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How To Lose Weight Fast, According To Experts

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People strive to lose weight for myriad reasons, and many fall into the fad diet trap promising real results fast. While there are certainly ways to accelerate your weight loss efforts, it’s important to understand that shedding pounds too quickly can actually backfire.

As with so many aspects of life, safe, successful, and long-term weight loss is about the journey rather than a scale-based destination and looming deadline. Read on for professional guidance on how to lose weight—and keep it off.

15 Tips for Safe and Sustainable Weight Loss, According to Experts

1. Implement Long-Term Lifestyle and Behavior Changes

Albertson says that when trying to reduce weight, avoid using the word “diet.” Dieting can be uncomfortable and cause you to become hungry, which is exactly what you don’t want when attempting to lose weight. Instead, she suggests viewing weight loss as part of a larger goal of becoming healthier and prioritizing self-care.

“Weight loss is complicated, and you don’t have total control over the number on the scale, but you do have control over what you eat, how much you move and other factors that impact weight, such as stress and sleep,” Albertson said. She recommends making SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive) goals and rewarding yourself when you achieve them.

2. Focus on the First 5% to 10%

Instead of thinking, “I need to lose 25 pounds,” and overwhelming yourself with what appears to be an unachievable goal, consider the health benefits that can result from even small weight loss.

“Set smaller, more attainable goals,” recommends Bennett. “Losing only 5% to 10% of your total body weight (TBW) can greatly improve your health and lower your risk for illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.”

3. Reduce Your Intake of Ultra-Processed Carbs and Sweets

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrates that what you eat is the most important factor in weight loss. If you improve the quality of your diet, you will lose weight faster.

“One of the healthiest ways to shed weight is to reduce your intake of sugar and rapidly metabolized carbohydrates,” Bennett said. “In particular, you should eliminate or significantly reduce your consumption of high-glycemic-load foods such as sugary snacks, processed carbohydrates, and soft drinks.” You’ll lose weight faster if you avoid or limit your intake of French fries, chips, crackers, and other similar foods.

4. Eat More Plants

According to research, a plant-based diet not only improves weight loss, but it is also easier to follow than a low-calorie diet. Furthermore, it is nutrition dense and provides several health benefits.

“Produce supports weight loss because it’s rich in fiber and water, which are both calorie-free yet take up space in your stomach so you feel full,” Albertson states in a press release. In fact, a Brazilian study discovered a direct link between increased fruit and vegetable consumption and weight loss.

Albertson advocates starting with five daily portions of produce and gradually increasing to seven to nine servings each day. “Start your day with a green smoothie, have a salad or cut up vegetables with your lunch and eat fruit for snacks and desserts,” she explains. “For supper, have more stir frys, incorporate veggies into your pasta dishes and stir them into soups.”

5. Pump Up Your Protein

Increased protein consumption can help reduce appetite and prevent muscle loss.

“Eating around 25 to 30 grams of protein—two scoops of protein powder or 4 ounces of chicken breast—per meal can improve appetite control and manage your body weight,” according to Dr. Albertson. “The best way to do it is to make sure you have one serving of high-quality protein per meal.”

According to Albertson, women over the age of 50 require much more protein (1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight daily) than males and younger women. “Women need more protein after 50, especially as they approach menopause, because decreases in the hormone estrogen result in a loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength and regenerative capacity,” she explains.

6. Drink More Water

Drinking more water is connected with weight loss, regardless of diet or activity. Drinking plenty of water can help you feel full and fight off sugar cravings. Water is also required for lipolysis, the body’s process of converting fat into energy.

“I suggest following the eight by eight rule—8 ounces of water eight times throughout the day—for a minimum water intake recommendation,” says Florida-based celebrity trainer Jordan Morello, who works for the fitness platform Sweat Factor. “My clients are usually surprised once they add this [rule] into their own routine [by] how much this simple thing can curb cravings and leave you more satiated throughout the day.”

Another water trick? Try drinking two cups of water before each meal. Studies have shown this simple move can increase weight loss as well.

