When you type “lose weight fast” into Google, you’ll see more than 3.7 million web pages devoted to this ever-trending topic. Although slimming down quickly is the dream of every dieter, our bodies are designed to achieve homeostasis—that is, balance, not rapid weight loss. Most options that promise a quick fix to your weight woes will leave you hungry, unsatisfied or, worse, in poorer health than when you first began searching for the quick fix to begin with.
Studies show that losing 1-2 pounds per week is a safer approach that sets up dieters for success. Depriving yourself of food over time can actually trigger weight gain as soon as you resume normal eating habits, putting you back to where you started.
So what are dieters to do when they need to slim down quickly?
If you absolutely need to lose weight quickly, it’s safest to forego pills and instead make simple changes to optimize your daily routines. Here are some easy hacks to help you boost your chances for weight loss, without health risks or perpetual hunger.
Another excuse to drink more water
Water rules when it comes to filling you up. And since there are so many benefits associated with staying hydrated with H20, drink as much as your heart desires. A study from the Journal of Obesity revealed that people who drank two 8 ounce cups of water before eating consumed up to 90 fewer calories than those who dove right into their plates.
The other benefit of drinking water is that it could keep you from consuming fewer liquid calories. Switching from soda to water (or sparkling water, if you want something more exciting) can mean several hundred fewer calories per day—without a massive overhaul to your life.
Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
Sleep also plays a role in how much you weigh. Most people sleep for about seven or eight hours each night, which falls into the recommended range for adults. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can put you at a greater risk for depression and a variety of other conditions. Depression and the poor impulse control that often goes along with being tired can quickly lead to poor nutritional choices and overeating. And when you’re hitting the gym, a lack of zzz’s can cause you to get exhausted faster, partially because it can boost your insulin resistance and decrease your glucose tolerance.
If sleep is a problem for you, try going to bed at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each morning, even on the weekends. Other sensory elements like clean sheets, white noise and essential oils can help you ease comfortably into your new routine.
Find a way to move more
Telling you that you need to move more to lose weight isn’t much of a revelation. But in today’s busy world, it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to hit the gym or the running trail. If this sounds like your predicament—and this is truly due to time, not lack of motivation—then these tips are a good way to fit in more movement, without adding much time to your day.
- Try HIIT: High-Intensity Interval Training is designed specifically to maximize your workout in less time. Some studies show that these quick-burst workouts are just as effective as endurance training—making your excuse of “no time” less relevant than ever.
- Always take the stairs: When you’re at work, when you’re shopping at your apartment or whenever possible, take the stairs. Walking up or down stairs is a great way to strengthen muscles and burn fat no matter where you’re headed.
- Walk during your lunch break: When it’s time to take a break, forget mindlessly scrolling through your phone or shopping for more things you don’t need. Put on a podcast and hit the pavement. The added bonus of going for a short walk? Moving also is shown to boost your energy, which is much needed during the day.
- Park far away: Next time you need to stock up on supplies at the market, stick to the outer perimeter of the parking lot. Making this a habit could help you burn a few additional calories here and there.
Black coffee is best
Switch out your sweet, milky latte for plain coffee. The same goes for tea. Specialty coffee drinks can easily contain a few hundred calories, and even adding creamer and sugar to plain old joe can quickly boost your daily caloric intake.
One cup of black coffee contains nearly no calories. If you’re a coffee addict, ditching the cream, sugar and fancy coffee drinks can save you at least 100 calories per day.
Wear real jeans, not yoga pants
Athleisure wear has become a major fashion trend. Although there’s no scientific proof that yoga pants, spandex and jeggings contribute to weight gain, they’re definitely designed to, well, stretch with your body. When you wear baggy or stretchy clothing, you’re losing a key barometer that keeps eating in check—whether or not your stomach feels full and your waistband feels tight.
Instead, opt for those form-fitting jeans or that dress that shows off your figure. While they aren’t the most comfortable items in your closet, they can subconsciously keep your habits on the right track.
Slimming down fast typically isn’t the healthiest way to get your weight on track. However, when compounded over a few weeks or months, small changes to your daily habits can quickly impact the number on the scale—in a good way. You can also try a number of supplements to help you achieve your weight loss goals. In a crowded supplement marketplace, we recommend these brands for their effectiveness and safety.