So, you’ve decided it’s time to lose weight. No matter if it’s a New Year’s Goal to take off the holiday weight, or you cringe every time you step on the scale, something or someone has convinced you that now is the time for change.
To make it simple, we are going to breakdown weight loss in nine steps and introduce you to three diet plans that will help you lose weight fast. These tips are proven to help you lose weight fast and keep it off.
1. Consult Your Doctor
If you haven’t already, you’re going to want to see your doctor before you start making any changes to your diet. This is especially important if you take medications or have any chronic medical conditions.
You may want to lose weight fast, but you also do want to do it safely. Once you’re cleared by your doctor, then you can proceed.
You must also understand that there isn’t a pill or supplement that’s going to magically make your fat disappear. You are what you eat. This statement couldn’t be more true when it comes to your weight.
2. Kick Bad Habits
There a few obvious habits that you must eliminate or control while you’re losing weight. The two most common are smoking and drinking alcohol.
Although people can experience weight gain in the beginning stages of smoking cessation, this weight gain can be associated with substituting food in place of smoking. Those in the process of quitting smoking are recommended to follow a healthy diet and to exercise regularly.
Alcohol is a definite inhibitor when it comes to weight loss. The reason is because:
“Alcohol, whenever taken in, is the first fuel to burn. While that’s going on, your body will not burn fat. This does not stop the weight loss; it simply postpones it…” according to Dr. Atkin’s, the doctor who’s research lead to the Atkin’s Diet.
3. Choose a Diet Plan
Like everything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it. If you’re serious about losing weight fast and keeping it off, continue to read on.
A large part of weight loss is what you eat, how much, and how often. Let’s take a look at a few diet plans that will stimulate your metabolism and help you lose weight.
The Atkin’s Diet
This is one of my personal favorites, and the diet I am currently on. The Atkins diet is one of the best-known low-carb diets, and research shows it can work.
Personally, I know it works because I have lost weight this way.
I was calorie counting and had plateaued. I was trying to figure out how to reach my goal weight because nothing seemed to be working.
Atkins was recommended to me by a co-worker, so I tried it for two weeks and dropped 10 more pounds! After that, I continued the diet and reached my goal weight within 3 months.
The Atkins diet is split into four phases:
Induction: Under 20 grams of carbs per day for 2 weeks.
Eat high-fat, high-protein, with low-carb vegetables like leafy greens. This kick-starts the weight loss.
Balancing: Slowly add more nuts, low-carb vegetables and small amounts of fruit back to your diet.
Fine-tuning: When you are very close to your goal weight, add more carbs to your diet until weight loss slows down.
Maintenance: Here you can eat as many healthy carbs as your body can tolerate without regaining weight.
Mayo Clinic Diet Program
This plan focuses mostly on teaching people how to change their lifestyle by creating new habits to keep the weight off for good. This wasn’t originally designed for quick weight-loss, but changing your habits can yield you quick results.
The Mayo Clinic Diet has Two Phases:
This two-week phase is designed to jump-start your weight loss, so you may lose up to 6 to 10 pounds in a safe and healthy way.
During this phase, you will focus on mindful eating and recognizing your bad habits. You learn to replace them with healthier eating habits.
You will follow the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid as your guide to smart choices. The idea is to be able to eat more of the food groups at the bottom of the pyramid such as fruits and vegetables. This allows you to feel fuller on less calories.
As you continue up the pyramid, you eat more moderate portions of the food groups including whole-grain carbohydrates, lean sources of protein, fish and low-fat dairy, and heart-healthy unsaturated fats.
It’s important that you practice mindfulness and awareness habits, this will carry you into phase two of this diet. Artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and sweets are not permitted during the initial, quick-start portion of the plan. After that, they are limited to an average of 75 calories per day.
In this phase, you learn more about food choices, portion sizes, menu planning, physical activity, exercise and sticking to healthy habits. You may continue to see a steady weight loss until you reach your goal weight.
The Mayo Clinic Diet teaches you how to estimate portion sizes and plan meals. The diet doesn’t require you to eliminate any foods. This phase can help you maintain your goal weight permanently.
With any diet plan that restricts calories, it’s inevitable that people will lose weight in the short term. The long-term goal of the Mayo Clinic Diet is for you to continue to maintain your goal weight permanently.
It’s up to you to continue making smart food choices and how to manage setbacks. If you aren’t used eating large amounts of fruits and vegetables, you may experience minor, temporary changes as your body adjusts to this new way of eating.
For over 50 years, Weight Watchers has an established reputation for teaching people how to change their eating habits and lose weight.
It can be hard for many people to stick with and follow through with any diet. Weight Watchers is a paid subscription based dieting and exercise program that offers accountability. It’s designed to bring people together to support each other while losing weight.
The amount of food eaten and calories burned by exercise is tracked by a SmartPoints system that is weighted towards healthier food choices. No food is off limits, but the credo is “if you bite it, write it,” logging everything you eat and adding it to your daily total.
This helps you keep track of your food intake and make you aware of your choices.
Weight Watchers have weekly meetings where you do a weigh-in to track progress, establish goals, and discuss dietary habits. Their newly developed a freestyle program which supposed to simplify dieting and allow more food at zero points. Weight Watchers also has upgraded its support to include 1:1 coaching online and through phone/text.
What is great about this diet is it is nonrestrictive, you don’t feel like you are missing out on anything. You can eat out and you don’t have to always order a salad.
Once you have achieved your goal weight, members become alumni to the weight watchers program. Alumni are referred to as LifeTime Members and are considered to be in maintenance.
People who are new to Weight Watchers are encouraged to reach out to LifeTime Members for advice and further encouragement. LifeTime Members are living proof that the program works and that real people are achieving success with it every day.