7. Eat a Well-Rounded Breakfast

Listen up, breakfast skippers. If you want to reduce weight, skipping breakfast is not a good idea. In fact, research repeatedly show that skipping breakfast is linked to overweight and obesity.

Furthermore, a study published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society indicated that those who do not have breakfast had lower-quality diets overall and are deficient in minerals such as vitamin D, calcium, and iron.

But not any breakfast will suffice. “To think more clearly, perform more efficiently and be in better moods, you want a well-rounded, blood-sugar-balanced first meal of the day with ample protein, healthy fats and what I call quality carbs like fresh berries,” Bennett said.

8. Stand Up and Move More

One of the simplest ways to lose weight is to increase your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which is the amount of energy expended for all activities other than eating, sleeping, and exercise. Small modifications, such as carrying your groceries instead of pushing a cart, parking farther away from the mall entrance, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even tapping your toe, can result in hundreds of calories burnt.

Alternatively, attempt to stand more than you sit. Studies demonstrate that simply standing instead of sitting increases daily energy expenditure, which directly translates into more calories expended and, ultimately, pounds lost.

For example, if you weigh 160 pounds and alternate sitting and standing, you can burn approximately 35 additional calories an hour—an extra 280 calories a day, 1,400 calories a week and about 70,000 calories a year.

“Set a timer on your phone, Fitbit or computer to remind you to get up and move around every hour,” says Albertson. “You’ll burn more calories and may lower your blood sugar and risk of heart disease.”

9. Hit the Weights

Muscle burns calories faster than fat. So, how can you gain more muscle? Strength training.

Including resistance training in your weight loss strategy is a good idea not only because of the calories burned during exercise, but also because of the “afterburn effect.”

EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, measures how long oxygen intake is elevated after exercise in order to aid muscle recovery. This rise increases metabolism during and after strength training sessions.

Your resting metabolic rate (RMR) rises as you gain muscle mass. Your RMR determines the number of calories your body need to function at rest. The higher your RMR, the more you can consume without gaining weight.

“While cardiovascular exercise is often emphasized, strength training is key for dropping pounds and maintaining weight loss, especially after age 50 because muscle mass—which burns calories—declines at a rate of 1% to 2% per year,” says Albertson. “Strength training can slow down muscle mass decline.”

10. Don’t Go Overboard

When it comes to weight loss, cutting calories too dramatically or working out all the time can be counterproductive. Most people believe that losing weight involves drastic efforts, but giving oneself enough recovery time is more beneficial.

“Many people, when they get frustrated that they haven’t lost weight, will double down on the stressor (i.e. catabolic phase) that they are doing,” explains certified personal trainer Rob Darnbrough, CEO and co-founder of The Smart Fit Method in California. “For example, they’ll run more kilometers, double their gym time, and/or eat less. However, all of the desired outcomes from doing the aforementioned activities happen during the anabolic recovery phase.”

According to Darnbrough, the anabolic phase is when the body gains muscle mass and eliminates fat mass while recovering from the stressor. So, instead of pushing yourself to the limit, which leads to overtraining and poor outcomes, devote as much energy to relaxation and nutrition as you do to workouts. “To create sustainable results, try to balance your ratio of stress to recovery,” Darnbrough said.

11. Check in With an Accountability Partner

Losing weight can be lonely at times, but you do not have to do it alone.

According to research, being accountable is effective. In one study, two-thirds of people who entered a weight loss program with friends maintained their weight loss for six months after the meetings ended, compared to only 25% of those who attended alone. Of course, many organizations recommend having a sponsor or champion on your journey to weight loss.

“One of the best ways to consistently eat better and shed weight steadily is to check in every day with an accountability partner,” Bennett said. “Your accountability partner does not have to be your best friend, favorite coworker, or partner. Simply find someone with comparable weight loss goals. You don’t have to talk every day either. Simply text each other to say you’re eating healthy and remaining on schedule. If you’re tempted by junk food, you can rely on your partner. That’s when you might wish to contact them.

