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Four Ways to Lose Weight Fast

Four Ways to Lose Weight Fast

While it does require a degree of sacrifice and work to lose weight, it doesn’t have to be a slow and onerous process. If you do things right, you can actually lose weight fast. When I say fast, I mean really fast, like 2-3 pounds or more every week.

The faster you can safely lose weight, the better. Seeing the pounds coming off and your clothes fitting better each week will really help you stay motivated to stick to your diet and workout plan. Plus, it’s a lot easier to stick to a weight loss diet if you know that you’ll only need to be really strict for a month or two.

I know about this from personal experience. I tried to lose weight the slow way by eating a little less or doing slightly more exercise for several years. My results are, I believe, pretty typical among people who are only losing a pound or less every week. I eventually gained even more weight.

By going on and off the slow-and-steady weight loss diet, I gained an extra 25 pounds of fat. This happened because after weeks of hardly seeing results I would become frustrated and go off my plan completely. Afterward, I’d feel guilty and start the process again.

Once I decided to get aggressive, the weight came off quickly. I became much more strict about my diet and performed demanding workouts that made my lungs and muscles feel like they were on fire. As a result, I lost 20 pounds after only 4 weeks. After less than 6 months, I lost 70 pounds of fat and put on about 10 pounds of muscle. This was all done without starving myself or taking worthless supplements. All I did was tweak my diet and workout plan by doing the 4 things that are described below.

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You can do all of these things together to make up your entire weight loss plan or add 1 or 2 of them to your current program to give your progress a boost. The more that you employ, the faster you’ll lose weight.

1. Intermittent Fasting

This type of diet, also referred to as “IF,” is rapidly becoming known as the way to quickly and easily lose weight. As its name implies, intermittent fasting is based on not eating for several (12-20) hours at a time. You’re not starving yourself but instead simply going without for a predetermined amount of time.

Going without food for 12-20 hours forces your body to use stored body fat for energy which in turn will help you lose weight quickly. You won’t starve or lose muscle either. Almost all of the weight you lose will be from any excess body fat you’re carrying, which is what you want to lose in the first place.

When done right, intermittent fasting will help you will lose 2 or more pounds a week without counting a calorie or planning your meals.

A side benefit of an IF diet is that you will have more energy than when you’re following a typical weight loss diet.

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If you’d like to give IF a try, here are a couple of tips to make it easier and more effective. I also recommend that you check out this article on intermittent fasting for a step-by-step plan.

  • Start with shorter fasts. Your first fast should last no more than 12 hours. This is long enough to see benefits without driving you cuckoo. Increase the duration of each fast until you are fasting for 20 hours at a time.
  • Drink plenty of water. This will help you stay full during your fast and keep you hydrated which makes losing weight easier. I find that water with a little lemon or lime juice added works really well at curbing hunger.
  • Keep yourself occupied. Since you aren’t going to be spending time cooking, preparing, and eating food you will have more time on your hands. Don’t spend this time thinking about food. You’ll ruin your fast for sure. Use the time to do something that you enjoy that’s not food-based and fasting will seem effortless.
  • Don’t binge after your fast is done. This will only make you feel sick. Eat a normal sized, low carb meal instead. If you’re hungry again in a couple of hours have another meal or a snack.

2. Go Low Carb

If intermittent fasting isn’t for you, the next best thing for losing weight fast is to go on a low-carb diet. This type of diet can help you lose 2 or more pounds a week.

When I write low-carb, I mean that you will eat less than 75 grams of carbohydrates a day. The fewer you eat, the faster you’ll lose weight. As a point of reference, this is the amount of carbohydrates found in 1.5 cups of rice, 2 slices of bread, and 18 ounces of cola.

You don’t have incessantly scan food labels and count every single carbohydrate as the number above may imply. All you really need to do is know which types of foods you shouldn’t eat. Do this, and you’re right on target to fast weight loss.

