Over the past decade, a myriad of weight loss trends have surfaced with the goal of helping people shed pounds quickly. Everything from the Atkins to the Keto Diet have been popular among people all over the world and have been employed en mass in a joint effort to lose weight in a world where it’s far too easy to pack the weight on instead. As effective as these diets are in helping us shed the pounds, it often comes at too high a cost when not done properly: unsustainable. Choosing a fad over a change of lifestyle helps us to lose the weight for only as long as we adhere to the strict regimen they prescribe. So how do we drop the weight without the wait?
Introduce A Proper Diet
Now, when we say proper diet, we’re not talking about a Hollywood manufactured list of foods that you can and can’t eat. We’re talking about basic scientific principles that you can apply to your everyday food consumption in order to lose weight and actually get healthier along the way. The most crucial aspect of maintaining a proper diet is ensuring that there is a calorie deficit. Simply stated, this means eating fewer calories than need for your current body weight. Maintaining a 500-calorie deficit in your diet is a safe and effective way to lose weight quickly and safely. Depleting your daily consumption any more than that not only means that you’ll likely be unhappy with your meals, but it will put you at a higher risk to cheat on your diet. Make sure to record your calories in a food journal or a health app to stay on track.
Ramp Up Your Activity
Once you’ve placed yourself on a calorie deficit, the next step is to start increasing your activity levels. As you start working out more and getting active, the energy demands you place on your body will increase. Getting good work outs in up to 3 times a week will really keep the ball rolling on your weight loss goals. Take note that this doesn’t mean you should go out and participate in a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) session right off the bat. If you’re starting from zero or are obese, it’s unrealistic to expect to be able to exercise the way a lighter person would. Listen to your body but at the same time, don’t underestimate your capabilities. A great way to start is to give yourself a goal number of steps to accomplish daily. Aim to walk 5,000 steps a day, every day, then increase your goals as you progress. Swimming is also a fantastic way to exercise for people who are overweight without risking injury.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Sleep
Is it true that diet is important? Yes. Is it true that exercise is important? Yes, also. Is that the perfect recipe for quick weight loss? Well, no. There’s a third facet to losing weight quickly that you need to think about: rest. Truly, getting a full eight hours of sleep is just as important for your weight loss as your diet and your exercise. If you need proof, all you need to look to is a study that was conducted by the University of Leeds. In it, 1,615 adults logged their sleep patterns and food intake. Additionally, doctors took note of each participants metabolic health with indicators like their blood pressure, blood sugar, blood cholesterol and thyroid functions. Weight and waist circumferences were also taken note of. Out of these participants, the University of Leeds concluded that those who slept for six hours a night or less had larger bellies than participants who slept for nine hours.
Some Additional Food for Thought
For the longest time, diets have painted carbohydrates as the enemy of weight loss. In fact, if you look at the diets that promise quick weight loss, many, if not all, of them will tell you to ditch carbs altogether. We can’t deny that restricting carbohydrate intake aids in rapid weight loss, but ask yourself this: what kind of weight are you losing? When it comes to these diets, you see rapid weight loss in the first few weeks but you aren’t actually losing fat. Rather, you’re losing water weight. This is because carbohydrates, when stored in your body as glycogen, is bound to about 3 grams of water. This glycogen and water bond is stored in both the liver and the muscle at rates of 500 grams and 100 grams respectively. Sure, in the long run, you will lose fat on this kind of restrictive diet, but it’s important to understand that the rapid results they produce on the onset are not really reliable. As we mentioned earlier, a well-balanced diet is key and carbohydrates are part of this equation. Just make sure that you’re ingesting complex carbohydrates rather than simple and refined carbohydrates.
Trust the Process
Perhaps the most important thing of all is to trust the process and to not rush things. We have the tendency to want things to happen immediately, for us to drop weight over night, but that’s simply not going to happen. Proper weight loss takes time and effective weight loss is a process that truly needs to done at a steady rate. At the end of the day, if you hit that magic combination of a calorie deficit diet, exercise and rest, you’ll being losing weight at a quick and steady rate. If there’s one last bit of wisdom we can leave you with, it’s to stay away from magic fixes. No pill or diet will ever be as effective as making a change in your lifestyle and relying on something that simply won’t work will just set you up for failure. Eat right, work out hard, get tons of sleep and we’re sure you’ll not only be happy with the results, you’ll be incredibly proud of yourself for getting as far as you will.