How to Lose Weight Fast: 8 Simple Steps
Have you ever gone on a diet, lost weight, and still ended up feeling drained, grumpy or unhappy?
How about losing weight, only to put on even more pounds a few months later?
Are you tired of “gurus” across the web arguing on what to eat and what not to eat?
Well it turns out that you can dramatically lose weight quickly and healthily by following a few simple eating habits.
In today’s post, we will show you exactly how to do lose weight fast and prevent you from gaining it all back again.
How to Lose Weight Fast: It all starts in the kitchen
There are a variety of ways to lose weight fast.
Unfortunately, most methods make you feel hungry, unfulfilled and unwell.
This post serves as a healthy, step-by-step guide to make you lose weight quickly and naturally.
Just to give you some facts: Did you know that in the US alone, more than 2 out of 3 adults are considered to be overweight or obese? (1)
With access to a surplus of processed foods it easy to get caught up regularly consuming empty-calorie foods and drink.
The major problem is that there are vast amounts of mis-information available online.
Do you ever see studies that suggest one type of food is beneficial for your health, then a few weeks later a new study comes out revealing that same food is now considered bad?
People are becoming frustrated and confused every day because of this misguidance.
To combat this problem, our team has put together our top techniques and methods for you to get back in shape and lose weight quickly and naturally right at home.
The first step is to completely cut out all processed food products from your diet.
Say goodbye to potato chips and deep friend chicken!
Fun fact: It may come as a surprise you that over 90% of Americans’ money spent is on processed food (2).
But why cut them out?
Processed foods are extremely high in calories, with a very low micronutrient content (i.e. no vitamins and minerals), leaving people overweight and malnourished.
Vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals (i.e. beneficial plant-based chemicals) are all needed to repair your complex immune system, keeping you healthy and fending off unwanted diseases.
Processed foods also contain lots of sugar and starches, which stimulates the production of insulin, the main fat storage hormone in your body.
Insulin’s role in the human body is to breakdown carbohydrates in to simple sugars (i.e. glucose) for energy, or store glucose for future use.
High insulin levels are often linked to central obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol irregularities, leading to metabolic syndrome.
Okay: Too much science for today …
In layman’s terms, cutting out processed foods allow your pancreas to start scaling back on insulin production, permitting fat to get out of fat stores, letting your body burn the fat.
By removing all processed foods from your diet, you naturally tend to eat a lower-carb diet.
When you combine removing processed food with limiting your sugar and starch intake, you are well on your way to lose weight quickly and naturally.
The graph (3) below shows weight-loss between low-carb vs. low-fat diets:
The low-carb diet is eating until you feel full, while the low-fat diet is calorie restricted (i.e. very unhealthy for you).
Over time, low-carb diets tend to shed weight quicker compared to the very unhealthy low-fat diet.
In addition, the low-carb diet will lower your insulin secretion to natural levels and you will start feeling less hungry, with your normal appetite restored.
Each meal should contain plant-based foods consisting of healthy fats and plant protein.
The main benefit of a Plant Based Diet:
- High Nutrient/Calorie Ratio
We believe Dr. Fuhrman’s work on nutritional science is incredibility valuable.
His “Nutritarian” food pyramid is based on the principals of high nutrient/calorie ratio eating.
Low-calorie, nutrient dense foods are at the base of the pyramid while high-calorie, nutrient poor foods (i.e. processed foods and empty-calorie foods) are at the top.
Colourful plant foods contain very powerful protective compounds, many of which still remain unnamed.
By regularly eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods, you will get access to the protective compounds our body needs to fight off disease and prevent illnesses affecting millions of Americans every year.
According to Dr. Fuhrman, 90% of the daily diet should be made up of nutrient-rich, plant-based foods.
The remaining 10% of your daily diet may include minimally processed foods.
These foods may consist of whole grain breads/cereal, tofu, and a limited amount of animal products (preferably no more than 5% of daily caloric intake).
What is the main benefit?
Eating plant protein reduces diabetes risk when compared to animal protein.
It would seem that only consuming carbohydrate-containing processed foods would increase the risk of developing type II diabetes, however taking that simplistic view is not enough.
Type II diabetes is not only driven by elevated glucose levels, it is also caused by chronic inflammation and oxidative stress.
