4 ways to lose weight fast
You can do many things to lose weight fast, but the best methods are those that you can sustain over time! We've explained our top four strategies for weight loss below, and each of these is scientifically backed to bring you the best results.
1. Eat Mindfully
Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't mean you have to eat your food in a meditative state or stop and savour every single bite with the focus of a zen guru.
Mindful eating refers to paying attention to what you're eating and noticing how you feel when you eat.
- What does it taste like?
- How does it look?
- What's the texture of it?
- What kind of flavours do you notice?
When following a weight-loss diet, people become very preoccupied with sticking to a plan but not noticing much else. This means they have no tools to deal with cravings and may simply 'give in', overeat, and feel guilty. Instead, they're encouraged to pay attention to cravings with mindful eating, acknowledge and accept them, and eat an amount that they're are satisfied with, but mindfully.
In a 2018 study in the Journal of Family Medicine & Community Health, researchers looked at how a 15-week weight loss program that included mindful-eating strategies would impact both eating behaviour and weight loss. Subjects in the mindful eating group lost six times more weight than those in the control group.
Increasing awareness of the food eaten when dieting is a powerful tool for behaviour change.
2. Ditch the all-or-nothing mentality
Let me put it this way, how's it worked out for you in the past?
Being super strict in the week, then binge-eating on the weekends because you've "earned a cheat day."
Not being able to do the full hour gym session, so you end skipping it altogether.
The all or nothing mentality is a vicious cycle that goes: restrict, stress, resent it, break it, regret it, feel guilty, restrict again.
Extreme measures and restrictions can see an initial drop in weight, usually with piling on the pounds when the extreme mindset stops. This won't give you those long-term results you really want!
To break through this negative cycle try the following tips:
- Stop viewing things as good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, diet or cheat foods. All food is food and there's a middle ground to be found.
- Give yourself flexibility with your diet throughout the week instead of waiting until the weekend. Perhaps you can make some of your favourite meals at home and make them a little healthier? Instead of takeaway, try making homemade low-fat patties, adding a salad and using the oven for baked sweet potato fries.
- Just because you've slipped up doesn't mean it's all over. If you get a flat tyre, do you go out and slash the other 3?
3. Get moving
This one seems self-explanatory, so let's break it down.
Our bodies burn more calories if we exercise regularly, not to mention all of the additional health benefits such as blood sugar control, improve muscular strength, bone density and stress relief, to name a few.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends 150-250 minutes of vigorous activity per week for weight loss. Broken down, this is a recommendation for 22-35m minutes of exercise per day for weight loss, and they recommend aiming for the 35 marks for best results! This means going out and doing cardio at a level that produces sweat, for example, a bike ride, jog, cross trainer, treadmill intervals, aerobic class and so forth. Think about increasing your heart rate and maintaining that high heart rate for your 35-minute session.
Combining exercise with a healthy and calorie-controlled diet gives the best results.
Aside from structured exercise like the gym, try to incorporate extra daily physical activity into your life by making small changes such as:
- Parking further away from work and walking
- Taking the stairs
- Walking whilst talking on the phone
Every little bit adds up.
4. Simple Swaps
When it comes to nutrition, we have so many choices and food products that it's easy to find a healthy solution for food swaps to cut back on calories and watch the weight fall off:
- Change from creamy soups to broths
- Change meat to the leanest, low-fat version
- Swap your cheese to low-fat whiter cheeses such as feta
- Pick diet soft drinks instead of full-sugar
- Change yoghurt to greek-style, high-protein yoghurt
- Swap creamy salad dressings for vinaigrettes
- Change your chips for air-popped popcorn
- Opt for natural sweets (fruit) instead of lollies
Change your mindset, nutrition and exercise habits are all effective strategies will give you fast results when it comes to your weight goals.
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Accredited Practising Dietitian