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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.

More by this author

Curt Pedersen

Curt is the founder of Stayfitcentral.com, a blog that helps you build the body you deserve.

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Last Updated on November 12, 2020

Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

Why You’re Feeling Tired All the Time (and What to Do About It)

If you find that you’re feeling tired all the time, it’s important to understand that it’s a common problem for many. With all of the demands of daily life, being tired seems to be the new baseline. In fact, two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week.[1]

If you’re tired of feeling exhausted, then I’ve got some great news for you. New research is helping us gain critical insights into the underlying causes of feeling tired all the time.

In this article, we’ll discuss the latest reasons why you’re so tired and practical steps you can take to finally get to the bottom of your fatigue and feel rested.

What Happens When You’re Too Tired

If you sleep just two hours less than the normal eight hours, you could be as impaired as someone who has consumed up to three beers.[2] And you’ve probably experienced the impact yourself.

Here are some common examples of what happens when you’re feeling tired:[3]

  • Trouble focusing because memory and learning functions may be impaired.
  • Experience mood swings and an inability to differentiate between what’s important and what’s not.
  • Dark circles under your eyes and/or your skin make look dull and lackluster in the short term and over time your skin may get wrinkles and show signs of aging because your body didn’t have time to remove toxins during sleep.
  • Finding it more difficult to exercise.
  • Immune system may weaken, causing you to pick up infections more easily.
  • Overeating because not getting enough sleep activates the body’s endocannabinoids, even when you’re not hungry.
  • Metabolism slows down, so what you eat is more likely to be stored as belly fat.

Why Are You Feeling Tired All the Time?

Leading experts are starting to recognize that there are three primary reasons people feel tired on a regular basis: sleep deprivation, fatigue, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).

Here’s a quick overview of each common cause of fatigue and feeling tired all of the time:

  1. Tiredness occurs from sleep deprivation when you don’t get high-quality sleep consistently. It typically can be solved by changing your routine and getting enough deep, restorative sleep.
  2. Fatigue occurs from prolonged sleeplessness, which could be triggered by numerous health problems, such as mental health issues, long-term illness, fibromyalgia, obesity, sleep apnea, or stress. It typically can be improved by changing your lifestyle and using sleep aids or treatments, if recommended by your physician.
  3. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a medical condition also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis that occurs from persistent exhaustion that doesn’t go away with sleep.

The exact cause of CFS is not known, but it may be due to problems with the immune system, a bacterial infection, a hormone imbalance, or emotional trauma. It typically involves working with a doctor to rule out other illnesses before diagnosing and treating CFS.[4]

Always consult a physician to get a personal diagnosis about why you are feeling tired, especially if it is a severe condition.

You can learn more about some causes of fatigue in this video:

Feeling Tired Vs Being Fatigued

If lack of quality sleep doesn’t seem to be the root cause for you, then it’s time to explore fatigue as the reason you are frequently feeling tired.

Until recently, tiredness and fatigue were thought to be interchangeable. Leading experts now realize that tiredness and fatigue are different.

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Tiredness is primarily about lack of sleep. However, fatigue is a perceived feeling of being tired that is much more likely to occur in people who have depression, anxiety, or emotional stress and/or are overweight and physically inactive[5].

Symptoms of fatigue include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low stamina
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Low motivation

These symptoms may sound similar to those of tiredness, but they usually last longer and are more intense.

Unfortunately, there is no definitive reason why fatigue occurs because it can be a symptom of an emotional or physical illness. However, there are still a number of steps you can take to reduce difficult symptoms by making a few simple lifestyle changes.

How Much Sleep Is Enough?

The number one reason you may feel tired is because of sleep deprivation, which means you are not getting enough high-quality sleep.

Research suggests that most adults need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality, uninterrupted sleep per night[6]. If you’re sleep deprived, the amount of sleep you need increases.

Get the right amount of sleep to stop feeling tired.

    The key to quality sleep is being able to get long, uninterrupted sleep cycles throughout the night. It typically takes 90 minutes for you to reach a state of deep REM sleep where your body’s healing crew goes to work.

    Ideally, you want to get at least 3 to 4 deep REM sleep cycles in per night. That’s why it’s so important to stay asleep for 7 or more hours.

