When you start researching how to lose weight fast, it can become overwhelming very quickly. There are so many diets from Keto to Paleo, Mediterranean to Vegan, and Low-carb to High-Fat. It takes a long time to figure out the right fit for you. But, in all of my reading and research, it really doesn’t have to be overly complicated. There are ways to get started without having all the answers. That’s why I wrote this quick-start 5-step guide to help you lose weight fast!
Step 1: Trim Portion Sizes and Add a Side Salad
Rather than focus on WHAT you’re eating and whether it’s the “right” diet, get started losing weight fast by simply making your portion sizes smaller and adding a side salad to your dinner.
The fundamental way we lose weight is by consuming fewer calories. Our bodies store fat for later use. When we overeat, we store it for later quite simply. So, eat less food and you will have less to store. And, when you eat less than you’ve burned, your body will burn fat for more energy.
In addition to eating less of what’s on your dinner plate, I recommend eating a side salad. Why? Adding veggies to your meal will help you feel more satisfied, will boost your health in a positive way, and keep your total calorie intake lower. That is, as long as you don’t overdo it on your salad dressing and toppings!
Once you’ve mastered this step, you can trim portion sizes at other meals.
Step 2: Drink More Water or Unsweet Tea
I’m sure you’re tired of hearing it as most websites tell you to drink more water. But, why? It’s not because water helps you lose weight in the strictest sense. What water does is take up room in your stomach to help you eat less food AND keep you hydrated so you aren’t as tempted to drink the sugary drinks that have 100-500 calories a cup.
If you are currently drinking sweet drinks (even artificially sweetened), try to “earn” your sweet drink by drinking two cups of water for every sweet drink. What you will likely find is that you drink fewer sweet drinks. If you currently drink 4 sugary drinks a day and you cut that by even half, you can shave 250-500 calories per day very easily which can easily equate to one pound a week. Want to lose weight faster? Let’s keep going.
Step 3: Move More
It drives me crazy when someone expresses a desire to lose weight and follows up with “I need to work out more” or “I need to go to the gym.” Nothing could be further from the truth! If you ride a bike for 30 minutes, you burn about 300 calories. If you’re consuming 1,000 calories more per day than you need to eat, you aren’t going to get very far in losing weight by hitting the gym!
Nutrition will take you MUCH further in your weight-loss goals! In addition to changing what you’re eating, focus on speeding up your metabolism and burning more calories all day.
When you first get started, make small goals. For example, if you are currently sedentary, make a modest goal of 5,000 steps a day. That is approximately 2.5 miles a day in walking but you don’t have to get it all in one shot. Parking a bit further from the door of the grocery store can easily tack on 300-500 steps, for example. If you have stairs in your house, when you go up or downstairs, try going up and down 5 times each time you need to change elevations. Pretend you “forgot” something upstairs! It only takes a few minutes but you can get steps that way.
Sometimes, when I make my protein shake in the morning, I’ll play 2-3 songs and dance around my kitchen for a few extra minutes just to move around. You will be surprised just how much those things can make a difference in your weight loss AND your mood!
How can you track your steps?
If you have a smartphone, it’s probably already tracking your steps. On Android devices, you can install Samsung Health which tracks steps, food, sleep, menstrual cycles, etc. For Apple devices, there’s a Health app or Pedometer & Step Counter. If you prefer to “unplug” or don’t have a Smartphone, use a simple pedometer! It does not have to be fancy at all.
Looking for more ways to burn calories? Check out 30 Ways to Exercise and Burn 300 Calories (Besides Hitting the Gym) here.
12-Week Weight Loss Quick Start Guide
We can make losing weight as simple or as complicated as we want to. Getting started is often one of the most difficult steps. So, start simple with this quick-start guide by adding each step every week:
1: At dinner only, trim portion sizes and add a side salad.
2: Drink a cup of water before each meal.
3: Get 5,000 steps a day.
4. Start trimming your portion sizes at breakfast and lunch.
5. Drink a cup of water first thing when you wake up, before each meal, and one hour after dinner.
6. Start doing 50 jumping jacks before each meal. If you’re at a restaurant, consider doing it at your car before you walk in or before you leave your house. 😉
7. Cut your snacks in half and add a healthy snack for the other half.
8. If you are drinking any sugary drinks during the day, cut the quantity in half. This includes coffee creamer.
9. Increase your step goal to 7,500 steps a day.
10. Trim your carb or grain in your meals to half, and add veggies or fruit. For example, if you normally have a 1/2 cup of rice at dinner, make it 1/4 cup and add another veggie. See our tips to eat more veggies here.
11. Limit sugary drinks to one per day, if any.
12. Start doing 10 push-ups, 25 squats, and 30 crunches every morning when you wake up. This will take 10 minutes or less, usually. Plan to use the correct form by watching these videos: push-ups, squats, and crunches.
If you follow this simple plan, you will lose weight without all the confusion about which “diet” to follow. If you want to lose weight faster, add them all at once!
Once you master these steps, you can start to learn more about taking your health to another level. If you’d like more practical ways to lose weight, be sure you download our free e-Book, 10 Practical Ways to Lose Weight Without Counting Calories.