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I get asked a lot of questions about losing weight, but here's one of the most common: "I'm desperate. How can I lose weight fast?"
While the idea of going on a diet inspires more dread than a dentist's visit, losing weight quickly doesn't need to be as hard as you might think.
But first, let's get one thing clear: starving yourself to lose weight is not helpful at all. In many cases, it can even be harmful to your health. That's why I'm going to give you seven entirely healthy, proven ways to help you lose weight as quickly and easily as possible.
So, if you have a wedding, vacation, or big event coming up, there's no need to worry. By implementing these simple strategies, you'll be able to shed pounds in no time!
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If you want to lose weight fast, the first step is as simple as it is powerful. Why? Because one of the best ways to keep from eating too much is to stop when you are satisfied.
Sounds easy, right?
But the problem is that our brains are wired to want more. Often, when we're eating, we don't even take the time to savor each bite—we just keep shoveling more food into our mouths until we feel stuffed. And that "stuffed" feeling is what we want to avoid.
You should never feel overly full when you eat. When you feel like there's a bowling ball in your stomach, that's a sign that your portions are simply too large.
But, the goal here isn't to just eat less. The goal is to hone in on how we feel while we're eating to pinpoint when we've had enough. So, how do you know when enough is enough?
A lot of people in our one-on-one coaching program find it helpful to ask themselves this question after each bite:
Do I feel like I can go for a light jog?
When you get to that point where going for a jog would feel uncomfortable, then you know it's time to stop.
The idea is to stop eating when you're satisfied, not when your plate is empty. When you do, not only will you avoid overeaters' remorse (or just plain old regret) at the end of a meal, but you'll be able to enjoy the food in front of you, eat less, and ultimately, lose weight.
In this video, Haley and I show you how to lose weight fast—and the steps you need to take to make it happen.
You're probably thinking that "eating less" is easier said than done. And you're right! It can be tough to resist the lure of processed foods—they're so convenient, delicious, and addictive!
You know the drill: you're hungry, so you reach for a bag of chips or maybe some frozen pizza. It's fast, easy to make, and there's no mess at all! The only problem is that unprocessed foods are not filling, so you end up eating more than you need to because you're still hungry.
Eating whole foods, on the other hand, will leave you feeling full and satisfied. If you're trying to lose weight, it's important to eat foods that fill you up without adding lots of calories.
Think about it this way: Is it easier to overeat chocolate, chips, and cookies or chicken, veggies, and fruit?
Is it that whole foods are magical? Not really, but they are more filling and satisfying. Plus, eating more "real" foods will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and your energy high throughout the day. This means that if someone offers you cake at work tomorrow (or whenever), you won't be as hungry as you would have been and will be able to say no.
The truth is that what you eat accounts for 80% of weight loss. You know what they say: you can't out-exercise a bad diet!
If you want to lose weight as fast as possible, your main focus should be on what, when, why, and how you eat. But that doesn't mean we can leave exercise and movement out of the equation. It's simple: When you move more, your body requires more energy, making movement one of the best ways to lose weight.
But there's one caveat:
Exercise is a great way to maximize weight loss, but it can also make you hungry. So a word of caution; don't overcompensate with food. If you're not careful, you may end up eating more and undoing all the hard work you just put in.
Now, you can't completely avoid being hungry after exercise, but there are some things you can do to help minimize the damage:
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise to avoid becoming dehydrated. And plan ahead for what you will eat after you exercise. That way, you can avoid getting caught up in the moment and just grabbing what's easiest.
It's tempting to think that eating healthy or working out can be done on the fly (Oh, look, there's a bowl of candy right in front of me!), but that isn't the best way to get results. Like any other habit, it's important to plan your healthy lifestyle around the challenges you'll face.
When planning for challenges, you should think of yourself as an athlete. If you were training for a marathon, would you wait until the morning of the race to start thinking about how much water and food you need? Of course not! You'd have been planning for weeks in advance.
The same is true if you want to lose weight. If you want to lose weight faster, then you need to plan around the hardest parts of your day. This will stop any last-minute decisions from becoming impulsive ones that can put an unnecessary strain on your diet.
