Being overweight is one of the most common problems in the modern era. As per a study by the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight. Of these, a staggering 650 million were obese. It is no surprise that being overweight can lead to several health risks and adverse effects. For example, diabetes, heart ailments, sleep apnea, stroke and gallbladder diseases are the most common. That makes obesity one of the most concerning and severe issues globally. However, the good part is that people have started taking it seriously due to growing awareness and information. However, the most common question that concerns a colossal population is how to lose weight fast.
Various factors, including your diet, lifestyle, stress levels, medical conditions, etc., impact your body weight. Furthermore, factors like age, gender etc., define your optimum body weight. Although losing weight can sound very challenging, following the right practices can make the task easier for you. However, if you wish to shed those extra pounds, don’t go for weight loss plans that promise fast weight loss.
Several FAD diets and supplements that promise rapid weight loss can lead to adverse effects. To read about the possible side effects of rapid weight loss, you can refer to a detailed guide here. Hence, it is essential to go about your weight loss journey well-planned. Discipline and consistency will ensure that you reach your optimum weight without negatively affecting your health.
“A huge part of losing weight is making that initial decision to change lifestyle. The best way to lose weight and be successful at it is to take one simple step at a time. When it’s about weight loss, being consistent with the positive changes you make to your lifestyle is the key. Getting right back on track when you fall off and keep going with small yet important changes leads to sustainable results.” – Hiral Patel (Nutritionist, HealthifyMe)
Hiral Patel (Nutritionist, HealthifyMe)
The healthiest way to lose weight involves balancing multiple factors like modified diets, physical activities, lifestyle modification, stress reductions etc. The article focuses on numerous ways to help you with your weight loss journey.
The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Weight
The benefits of maintaining a healthy body weight are immense. For starters, it can be as simple as making you feel better and more confident about yourself. In addition, you will have more energy in reserve to function better and improve your health further. Healthy body weight also ensures the proper functioning of your circulatory system. It also helps manage your fluid levels better. Besides these common benefits, a healthy weight prevents you from diseases that come with excess body weight. These include reduced risk of diabetes, cancers, arthritis, gallstones, asthma, infertility, snoring and sleep apnea.
Effective Ways to Lose Weight
There are two primary ways to lose weight. They are good physical activity and diet. When done together, these deliver better results.
A big reason for the current crisis of being overweight is insufficient physical activity. The leading cause of this is the sedentary nature of most occupations. Doing sufficient physical activity ensures that calories burn and the weight remains under control. You can do different kinds of physical activities to lose weight. These include:
- Weight training
- Bodyweight movements
All these physical activities help you burn calories. You can choose any form of physical activity if your goal is to lose weight fast. However, what matters is consistency. If you perform any of these physical activities over a long period, the results will come.
It is possible to lose weight by just making a few modifications to your diet. If you want to lose weight, the game is all about the calories you take in and the calories you burn. When you limit the number of calories you take in, your body has to search for other ways to produce energy.
So, if you are at a calorie deficit or eating fewer calories with balanced nutrition than you used to, you are well on your way to losing weight. Your body will now use the existing fat to release the energy needed to perform day to day functions. Over time, this will help you shed body fat and lose weight.
Modified Food Plans to Lose Weight
Although several food plans can help you lose weight, some of these can help speed up your weight loss journey. However, it is best to seek an expert’s assistance while following any of these modified food plans. That is because everybody is different, and their bodies have different demands. In addition, a healthy weight loss journey demands customised plans that are specially created as per various factors, including your age, gender, body type, needs, medical conditions etc. Below are some common weight-loss food plans that can help you lose weight.
Conventional Hypocaloric Diets (Calorie-Deficit Food Plans)
It is one of the most common and efficient ways to lose weight. Studies suggest that traditional hypocaloric diets typically aim at reducing daily energy intake by 500–750 kcal. The recommended calorie intake for the energy restriction happens by diets of 1200–1500 kcal/d for females and 1500–1800 kcal/d for males. The idea is to consume fewer calories so that the body can use excess fat and use it as an alternate source of energy. In the process, you start burning more fat for energy, ultimately leading to weight loss.
Reducing daily energy intake by 400–500 kcal can lead to a modest weight loss of approximately 0.5 kg per week or 2 kg per month. However, research shows that such weight loss is usually seen only in the first months because the rate of weight loss can slow down due to hormonal adaptations resisting weight loss.
Hence, choosing a customised food plan based on your weight loss goals is essential.