Remember, weight loss results may vary based on your health factors, individual weight loss plans and adherence to the meal plan. To get more ideas about nutrition to maintain your new body, refer to the nutrition section of this site.
4. Indulge Moderately
No matter what diet program you’re on, allow yourself a cheat day. I know what you’re thinking, but actually having a cheat day will boost some fat-burning hormones.
Now, you must be moderate with your cheat meal or delectable dessert; this does not mean indulge all day long. I find that after my cheat day is when I feel the most significant difference in the way my body feels.
Now that you know what you’re eating, let’s talk hydration. Water is best for staying hydrated.
Fruit and vegetables such as watermelon, tomatoes, and lettuce can even help you stay hydrated. However, some may add extra calories and sugar to your diet. Fruit and vegetables juices, milk, and herbal teas also add to the amount of water you get each day.
Even caffeinated drinks (for example, coffee, tea, and soda) can contribute to your daily water intake. However, it’s best to limit caffeinated drinks.
If staying hydrated is difficult for you, here are some tips that can help:
- Keep a bottle of water with you during the day.
- If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try lemon lime cucumber water to bring flavor without extra calories.
- Drink water before, during, and after a workout.
- When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Some research suggests that drinking water can help you feel full.
- If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when you go to bed.
- Drink water when you go to a restaurant. It will keep you hydrated, and it’s free.
6. Portion Control
Each of the dieting plans above have a similar agenda when it comes to how much you eat. The rule of thumb in weight loss is you need to consume less calories than you burn.
This does not mean you are going to starve! Quite the contrary. When you are eating the right foods, you can have more of it.
This is where protein makes its debut. By replacing carbs and fat with protein, you reduce the hunger hormone and boost several satiety hormones. This leads to a major reduction in hunger and is the main reason protein helps you lose weight. It can make you eat fewer calories automatically.
Protein paired with a portion of healthy greens make a great combination, especially for breakfast! There are recipes all over the internet that lead you to your supply of low-carb meals that you can prepare.
Another thing I suggest is eat small meals and snacks every 2.5-3 hours. This speeds up your metabolism and switches your body into fat-burning mode.
If your body knows when to expect a new supply of nutrients, it will shed the fat instead of storing it.
Tip: To make dieting easier, it helps to pre-plan meals and have healthy snacks readily available. Also, eating mindfully means to be aware of your body’s signals. When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re full, stop. It is just that simple.
7. Out with the Bad, In with the Good
Great! You have decided on the food you will eat and the diet plan you will follow in the coming weeks. Now let’s head to your kitchen.
When you’re looking to stock up your cupboards and fridge with healthy foods, you must eliminate all the unhealthy items that have been weighing you down.
Take a look at your diet plan. If something doesn’t match, put it in box or bag and take it to the local food pantry for those who are less fortunate. There’s no need to waste food.
Doing this step will make room for your new healthy food and you will be less tempted while in your own home to cheat on yourself.
Now you must head to the grocery store to fill up the gaping space you just created. Go to the store with a list. This will allow you to stay focused while at the grocery store and minimize the amount of time you spend there ‘browsing the aisles’. It also lessens the chance you’ll purchase unhealthy items.
Tip: Do not go to the grocery store when you are hungry! If your supermarket has the option, you can also avoid going to the grocery completely and use a program like Instacart and they will pick up your groceries and deliver them to you.
8. Mind Over Matter
Does this mean do the hokey-pokey and turn yourself around? Well yeah, if it gets you up and moving!
You just want to avoid overdoing it. Instead, exercise in a moderate way. Lean muscle mass burns more calories than fat tissue, your metabolism increases and you burn more calories per day.
In theory, exercise aids weight loss. But, you can actually lose weight without having to do an abundance of exercise if you adhere to your diet plan. If your focus to lose weight is to only exercise, you will not get your desired results.
For more ideas to stay moving refer to the Workout section of this site.
9. Catch Some ZZZ’s
As much as exercise is important during this time of weight loss, so is rest and recovery. Your body needs to reset mentally and physically.
On your days of rest, you can incorporate Pilates, yoga, and meditation, or any routine that will stretch your muscles to keep them flexible and ready for your workouts ahead.
This also means to get adequate sleep as well. Not sleeping enough—less than seven hours per night—can reduce and undo the benefits of dieting, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
It can also affect your insulin function. When your insulin is functioning properly, fat cells remove fatty acids and lipids from your bloodstream and prevent storage. When you become more insulin resistant, fats (lipids) circulate in your blood and pump out more insulin.
Eventually this excess insulin ends up storing fat in all the wrong places, such as tissues like your liver. This is exactly how you become overweight and suffer from diseases like diabetes.
Lack of sleep makes it harder for your body to recover from exercise by slowing down the production of growth hormone—your natural source of anti-aging and fat burning that also facilitates recovery.
Turns out, sleep deprivation is a little like being drunk. You just don’t have the mental clarity to make good complex decisions, specifically with regards to the foods you eat—or foods you want to avoid.
With these simple steps to lose weight fast, now you must formulate your exact a plan of attack to those areas of body fat you wish to change.
Instead of only focusing on losing weight, up the ante, make it a primary goal to create healthy habits for life. Everything you do should be in moderation; finding balance in all you do will bring you closer to your truest self!
When Beth Philpot isn’t busy with her four children and working in healthcare she is launching her career as a freelance writer. Beth wants to use her strength in writing to reach people and further her passion for helping others. After recent life events, Beth discovered the power of the mind and body connection and is learning how to improve herself through healthy choices and meditation. She manages her blog at moderatebeing.wordpress.com and has started a YouTube channel to engage people who seek self-improvement to participate in 30-Day Challenges with her.