As a personal trainer, I've encountered numerous clients struggling to lose weight, often due to a lack of accurate information. This article aims to change that.
In this piece, I provide seven simple yet powerful tips for rapid weight loss, drawing from my extensive experience as a coach.
Laura Wu, founder of Bella Diva Fitness, explains that exercise and proper nutrition work synergistically toward optimal health.
I'll also share a bonus section featuring three popular weight loss diets and a list of foods and drinks to avoid. These insights are designed to empower you with the knowledge and tools needed for effective and fast weight loss.
Let's dive in.
- To lose weight fast, I recommend setting realistic goals, closely tracking your calorie intake, reducing sugar and carb consumption, being judicious with fats, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, supplementing with essential vitamins and minerals, and exploring intermittent fasting as key strategies for effective weight loss.
- The three popular diets for weight loss include the Keto diet, the Atkins/Low-Carb Diet, and the Paleo diet.
- When doing intermittent fasting, you can choose to restrict your calorie intake to 500 - 600 calories per day for 2 days or choose to fast during the day and eat one meal in the evening.
- In my experience, a positive mindset and consistent effort are just as crucial as diet and exercise in achieving lasting weight loss.
7 Effective Weight Loss Tips
The seven tips below have been honed through years of practical experience and are designed to help you achieve noticeable results in a shorter time frame.
1. Expectations, staying motivated
In my years as a personal trainer, I've seen firsthand that the key to weight loss is building new habits like eating less and exercising more. Many of my clients have achieved remarkable results by embracing this simple yet effective approach.
Understanding the psychological aspects of weight loss, such as overcoming emotional eating and maintaining motivation, plays a crucial role in this journey.
It’s not complicated, think of it as adapting to a new lifestyle. One that happens to embrace healthy foods and exercise that result in weight loss.
Speaking of exercises, I've guided numerous clients through their fitness journeys and observed that incorporating both cardio and strength training into their exercise routine has offered optimal benefits for those aiming to lose weight. This dual approach not only accelerates fat loss but also enhances muscle mass.
Tip: Shift your focus in building healthier habits to keep you motivated to lose weight.
2. Track everything, including your calories
Instead of starving yourself and jumping on the scale 3 times a day, build those healthy habits we mentioned earlier (eat fewer calories, exercise more) and the weight will come off.
I've guided numerous clients through this process, and it's always more effective than extreme dieting.
But how can you be sure you’re burning more than you’re eating? One of the best ways to do so is a relatively new invention called the fitness tracking app.
Tracking apps are usually free and provide you with a way to log your food and physical activity. The app then calculates the number of calories in vs the number out and lets you know where you stand relative to your TDEE.
Tip: The best part is that logging meals and such this way gets easier the more you do it. And it’s one of those new habits that will pay big time dividends in the long run.
Other than Noom, you might also like to check out Fooducate, a nice alternative.
3. Cut Back on Sugars and Carbs
In my experience, both with my own diet and while advising clients, reducing sweets and refined carbs is crucial. It's surprising how these hidden sugars are often the biggest hurdle in a weight loss journey.
So don’t think that you’re the only one who is maybe a bit too enamored of unhealthy food. We all are.
The secret to how to lose weight begins with not comparing yourself to others.
Instead, spend time identifying the problematic food items in your life. Go into the cupboard and read the labels. You’ll likely be surprised at how much sugar things like canned soup and tomato sauce have in them.
Also, be mindful of the fact that many processed foods labeled low or non-fat often replace it with sugar; which of course will become love handles after you eat it.
Tip: The easiest and best way to cut hidden calories out of your life is to buy fresh fruit and vegetables instead of canned ones. And to get in the habit of reading labels before you buy anything.
4. Be Smart About Saturated Fat
From my years of training clients, I've learned that saturated fats aren't the enemy they're often made out to be. It's about balance and choosing the right kinds of fats, which I emphasize in my nutrition plans.
On the store shelves, animal fats have been traded out for refined sugars and carbohydrates to make up for the lack of taste that occurs when the fat gets taken out.
One thing is sure, cutting out fat from your diet is not the best solution to achieve weight loss. I always advise my clients to maintain a balanced diet, where healthy fats play an important role.
Try to keep a more balanced view of fats by integrating them into your diet in healthy amounts. Keep your fats non-artificial, and you will benefit from its advantages.
Tip: Natural animal fats like butter are always better for you than heavily processed items like margarine, and studies have linked whole milk to less body fat and lower obesity than alternative drinks.
Related Article: What Breaks Down Fat In The Body?
5. Eat More Fruits And Vegetables
As I often tell my clients, reducing calories doesn't mean eating less; it means choosing more fruits and vegetables. Additionally, focusing on gut health by including probiotic-rich foods can significantly aid in weight loss.
This approach has helped many of my clients lose weight effectively.
Hence, it is possible to eat more to lose weight.
High-fiber foods like produce keep you full longer because they take your body a long time to digest.
This prevents you from the excess snacking that leads to weight gain.
Make fruits and vegetables convenient for snacking by storing them in easy-access portions in your kitchen. Pack combinations like peanut butter and celery for your daily lunch to get a kick of protein with your fiber, as per Havard School of Public Health .
You'll be amazed how easy it is to double or triple your daily plant-based food intake when you become intentional about it.
Tip: Start each dinner with a side salad to fill you up, and when eating out, see if your server will substitute your meal's carbs with an extra serving of vegetables instead.
Related Article: Do Vegetables Burn Fat?
6. Take Vitamin & Mineral Supplements
In my experience, people who change their diet for weight loss sometimes miss out on essential nutrients. I always recommend a balanced approach, sometimes supplemented with vitamins and minerals.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to consider taking a vitamin and mineral supplement.
