28 Secrets for How to Lose Weight Fast
Whether you’ve decided to get in better shape as part of a New Year’s resolution, for summer bathing suit season or you just want to boost your normal routine, there’s never a bad time to get fit and shed those last extra pounds. And odds are you want to lose weight fast.
But if you’ve ever tried losing weight, getting in shape or simply leading a healthier lifestyle, you know that it’s not as easy as just changing your diet and squeezing in more workouts. That’s why we rounded up 45 ways to help you get healthy and fit.
From exercising for short bursts of time to making weekly menus to even having a cheat meal, these 45 workouts, diet and lifestyle tips to lose weight fast will help you achieve your health and fitness goals.* Just remember, this is not only about losing weight but living a better healthier, happier life!
How to Lose Weight Fast: WORKOUT SECRETS
1. Schedule workouts
Pencil workouts into your daily planner the same way you do dinner with friends or that important business meeting. This will help hold you accountable. It’ll also force you to choose a specific time to get your sweat on, making it more likely you’ll stick to it.
2. Break up workouts throughout the day
Can’t carve out a full 30 minutes or an hour of exercise time in one go? Opt for shorter bouts of exercise throughout the day instead. The latest science suggests that several short exercise bursts provide the same health and fitness benefits as a similar amount of exercise done in one longer workout — and, in some cases, reap even more rewards. (1)
3. Don’t let traveling derail your efforts
Being away from your normal routine doesn’t mean your healthy efforts need fall to the wayside. Jog a few miles on the hotel gym’s treadmill, scope out a local barre studio and pop in for a class, take a walking tour of the city, rent a bike and explore or even do a quick workout in your hotel room.
Try these resistance band exercises; they make for a quick workout, and a band takes up little space in your bag, making it perfect for when you’re on the go.
4. Add variety to your routine
Keep your muscles guessing by cross training and trying different workouts or tweaking your usual routine. You’ll work new muscles and beat boredom while trying something new. Also, studies show that you’re more likely to stick with your daily exercise routine if you switch up your workouts. Are you a CrossFit junkie? Stretch out at a yoga class. Is running more your style? Try adding some speed intervals throughout your usual route.
5. But don’t force yourself to do an activity you dislike
If you hate an activity, you’re likely much less likely to stick with it. This doesn’t mean shying away from activities that challenge you — that’s how your body changes! But if you dread swimming, there’s no reason to force yourself into the pool five times a week. Working out shouldn’t be a chore; it should be something you look forward to.
6. Do it on a budget
It’s easy to think that getting in shape will be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Aside from outdoor activities like walking, running and hiking, there are many other ways to get in a great workout without spending much money. Try a YouTube workout, check out low-cost community fitness centers or invest in a few quality exercise videos.
7. Crank up the music
It’s been scientifically proven that listening to upbeat music during exercise helps you work harder and enjoy both the workout and the music more. (2) Plus, it can help pass the time during a particularly intense part of your workout.
And it’s super easy! All you have to do is add your favorite fast-paced jams to a playlist and get moving.
8. Exercise with a group
Not only do activities like group fitness exercises help hold you accountable to a specific time and place to work out, it’s also a great way to meet friends. After all, you’re likely to start seeing and befriending class regulars. Classes also provide an opportunity to try something new in a safe, supportive environment.
If working out in a studio isn’t your thing, check sites like Meetup to find local groups in sports you’re interested in. From running groups to walking to lose weight to bike riding communities, there’s probably a group interested in the same activities as you.
9. Start your day with a workout
If you constantly find that there’s not enough time during the day to squeeze in a workout, it might be time to jumpstart your day with one. Getting exercise in the morning has a variety of perks: You’ll be energized throughout the day, unexpected time commitments won’t jeopardize your fitness plans and you’re more likely to make healthier choices.
And here’s a bonus tip: Make setting the alarm clock early a bit easier by prepping your workout essentials the night before so you can grab and go.
