Many people want to lose weight fast, but speedy shedding of pounds may backfire. When you lose too much weight too quickly, especially through fad diets, you lose more water, muscle and bone mass than fat, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics explains.
Stick with healthy foods and limit packaged items that contain excessive calories, sugars and unhealthy fats. Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night to reduce fatigue and hunger, which can affect your food choices.
In addition to reducing the risk of many health conditions (including heart disease, sleep apnea and diabetes), exercise is a crucial tool for losing weight and keeping it off. However, in order to see results, it’s important to focus on the types of exercise you enjoy and include variety in your routine. Avoid exercising too long and always listen to your body. Also, don’t use the lack of weight loss as an excuse to stop exercising — this can lead to a vicious cycle of gaining and then regaining weight. Keep up the good work! The results will come. You just need to be patient.
If you want to lose weight fast, a diet high in protein, fiber and low in fat is essential. Avoid sugary drinks, fried foods and cakes and biscuits. Instead, opt for grilled or steamed meat and fish, and eat plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Try keeping a food and drink diary [PDF-127KB] to become more aware of your intake, as well as tracking physical activity, sleep, emotions and other health indicators. This will help you understand current habits, and can act as a motivator to make healthy changes. Talk to your provider before starting this or any type of rapid weight loss diet.
Sleep is necessary for a healthy metabolism, but getting less than ideal amounts of rest can be disastrous for weight loss. Several studies have shown that chronic sleep restriction disrupts the delicate balance of appetite and satiety signaling hormones, leading to an increased intake of ultra palatable foods, decreased fat oxidation, and subsequent weight gain.
A lack of sleep causes the levels of leptin and ghrelin to decrease, which increases hunger. It also leads to an increase in cravings for carbohydrates and sugary delights. In addition, sleep deprivation causes a dip in the production of orexins, which are neuropeptides that regulate wakefulness and energy balance.
A study that tracked people on a calorie restricted diet found that those who got adequate sleep lost more of their weight from fat, while those who did not, gained weight from muscle and water. Changing your sleep pattern to make sure you’re getting enough quality slumber is one of the most effective non-dietary strategies for losing weight and maintaining a healthy body composition.
Stress is a common part of life, but constant high-level stress can be very detrimental to your health. It causes the hormone cortisol to be released, which prepares your body for fight or flight and helps you store fat. This hormone also affects your metabolism and can lead to overeating and weight gain.
When you’re under stress, your blood pressure rises, and your immune system becomes weakened. This can cause you to crave comfort foods that are rich in sugar, fat, and salt. These foods can cause belly fat accumulation and raise your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
You can manage stress by practicing relaxation techniques such as diaphragmatic breathing and guided visualization. One study found that dieters who learned these techniques were able to lose more weight than those who didn’t. They were also able to maintain the loss after the study was over.