Intermittent fasting is when you fast and eat in cycles. There are two popular methods of intermittent fasting. One is using the 16/8 rule. You limit your calorie intake to 8 hours per day in this scenario. Whatever you want to eat, you must eat it in those 8 hours only. The remaining 16 hours are for fasting. Another popular method is the 5:2 method. You need to take as little as 500-600 calories per day twice a week per this method. In both methods healthy meals and moderate activity improves weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is safe. Most healthy adults can do it. Evidence suggests that intermittent fasting can reduce weight by 0.8-13% when done consistently and adequately. Another conclusive study shows that intermittent fasting could improve fat burn rate while maintaining muscle mass. Further studies in the field suggest that the benefits of intermittent fasting are immense. These include increased insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation and anti-ageing effects.
It involves limiting food intake to just plant-based products. Veganism is a popular version of this type. It eliminates even dairy products from the diet. Other benefits of a plant-based diet include reduced risk of illnesses like heart disease and diabetes.
However, plant-based diets have some downsides too. The most important is that the body loses essential nutrition from animal products. Iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids are some important ones, so experts can help here to plan a diet wisely.
Low Carbohydrate Diets
Low carbohydrate diets are the most popular ones adopted for losing weight. They are helpful because they limit carbs consumption. At the same time, they substitute the lost carbohydrate for protein. When the carbohydrate content in the diet goes very low, the body starts using fatty acids for energy requirements. The fatty acids get converted into ketones.
Evidence suggests that a low carbohydrate diet is even more effective than a low-fat diet for reducing weight. However, a possible downside is that it can cause digestion problems in some people.
A paleo diet essentially advocates eating whole foods, fruits and vegetables. It forbids the consumption of processed foods, sugars and grains. Paleo diet proponents effectively support eating a diet similar to our hunter ancestors.
Various studies prove that paleo diets can help reduce weight. In addition to reducing weight and belly circumference, a paleo diet can also have other benefits. These include lowering high blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels.
A low-fat diet essentially means that you have to reduce your fat intake to 20-30% of your total calorie intake of the day. However, this is because fats have double the number of calories per gram compared to proteins and carbohydrates. So, a low-fat diet limits calorie intake and hence helps in reducing weight.
A possible downside of a low-fat diet is that restricting too much fat can lead to many health problems. Fats are responsible for hormone production, cell health and nutrient absorption in the body. You may inhibit these processes if fats reduce beyond a certain level.
Other Tips to Lose Weight
Chew Slowly and Thoroughly
A review of many studies showed that people who eat fast are more likely to gain weight than people who eat relatively slowly. It is because chewing food thoroughly leads to slower eating. As a result, it leads to increased fullness and small portion size.
Use Smaller Plates
Intuitively, using a smaller plate for unhealthy food will help you lose weight fast. Research has shown that a giant plate can make look servings smaller than they are. A smaller plate will prevent you from eating unhealthy stuff in large quantities. You can further extend it to using bigger plates for healthy foods.
Increase Protein Intake
Recent research shows that eating protein can reduce hunger and increase the feeling of fullness. It helps you reduce overall calorie intake and is a practical and effective way to lose weight fast. Examples of protein-rich foods include fish, Greek yoghurt, lentils and almonds.
Drink More Water
Replace sugary and calorie-loaded drinks with water. Drinking water 30 minutes before a meal can help you reduce weight by decreasing calorie intake. Recent research shows that people who drink water 30 minutes before their meals can have a 44% greater decrease in weight than those who do not.
Good sleeping habits can go a long way in helping you lose weight. Lack of sleep is associated with hormones like leptin and ghrelin. These hormones increase cravings for unhealthy foods and contribute to increasing weight. Sound sleep also helps in preventing chronic conditions like diabetes.
Some Foods that Help Lose Weight Fast
Cottage cheese is mostly protein. As a result, it is a satiating food. It reduces overall calorie intake. At the same time, cottage cheese is high in calcium. Protein in cottage cheese also helps in muscle building and maintenance.
Soup generally is eaten slowly. However, if you have it with lots of vegetables, it can become very healthy also at the same time. Eating slowly and mindfully has been proven to help prevent past eating fullness. Research also shows that incorporating a vegetable soup before your meal can make you feel more satisfied and thus help in reducing weight.
Studies have shown that people who eat nuts lose weight faster than those who do not. They are high in protein and fibre content and give a satiating feeling. Another health benefit of nuts includes improved metabolic health.
Examples of whole grains include quinoa, oats and brown rice. Their effectiveness is the same: a satiating feeling that helps in feeling full. It reduces hunger and, as a result, fewer calorie intake. They are also a good source of fiber and micronutrients.