10. Get results fast with burst training
Burst training is interval training that combines short, high-intensity bursts of exercise with slow recovery phases. This method of exercise helps your body burn fat faster because your metabolism stays elevated for up to 48 hours after exercise. When you’re short on time but want fast results, it’s a super effective option to lose weight fast.
11. Skip the scale
When you’re trying to lose weight, the scale can be deceiving. That’s because it doesn’t take into account that you are probably adding muscle. So even though you’re making progress, the number on your scale might not budge (or it could even go up), which can be defeating.
And while a pound of fat is still the same as a pound of muscle, because muscle is lean and smooth, you can be shedding inches while remaining the same weight. To get a more accurate depiction of how your body is changing, use body measurement tape instead to track your size and progress.
12. Incorporate weight lifting
Could lifting weights truly be one of the fastest ways to lose weight? Savvy exercisers know that the best workouts don’t include just cardio, but incorporate strength training as well.
Building muscle helps you lose inches all around, keeps your metabolism going after leaving the gym and will help you look better, too. Researchers even discovered that weight training could be more beneficial for reducing belly fat than aerobic exercise. (3)
And ladies, don’t stress — weight lifting will not make you bulk up. So if you’re looking to get that toned look, pick up those weights and make them a regular part of your routine.
13. Consider using a personal trainer
If you’re at a total loss as to how to begin a fitness routine, have an injury or other health issues or simply want to learn how to maximize your gym time, considering investing in a personal trainer. They can help shape a fitness program to reach your goals while taking into account any special considerations.
A certified personal trainer can be a great way to kick-start your healthy lifestyle or help get you over a weight loss plateau. Scheduling one with a few friends can keep costs down, too.
14. Drink plenty of water
Often we think we’re hungry when our bodies are actually just begging for water. So it’s important to drink enough water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Rather that worrying about stomach bloat and water weight, you need to realize that water will actually reduce bloating and overall weight.
Drinking water not only keeps fat toxins moving out of the body, it also keeps your metabolism running optimally. In fact, in a 2013 study showed 14 healthy men and women increased their metabolic rate by 30 percent after drinking about 16 ounces of water! (4)
And if that’s not enough to convince you the world’s healthiest drink will help you lose weight fast, remember that it’s calorie-free, too!
15. Pack your own snacks
It comes on suddenly: One minute you’re feeling great and the next you’re starving for a snack. Skip the vending machine and prepare your own healthy snacks to take to work, school or whenever you’re out and about. Why? In part, because most processed snacks are purely carbs and are the definition of empty calories, jacking your blood sugar and leaving you hungrier afterwards.
From apple chips to an on-the-go healthy smoothie, packing your own snacks will help you lose weight fast while also giving you the nutrients you need without the icky preservatives from expensive, processed “foods.”
16. Increase your protein intake
Increasing your protein intake is a great way to lose weight fast and burn fat. And most people don’t get nearly enough protein in their diet.
If your goal is to lose weight, I would recommend consuming half your body weight in grams of protein a day (at the very least). For those seeking to burn fat and build muscle, aim to consume 0.7 to 1 gram per pound of body weight. For example, if you weight 150 pounds, you should be getting 75 to 150 grams of protein a day (depending on your goals). Check out this list of these top protein foods.
17. Eat 90 percent of your meals at home
Whether you’re a novice or a pro in the kitchen, making your own snacks and meals from whole foods will help you lose weight fast. By controlling what ingredients, fats and oils are in your food, you’ll be able to make healthy choices without sacrificing the food and flavors you love.
Start by committing to making one meal a day at home. As you get more comfortable in the kitchen, increase that number. You’ll be surprised by the quality of the dishes you can make right in your own kitchen. Get some of my favourite healthy recipes here.
18. Slow down!
When you eat fast, it’s easy to overeat. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to register that it’s full. While you chew, your brain is processing that you are eating, and chewing releases enzymes for pre-digestion in your saliva to start the digestion process.
