31 Ways to Lose Weight Faster
If you had the power to melt fat in just 60 seconds, would you use it? Well, that power is yours. You can use those 60 seconds to read our list of the most effective weight loss tips we can find. These expert-recommended, science-backed tips were hand-selected for their ability to turn your body into a hyper-efficient fat-burning machine so you can lose weight faster by revving up your metabolism, toning and defining your muscles, and turning off the genes that contribute to fat storage.
Incorporate these into your diet, and blast fat fast by reading our essential report: The Best Ways to Lose Belly Fat for Good, Say Doctors.
It's getting hot in here so take off all your, um, cloves. And use spicier spices instead! "Sprinkle cayenne pepper (or any other chili pepper) over your food, or make a drink by adding cayenne to lemon and hot or room temperature water," shares Julieanna Hever, MS, RD, CPT, a plant-based dietitian and author of The Vegiterranean Diet and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition. "This will temporarily give your metabolism a boost."
Power Up with Protein
Those Greek gods at the gym are onto something: "Aim for 25-35 grams per meal until you [hit your weight loss goals]," suggests registered dietitian Mitzi Dulan, RD, author of The Pinterest Diet: How to Pin Your Way Thin and team nutritionist for the Kansas City Royals. "This will satisfy you and help prevent going overboard with carbs." You can start with your first meal of the day: 19 High Protein Breakfasts That Keep You Full.
With apologies to Virginia Woolf, one cannot think well, love well, eat well, if one has not slept well. Getting plenty of sleep is extremely important for losing weight at a good rate. Not only can lack of sleep slow the metabolism, but it can also make us more likely to make poor food choices. We often eat more sugar when we are tired because we feel the need for energy, but what we really need is sleep and not sugar! And then we are more likely to skip workouts when we are sleep deprived, too.
Read Ingredients Not Numbers
We'd always hoped English would be more important than math. "Learning to read the ingredients, instead of relying on the caloric and macronutrient breakdown, allows you to better understand what's going in your food," says registered dietitian Lisa Hayim, RD and founder of The Well Necessities and TWN Collection. "When we identify things like added sugar, preservatives, or chemicals, we are more likely to find alternatives that are cleaner and digested more easily."
Choose the Right Cocktail
Here's a comparison for you to remember: "Five ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor or 12 ounces of light beer all have significantly fewer calories (typically 90-120) than mixed drinks, fruity cocktails and regular beer (which range from 140 calories to upwards of 700 calories, especially when you don't stick to a serving size!)," The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and authors of The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure remind us. "If you have a couple of cocktails each week and switch to the lighter choices, it's an easy way to shed pounds!" Or, blast fat drinking pinot noir, one of our 16 Best Wines for Weight Loss!
Check Your Stress
"Add some good clean fun to your life. Eating well, moving more, and managing stress—as daily lifelong habits—is the recipe for achieving healthy weight," says Annie Kay, MS, RDN, Lead Nutritionist at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health. "If you are not losing weight, the first thing to check is if one of these key areas has slipped. And if so, what made your plan too hard to maintain? Can you think of three strategies to make your plan a little easier or more fun?"
Break Up with Cheese
We know, we know. But at least for now: "Cheese is so high in calories that if you eat it regularly (including pizza, enchiladas, and foods with cheese on or in them), these foods will contribute to your weight gain," suggests celebrity nutritionist Lisa DeFazio, MS, RDN. If you need some help following this tip, check out 22 Genius Tips To Cut Back on Dairy, According to Experts.
Cut Refined Carbs at Night
"Eat carbohydrates during the day. But at dinner, eat protein, vegetables, and a small amount of carbs like a half-cup of sweet potato," says DeFazio. "After dinner, try not to eat anything and have a cup of herbal non-caffeinated tea," she adds. And when you do eat a carb, make sure it's one of these mouthwatering 25 Best Carbs for Weight Loss!
Switch Things Up
Spice is, well, the spice of life, right? "If you've been eating healthy, balanced meals and being active to reach a healthy weight, and you've reached a standstill, change it up! If you usually walk, how about trying a bike ride or a swim?" shares Kay. For some fun ideas, check out these astonishingly effective 20 ways to overcome a weight-loss plateau!