Chia seeds contain high amounts of fibre. Because of this, they turn into a gel-like substance in the stomach and give a feeling of satiety. Therefore, it can be eaten like a snack when coupled with yoghurt. Further, a study proves that the omega -3 fatty acids in chia seeds can also help overall weight management.
The Bottom Line
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for a variety of reasons. It helps you in functioning well in day to day life. In addition, it prevents chronic conditions like high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes and so on. However, being overweight is a problem, and you should urgently deal with it. Since you make these modifications in your routine, the body starts losing weight and you can see initial changes in your weight quickly.
This can make you more confident and motivates you to continue with your weight loss goals efficiently. Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle and going for a workout at least four days a week can deliver good results. Complementing physical activity with the right type of diet is further helpful. Taking the proper diet will also help you shed extra fat from your body.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. How to lose weight in 7 days?
A. Losing weight is not difficult if one follows the proper diet and exercise routine. You can regularly do jogging, skipping, walking at least 10,000 steps per day, swimming, and other exercises that boost the cardiovascular system on the exercise front. In addition, you can also include muscle-building training in your workout regimen. Finally, you can modify your diet to include more protein and fibre content on the diet front. One can see 0.5 – 1 kg drop in 7-10 days.
Q. How can I lose weight extremely quickly?
A. To loose extra fats or weight needs patience, discipline and well planned routine. A regular, moderate exercise regimen and a diet low on carbohydrates and fats and high on protein and fibre content can soon help you lose weight. You should also limit sugary drinks in the process.
Q. How can I get slim without exercise?
A. It is possible to reduce weight just by eating right but you need to have patience. A diet low on carbohydrates and fats and high on protein and fibre content can help you lose weight. You should also chew thoroughly and use smaller plates for unhealthy foods.
Q. How can I lose weight while sleeping?
A. Sleeping well is essential for losing weight. Lack of sleep is associated with hormones like leptin and ghrelin. These hormones increase cravings for unhealthy foods and contribute to increasing weight.
Q. Will I lose weight if I stop eating?
A. The whole game of weight loss is about the calories you take in and the calories you burn. When you stop eating, the calorie intake goes down. As a result, you will go into a calorie deficit state and lose weight. However, this is not a healthy way of losing weight.
Q. What food will help you lose weight?
A. Food low on carbohydrates and fats and high on protein and fibre content can help you lose weight. Examples of such foods include brown rice, oatmeal, most fruits and cottage cheese. You can also have beans, soup and salads.
Q. Does water help you lose weight?
A. Water is entirely free of calories. If you drink water 30-40 minutes before meals, you will be able to reduce your calorie intake from the meal. It will put you into a state of calorie deficit, which is helpful in weight loss. The benefits are even more significant when you substitute water for sugary, high-calorie drinks.
Q. Can warm water reduce belly fat?
A. Warm water with lime juice is very effective in weight loss. Regularly drinking it can help you shed some pounds and even reduce your belly fat. It is best to do some cardio after drinking it.
Q. What are good belly fat burning foods?
A. Any food low on carbohydrates and fats and high on protein and fibre content can help you lose weight. Examples of such foods include brown rice, oatmeal, most fruits and cottage cheese. Warm lemon juice will also be very effective in losing belly fat.
Q. Does Lemon burn fat?
A. Lemons are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. As a result, they help in better digestion. In addition, lemons also have diuretic properties that help in detoxification and thus also in burning fat.
Q. What food should I avoid to lose weight?
A. Any foods that have a high content of carbohydrates and fats should be avoided if the goal is to lose weight. These include french fries, potato chips, white bread, pastries, cookies and sugary drinks. It would help if you also avoid candy bars, most fruit juices, and cakes.
Q. What is the 7-day diet plan?
A. A 7-day diet plan lays down a 7-day meal plan. It claims to shed off 10-17 pounds of weight for the user within a week. Each day focuses on a different food group. A 7-day diet plan has both positives and negatives. Hence it will help if you implement it with caution and under the expert’s guidance.
Q. Will fast food make me fat?
A. Yes, fast foods generally have bad fats and processed carbohydrates. Therefore, these are laden with calories and lacks in nutrition. For example, a regular pizza has 266 calories. Similarly, all junk food has a very high amount of calories.
Q. Can I lose weight by eating junk food?
A. No. If you are eating a lot of junk food, you are eating many calories. You have to exercise much more complicatedly now to burn the excess calories you have put inside your body. Eating more junk foods will increase daily calories taken but will lead to nutrients deficiencies as most of them lack nutrition.
Q. How can I burn 1000 calories a day?
A. Burning 1000 calories per day just by one exercise is a difficult task. A combination of various activities like walking, jogging, running, rowing, swimming and weight training will be required to achieve that goal.