There are so many nutritional supplements on the market today that it can be a daunting task to figure out exactly which one is right for you.
But you can’t really lose by choosing a dependable brand-name multivitamin.
Vitamin D is particularly important for those going through dietary changes. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium, prevent disease, and regulate insulin levels. According to reports by Healthline, a lack of Vitamin D can actually cause the body to retain adipose tissue .
Tip: Just remember, vitamins aren’t going to cause you to gain weight. But they may help prevent nutrition deficits that could cause nagging problems down the road.
Moreover, ensuring adequate sleep is vital, as poor sleep can hinder weight loss efforts and affect hormonal balance.
7. Intermittent Fasting
Having introduced intermittent fasting to many of my clients, I've witnessed its benefits first-hand. It's not just a diet trend, but a lifestyle change that can lead to significant weight loss.
Intermittent fasting means that you schedule certain times during the week when you will not eat, no matter what.
By doing this you force the body to make metabolic adjustments and burn through existing adipose tissue - particularly around the midsection - in order to meet your energy needs.
This might seem like a starvation diet at first glance. But there’s an important difference. Intermittent fasting is just that: intermittent. You fast for a pre-set length of time and then you resume your normal healthy eating.
Tip: Some people pick one day a week to fast. Others eat their normal healthy foods 5 days in a row and then restrict their calorie intake to 500 - 600 calories per day for 2 days. Others fast during the day and then eat one meal in the evening. Whatever works for you.
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3 Popular Weight Loss Diet Plans
Below are the three popular weight loss diet plans.
The keto diet was developed a century ago as a treatment for adolescent seizure disorders. In recent years, however, it has been rediscovered and repurposed as a weight loss regimen.
As per reports by the Havard School of Public Health, the keto diet calls for you to reduce carbohydrate intake to around 20 grams per day .
Since carbs are the body’s default fuel drastically reducing carb intake forces the body to revert to Plan B: burning body fat for energy. A process known as “ketosis”. Hence the name.
The keto low-carb diet helps stabilize blood sugar levels and offers one of the few truly effective and sustainable ways for people to lose substantial amounts of weight and keep it off.
If there is a problem with keto it’s that some find it difficult to stick with a plan that is so restrictive of carbs. After all, carbs can be found in almost all the food we eat. So getting the nutrients you need and the satisfaction you crave from food while staving off hunger can be a challenge.
Related Article: Pre-Workout Supplements for Ketosis
2. Atkins/Low-Carb Diet
In 1972 a certain Dr. Atkins proposed a diet that shocked many people.
Except, of course, those who were aware of the keto diet that had been developed 50 years earlier.
Essentially Dr. Atkins took the keto principle and added a few twists to make it his own. And to his credit, the Atkins diet has helped countless people lose weight and keep it off. As we said, Atkins is essentially a modification of keto.
But where keto requires you to cut back to 20 grams of carbohydrates per day and maintain that level, Atkins calls for you to cut back to 20 grams of carbs only until you enter ketosis.
Once that happens you then gradually re-introduce carbs until you find the carb to fat loss ratio that works for you. Once you do you use that ratio as the basis of your diet going forward.
3. Paleo Diet
The Paleo diet takes as its guiding principle the notion that our bodies are actually programmed to work best on a prehistoric menu that consisted mostly of meat, fresh fruit, vegetables, and natural sweeteners.
These were and are foods completely devoid of the trans fats, refined carbohydrates, sugar, and artificial ingredients that are so prevalent in today’s processed food. It’s hard to argue with the logic.
After all, humans have existed for more than a million years, and for 99% of that time, there were no agriculture or food processing plants.
It only makes sense then that evolution trained our bodies to work best on what we could find or kill by way of the hunt. The standard Paleo diet consists of 20-30% high-quality protein from meat or seafood, along with high fiber, non-starchy fruit and vegetables.
It’s a common-sense formula for shedding pounds that helps many people lose and keep off weight.
Foods To Avoid
Here are some of the foods you should avoid at all costs during your weight loss phase:
- Bacon - Loaded with taste, relatively low in calories but loaded with deadly saturated fats.
- Hot dogs - What’s a barbeque without hot dogs? A lot healthier for you, that’s what. Hot dogs are busting at the seams with unhealthy saturated fat.
- Bologna - A slice of bologna is loaded with sodium and saturated fats.
- Pasta - Sorry but you may want to cancel spaghetti Wednesday.
- Beer - The average beer is loaded with carbs. Where do you think beer bellies come from?
- Dessert - Cake, ice cream, and other sugary sweets are carbs you should avoid.
What Not to Drink
Avoid these drinks if you want to lose weight fast:
- Soda - If you plan to lose weight stop losing yourself in the soda section of the supermarket or convenience store. And order water with your meals instead of a soft drink.
- Energy drinks - You know how they provide the energy? With a sugar rush.
- Wine coolers - Coolers. Sounds good right? Except that they typically count for about about 200 calories each. More than the average beer.
- Beer - Beer makes another appearance on these lists because it’s not only one of the biggest carb violators but it’s also full of empty calories.
- Cocktails - The big offender here is not the shot of liquor but what you add to it. For instance, a traditional White Russian cocktail has over 700 calories.
- Fancy coffee drinks - Did you know an Iced Caffe Frappuccino has 500 calories? It does. A White Hot Chocolate from you-know-where is even worse, with 590.
Sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, are one of the unhealthiest foods on the planet. They are strongly associated with weight gain and can have disastrous health effects when consumed in excess.
- Hrefna Palsdottir, MS, Healthline
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