    Research also shows that people who think they can get by on less sleep don’t perform as well as people who get at least seven hours of sleep a night[7]

    If you are not getting 7 hours of high-quality sleep regularly, then sleep deprivation is the most likely reason you feel tired all the time. That is actually good news because sleep deprivation is much simpler and easier to address than the other root causes.

    It’s also a good idea to rule out sleep deprivation as the reason why you are tired before moving on to the other possibilities, such as fatigue or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which may require a doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

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    4 Simple Changes to Reduce Fatigue

    Personally, I’m a big believer in upgrading your lifestyle to uplift your life. I overcame chronic stress and exhaustion by making these four changes to my lifestyle:

    1. Eating healthy, home-cooked meals versus microwaving processed foods or eating out
    2. Exercising regularly
    3. Using stressbusters
    4. Creating a bedtime routine to sleep better

    After I made the 4 simple changes in my lifestyle, I no longer felt exhausted all of the time.

    I was so excited that I wanted to help others replace stress and exhaustion with rest and well-being, too. That’s why I became a Certified Holistic Wellness Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute.

    Interestingly enough, I discovered that Dr. Sears recommends a somewhat similar L.E.A.N. lifestyle:

    • L is for Lifestyle and means living healthy, including getting enough sleep.
    • E is for Exercise and means getting at least 20 minutes of physical activity a day, ideally for six days a week.
    • A is for Attitude and means thinking positive and reducing stress whenever possible.
    • N is for Nutrition and means emphasizing a right-fat diet, not a low-fat diet.

    The L.E.A.N. lifestyle is a scientifically-proven way to reduce fatigue, get to the optimal weight, and to achieve overall wellness.[8]

    Living Healthy

    Getting enough high-quality sleep every day is the surefire way to help you feel less fatigued, more rested, and better overall.

    In fact, if you aren’t getting enough sleep, your body isn’t getting the time it needs to repair itself; meaning that if you are suffering from an illness, it’s far more likely to linger. In fact, long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to an increase in Alzheimer’s later in life[9].

    As unlikely as it sounds, though, fatigue can sometimes make it difficult to sleep. That’s why I’d recommend taking a look at your bedtime routine before you go to bed and optimize it based on sleep best practices.

    Here are 3 quick and easy tips for creating a pro-sleep bedtime routine:

    1. Unplug

    Many of us try to unwind by watching TV or doing something on an iPhone or tablet. However, tech can affect your melatonin production due to the blue light that they emit, fooling your body into thinking it’s still daytime. This won’t help you stop feeling tired all the time.

    Try to turn off all tech one hour before bed and create a tech-free zone in your bedroom.

    2. Unwind

    Use the time before bed to do something you find relaxing such as reading a book, listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking an Epsom salt bath.

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    3. Get Comfortable

    Ensure your bed is comfortable and your room is set up for sleep.

    Make sure you room is cool. 60-68 degrees is the ideal temperature for most people to sleep. Also, it’s ideal if your bedroom is dark and there is no noise.

    Finally, make sure everything is handled (e.g., laying out tomorrow’s clothes) before you get into your nice, comfy bed. If your mind is still active, write a to-do list to help you fall asleep faster.[10]

    This article also offers practical tips to build a bedtime routine: How to Build a Good Bedtime Routine That Makes Your Morning Easier

    Exercise

    Many people know that exercise is good for them, but they just can’t figure out how to fit it into their busy schedules.

    That’s what happened in my case, but when my chronic stress and exhaustion turned into systemic inflammation (which can lead to major diseases like Alzheimer’s), I realized it was time to change my sedentary lifestyle.

    I decided to start swimming because it was something I had always loved to do. Find an exercise you love and stick to it to stop feeling tired all the time. Ideally, get a combination of endurance training, strength training, and flexibility training during your daily 20-minute workout.

    If you haven’t exercised in a while and have a lot of stress in your life, you may want to give yoga a try as it will increase your flexibility and lower your stress.

    Attitude

    Stress may be a major reason why you aren’t feeling well all of the time. At least that was the case with me.

    When I worked 70 hours per week as a High-Tech Executive, I felt chronically stressed and exhausted, but there was one thing that always worked to help me feel calmer and less fatigued: Breathing.