Pick Up Those Weights
"When you strength train, you increase your RMR (resting metabolic rate)," says Hayim. "This means that at rest, you are burning more than you normally would. This elevated metabolic rate continues after the workout is done, meaning more calories burned."
And Pair Strength Training and Protein
Some research shows that consuming a higher percentage of your calories from protein (20-30 percent) while also following a strength-training routine can help you lose weight fast and the building of lean muscle, simultaneously. This doesn't mean totally cutting carbs or other food groups out of your diet–you need them to have the energy to workout!–but it does mean replacing empty calories [from things like sugary drinks or sweets] with calories from protein. Lean up with one of these best protein shakes for weight loss!
Eat Foods Rich in Probiotics and Fiber
Emerging research shows a correlation between gut health and weight. People who have more good bacteria in their guts tend to be a healthier weight, while overweight and obese individuals tend to have less of the good stuff in their gut. You can enhance the good bacteria in your gut by eating food rich in good bacteria (also known as probiotics) including yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut (look for the refrigerated versions of these to get the benefits). But don't stop there! You have to feed those good bacteria, and they eat prebiotics, which are found in fiber-rich food such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. As an added bonus, fiber helps to control your appetite and some studies show that having more good gut bacteria can reduce junk food cravings as well, and both of these things could help accelerate weight loss!
Then Eat More Fiber!
"Eat plenty of fiber by opting for at least seven one-cup servings of vegetables, two servings of fruits, and one cup of beans or lentils each day," says Hever. "Fiber, found exclusively in plants, signals your brain to stop eating. Thus, you can feel full with fewer calories and plenty of nutrition." Here are the best high-fiber foods that will get things moving—fast.
Wake Up with Water
Instead of reaching for your phone first thing in the A.M., befriend a tall, refreshing glass of water. "Start your day with water and drink at least half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces each day," suggests Hever. "Fill up on water to improve satiety and help you eat fewer overall calories." Slip a few invigorating summer staples into your meals like watermelon and cukes whose water content are high, too!
And Water Down Your Meal
It's mmm mmmm good! Especially if infused with some fruit and sliced cukes. "This calorie-free beverage is an easy way to add volume and fill your stomach before you dig into your next meal," says registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDE. "By drinking before the meal, you can offset hunger and allow yourself to eat smaller portions, promoting weight loss."
Go Green Before Eating
"Eat a piece of fruit, green salad with a low-fat dressing, raw vegetables, or soup before every meal," suggests Hever. "Research has shown that this will help you eat fewer overall calories at those meals due to the satiation those foods provide." Need some inspiration? Look no further than the 20 best-ever fat-burning soups to help you lose weight fast.
You don't have to tell us twice! "Science shows that stress can trigger cravings for less healthy foods, as well as set your body up to store more fat. So, meditation, yoga, and taking time to do things you like to do are great healthy-weight strategies," says Kay.
Sip Your Way Slim
Every tea has its own special weight-loss powers, but if your boat is sinking and you can only grab one package of tea before swimming to the deserted island, make it green tea. Green tea is the bandit that picks the lock on your fat cells and drains them away, even when we're not making the smartest dietary choices and aren't able to lose weight fast. Chinese researchers found that green tea significantly lowers triglyceride concentrations (potentially dangerous fat found in the blood) and belly fat in subjects who eat fatty diets.
Related: What Happens to Your Body If You Drink Tea Every Day
Listen to Mom
And eat your veggies at every meal—and yes, we mean every. " Mix steamed veggies right into your meal! You'll significantly slash calories," say The Nutrition Twins. "The vegetables will make the meal much less calorie dense and you'll fill up faster. You'll be able to save some for the next day. For example: Don't just order pasta with shrimp, order a side of steamed broccoli and mix it right into the sauce. Do the same with all of your dishes!"
Power Through the A.M.
