I get a lot of questions from readers of this site asking how to lose weight fast. For example, a recent email I received (reprinted with permission, of course):
I have a wedding coming up in a month and I need to lose weight fast! More specifically, I want to lose 15 pounds before then. I’ve read trying to lose weight too fast can be dangerous and hurt your health. How can I lose weight fast and safely? Thanks!
Quickly losing weight isn’t impossible, nor unhealthy, if you know what you’re doing.
Is it the best long-term approach? Not always, but when you need to lose a certain amount of pounds in a short amount of time – say you have a wedding coming up and you want to look your best, as described above – then there are safe and quick ways to achieve rapid weight loss.
Unfortunately, many diet scams feed off people’s want for instant gratification. Acai diets, Hollywood diets, and so on promise a large amount of weight loss in as little as a day, but not only are they ineffective, they can be harmful to your health.
So, how does one quickly and safely lose weight?
How To Lose Weight Fast
You can safely lose 3 or more pounds a week at home with a healthy diet and lots of exercise, says weight loss counselor Katherine Tallmadge, RD.
Remember calories count the most when it comes to losing weight, which means when your goal is losing weight fast, it really comes down to 2 simple steps:
- Lower your caloric intake
- Burn extra calories every day through exercise
In other words, to truly lose weight in a rapid fashion you need to combine a low calorie diet with intense exercise.
But, it’s not as easy as just eating less and working out more. So, let’s first take a look at the diet side of quick weight loss.
Step 1: Diet To Lose Weight Fast
More important than anything else when it comes to losing weight is your diet. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen”. Well, the same rings true if you want to lose weight fast. You must first get your diet in order.
Lowering your caloric intake is going to be your main focus when losing weight. I typically recommend cutting out roughly 15% of your average daily caloric intake. If you want to quickly lose weight, feel free to cut out more, but try not to go under 1200 calories per day. It can be hard to maintain a very low calorie diet and it’s difficult to get all the recommended nutrients if you’re eating less than that. Especially don’t go lower than that for an extended period of time as you can start to lose muscle mass, making it harder to lose weight.
So, for example, if you are currently eating about 3,000 calories per day, then you would want to cut out at least 450 calories and aim for around 2,550 calories per day. This figure is a good starting point. As you lose weight you can slowly lower that amount of daily calories consumed to ensure the weight will continue coming off.
Second to calories, is your macronutrient intake. I’m sure you’ve heard of low carb diets before, and while I’m not a big fan of them, they do have their place when it comes to body composition and losing weight. Though its for reasons other than what many think. Typically when you are following a low carb diet you not only lower your carb intake, as the name suggests, but more importantly you eat more protein!
Protein helps fill you up and keep you feeling full longer than both carbs and fat. This is extremely important when following a low calorie diet, since reducing the amount of food you eat is not always easy. Who wants to feel hungry? I sure don’t!
Plus, protein has a higher thermogenic effect than the other two macronutrients, meaning it can burn slightly more fat [source].
The bottom line? Lower your calorie and carb intake and increase the amount of protein you are eating and watch the pounds melt off!
Here are a few more tips to lose weight fast, control hunger and prevent overeating:
- Eat plenty of low calorie vegetables and other water dense foods that make you feel full, for example, broth-based soup.
- Drink plenty of water so you don’t confuse hunger with thirst. Read these tips for recognizing hunger.
- Remove trigger foods from the house.
- Stay busy to prevent eating out of boredom.
- Download our free low calorie diet plan (use the form in the sidebar) and learn how to make healthy and lasting changes to your diet.
Step 2: Exercises To Lose Weight Fast
Once you have your diet in check, it’s time to start burning off those calories. Combining a proper diet with exercise will give fat the ol’ 1, 2 punch and lead to faster weight loss!
Your best bet is to mix resistance exercise with cardio exercise. Each type of exercise plays an important role in weight loss:
- Cardio is great for burning a large amount of calories
- Resistance exercise can help preserve muscle mass when dieting, keep your metabolism high and also burns calories.
If you’re new to working out then remember to start out slow and gradually increase your workouts comfortably.
If you’re looking for some good workouts to quickly lose weight then check out these fat burning workouts!
Once you’ve got all the wheels in motion, monitor your weight loss and adjust your diet and exercise regimen accordingly. Keep in mind, if you’re already extremely lean and follow a workout and diet regimen, it may be harder to lose weight quickly. You will have to kick up your exercise regimen a notch or two to see results and/or cut out a few more calories from your diet.
Following these two simple steps is not only the fastest way to lose weight (safely), but it’s an easy process to follow. Unlike extreme fad diets that cut out all food and/or entire macronutrients for extended periods of time.
Most importantly, your rapid weight loss plan should be almost identical to a healthy long-term weight loss plan. One that is sustainable for the rest of your life.
Additional Weight Loss Resources
To help weed out what works and what doesn’t, we’ve organized a few resources to help you learn how to lose weight fast and be realistic with your goals. Check out our complete weight loss package if you want to comfortably and easily lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks!
This article is a slap in the face to those who think it’s easy to magically drop 10 pounds in no time. While it can be done (and yes, we show you how), you will learn it’s not an easy option and requires some hard work and sacrifice.
Losing weight fast is a matter of burning more calories than you consume. To help you get to that point are these simple ways to cut out 500 calories from your diet.
If you truly want to lose weight fast, then this article touches on some exercises you SHOULDN’T be doing and how to properly lose overall body fat, which will help you achieve that coveted 6 pack look.