12. Watch Less Television

Couch surfers looking to lose weight should switch off the television; in fact, the more television people watch, the more weight they gain.

One study, which collected data from over 50,000 middle-aged women over six years, discovered that for every two hours spent viewing television every day, participants had a 23% higher chance of obesity and a 14% higher risk of acquiring diabetes .

Excessive television viewing is associated with excess weight, partly because it is a sedentary pastime that frequently leads to thoughtless eating. So turn it off or switch the channel to an exercise program instead.

Read also : Top 7 Healthy food to lose weight !!

13. Reconnect With Your Satiety Cues

Speaking of mindless eating, you can rewire your brain for weight loss by reconnecting with your body’s natural “I’m hungry” and “I’m full” signals.

“Dieting combined with eating on the run or while multitasking—driving, watching TV, playing with your phone—can really disconnect you from your natural signals of hunger and satiety,” Albertson said. “Plus, as children, we also learned to clean our plates rather than eat until satisfied.” Add in the fact that portion sizes have increased significantly—by up to 60% for things like snack foods—and the outcome is continuous overeating.

“Instead, try to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you are satisfied rather than stuffed,” Albertson adds. “Rather than recording your meal, track how hungry you are before, during, and after.

14. Get More Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most effective ways to maintain a healthy weight and general health. According to research, poor sleep is linked to weight growth and other health problems. When researchers examined 16 years of data from 68,183 middle-aged American women, they discovered that those who slept little more than five hours per night were 15% more likely to be obese than those who slept seven hours per night.

Insufficient sleep may also impact the synthesis of appetite-regulating hormones ghrelin and leptin, making people feel hungrier throughout the day. Poor sleep also raises cortisol levels, which might make it more difficult to eliminate body and belly fat.

“Most of us can’t control what time we have to get up, but we can control when we go to bed, so counting back seven to nine hours from the time you have to wake up is a great tip,” Darnbrough said. “I also encourage the 3-2-1 rule, which means stop working three hours before bed, stop eating two hours before bed and stop digital stimuli one hour before bed to improve your deep sleep and REM.”

15. Find Non-Edible Substitutes for Self-Soothing

There’s a reason why it’s called “comfort food.” However, emotional eating can easily undermine any weight loss efforts.

“When you feel stressed, which raises cortisol levels, rather than reaching for food to feel better—since eating triggers the release of the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine—raise levels of oxytocin, the love hormone, either by soothing touch, playing with a pet or getting a hug,” Albertson says.

Animal studies have shown that oxytocin reduces calorie consumption and improves metabolism. A small human investigation indicated that administering men oxytocin for eight weeks increased weight loss .

“While more research is needed to understand exactly how increasing oxytocin can impact weight and appetite, if you’re experiencing difficult emotions, a self-compassion break will allow you to give yourself the care you need so you will be less likely to eat,” Albertson said. “Remember the abbreviation ‘HALT,’ which stands for hunger, anger/anxiety, loneliness, and tiredness. If you’re physically hungry, eat. If you are having tough feelings, ask yourself, ‘What do I need?’ and offer yourself what you actually require. “If you’re not hungry, it’s not food.”

Why Losing Weight Fast Isn’t the Best Goal

Though the attraction of the “lose 5 pounds in a week” diet myth is great, there are numerous reasons why quick weight reduction can actually work against your best efforts.

First, when people lose weight quickly, particularly through fad or crash diets, they are more likely to be unable to maintain it since the weight lost is often more muscle mass and water than fat mass, as opposed to persons who lose weight slowly.

“Maintaining lean muscle is important in weight loss because it plays a key role in metabolism,” explains Connie Bennett, certified health coach and author of Sugar Shock and Beyond. “Muscle allows you to burn more calories. But when you lose weight too quickly, you lose muscle and your body slows down calorie burning. Fast weight loss can even cause permanent slowing of metabolism.”

Rapid weight loss frequently results in the dreaded yo-yo weight cycling that many persistent dieters endure. In fact, a study of previous competitors on NBC’s weight reduction television show “The Biggest Loser” discovered that the faster a person lost weight, the slower their metabolism became. The study also discovered that the candidates regained a significant portion of their lost weight in the six years after the competition.

