The Best Ways to Lose Weight Fast

With so much conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, it can be hard to know what to believe. Ultimately, healthy eating comes down to portion control and eliminating empty calories.

Stick to a plan that includes lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, and fiber-rich foods. Avoid fad diets and aim for a safe, sustainable rate of weight loss.

Eat a Balanced Breakfast

A balanced breakfast is critical to a healthy diet. You need adequate protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates to get your day off to a great start. Carbs will fuel your brain and body, protein controls your appetite, and fat keeps you feeling satiated.

Avoid familiar breakfast foods such as processed cereals, doughnuts, muffins, and bagels which are loaded with sugars that send your insulin levels through the roof. Your body will store the sugar as fat rather than use it for energy.

Choose healthier alternatives such as a bowl of oatmeal with fresh berries and nuts, eggs with whole wheat toast and spinach, a smoothie made with high-protein yogurt, banana, and granola, or a breakfast wrap filled with a vegetable, such as grilled peppers and onions.

Watch Your Drinks

One of the best ways to lose weight is to watch what you drink. Choosing water or low-calorie beverages over sugary drinks can cut hundreds of calories per day.

Alcohol is high in calories. Adding mixers, such as fruit juice or soda, to alcoholic beverages adds additional calories. It’s also easy to over-drink, which can lower inhibitions and cause you to eat foods that you are trying to avoid.

Drinking too much can also interfere with sleep, which is important for anyone who wants to lose weight. Keep track of your drinking habits by writing down everything you consume for a few days in a food and beverage journal. This can help you understand current patterns and identify problem areas. Try alternating alcoholic beverages with water to reduce overall calorie intake.

Fasting Isn’t a Good Idea

While fasting can be a great tool for losing weight, it’s important to not take this approach too far. If you do, your body may go into starvation mode and start storing fat instead of burning it. This is why it’s best to stick with intermittent fasting under medical supervision.

Intermittent fasting involves alternating between eating periods and fasting periods. Studies have shown that doing this reduces insulin resistance and can lead to lower cholesterol levels.

However, it’s crucial to eat whole, nutritious foods on non-fasting days as well. Otherwise, your body may compensate for the lost calories by gaining weight. This could also cause your blood sugar to spike and lead to diabetes or hypoglycemia. Also, pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid this diet.

Be Patient

It may seem counterintuitive, but the fastest way to lose weight is to be patient. When you try to rush the process, you will be stressing yourself out, and that will hinder your body’s fat-burning processes. It is also important to remember why you want to lose weight – whether it’s to avoid heart disease or to look better in your clothes. Writing down your reasons and putting them somewhere you can see them daily will serve as a reminder to stay the course. Tracking your eating habits by keeping a food diary [PDF] can also help. Likewise, tracking physical activity [PDF], sleep, and emotions can help you understand your current habits and where to make changes.

Becoming more patient will take time, but it’s worth it in the long run.