To lose weight fast is the elusive dream. It requires a little more effort on your side. But we all define “fast” in a different way. You can lose a pound or two in a day easily. But the right way of dropping a pant size fast requires a little more effort. The principles for losing weight are rather simple: eat right, exercise, and avoid things that make you gain weight.
With that in mind, what are these healthy habits that will last a lifetime, and will help you lose weight in the process? Let’s get right into it.
Load Up on Protein
Consuming food high in protein will make you feel fuller. And when you are full, your body doesn’t crave sugars and processed foods. It is important to get your protein from quality sources like lean meats (turkey, beef, and chicken), nuts, seeds, eggs, beans, and seafood.
Eat More Fiber
Another nutrient that makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time is fiber. There are many studies showing there is a link between lower body weight and fiber. While it is a carbohydrate, fiber is a slow-digesting type of carbs.
Consuming more fiber will slow down your digestion, which translates in feeling full for a long period.
Here are some quality sources of fiber:
- Whole grains (whole pasta, whole bread)
- Chia Seeds
- Black Beans
Cut Back on Refined Sugars
This one is an absolute must if you plan on losing weight fast. There is a popular saying, which goes “you cannot outwork a bad diet”. That means that no matter how much you exercise, be it strength training or cardio, if you eat unhealthy food, there will be no results.
Refined sugars, or also known as simple carbs can be found in processed foods. There is good kind of sugar, and bad kind of sugar. The good kind, or glucose found in fruits and honey will signal your body that you are full.
Bad sugars, like fructose, found in high fructose corn syrup and junk food does not do that. Consuming processed foods high in fructose will not signal your body that you do not need to eat more. No matter how much you eat, you will still feel hungry, and crave more unhealthy food.
Avoid these at all cost:
- Fruit punch
- Sports drinks
- Store brought fruit juices
- Store bought cookies and cakes
- Chocolate and candies
- Chocolate bars
- Granola bars
Increase Your Heart Rate
One of the biggest mistakes people do when they are trying to lose weight is jump on the exercise track for hours. Wrong! What you need to do is work out less, but harder.
Working out for two hours straight is not effective at all. In fact, it might be even counterproductive, as you will feel fatigued. You will burn your entire energy, and crave for unhealthy food to quickly refresh.
A much better way is to exercise on a regular basis for 20 to 30 minutes of high intensity workout. The recommended dosage is 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. Spread that through 7 days of the week.
Do not exercise for two hours one day, and then lay off for the rest of the week. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise five days per week. Add two days of rest in between.
What to Eat After Working Out
This is where most people get it wrong. Just because you burned 500 calories during your workout, doesn’t mean you can indulge into a chocolate dessert after dinner. It doesn’t work that way.
What you eat after your workout is just as important as your workout. After a good workout, you need protein to build muscles, and electrolytes (minerals like magnesium and potassium) to replenish the fluids you lost due to sweating.
Some healthy options for post-workout meals:
- Grilled chicken
- Roasted vegetables
- Egg omelet
- Tuna salad
- Tuna and crackers
- Smoothie with banana, nuts, and whey protein
- Cottage cheese
- Fruits with moderate sugar amount
- Greek yogurt
- Hard boiled eggs
- Whole grains
Remember, 200 calories of fresh fruits and vegetables is not the same as 200 calories of French fries. Because of that, be mindful of what you eat.
IMPORTANT: If you want to lose weight, eat within 45 minutes or an hour after working out. If your goal is to build muscle, eat within 15 minutes of your workout.
The Importance of Sleep
Studies have shown there is a direct link between getting enough sleep and obesity. Sleeping for less than seven hours per day will result in gaining a few pounds. Sleep deprivation will leave you fatigued, susceptible to stress, and more prone to unhealthy foods craving. Don’t underestimate the quality of your bed and mattress. If you can afford it, consider an upgrade. MattressNerd has some good info to get you started.
Stress is often an underestimated aspect of losing weight. Stress can cause you to eat large amounts of high-calorie foods. When you are under stress, you almost instantly crave for unhealthy cookies or chocolate.
Now, managing stress is not an easy task. Doing it in a healthy manner is even more challenging. But everyone has his own method for keeping stress under control. Find a mechanism that works for you.
Lose Weight the Right Way
Some people opt for yoga. Others go for intense exercise. There are also people that cope with stress by reading a book or a magazine. Sometimes, even simple chores like doing the dishes can calm you down. And that is only thing that is important.