    But not just any old breathing. It was a special form of deep Yogic breathing called the “Long-Exhale Breathing” or “4-7-8 breathing” (or “Pranayama” in Sanskrit).

    Here’s how you do Long-Exhale Breathing:

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    1. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight and your hand on your tummy.
    2. Breathe in deeply and slowly from your diaphragm with your mouth closed while you count to 4 (ideally until your stomach feels full of air).
    3. Hold your breath while you mentally count to 7 and enjoy the stillness.
    4. Breathe out through your mouth with a “ha” sound while you count to 8 (or until your stomach has no more air in it).
    5. Pause after you finish your exhale while you notice the sense of wholeness and relaxation from completing one conscious, deep breath.
    6. Repeat 3 times, ensuring your exhale is longer than your inhale so you relax your nervous system.

    This type of “long-exhale breathing” is scientifically proven to reduce stress.

    When your exhale is twice as long as your inhale, it soothes your parasympathetic nervous system, which regulates the relaxation response.[11]

    Nutrition

    Diet is vital for beating fatigue if you’re feeling tired all the time – after all, food is your main source of energy.

    If your diet is poor, then it implies you’re not getting the nutrients you need to sustain healthy energy levels, which may lead to daytime sleepiness.

    Eating a diet for fatigue doesn’t need to be complicated or time-consuming though. For most people, it’s just a case of swapping a few unhealthy foods for a few healthier ones, like switching from low-fiber, processed foods to whole, high-fiber foods.

    Here’re 9 simple diet swaps you can make today:

    1. Replace your morning coffee with Matcha green tea and drink only herbal tea within six hours of bedtime.
    2. Add a healthy fat or protein to any carb you eat, especially if you eat before bed.
    3. Fill up with fiber, especially green leafy vegetables.
    4. Replace refined, processed, low-fiber pastas and grains with zucchini noodles and whole grains such as buckwheat, quinoa, sorghum, oats, amaranth, millet, teff, brown rice, and corn.
    5. Swap natural sweeteners for refined sugars, and try to ensure you don’t get more than 25g of sugar a day if you are a woman and 30g of sugar a day if you are a man.
    6. Replace ice cream with low-sugar alternatives.
    7. Swap omega-6, partially-hydrogenated oils such as corn, palm, sunflower, safflower, cotton, canola and soybean oil for omega-3 oils such as flax, olive, and nut oils.
    8. Replace high-sugar yoghurts with low-sugar, dairy-free yoghurts.
    9. Swap your sugar-laden soda for sparkling water with a splash of low-sugar juice.

    Also, ensure your diet is giving you enough of the daily essential vitamins and minerals. Most of us don’t get enough Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium. If you are low on any of the above vitamins and minerals, you may experience fatigue and low energy.

    That’s why it’s always worth having your doctor check your levels. If you find any of them are low, then try to eat foods rich in them.

    Alternatively, you might consider a high-quality multivitamin or specific supplement.

    The Bottom Line

    If you are tired of feeling tired all the time, then there is tremendous hope.

    If you are tired because you are not getting enough high-quality sleep, then the best remedy is a bedtime routine based on sleep best practices. If you are tired because you have stress and fatigue, then the best remedy are four simple lifestyle changes discussed above.

    Overall, adopting a healthier lifestyle is the ideal remedy for feeling more rested and energized.

    More Tips to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time

    Featured photo credit: Cris Saur via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] YouGov: Two-fifths of Americans are tired most of the week
    [2] National Safety Council: Is Your Company Confronting Workplace Fatigue?
    [3] The New York Times: Why Are We So Freaking Tired?
    [4] Mayo Clinic: Chronic fatigue syndrome
    [5] Very Well Health: Differences Between Sleepiness and Fatigue
    [6] Advanced Sleep Medicine Services: NEW Guidelines: How much sleep do you need?
    [7] Mayo Clinic: Lack of sleep: Can it make you sick?
    [8] Ask Dr. Sears: The L.E.A.N. Lifestyle
    [9] National Institute on Aging: Sleep loss encourages spread of toxic Alzheimer’s protein
    [10] American Psychological Association: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
    [11] Yoga International: Learning to Exhale: 2-to-1 Breathing

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