When it comes to losing weight, there isn’t a person out there who doesn’t want to see results as soon as possible. So naturally, it is tempting to be drawn toward quick and easy methods — whether it be a diet pill or a medical procedure — that claim to slim you down in a hurry. The problem with that, of course, is many of these methods are also hazardous to your health.
But that doesn’t mean that you can’t shed some extra poundage in a shorter time span. Lucky for you, there are healthy ways to lose weight fast. In fact, many of the healthier approaches are so easy, you will have no problem implementing them into your daily routine. Here are 10 to get you started.
1. Keep yourself busy
You’re probably scratching your head and thinking, how can keeping busy be a key to losing weight? As it turns out, one of the worst eating habits out there is snacking out of boredom, which is a surefire way to pack on extra pounds. And when your kitchen is stocked with guilty goodies (more on fixing that later) you are at an even bigger risk of eating mindlessly. So instead of vegging on the couch in your downtime — run errands and engage in activities that will keep your mind off of snacking. You might be surprised how quickly this method helps you lose weight.
2. Drink more water
You have possibly heard this one before: Drinking more water will help you lose weight. As WebMD explains, “water consumption increases the rate at which people burn calories.” Authority Nutrition adds that drinking water before a meal may result in you taking in fewer calories. And if you are taking in fewer calories, then you will probably see better results for having less to burn off. While we are on the topic of burning calories …
3. Make quick, high-intensity workouts a priority
Flat abs aren’t just created in the kitchen. A sweat-inducing workout regimen is key to toning your body and keeping you in optimal shape. When it comes to shedding the most extra baggage in a shorter period of time, a high-intensity workout is the way to go. Think circuit training, highly-aerobic classes, or simply a good mix of both cardio and weight training. For an effective full-body workout that mixes both cardio and toning into one workout, add a couple of CrossFit moves to your repertoire. (We have a great guide to help you get started.)
4. Eat breakfast
Cutting out unnecessary eating is a step to losing weight quickly. This can’t be said about breakfast, however, which is crucial when it comes to shedding pounds. According to a study published in 2016, those who skip breakfast are more likely to consume empty calories later in the day and at night, which drives weight gain. Having a healthy breakfast, on the other hand, helps jump-start your metabolism for the day and helps to curb hunger. So reach for whole-grain toast or scrambled eggs — since protein is better at making you feel full — and eat your way to weight loss.
5. Have a little caffeine — just a little
Using caffeine as a means of losing weight is a bit tricky, because a little bit can go a long way. According to Mayo Clinic, a modest amount caffeine can help suppress appetite and burn calories. However too much caffeine can have a negative effect. “When used in moderation (400 milligrams or less) by healthy adults, caffeine is generally safe,” the article says. “But too much caffeine might cause nervousness, insomnia, nausea, increased blood pressure and other problems.” (Not to forget that some of us put too much sugar in our caffeinated beverages, which will lead to an assortment of health problems.) But in the end, having black coffee in the morning or a green tea in the afternoon is a quick and safe way to aid your weight loss regimen.
6. Eat slower
In fine-tuning your eating habits to fit your weight loss goals, you also have to consider the way you are eating. As FitWatch explains, eating more slowly and enjoying your food can lead to you eating less, and therefore consuming fewer calories. This gives your stomach more time to signal to your brain that you are full before you can shovel too much food into your face. Implement this practice into every meal you eat — yes, even the ones you have to eat on the run — and see how easy it is to consume less food. It could become a great habit with benefits that stretch way beyond weight loss.
7. Swap out snacks
OK, OK, so sometimes an afternoon snack is crucial, not out of boredom. So when you need that food pick-me-up, it’s important to have the right snacks on hand. Take a cue from WebMD and rid your kitchen of any thing that will derail your weight loss plan. But don’t worry — this doesn’t mean you have to stop snacking altogether! If you need to refuel in the afternoon, reach for a healthier option, like some lean protein or a little bit of fruit. (Health has a couple of weight-loss-friendly snack ideas, like a banana with peanut butter or an apple with a slice of cheese.)
8. Nix alcohol
No, missing out on happy hour cocktails probably isn’t your idea of fun. But you will have to kick the bottle to the curb if you want to drop a pant size. This can help you lose weight in a fast and healthy manner for a number of reasons. For starters, you’ll be consuming fewer liquid calories. Plus, as Livestrong.com points out, studies have shown consuming alcohol before or during a meal can increase calorie consumption. So if it’s a healthy weight-loss plan you want, ditching the booze is a good bet.
9. Get plenty of shut-eye
Getting enough Zs does more than just put you in a good mood. Among its many health benefits, sleep also helps you drop pounds. As Women’s Health breaks down, getting enough sleep helps burn calories and boost fat loss. And of course, if you are sleeping, then you won’t be reaching for a diet-crushing midnight snack. While we’re on that subject …
10. No more midnight munchies!
So now that you’ve made eating breakfast a top priority and made your snacking choices healthier, it’s time to tackle that bad habit of eating late at night. U.S. News & World Report explains, “Research consistently shows that people who eat late at night weigh more than those who eat all of their food earlier in the day.” The reason? “Since your body uses less sugar as fuel when you’re lying in bed as opposed to running around, potentially more sugar winds up in your fat cells when you eat those foods late at night.”
The solution here is simple: Cut out the late-night munching altogether by eating a satisfying dinner. You will be amazed at how quickly you can shed pounds just by making wiser food choices.