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Last Updated on December 16, 2020

The Truth of Rapid Weight Loss: How to Actually Shed Pounds

The Truth of Rapid Weight Loss: How to Actually Shed Pounds

“If I drink this supplement, will I lose 40 pounds in two weeks?”

 Another consultation with a new member in the fitness center that I manage, and yet another person that fell prey to the marketing-trap of a supplement company that promised immediate results and rapid weight loss.

Rapid weight loss is enticing. It speaks to our human nature. It’s unfortunately also a false fantasy of ours.

The truth is that while you might be able to lose weight in a very short time, it’s practically impossible to keep it off. Here’s why and how you can actually shed pounds sustainably and continuously.

The Key to Patience

A mentor of mine once told me bluntly: You can have it all young man. You can be a great salesman and entrepreneur. You can run a successful business. As long as you just refuse to give up.

Is it that simple? It is.

I came into a management position at a young age not because I’m the brightest but because I outlasted my colleagues.

There are a lot of similarities between business and the results in the gym. They just produce different rewards.

If something isn’t working simply because you don’t have the patience to push through, develop this crucial piece of the puzzle before moving on.

You can learn more about just how long it takes to build muscle and lose fat here.

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The Art of Weight Loss

Weight loss is simple, but not easy.

It’s not easy because it goes against our nature. We all have to know that our ancestors dealt with much rougher situations than we did. Over millions of years our genome has evolved to store energy in order to prepare for rainy days.

Only in the recent decades have we gone from scarcity to absolute abundance. The supermarket just around my corner contains ripe fruits from all over the world. Packaged, conserved foods that can be stored in our shelf for years to come.

While our recently-evolved, self-conscious forebrain is demanding us to keep losing 10 more pounds, our genome is desperately trying to hold on to all of those bits of energy storage, making rapid weight loss nearly impossible.

Fat cells used to be our friends, and now they’re enemies. (Find out more about the reason why here.) In order to beat them and lose weight, we have to learn to go against nature and trick our genome.

How to Trick Your Genome

What if I told you that there is a way to soothe your genome and your brain at the same time? How can we manipulate both of these entities to reach our goals?

Here’s everything that you need to know about substantial and sustainable weight loss in one sentence: Calories and satiety are not linked.

We can eat a huge McDonalds meal with thousands of calories but still feel hungry after one hour. We can scoop out some ice cream late at night, and the only time we feel satiated is after we’ve gained 2 more pounds.

On the other hand, we can eat 1-2 cups of broccoli or spinach and often feel full. What matters is the caloric density and the seven crucial factors influencing satiety.

7 Parts of Satiety

Hunger and satiety are sensations. Satiety is the absence of hunger. If we feel satiated, we feel full. If we feel full, we’re more likely to stick to a diet.

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If calories are not linked to satiety, which factors are? Lucky for us, a study on satiety gave us some answers. The researchers concluded:[1]

Servings of different foods vary greatly in their satiating capacity.[2]

Optimize satiety for rapid weight loss

    And the effect of a food on one’s satiety is important, as the satiety heavily influences our future eating behavior. These are the components that played a role.

    Fiber

    Fiber fills up your stomach and speeds up digestion through your small intestine. This means that less macronutrients will get absorbed. Therefore, also less calories.

    Foods containing fiber-entrapped natural sugars produced the highest satiety scores in the whole study. If you want to feel full, start taking in more fruits and vegetables.

    Sensory Information

    Studies have shown that our sensory information can play a huge part in our satiety and rapid weight loss. We’re primed to seek a variety of foods, but if we routinize the habit of eating the same foods during our eating breaks, satiety might come earlier.[3]

    Water

    If a food contains more water, it will naturally also be less calorie dense. Not only that, but the increased water content also fills up our stomach more, boosting feelings of satiety.

    Protein and Carbohydrates

    Protein and (good) carbohydrates seem to have great satiating effects. Both of these macronutrients can, therefore, help you lose fat more easily. However, stay away from fatty products, as fat was inversely correlated with satiety. Fat also contains nearly double the calories.

    Plate Size

    The bigger the plate size, the more calories you will consume, which will slow you down on the road to rapid weight loss.[4] This may seem obvious, but many people eat far more than they should simply because they fill up a plate that’s bigger than a normal portion size.

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    Amount of Fat Cells

    Our fat cells, scientifically called adipocytes, release a hormone called leptin. Leptin levels are significantly higher in obese individuals. When we start dieting, our leptin level goes down fast—too fast. It’s an indication to our brain that we’re starving.

    We suddenly feel hunger, have reduced motivation, and burn less calories at rest. This means that if we’re overweight, our body wants to keep us like that.[5]

    Serotonin

    Do you ever wonder why chocolate is so addictive? This tasty, dark food is releasing serotonin in our bodies to the same extent as cigarettes. This explains why stress often causes weight gain.

