If you’re overweight, disliking your appearance is the least of your worries. Excess pounds put you at a higher risk of health conditions, including stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, fatty liver disease and cancer. Considering the lengthy list of obesity-related disease paired with the desire to look your best, it’s no surprise if you desire to lose your excess fat as fast as possible. There’s no overnight fix, but you can adjust your lifestyle to promote quick, natural weight loss for the benefit of your health and your appearance.
Record the calories in every food and drink you consume for three days, add the totals together and then divide the result by three to find your average intake. Take 500 calories or more off this total to find your new daily calorie limit. Limiting yourself to your daily goal will help you lose weight as fast as possible, but never consume fewer than 1,200 calories in a day.
Replace all processed foods in your diet with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean meats, eggs, legumes, nuts, seeds and seafood. Focus on the variety of whole, unprocessed foods you can eat instead of dwelling on the junk food you eliminated from your diet.
Eat smaller portions at every meal and avoid going back for seconds. Take a smaller scoop of mashed potatoes, half of a steak instead of a whole steak and one less egg in your morning omelet, for example.
Make time for breakfast every morning. Eating breakfast helps prevent overeating and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a habit of people who successfully lose weight.
Pack to-go meals instead of eating convenience foods when you’re not home. Store foods like chopped fruits and vegetables or cooked grains, legumes, eggs and meats in your refrigerator so you always have something to grab when you’re in a rush. Buy fresh vegetables and fruits from the grocery store if you forget to bring healthful food from home.
Ask for nutrition information when you can’t avoid dining at a restaurant. Opt for a salad as a starter, and always ask for the dressing on the side. Broth-based soups, lean meats, seafood and grain-based dishes are other good choices. To prevent overeating, save at least half of any restaurant meal in a to-go box.
Exercise for 30 to 60 minutes at least three times per week to build muscle and burn more calories. Pilates, strength training, aerobics, swimming, dancing and calisthenics are ideal choices. If you’re new to exercising, try joining a class at a local gym, seeking the assistance of a physical trainer or buying an exercise DVD to follow at home.
Adopt physically demanding hobbies like bicycling, hiking, jogging, power walking or inline skating to promote faster weight loss. If you don’t have time for new hobbies, increase your physical activity with things like walking the dog, playing with the kids or jogging instead of driving to a nearby store.
Weigh yourself weekly and record your weight. Adjust your diet and physical activity according to the progress you’re making. For example, if you don’t lose weight for two weeks, you could adjust by downsizing your portions and adding 15 minutes of physical activity to every day.
- Weight-Control Information Network: Do You Know Some of the Health Risks of Being Overweight?
- Harvard School of Public Health: Healthy Weight
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Keeping It Off
- Harvard Health Publications: Lose Weight and Keep It Off
- MedlinePlus: Weight Control