When it comes to losing weight, everyone wants to shed pounds as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, speedy weight loss methods are not very effective. You either lose a ton of weight in a very unhealthy manner, or you end up gaining all that weight back almost as quickly as you lost it. You have to know which methods are actually effective in order to keep the weight off.
Here are some fast weight loss methods that actually work, and the habits you should avoid all together.
Don’t: Skip meals
A study done at The Ohio State University in 2015 revealed that skipping meals actually causes weight gain. In the study, which was published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, mice were observed having a different number of meals each day. It was found that the mice that only ate one meal a day ended up gorging, and had more fat around their middles by the end of the study. Long story short: If losing weight quickly is your goal, you should be eating several small meals throughout the day. (Always on the go and too busy for multiple meals? Always have a healthy snacked packed.)
Do: Eat more protein and fiber
An effective way to lose weight fast is to eat small meals throughout the day, and have them consist of certain foods. As Healthline explains, eating more protein during the day will help cut down on food cravings and boost your metabolism. Also, integrating more fiber into your diet will help keep you full and not over-eat.
Don’t: Rely on cardio alone
It is widely recognized that exercise aids in weight loss. But many people have the wrong idea about what kind of workouts are best for dropping weight. There is a common belief that doing long cardiovascular workouts alone will result in quick weight loss. But surprisingly, cardio alone isn’t the key to quickly shedding pounds. Research conducted by Professor Herman Pontzer of Hunter College revealed that long stints of exercise aren’t enough to help you lose weight — let alone lose it quickly.
Do: Lift weights three times a week
Adding resistance training to your exercise routine is a great way to boost your weight loss regimen. If you are looking to lose weight quickly, you should try some kind of weight-lifting exercise three times a week. Perhaps schedule your workouts for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays so your muscles will have a day in between to rest. (That way, you have less of a chance of injuring yourself.) Or, take a cue from Livestrong.com and try circuit training, which will help you burn even more calories.
Don’t: Go heavy on a juice cleanse
Yes, going on a juice cleanse will help you detox and can help you lose a couple pounds quickly. The problem with this method, though, is that it isn’t a long-term solution. You are more likely to gain the weight back afterwards because you deprived yourself of essential nutrition while juicing. Plus, the lack of protein will leave you famished and angry. (And nobody wants to be around a hangry person.)
Do: Consider consulting a nutritionist
Okay, we know this probably isn’t the most appealing idea. Especially if you are looking for the fastest way to lose weight, you want to get right to it and skip talking to anyone. But trust us — talking to someone before starting your weight loss regimen can be beneficial. As Prevention.com reveals, nutritionist have more knowledge on this subject than any diet book or infomercial.
Don’t: Trust the diet pills you see on TV
When it comes to losing weight as quickly as possible, those diet pills and powders that you see on infomercials can look very tempting. It is important to keep in mind that many of those pills aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration — and can contain harmful ingredients. “The agency has found hundreds of products that are marketed as dietary supplements,” the FDA’s website says, “but actually contain hidden active ingredients contained in prescription drugs, unsafe ingredients that were in drugs that have been removed from the market, or compounds that have not been adequately studied in humans.”
Even if losing weight quickly is your goal, risking your health is not. Always consult your doctor before trying any type of dietary aid.