If you're going out for drinks after work with colleagues, make sure your pre-dinner snack is big enough that you won't feel deprived when you see everyone else enjoying cocktails and appetizers. In any case, plan ahead for those challenges in your day-to-day life, and you'll be better able to meet them head-on.
If you're really serious about losing weight quickly, take some time to think about the challenges you'll face and plan a few ways around them. When we're hungry and stressed from work, it's easy to end up making poor choices if we don't have a plan ready. But if we already have a strategy laid out, we stand a much better chance of success in getting through when things get tough.
Keeping with the theme of planning, let's take this idea and turn it into something fun...
You want to lose a few pounds fast, right? And you're trying your hardest to stay off the sweets, right?
Well, there's a reason why that's not the best plan: because we're not accounting for the human mind. We're not rational beings—we're emotional beings. Our brains are wired to make short-term, irrational decisions meant to eliminate discomfort and make us feel better in the moment. So if we try to trick our brains into eating less and avoiding indulgences, we'll try to find ways around it.
But there's good news:
There are ways to make your diet work for you—and not against you! And you do that by planning indulgences ahead of time. If you don't plan your indulgences, they can sneak up on you—and before you know it, you've had three cookies and half a cake, and all your hard work is gone.
So here are some tips for keeping yourself on track when things get tough:
First of all, pick something that really means something to you. Don't think of it as a diet-busting cheat meal. Instead, think of it as a chance to enjoy what you want.
Second, don't plan too many treats. If there are only two weeks left in your diet, maybe you should only plan one treat per week. If there are four weeks left, maybe plan two treats per week.
Thirdly (and this is key), make sure you're enjoying the food, not using the food. What's the difference? When you're using food, you're using it as a tool to deal with emotions like stress or boredom. When you're enjoying the food, you're savoring it, taking your time to really taste each bite and making it a memorable experience.
If you had to choose one thing that would have the biggest positive impact on your overall health, what would it be? Exercise? Diet? Stress reduction?
This is a pretty tough question, and there's no right or wrong answer. But if you had to narrow it down to just one thing, it should probably be sleep.
Sleep is incredibly important, and we're all aware of this on some level—but how much do we really know about why getting enough sleep is so essential to our health? Studies have shown that getting enough sleep helps us maintain a healthy weight; that's because poor sleep decreases our self-control and increases our appetite.
If you're tired and cranky, you can't make decisions as well. You'll be more likely to go for the easy option, whether it's the unhealthy snack or the extra hour of TV (or both). You'll also have less self-control when it comes to your eating habits. When you don't get enough sleep, you're more likely to eat too much at a meal or want to eat more frequently throughout the day.
A good night's sleep will help increase your willpower. It's difficult to eat healthy, stay active, and have a productive day when you're tired. And when you're tired, it's harder to stick to your goals. So get plenty of shut eye.
The most important thing you can do to stick to the plan and lose weight as quickly as possible is to find someone who will hold you accountable. They'll help keep you on track and motivate you to keep going.
When an external force is on your side, it's easier to achieve results than when you're working against yourself and constantly questioning whether or not what you're doing is really worth it. Find someone who wants you to succeed and who will check in regularly with you about your progress. This could be a friend or family member who has lost weight before or plans on doing so in the near future (ideally someone who's already succeeded in this area).
Or, if you want the shortcut, hire a professional accountability coach. Now, I know what you're thinking: "But I'm already accountable to myself!" And I agree, but sometimes we need help from other people to keep us on track.
A great accountability coach is like a personal trainer, but for your mind. They will help you keep track of progress and talk through the problems you're running into. They'll also help you set realistic goals for losing weight and eating healthy, and they'll give you the motivation for those times when willpower alone won't cut it.
If you're ready to start losing weight and keep it off, here are some steps you can take. Start by eating the right foods and exercising. Then, plan ahead for challenges so that you don't slip up on your plan or give up on it altogether. And finally, use accountability to stay on track!
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