So what is the solution? Have more plant protein.
There has been a substantial amount of evidence indicating that red and processed meats are linked to a greater risk in developing type II diabetes.
Many studies have compared animal and plant protein intake with respect to diabetes risk, concluding that plant protein is the best source to reduce the risk.
To further support this claim, a study published in 2016 found an increase in type II diabetes risk in those with the highest animal protein intake.
This study also conducted a meta-analysis on 11 previous studies and concluded that those groups with the highest animal protein intake had a 19% increase in developing type II diabetes, compared to groups with the lowest animal protein intake.
But how much protein is enough?
It is estimated that humans need 0.8g/kg/day (roughly 36 grams of protein per 100 pounds of body weight).
Quite a number of “specialists” suggest you count the number grams of protein in the food you eat.
We believe there is no need to do this.
If you are eating a variety of healthy, nutritious food then it is highly unlikely you will consume too little protein.
The best sources of protein:
- Green vegetables
Another benefit is that these foods are also low glycemic, meaning that they do not raise blood glucose levels too high.
Nuts & Seeds: Healthy fats and full of protein
Nut and seed consumption are linked with a lower BMI (4) and regular intake reduces the likelihood of becoming obese and putting on excess weight.
Eating 5 or more servings of nuts per week is estimated to reduce the risk of developing coronary heart disease by 35 % (5).
There are 3 known ways nuts and seeds are thought to contribute to weight loss:
- The fats and fiber slow the emptying of the stomach, making meals containing nuts and seeds filling. This results in reduced eating throughout the day from other food sources, and less calorie intake as a result.
- Studies have suggested that many calories in nuts do not get absorbed in the digestive tract. This means that ingesting an ounce of nuts (which are around 150-200 calories) does not deliver as many calories.
- Some research has suggested nuts and seeds may regularly increase our calorie expenditure at rest, although this area is still quite under-researched.
Pro tip: It is important to remember that it is not the fat content of a diet that makes it healthy or not, it is the nutrient content, specifically the micronutrient content (i.e. vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals).
The common micronutrients found in nuts & seeds:
- Amino-acid: Circulation-promoting arginine
- Minerals: Potassium/Selenium/Magnesium/Calcium
- Antioxidants: Flavonoids/Vitamin E/Carotenoids
Individuals trying to lose weight should not avoid nuts and seeds. Adding nuts and seeds to your diet help with weight loss and improve insulin sensitivity, which can prevent or reverse diabetes.
Keep in mind that nuts and seeds should not be eaten to excess.
Nuts and seeds are highly nutritious but also high in calories and should be consumed in consideration to your personal caloric needs.
Dr. Fuhrman suggests that consuming one ounce daily is usually suitable for women trying to lose weight and 1.5-2 ounces daily for overweight men.
There are 2 types of fat in your body and each type carries its own risks.
The most visible type of fat is called subcutaneous fat, located under the skin (e.g. “love-handles” which men tend to have, and for women in their hips and thighs).
The more dangerous type of fat is visceral fat, which lies deeper in your body and surrounds your organs like the liver and pancreas.
Drinking sugary drinks like sodas can contribute to gaining visceral fat, which is linked to more serious health issues.
A well-known study called the Framingham Heart Study, followed men and women for 6 years to look at the change in their visceral fat volume.
This was done using CT scans to provide a more clear-cut method in differentiating between visceral vs. subcutaneous fat in the abdominal region.
Over the 6-year period, there was an increase in visceral fat in all the participants. The increase was greater in those that usually drank 1 sugary drink a day.
In conclusion, the volume of visceral fat was 27% greater in daily consumers of sugary drinks compared to non-consumers.
How to lose visceral fat (Very Bad Fat):
The only thing you can control is how much fat you gain or lose.
Current resarch (6) suggests the best way to lose visceral fat is to lose fat in general, as any loss of total fat will reduce visceral fat.
Eating nutrient-rich, low-carb and processed-free foods break toxic food additions and are a natural way to lose these visceral fat deposits.
Exercise is crucial in maintaining your new weight- it also increases your life span at the same time!
You may be wondering how much time and effort is needed to truly reap the rewards of exercise being beneficial for your health…
Not much. Thankfully, even short exercise sessions can bring home great results.