    They crave that good-feeling neurotransmitter that gets released in our brains. This means that the less stress we have and the better we feel, the more satiety we will experience.[6]

    The Next Steps

    “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” -Abraham Lincoln

    It’s time that we start thinking about long-term weight results when it comes to weight reduction. We have to realize that if we use the dieting approach to rapid weight loss, we’re losing both muscle and fat mass.

    This means that every time we start a diet, it gets harder, not easier.

    It’s therefore absolutely crucial that we start with the end in mind. We have to start a diet that is sustainable for months to come. There are three ways to do that:

    1. Focus on Satiety

    While a calorie deficit is important, we also have to focus on staying full. If our brain thinks we’re starving, our diet is doomed to fail.

    If we fight against our genome, we enter a war we can not win. If we fight against our genome, we enter a war we can not win. Eat high protein foods while avoiding processed foods. This will get you started.

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    2. Add Weightlifting and Cardiovascular Training to Your Schedule

    Weightlifting and cardio can improve the ratio of lost fat and muscle mass and keep us healthy. Increased muscle mass will also make it easier to keep off the weight, as it increases our caloric need.

    You can learn more about why cardio is so good for you in this article.

    3. Add Incremental Changes

    A diet shouldn’t necessarily be a diet. It should be a long-term dietary change for the better. We lay the groundwork to our dieting success by beginning with the end in mind.

    Try making one small change to your diet each week to avoid shocking your body and mind. As you work incrementally, you’ll train your body to adjust slowly and sustainably.

    Conclusion

    Rapid weight loss is a false fantasy. There’s no supplement that will help you lose 40 pounds in 2 weeks.

    It’s practically impossible to keep the weight off long-term if you do this because the dietary switch was never sustainable in the first place.

    Instead of focusing on short-term results, we should pay special attention to long-term habit change to get us to a healthy weight and more balanced levels of body fat.

    Weight loss is a trojan horse. We might expect superficial results like an improved reflection in the mirror, but if we begin with the end in mind and focus on long-term habit change, it affects multiple components of our existence and can lead to a better quality of life overall.

    More Weight Loss Tips

    Featured photo credit: Meghan Holmes via unsplash.com

    Reference

    More by this author

    Florian Wüest

    Qualified and experienced fitness trainer and online coach.

    Hit a Weight Loss Plateau? Here’s How To Break Through It How to Gain Muscle Quickly and Naturally (A Step-by-Step Guide) Your Body on Caffeine Addiction: 70 Cups of Coffee in 7 Days The More Protein You Eat, the Faster You Build Muscles? The Low Carb Lie

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    Last Updated on February 25, 2021

    How to Lose 50 Pounds in 3 Months: 10 Unconventional Diet Tips

    How to Lose 50 Pounds in 3 Months: 10 Unconventional Diet Tips

    When starting a new diet or exercise regimen, it’s often a dieter’s dream that they will drop weight quickly, allowing them to get back to a place where they can worry less about what they put into their bodies. This is often the first mistake they make. We will discuss how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months, but this requires a radical lifestyle shift that many aren’t prepared for. 

    If you do a crash diet for 3 months and then return to your old ways, you’ll find those 50 pounds return just as quickly as they left.

    Losing this amount of weight will, of course, be easier the more you have to start with. If you are sitting at a healthy BMI, learning how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months isn’t realistic. However, if you are overweight or obese, this can be a worthy goal and one that is certainly achievable with dedication and a plan.

    If you want to shed weight but just can’t seem to stop procrastinating, check out Lifehack’s free Fast-Track Class: No More Procrastination. It will help you focus on your weight loss goals and start taking action today.

    Here are some weight loss tips to get you started on your weight loss journey and achieve your goals.

    1. Buy a Digital Scale

    I recommend that before starting a diet, you buy a scale that is accurate to .2 (two-tenths of a pound). I also recommend either buying a scale that can record your daily weight, or manually logging your weight every day.

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    2. Weigh Yourself Every Day

    You’ll find that almost every other dieter will tell you to weigh yourself only once a week, and this can also work for the right people. However, if you are goal-oriented and like to see consistent results, weighing yourself every day can help keep you motivated.

    The reason I recommend buying a scale that is accurate to the .2 is that there is a big difference between weighting 170.8 one day and 170.0 the next day. Losing .8 pounds in one day is excellent. However, if your scale is not accurate enough to report the loss and still shows 170 after a day of healthy eating and working out, you will feel extremely discouraged.

    A more detailed scale makes it easier to keep a positive outlook. The more successes (days with positive weight loss) the easier it is.