Foods To Avoid When Eating Low Carb
The key foods to avoid are foods rich in processed and refined carbohydrates (i.e. flour and sugar) and fruit juices. These include bread, candy, cookies, crackers, flour, fruit juice, pasta, soda, and rice. Anything that’s either made from these ingredients should be avoided.

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Now that you know what not to eat, it’s time to learn what you should. The first thing to focus on is eating protein rich foods like chicken, fish, pork, and red meat. The fattier the protein, the better. Aim to eat about a palm sized portion of protein at every meal.

Next are fats. They will help you stay full and keep you healthy. Some fats can even help you lose weight faster. Make sure you eat some type of fat at every meal. This includes fat from avocados, butter, coconut oil, fish, nuts, and olive oil. Limit omega-6 fats from vegetable oils and trans fats as they are the two fats which are hazardous to your health.

Last but not least are carbohydrates. Make sure that those that you eat are primarily from vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, onions, etc.). Fruits are okay in smaller amounts with berries being the best choice.

Don’t worry about eating every 2-3 hours a day when you’re eating low carb as it won’t help you lose weight faster. All you need to do is eat 2-3 meals every daily or whenever you’re hungry.

3. Lift, swing, and throw often

If your goal is to lose weight fast and look your best you must lift, swing, or throw something heavy like a barbell, dumbbell, or kettlebell several times a week. Doing this will help you burn hundreds of calories during and after every workout. You’ll also trigger the release of fat burning hormones like HGH and testosterone to speed the process up even more.

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Make sure every workout you do uses total body exercises. Examples include chin ups, dead lifts, farmers walks, kettlebell swings, shoulder presses, and squats. Do 5 or more sets with weights you can lift 6-8 times with good form with each exercise. Increase the weight when you can perform 5 sets of 8 reps.

The second thing to be aware of is the amount of time you rest between sets of each exercise. The less you rest, the more calories you will burn overall. Short rest periods also help boost the release of fat burning hormones. Aim to rest 60 seconds or less between every set. You’ll know you’re doing it right if you feel your lungs and muscles burning.

Another great thing about these workouts is that they don’t take up much of your time. You can actually get in a great fat loss workout in less time than it takes to drive to the gym.

Check out this 10 minute workout for a complete program that shows you how to get fast results in very little time.

4. Take An Early Morning Walk

Going for a moderately paced walk for at least 45 minutes every day will help you burn extra calories. Walking first thing in the morning before breakfast can help you burn even more. Studies show that doing this helps your body burn more calories from your body fat so you’ll lose weight faster than when you exercise after a meal.

I took walks like this every day when I was working to lose weight and have continued to do so to keep it off. I also find that it helps clear my head and get my day started feeling energized and focused. These workouts have also enabled me to become an early riser, which is nice.

You now know 4 of the most cutting-edge and effective ways to lose weight. Best of all they won’t cost you extra money, lots of time, or require you to swallow a handful of pills to implement. Using them should actually help give you extra time each day and save money on your grocery bill too while helping you lose weight as quickly as safely possible.

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Last Updated on November 15, 2019

Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

Expert Advice That Will Teach You How to Increase Your Metabolism

Wouldn’t you like to be able to eat twice as much as you do now without gaining weight? If so, I have good news for you because this is possible when you learn how to increase metabolism.

How Much Do You Know About Metabolism?

Before we get to the meat, let me say that metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.[1] These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning, however, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with the metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn.

The metabolic rate is a rough estimate of how much energy your body needs to simply stay alive and perform all its biochemical reactions. These reactions require energy, aka burn calories.

Imagine that your brain alone consumes nearly 20% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure at rest),[2] your digestion and the detoxifying system come second, repairing tissues third and so on.

Staying alive is expensive for your body and its two main currencies are fats and sugars.

When I am talking about improving your metabolic rate (metabolism), I mean improving the amount of energy, your body requires to (pretty much) lay down in bed and do nothing for 24 hours.