The problem is that most Americans are not even meeting the bare minimum amount of exercise per week.
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should be doing a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week.
If you enjoy high intensity workouts, then 75 minutes a week should be fine.
To get the best results possible it is recommended that you try to double that amount of activity to get the additional benefits that come with exercise.
Fun Fact: The percentage of American’s who meet those guidelines has improved from 15.1% in 2000 to around 21.5% in 2014 (7).
Still a long way to go America! Lets make those stats get higher!
The best kept secret? Minimum consistent exercise pays off big time
Regular doses of moderate exercise can make a huge difference.
In an analysis of 6 studies, people who did regular exercise, which is even a smaller amount than the federal recommendation, had a 20% decrease in mortality risk compared to those with a sedentary lifestyle.
And for those that did more exercise?
A 31% decrease in risk for those that met the recommendation, while reaching a 39% reduction in risk with 3-5 times the federal recommendation.
The results suggest that moderate exercise improves your chances of living a longer life with the additional benefits of weight-loss.
When comparing the exercise of different intensities but same calorie expenditure, the exercises that were more intense had greater effects on cardiorespiratory fitness (i.e. the ability of your body’s circulatory and respiratory systems supplying fuel and oxygen when you are working out). (8)
So what are your exercise options?
You can start by doing low-impact aerobic exercises to get you going first:
Do as much walking as you can, whether indoors or outdoors.
Other than owning a good pair of trainers, you do not require any other specialized equipment.
You can also vary the intensity of your walks in regards to your fitness profile.
This is an excellent aerobic exercise that can be done both indoors or outdoors.
According to clevelandclinic.org (9), cycling is a good choice for people who are greater than 50 pounds overweight.
It is also great to combine both walking and cycling, as it is beneficial for your heart and overall cardiovascular health.
People who have joint pain or limited ability to jog/walk long distances may prefer to jump in the water for their aerobic activity.
This is a less impact, more resistance sport, providing the same cardiovascular workout you would do on land.
The elliptical machine is a low-impact running machine. The sliding motion of the footpads allows you to run without too much pressure on your ankles and knees.
Believe it or not, gaining weight after going on a diet is much more common than keeping the weight off.
It is often the case when dieters gain back more than they lost, and have a harder time losing weight the next time.
This is called “yo-yo dieting” – repeated episodes of deliberate weight-loss followed by unintended weight gain.
So what is the truth to forever keep the weight off?
Change your old diet and replace it with nutritious food. Lose the weight, and keep your new, healthier way of eating.
The human body responds to weight loss the same way it responds to starvation: it conserves energy.
The human brain sends messages to vital organs on whether to release appetite-enhancing or appetite-suppressing hormones based on information about calorie intake and your body’s stored energy.
When you lose weight, your body must also adapt chemically by adjusting the production of appetite-regulating hormones.
These hormones are called ghrelin and leptin, and when you lose weight they favor weight regain by increasing appetite and encouraging fat storage (10).
If you choose to go back to your old eating habits, it will be even more weight-gain promoting.
This is due to the chemical changes that took place in your body when you lost the weight.
Another point to keep in mind is that there will be accompanied expected muscle-loss.
If you gain weight back after dieting, that weight is predominantly fat, leaving the person with a higher body fat percentage pre-weight loss.
Risks of re-gaining weight:
“Yo-yo” dieting is extremely unhealthy.
Please pay attention to this:
Body fat is more than just stored energy; it also mimics an endocrine organ.
The fatty tissue contains a type of white blood cell known as a macrophage. It produces and secretes chemicals that affect the functions of other cell types within the body.
The fatty tissue is able to secrete compounds that can have a negative impact on your health, such as increased insulin resistance and lower immunity function.
Fatty tissue can also cause an increased risk of developing cancer due to its “growth-promoter” properties.
As fatty tissue increases, more of these pro-inflammatory compounds are produced, creating chronic inflammation and increasing the risks of developing various cardiovascular diseases and type II diabetes (14).
How to avoid weight cycling:
The best solution is to continue eating nutrient-rich, health promoting foods and rid yourself of your old eating habits.
Stay away from fad diets, they are not sustainable long-term and only provide short-term, unhealthy solutions.