"Perform cardiovascular exercise first thing in the morning. This will ensure you kick off your metabolism-boosting for the day," says Hever. You don't necessarily have to go on a run or do a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. Walking at a "brisk" pace (over 3.5 miles per hour) for 30 minutes is enough to get a cardiovascular workout.
Put Down That Fork
"This sounds silly but fast eaters are more likely to overeat," says Palinski-Wade. And here's why it really works: "By simply putting your fork down in between bites, you can slow down your eating pace allowing your body more time to process your food and get the signal to your brain that you have eaten enough to be satisfied."
Straight from a nutritionist to music for your sweet, sweet ears: "[Enlist] carbohydrate-rich foods offer filling fiber and optimal nutrition to help you attain all you need with fewer calories than high-fat foods," says Hever. Some of our favorites are whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.
Visit a Nutritionist
Individualized attention? Check. Customized plans tailored for your body and lose weight fast goals? You betch ya. "Nutritionists to the rescue! A professional nutritionist can review what you are doing and eating, and is likely to pinpoint the quickest healthiest ways to meet your personal goal," says Kay.
Drop the Weight of Expectations
Been there, time to ditch that. "Focusing too much on the numbers on your scale may be missing the point. Weight is one indicator that you might check weekly, but focusing on your energy level and measurements like waist circumference are just as important. Give it time and don't give up; you are worth the effort," says Kay.
Swap Fruit for Dessert
This simple switch can help you lose weight fast! "Most people eat several hundred calories of dessert but if you satisfy your sweet tooth with a piece of fruit, you'll get the sweet flavor, as well as the fiber to help prevent an energy crash and save yourself hundreds of calories," share The Nutrition Twins. For more little swaps than can lead to big gains, don't miss these 50 Little Things Making You Fatter and Fatter!
Eat Small, Often
"Tons of research supports this idea," says Hayim. "We used to rely on three square meals throughout the day, but more research shows us that eating small meals helps drop the weight easier. This is useful because you avoid going long periods of time without food, which ultimately causes overconsumption, and also ensures that the fuel you put in, gets used, instead of stored."
Spritz Your Oil
"Whether you pour oil on your omelet at breakfast, in your salad at lunch, or in your pan to cook your dinner, each tablespoon adds 120 calories," explains The Nutrition Twins. "And chances are each time you pour the oil you are using more than a couple of tablespoons. Put your oil in a spray bottle, spritz it on your pot or your meal instead of pouring it and you'll save hundreds of calories each day and the weight will seem to fall off you."
Write Down Everything That You Eat
From your healthy snacks to that bite-size mini Milky Way, write it all down! "Keeping record holds you accountable for what you put in your mouth," say The Nutrition Twins. "You won't forget you ate a few pieces of candy from your co-workers' candy jar if it's recorded in your food diary. Research shows when you write down what you eat you lose twice as much weight." Not a fan of pen and paper? Loads of websites make it a cinch to log what you eat each day, and they'll even tally up the nutrition and calorie counts for you to boot.
Ask for Your Dressing on the Side
C'mon, speak up! And besides, you'll avoid that doused-in-too-much balsamic syndrome while you're at it. "Even the healthiest eaters can pack in additional calories without realizing it. One of the biggest culprits is excess salad dressing," states Palinski-Wade. "When you pour it on your salad, you consume dressing you may not even taste and often use a larger portion. Instead, ask for the dressing on the side – this way you can dip each bite so you still enjoy the same flavor but with a much smaller amount." Click here to uncover even more of the 40 Habits That Make You Sick and Fat!
Pepper Intermittent Fasting into Your Routine
"Eat dinner on the early side so you can go to sleep without a full stomach," advises Hever. "Then stretch out breakfast until you are truly physically hungry. This will provide your body with a break to restore and rejuvenate and help you eat in accordance with your true hunger and satiety needs."
Use Smaller Plates
Salad plates work fine or invest in cute side plates that make you swoon every time you see 'em. "Research has shown that when we eat on larger plates, we can eat up to 31% more food than we realize," says Palinski-Wade. "Shrinking your plate size may help to shrink portions and calories, making weight loss easier."