Extra physical activity, extra thinking or fighting illness are things that require a lot of energy (burn a lot of calories) but they don’t really increase metabolism… actually they can decrease it.

Can You Naturally Change the Speed of Your Basal Metabolism?

The answer to this question is yes and you can also achieve an increase in metabolism and a drop in body fat by eating more.

Shocked? Well, I was too.

The way I came across this phenomenon is quite funny. Over my 10 years as a coach, I helped many busy professionals to naturally increase their metabolism by getting them leaner, fitter and stronger but, at the beginning of my career, I actually had no idea whether they were losing weight because of an increase in metabolism or because we created a calorie deficit with diet and exercise.

When I was training my clients regularly, they would lose weight. Every time I would take a few weeks of vacation, I would come back to London and find out that most of them gained back a generous amount of weight despite the fact that they were following their diet and they swapped our weight training sessions with cardio.

On the contrary, when they were going on vacation, they would do zero exercises and binge like there was no tomorrow but come back either lighter or weighing the same (but looking more muscular).

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Observing this phenomenon happening over and over again, got me curious about the mechanics of our metabolism and the ways to hack it.

Was it really possible that by relaxing and eating more food, someone could actually maintain his/her current weight or even be losing fat?

Driven by the desire to answer this question, I spent a good amount of years researching and testing different food strategies until I finally cracked the code to an improved metabolism that allows you to eat like a king and look like a Greek God.

Does Eating More Increase Metabolism?

Before I explain why eating more increases your metabolism, let me dig into something that I see people doing much more often: “eating less and moving more.”

It is quite common to see people embarking their yearly weight loss journey (usually after Christmas or Easter) by following very restrictive diets and bombarding their body with several hours of exercise per day.

Despite the short-term effectiveness of this approach, in the long run, if the goal is to increase metabolism and lose a lot of fat over an extended period of time, this simply won’t work.

As I have mentioned before, eating fewer calories and exercising more are energy-consuming activities for your body. In the first case, your body needs to use its own energy reserves to top up the missing energy it needs to fully function; and in the second, it takes your body extra energy to contract your muscles.

In both cases, your TDEE (Total daily energy expenditure at rest) doesn’t vary much; therefore your metabolism stays unchanged.[3]

A different scenario happens when you eat less and move more for an extended period of time (weeks or months). In that case, your metabolism will slow down because your body is receiving a “we have little access to food and we need to run away from threats” signal.

Your metabolism is like your bank account.

To understand this concept, let’s imagine that you have $4,000 coming into your bank account each and every month. The money you spend on housing, transport, food and leisure are calibrated according to this monthly income.

Now, imagine that a rich uncle starts to send you $1,000 each day. What would you do? Probably, you would save that money for the first two or three days but, when you notice that $1,000 keep on coming every single day, you would likely start to spend more right?

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What if, instead of a rich uncle sending you money, a poor uncle needed your financial help to pay for the treatments of his illness? You would probably try your best to adjust your spending according to your old $4,000 monthly budget.

That’s exactly how your body reasons:

More Resources Coming in = More Energy Released (Improved Metabolism)

Fewer Resources Coming in = Less Energy Released (Decreased Metabolism)

Note that activities like weight training[4] and high-intensity interval training (HIIT),[5] when combined with an increase in nutrient-rich foods, will also improve your metabolism.

For this reason, today, when I coach a new client, I always start by increasing their daily food intake and their physical activities. Usually, people are quite confused because they come to me to lose weight and I tell them to eat more but, without fail, the next weekly weight-check shows a lower number.

Be aware that not all foods are equal and only certain foods have the power to increase metabolism to a noticeable extent.

Foods That Increase Metabolism

Doubling up on Snickers bars won’t improve your metabolism and you know that. What you may not know is that certain foods that are marked as “healthy” doesn’t help you with increasing your metabolism. They also make you gain weight.

