for a walk, stretch, move around and you’ll have more energy and motivation to tackle the other steps in your weight-loss program. Be careful not to hurt yourself in the process, though!
Lack time for a long workout? Three 10-minute spurts of cardio exercise per day can be just as good as one 30-minute workout.
Remember: anything is better than nothing. Start off slowly with small amounts of physical activity each day. Then, as you start to lose weight and have more energy, you’ll find it easier to become more physically active.
Find exercise you enjoy. Try walking with a friend, dancing, hiking, cycling, playing Frisbee with a dog, enjoying a pickup game of basketball, or playing activity-based video games with your kids.
In a nutshell, the fastest ways to lose weight involve taking decisive and dramatic action. Here are other examples:
- Hire a personal trainer and pay up front for 3 months.
- Sort through ALL of your “skinny clothes” and hang them up around the kitchen.
- Join a karate program, tennis team or some other high-intensity sporting league.
- Go through the cabinets and pantry and throw out all junk food.
- Buy some new clothes a few sizes too small.
- Perform a cleansing fast for a week to ten days to break your food addictions
The last bullet point is one of my favorites, and is what I regard as the fastest way to lose weight by far. Many health gurus won’t prescribe fasting for weight loss, but, if pressured, will usually concede that it is also a great way to make the pounds drop away quickly. Fasting for a short period of time is downplayed by many western medical “professionals”, but is wholeheartedly embraced by other cultures as being very theraputic, and I have seen it work miracles for those looking for a fast and successful start. Performing a cleansing fast launches you into weight loss by giving you a lot of quick success in a short period of time. Not only it the fastest way to lose weight in the short term, but it also helps break unhealthy food addictions (carbs and sweets) and eating habits (associating eating with watching television).
The truth is there is no “one size fits all” solution to permanent healthy weight loss. What works for one person may not work for you, since our bodies respond differently to different foods, depending on genetics and other health factors. To find the method of weight loss that’s right for you will likely take time and require patience, commitment, and some experimentation with different foods and diets.
While some people respond well to counting calories or similar restrictive methods, others respond better to having more freedom in planning their weight-loss programs. Being free to simply avoid fried foods or cut back on refined carbs can set them up for success. So, don’t get too discouraged if a diet that worked for somebody else doesn’t work for you. And don’t beat yourself up if a diet proves too restrictive for you to stick with. Ultimately, a diet is only right for you if it’s one you can stick with over time.
Now that you know the fastest way to lose weight, are you going to keep looking for something “easier” or are you going to buckle down and make the changes necessary to lose that weight? Most people will continue searching for that elusive magic pill that will provide them with the fastest way to lose weight without changing any of the bad habits in their life. What will you choose?
So, you’ve shed a few pounds. What now?
Keep The Weight Off For Good
You may have heard the widely quoted statistic that 95% of people who lose weight on a diet will regain it within a few years—or even months. While there isn’t much hard evidence to support that claim, it is true that many weight-loss plans fail in the long term. Often that’s simply because diets that are too restrictive are very hard to maintain over time. However, that doesn’t mean your weight loss attempts are doomed to failure. Far from it.
Since it was established in 1994, The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) in the United States, has tracked over10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time. The study has found that participants who’ve been successful in maintaining their weight loss share some common strategies. Whatever diet you use to lose weight in the first place, adopting these habits may help you to keep it off:
- Stay physically active. Successful dieters in the NWCR study exercise for about 60 minutes, typically walking.
- Keep a food log. Recording what you eat every day helps to keep you accountable and motivated.
- Eat breakfast every day. Most commonly in the study, it’s cereal and fruit. Eating breakfast boosts metabolism and staves off hunger later in the day.
- Eat more fiber and less unhealthy fat than the typical American diet.
- Regularly check the scale. Weighing yourself weekly may help you to detect any small gains in weight, enabling you to promptly take corrective action before the problem escalates.
- Watch less television. Cutting back on the time spent sitting in front of a screen can be a key part of adopting a more active lifestyle and preventing weight gain.