    When you’re trying to learn how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months, it’s important to keep in mind that weight naturally fluctuates on a daily basis. Certain foods will cause you to retain more water weight, which can shift what the scale is telling you, so take these numbers with a grain of salt. If you’re seeing good results overall, you’re on the right path!

    3. Drink 8 Glasses of Water Every Day

    Drinking eight glasses of water per day helps you feel less hungry, which can help in all weight loss efforts.

    In one 2014 study, 50 overweight female participants were instructed to drink 500 mL of water, three times a day 30 min before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At the end of 8 weeks, body weight, BMI, body fat, and appetite were all lowered, proving that water can play a crucial role in weight loss[1].

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    4. Make Your Diet and Goals Public

    Telling your coworkers, partner, or family members that you have started a diet and are hoping to learn how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months will increase your accountability and help you stick to your plan. For me, it also helped to put a “before” picture on my fridge, in my cubicle, and on my wall to have a continual reminder to lose the weight. Being able to note how different I began to look after a couple of weeks was a huge motivating factor.

    In order to lose 50 pounds, don’t forget that you’ll need the support of those around you, so make sure they are in the loop, even if it feels uncomfortable at first.

    5. Decide If You Want to Use Cheat Days

    Research has yet to come to a definitive conclusion on whether cheat days help or harm a diet plan. However, most researchers do seem to agree that whatever you do, the diet that works is the diet you stick to[2]. If you have one cheat meal each week that is planned for, it’s unlikely to throw off your entire diet.

    However, if you randomly decide you deserve a snack a couple of times a week, this can be detrimental to your plan as it will increase your desire to eat junk food when you should be eating a healthy, planned snack.

    6. Don’t Sacrifice Your Life

    On occasion, you will find yourself unable to eat healthy. Whether this is because of lunches with your team at work, birthdays, or special occasions, there will be events that you just can’t (or don’t want to) eat healthy.

    A diet will feel overwhelming if you have to sacrifice special events in your life. This ties into the point above. If you know you have an event coming up, incorporate it into your diet plan instead of using it as just a “special day.” Make a plan to get back to your diet the next day, even planning out the meals you’ll have.

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    7. Make Small Changes in Addition to the Big Ones

    When you are trying to learn how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months, you’ll be making some big changes, such as incorporating an intense exercise plan into your daily routine, cutting back on sweets, and perhaps even changing who you spend time with in order to find people who will support you the most.

    In addition to the big changes, make small changes in your daily life. For example, park further away, walk to the end of the train platform and get in the last car, and vow not to take an elevator for an entire week. If you like coffee, start drinking it black instead of adding cream and sugar.

    I also found it advantageous to wear a pedometer and try to compete against myself for how far I could walk in a single day. This helped me up my activity level and the amount of calories a day I was burning.

    These small changes can become lasting habits, which will help you keep the weight off once you’ve lost it.

    8. Gain Perspective

    Your diet is an incredibly small fraction of your life. If you live for 80 years and dieted for four months, that would only be .42% of your life. That’s right, if you diet for four months, it will be less than one half of one percent of your life. 

    On the other hand, think of the major benefits you can get from .42% of your life. If it helps you stay motivated, count the days, starting at 120.

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    9. Rationalize Your Workouts

    Finding the time to get to the gym can be very difficult. However, a 1/2 hour workout is only 2% of your day (assuming 24 hour days). For me, the most motivating thought was comparing my workouts to sitcoms. As a huge Everybody Loves Raymond fan, every time I would sit down to watch an episode, I would remind myself that in the 1/2 hour that I was sitting and doing nothing, I could complete my daily workout.

    Many people feel they have to give up other things in order to work out, but that’s often not the case. You simply have to devote time when you would be doing “nothing” (i.e. watching TV, scrolling through Facebook, etc.) to working out. If you don’t want to drive the 20 minutes to the gym, do an hour-long at-home workout instead.

    Moving your body in any way is going to help you as your learn how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months, so stay active as much as possible.

    10. Have a Red Flag Weight

    Once you’ve lost the weight, you need to keep it off, and this is where the red flag comes in. You need to pick a weight and vow to never get heavier than it again. It is normal for your body to fluctuate five to ten pounds, so I recommend picking a weight that is ten pounds heavier than what you “normally” weigh. Setting a red flag weight allowed me to keep off every pound for over a year.

    If you find that you do exceed your red flag weight, it’s time to devote a month to getting below it again. Go back to the top of this list and get started.

    The Bottom Line

    Learning how to lose 50 pounds in 3 months sounds difficult, but it’s not impossible. With both big and small changes to your daily life, you can lose the weight and keep it off in the long term. Turn this short term goal into a long term lifestyle, and you’ll live healthier and happier.

    More on Losing Weight Quickly

    Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

    Reference

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