Before giving you a list of foods to eat or avoid, let me explain a simple principle of human biochemistry.

Your body uses energy from three (or four) main sources:

  • Sugars: whether you eat a Snickers bar or a banana, the carbohydrates contained in both get absorbed in the gut and become blood glucose (the basic form of sugar our body utilizes as a source of energy).[6]
    When blood glucose is present in the bloodstream (elevated levels), the body always uses it as its primary source of energy. When blood glucose levels drop (this phenomenon happens when you’re using these sugars to fuel a physical activity or when your pancreas produced a spike of insulin and stores that glucose into fat and muscles), your body starts to release fatty acids into the bloodstream to use as a source of energy.
  • Fatty acids: either from your own fat cells (adipocytes) or from whatever fat-containing foods you ate in the past 2-3 hours. Fatty acids are a slower and more consistent form of energy than sugars that your body can utilise.
  • Amino acids: Amino acids are the broken-down form of proteins. Proteins cannot be used by the body as a source of energy, not even in their broken-down form. Your body can transform amino acids into glucose with a process called gluconeogenesis.[7] This is a very inefficient process where a decent amount of energy gets wasted (and that’s a good thing for us but I’ll get to that later).
  • Ketones: when you don’t feed your body any source of carbs (or proteins in excess), your liver produces an alternative source of energy called Ketones. It can replace the need for glucose (most of it at least).[8]

Now that you know the four energy sources the body can use to fuel its metabolism, let’s get to the meat (quite literally).

To make this simple for you, I am going to divide foods into three categories:

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  1. Red Flags – Avoid the red foods because they slow your metabolism. They are usually extremely low in micronutrients and high in antinutrients (agents that are highly toxic). They are highly processed or spike your insulin levels (therefore stopping your fat burning process).
  2. Orange Foods – Limit your consumption of orange foods. The orange foods on the list are suboptimal choices but they don’t have a negative impact on your metabolism when consumed in moderation. In fact, they contain a decent amount of micronutrients and, if eaten in small amounts, they shouldn’t stop your fat burning process.
  3. Green Foods – These are foods to consume most. Green foods will improve your metabolism and should be the main bulk of your diet.

Next, I’ll get into details exactly what foods to eat and avoid:

Sugars and Carbs

Sugars do not directly improve metabolism because they stop the process of fat utilisation. There is an exception to this rule though. When you eat a diet extremely low in carbohydrates and sugars for an extended period of time (two to six days onwards), introducing carbohydrates and sugars can actually improve metabolism quite a bit.

Unfortunately, for most of us that love eating bread, pasta, fruit and yoghurt, unless we were on a low-carb diet for the past few days, these foods are not an optimal choice.

Sugars like fructose (found in fruit or commercial sugar) actually decrease metabolism and should be limited. Heavily processed sugars and carbohydrates should be also limited. Here is the colour list of sugars and carbs that affect metabolism:

Red Flag Sugary Foods You Should Avoid:
  • Dried fruit
  • Commercial and packaged corn
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • All sorts of candies and lookalike
  • Packaged fruit juices and purees
  • Sugary dairy products like flavoured yoghurt, condensed milk etc
Orange Sugary Foods You Should Limit:
  • Bread and flour-based products
  • Milk and also vegan milk alternatives that are sweetened
  • Most fruit (exceptions are in the green list below)
  • Potatoes and potato starch products
  • Oatmeals and other grains
Green Sugary and Carb-Containing Foods That Improve Metabolism
  • All berries except strawberries
  • Tubers like squash, carrots, parsnips etc
  • Sweet potatoes
  • White rice
  • All green vegetables

Fats

Fatty acids and fats, in general, can improve or decrease metabolism depending on their composition.