So begin mindful eating, chewing slowly and enjoying the flavor of your food! This process will ensure that you not only consume fewer calories, it also eases digestion and helps your brain to catch up with your body. If you have trouble eating slowly, try putting down your fork or spoon in between bites.
19. Make healthy swaps
Eating clean doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite foods. Instead, think of ways to “healthify” them yourself! Is dip your weakness? Try this spicy bean dip. Are Fridays your pizza night? Make a coconut crust pizza instead. I guarantee they’ll be delicious, satisfy your cravings and help you feel great!
20. Do a cleanse or detox
Doing a short cleanse or detox is one of the best ways to lose weight fast. Whether it be a few days or weeks, doing something like a vegetable juice cleanse or the Daniel fast is highly effective. Another simple way to cleanse is by starting to drink this Secret Detox Drink.
21. Make a better breakfast
Start your day on the right foot and fuel your body with a hearty breakfast. It’ll give you energy in those first few hours you’re awake. Plus, since breakfast is the first meal of the day, you’ll have all day to burn those calories. Tired of the same old eggs and toast? Try some of these delicious breakfast recipes.
22. Don’t drink your calories
Creamy, foamy drinks might taste delicious, but they can have enough calories to serve as an entire meal — and that’s not even taking into account the amount of sugar and preservatives they contain. Make your own healthier versions instead. From pumpkin spice lattes to spiced hot apple cider, there’s a nutritious alternative for most high-calorie beverages
23. Choose healthy fats
Not all fat is created equal. The fats found in foods like avocados, nuts and dark chocolate are actually good for you — and they taste delicious! Enjoy them on a regular basis to reap their health benefits but don’t go overboard because they are calorie dense.
24. Bring your own foods
It’s your Aunt Mildred’s birthday and, while you’re committed to healthy eating, the rest of your family hasn’t gotten there yet. Instead of chowing down on fried, unhealthy foods or being rude and turning down everything that’s offered, a great compromise is to bring a dish along to share (after clearing it with the host, of course).
Whether it’s a healthy appetizer, a tasty side dish, or your favorite clean-eating dessert, you’ll know there’s at least one healthy option that you can fill up on while minimizing your intake of the unhealthier ones. You might even convert a few people in the process, too!
25. Make small changes
Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Changing every part of your lifestyle at once is overwhelming and sets you up for failure. Decide on making just one healthy change a week to allow yourself time to adapt. Whether it’s cooking your own meals four nights a week, adding just 20 minutes of fitness to your routine a day or swapping out that sugary coffee for green tea, all these changes will add up.
26. Sleep more
If you’re constantly sleeping less than seven or eight hours a night, your health — and waistline — will suffer. In fact, in a 2013 study, researchers found that sleep-deprived subjects were much more likely to choose larger portions of snacks than those who slept at least eight hours at night. The lack of sleep also affected their food choices. (8)
A chronic lack of sleep is linked to obesity, diabetes and more. Plus, sleep is an important time to rebuild muscle from your workout routine and give your brain a chance to process and heal.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, try some of these all-natural ways to fall asleep and get more zzz’s.
27. Simplify your routine
So often, we have the best of intentions but life gets in the way. That is, unless you plan for it! If you like working out right after work, join a gym or hit up a class that’s near your office. Do you prefer doing yoga stretches in the privacy of your home? Designate an area as a yoga-only zone with your mat and candles to strike a pose whenever the urge hits.
Does your schedule get especially busy a few times a year? Prepare yourself by making a few extra servings of your favorite healthy meals and freezing them so you can simply reheat when you have no time to cook.
28. Don’t beat yourself up
Living a healthier lifestyle is a process. You’ll slip — we all do! The best thing to remember is that no one decision will derail your efforts. If you ate more than you intended at your last meal, don’t skip the next few, but instead choose filling, protein-rich foods. Couldn’t work out as much as you wanted? Squeeze in a 10-minute workout and remind yourself to do more the next time you can.