One of the main contributors to the increasing obesity rates in the US and around the world is the abundance of misinformation and false promises flooding the diet and fitness industry. People who have the intention and motivation to lose weight are often discouraged after following overly bland diets or diets that are just to strict and limiting. Losing weight can be made much more simple if we can overlook all of the fad diets and false promises and look at the science of what actually works. For the 99% of people who don’t actually have a thyroid problem and are otherwise healthy, you will lose weight if you are burning more calories than you are consuming. This can be accomplished by consuming less calories than it takes for your body to maintain it’s current weight or by consuming the same amount of calories it takes to maintain your current weight and adding in some additional exercise to lower your overall caloric intake. With this in mind – here are the top 3 ways to lose weight fast:
- Construct a flexible diet plan – Flexible dieting can best be described as eating both healthy foods and foods you enjoy. The first thing you are going to want to do is calculate your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) – a simple google search for TDEE calculator will do the trick. This will use your body weight. height age, and activity levels to give you the estimated amount of calories your body needs to maintain its current weight. You will then take this number and aim anywhere from 100 calories to 400 calories less (depending on how fast you want to lose weight) than the total. The base of your diet should be composed of protein (meats, eggs, dairy, etc) and the rest will naturally be composed of carbs and fats. I recommend keeping the fat lower just to make it easier to manage your caloric intake – 1g of carbs = 4 calories and 1g of fat= 9 calories. Remember to keep everything balanced, you don’t want all of your carbs from sugars but there will be room for some goodies. However, try to focus on less calorie dense carbs first (e.g. pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables). The remaining calories can be filled with foods you like to enjoy.
- Exercise – To improve overall health, strength, and body composition, your primary exercise should be from resistance training (weights). This will not only allow you to burn calories during the exercise session, but your body will continue to burn more calories when repairing muscle tissue. The result will be fat loss, muscle gain, and the ability to consume more calories without gaining fat. Weight training will ultimately result in a healthy and fit body as opposed to loss in muscle tissue and an unhealthy appearance.This doesn’t mean you should completely ignore cardio – try to incorporate cardio at least 1-2 times per week for its health benefits. You can also use cardio as a tool to manage your caloric balance. For example, you eat 300 calories over your goal you can aim to burn those 300 calories during a cardio session somewhere in the following days.
- Motivation – Probably the best way to lose weight fast is motivation. Because without it, weight loss is not possible. There is no magic pill that can make you lose weight without any effort. Motivation is what keeps you from consuming too many calories too often and from missing too many workouts. There are different things that motivate people. You can get motivation by getting spouse or family members to move alongside you, you can find inspiration from pictures and videos of healthy/fit people, etc. However, the best motivation will come from the results you see of yourself. Once you feel better and more confident, you will want to keep going and you will find that its is all just part of your routine and not an inconvenience to follow a balanced and flexible diet and exercise lifestyle.