A study has shown that over 80% of dieters are unable to keep 10% of their pre-diet body weight off for more than 1 year (15).
We recommend you read Dr. Fuhrman’s book “The End of Dieting” (16) to expand your knowledge on nutrition and forever keep that weight down!
Losing weight at home: Bonus tips
Tip 1: Start-meal prepping
This may take a few hours out of your week, but it is well worth it.
When you make meals ahead of time, your temptation to order take-away food is reduced.
This allows you to eat nutrient-rich power foods that strengthen your immune system and fight off unwanted disease, losing weight in the process.
Tip 2: Drink lots of green tea
Studies have shown that drinking green tea can boost your metabolism.
A study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who took green-tea extract 3 times a day had their metabolic rate increase by 4%.
Tip 3: Avoid alcoholic drinks
You may be wondering:
“But I thought red wine was good for me?”
We have all read that moderate consumption of alcohol (i.e. 1 drink/day for women and 2 drinks/day for men) may have some health benefits.
For example, red wine contains powerful antioxidants, but so do lots of vegetables and fruits! If you eat lots of plant-based foods, there really is no need to pick up a drink.
What are the other bad effects?
According to Dr. Fuhrman, drinking alcohol (especially more than one drink a day) can cause slight withdrawal sensations the next day.
These sensations can sometimes be mistaken for hunger, leading people to eat more than is required.
Tip 4: Eat more citrus fruits
- Rich in vitamins and minerals
Need more vitamin C? Citrus fruits are an excellent source.
In fact, one medium-sized orange has all the vitamin C you need in one day (17).
Citrus fruits also contain essential minerals, including potassium, B vitamins, magnesium and copper (18).
In total, these compounds have over 60 types of flavonoids, carotenoids and essential oils (19), all vital in supporting your immune system.
- Great source of fiber
It is recommended that you have at least 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories you eat.
Fun fact: In the US, on 4% of men and 13% of women consume that amount.
Fiber is vital in improving your health: It helps improve your digestion and aids in losing weight naturally.
And how about naturally lowering your cholesterol levels?
Oranges are high in soluble fiber. This type of fiber has been known to help lower cholesterol levels naturally (20).
- Improves heart function
Soluble fiber and flavonoids may improve cholesterol levels by raising “good” HDL cholesterol and lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol (21).
Also, a Japanese study (22) found that people who consume lots of citrus fruits had lower rates of heart disease and stroke.
Tip 5: Eat more spicy food
Adding spices to your recipes can speed up the weight-loss process.
According to nutritionist Pamela Peeke (23), when you eat hot peppers, it increases body heat and boosts metabolism up to 5%. Eating hot peppers also increases fat burning up to 16%!
Spicy food may also help you with your food cravings. Research from Purdue University found that eating spicy foods could decrease appetite, lowering your daily calorie intake.
Tip 6: Do not drink a lot of fruit juice
- The juice you buy may not as natural as it seems
You may be wondering?
“Isn’t fruit juice healthy?”
Be aware that the juice you buy in supermarkets may not be 100% “pure “ and “not from concentrate”.
Sometimes after juice has been made, it is usually stored in oxygen-depleted tanks for up to a year before it is actually packaged and sold to you.
This method often removes most of the flavor, so “flavor packs” (24) are often used as a substitute to make up for the lost taste.
So what’s the catch?
Do some research on juice brands and try your best to find juice that is not fruit-flavored sugar water.
- Liquid calories can be fattening
When we add a food to our daily diet, our brains “compensate” (25) , making us eat less of other food groups.
So if you eat lots of berries, your body will compensate by eating less of other foods to maintain the same calorie intake.
And liquid calories?
It turns out that liquid calories do not work in the same way as calories from solid foods.
When you add liquid calories to your diet, your body has trouble compensating (26) in eating less of other foods.
That is the problem with fruit juice: They do not contribute to fullness (27),making you eat more.
Some final words…
Stick to a plant-based diet, consuming a plethora of veggies and legumes that maximize your daily micronutrient intake.
Your body will thank you for all those vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals it so desperately needs to repair tissue and metabolic functions damaged from years of poor eating habits and unhealthy fad diets.
Keep it low-carb, stay away from processed food and exercise regularly to maximize your life span and enjoy a disease-free life!
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