Red Flag Fatty Foods You Should Avoid:
  • Margarine and hydrogenated fat
  • Lard
  • Gmo oils
  • Most vegetable oils from seeds and peanut oil
Orange Fatty Foods You Should Limit:
  • Nuts
  • Meat fat
  • Nut oils (macadamia, almond, cashew etc..)
  • Seeds
Green Fatty Foods You Should Eat Daily
  • Extra virgin olive oil (non-heated)
  • Avocado
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter (organic)
  • Egg yolks (free-range)
  • Bone marrow

The fatty foods in the green section tend to be very effective in increasing metabolism, especially in the absence of carbohydrates because they stimulate the production of ketones (I’ll talk about this later).

Bear in mind that 1 gram of fat has 2.5 times the calories of a gram of protein or carbohydrates; therefore “eating more fats” to increase metabolism should be done very gradually to avoid weight gain.

Proteins

Eating food not only sends regulatory signals to your brain about abundance vs scarcity of resources, but it can also increase your metabolism for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF).[9] It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meal.

Protein causes the largest rise in TEF.[10] It increases your metabolic rate by 15-30%, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% for fats

Eating protein has also been shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating, in fact, a study found that people were likely to eat around 441 fewer calories per day when protein made up 30% of their diet.[11]

Also, proteins help preserve muscle mass.[12] The more muscle mass we have, the higher our basal metabolism is.

For these reasons, the first nutritional advice I usually give to clients is to reduce sugars and increase proteins. This quick swap is often enough to kickstart their metabolism and commence the fat burning process.

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Red Protein Sources That Should Be Avoided
  • Cheap whey proteins
  • Soy proteins
  • GMO meat
  • GMO eggs
  • Packaged meat
Orange Protein Source to Be Limited
  • Canned tuna
  • Canned fish
  • Canned meat
  • Gluten-rich products like Seitan
  • Farmed fish
Green Protein Sources to Have Daily
  • Free-range meat
  • Free-range eggs
  • Wild meat and fish
  • Whey protein isolate
  • Collagen and beef protein hydrolyzed

Note that this is a general categorisation of the foods that, when added to your diet, have the power to increase or decrease metabolism. There are some specific foods and supplements worth mentioning because they have been proven to improve metabolism by increasing thyroid output or resting heart rate, they are as follows.

Other Foods and Supplements

Cold water

Drinking water may temporarily speed up your metabolism. Studies have shown that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 litres) of water increases resting metabolism by 10-30% for about an hour.[13]

This is not a surprise since our body is made up mainly by water and proper hydration is key to a fast metabolism. This calorie-burning effect may be even greater if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.

MCT Oils or Powders

Medium-chain triglycerides or MCT have been shown to improve metabolism by stimulating Ketone production.[14] Coconut oil contains MCT fats and, when used as a replacement for cooking oil can help you improve metabolism.

You can buy the concentrated version of MCT oils and eat it separately to further enhance this effect. Either way, coconut oil or pure MCT oil can be a great addition to your diet if you’re following a ketogenic or intermittent fasting protocol.

Caffeine

Caffeine and coffee have been shown to improve metabolism by improving heart rate and, therefore improving calorie consumption.[15]

Green Tea

Green tea

is thought to increase energy expenditure and fat oxidation, and to reduce fat production and absorption.[16]

Bottom Line

In this article, I just covered the basics of food and metabolism but, there are many other non-food related things you can do to improve your metabolism, like improving your sleep quality and following certain exercise routines.

For now, just know that making small and gradual changes to your diet can increase your metabolism and improve your general health. Starting from changing one habit at a time is always the best strategy to accomplish any goal.

Once you improve your diet, your hydration and your supplementation you can think about testing more advanced “bio-hacks” or techniques like ice baths and fasted HIIT training.

And remember, having a higher metabolism doesn’t only help you lose weight and keep it off but it also give you more energy and a feeling of vibrancy. If you give it time, it really is worth the investment.

Featured photo credit: Fitsum Admasu via unsplash.com

Reference

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