Another Australian study of 200 participants in The Lancet discovered that, while all dieters lost the same amount of weight, the group that lost weight slowly shed 10% more body fat and 50% less lean muscle than the group that lost weight quickly.

Compounding the problem, when people lose weight quickly, their appetite typically increases as their metabolism drops, making it nearly impossible to keep the weight off. According to an Obesity study, our bodies tell us to eat 100 more calories per day for every pound we lose.

Popular fad diets frequently result in dietary shortages. “And rapid weight loss—especially when you cut carbs—is often largely water,” explains registered dietitian Ellen Albertson, Ph.D., author of Rock Your Midlife. “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 bottom line: Shedding weight sensibly is the way to go. Experts usually say a safe rate is losing around half a pound to 2 pounds a week. With that goal in mind, here are some tried-and-true ways to drop pounds and keep them off for good.

How Long Does It Take to Lose Weight?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends losing 1 to 2 pounds per week. Additionally, the CDC claims that people who lose weight gradually are more likely to keep the weight off than those who lose weight rapidly.

How quickly you’re able to lose weight depends on factors like your age, health history, medications you’re taking, how much sleep you get and your genetics. Generally, you’ll need to cut about 500 calories per day through diet or exercise to lose one pound per week.

The Benefits of Losing Weight Safely

Losing weight through healthy lifestyle changes like improved diet and increased physical activity offers a host of benefits, from reductions in body fat to improved joint pain and more. Consider the following advantages of losing weight safely.

Maintain weight loss. People who lose weight gradually (1 to 2 pounds per week) through lifestyle changes such as good eating, regular exercise, and stress management are more likely to maintain their weight loss than those who lose weight abruptly, according to the CDC.

Improve blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. The American Heart Association (AHA) states that losing weight through lifestyle changes such as regular physical activity and eating healthy meals can help lower the risk of high blood pressure, cholesterol, heart attacks, and strokes. Furthermore, decreasing weight and adopting healthy habits may slow the advancement of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes or regulate type 1 diabetes. Meanwhile, decreasing just 5% to 10% of one’s body weight will assist lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Lose more body fat. One small 2017 study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism examined 42 people with excess weight or obesity and discovered that those who participated in slow weight loss lost more body fat than those who participated in rapid weight loss, as well as had smaller waist and hip circumferences. Those who underwent quick weight reduction, on the other hand, lost more fat-free body mass, lean body mass, and total body water.

Improvements in joint pain. Losing weight can reduce the amount of pressure on joints as well as inflammation associated with weight gain. Losing just 10 to 15 pounds may significantly reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis later in life and may improve the severity of arthritis symptoms.

Potential Side Effects of Rapid Weight Loss

Losing more than 1 to 2 pounds per week may result in adverse effects such as muscle, body water, and bone density loss, and is not recommended. Other side effects of rapid weight loss could include:

  • Fatigue
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Gallstones
  • Gout

Additionally, those who lose weight rapidly are more likely to regain weight quickly. Consult with your health care provider to determine a plan to lose weight safely.

Who Should Not Attempt to Lose Weight Fast?

Rapid weight reduction is generally discouraged as a healthy and long-term technique of weight loss, but adolescents, teenagers, pregnant women, and older adults should exercise extra caution. Before beginning a diet or exercise plan to lose weight, consult with your doctor to establish the safest and most appropriate technique for your health.

Final Thoughts on Losing Weight Fast

The most effective strategy to accomplish long-term weight loss is to adopt healthy lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced and nutritious diet, exercising regularly, and controlling stress. Individuals who lose weight gradually are more likely to maintain their weight loss and gain benefits such as lower body fat, improved heart health, and more.

Meanwhile, persons who lose weight quickly are more likely to lose muscle mass and water weight, as well as experience adverse effects such as bone density loss or weight increase. Speak with your doctor about the best weight reduction plan for you.

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