If you want to lose weight fast but find that exercise is not easy to come by, cleaning up your diet can be an effective alternative. Eating too many calories can lead to unhealthy accumulations of body fat. If you aren’t very active during the day, your diet will be a key factor in how much weight you can lose. Simple portion control and making healthy food choices can be enough to help you lose weight in a short amount of time. Sticking to a few simple dietary guidelines can put you on the right track.
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Eat the right foods. If you snack on junk food frequently or eat fast food more often than not, you’re more than likely putting more calories in your body than you need at one time. Junk foods typically contain large quantities of sugar, sodium and unhealthy fats, all of which promote weight gain. Avoid foods like these and stick to lean meats, fruits, vegetables, whole grains and healthy fats. These foods are low in calories and contain nutrients that help you build muscle and promote healthy digestion — both of which help you lose weight more quickly.
Eat smaller meals more frequently. Portioning your meals lets you eat more often. Eating more often keeps your metabolism higher and lets you burn more calories. According to the American Council on Exercise, digestion accounts for roughly 10 percent of calories you burn daily. Eating more often also ensures that your blood sugar levels stay normal and keep you from overeating at meals. Stick to small 200- to 300-calorie meals, each roughly two to three hours apart.
Spread out your nutrients each meal. To lose weight you’ll have to eat the right combination of nutrients consistently. Eating too many carbohydrates at one meal can lead to fat storage, while eating too much protein can cause constipation. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, you should aim to eat 20 percent to 35 percent of your daily calories from protein; 45 percent to 65 percent from carbohydrates; and about 15 percent to 25 percent from healthy fats. Apply these ratios to each meal to ensure proper nutrient intake.
Drink your water cold. Drinking water can help take up space in your stomach, preventing you from overeating. Water also helps with digestion, keeps your joints lubricated and helps facilitate metabolic processes that help you burn calories. When you drink water cold, you temporarily dip you core temperature. Your body fixes this by expending more calories to heat your temperature back to normal. Try drinking about eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to stay hydrated.
- “NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition”; National Strength and Conditioning Association; 2011
- “Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant Manual”; American Council on Exercise; 2008