Who doesn’t want to drop weight fast? After all, if you’re going to lose weight you might as well do it quickly, right? Well, fast weight loss isn’t always the best weight loss, nor is it always the safest. Crash diets are called “crash” for a reason. There might be a time and a place for it, such as if you need to drop weight for an event coming up quickly and you don’t mind putting it immediately back on.
However, if you’re serious about weight loss and want to keep it off you’ll need to know the best way to do this and how fast you can realistically expect to lose weight.
Here are the ins and outs of not only weight loss, but some of the current diets that claim massive weight loss potential early on.
Weight Loss Potential
Weight loss is all about burning more calories than you take in.
When you consume more calories than you burn your body will store the excess energy in fat cells. The cells will expand and contract, depending on the storage in each cell. Fat cells are very much like balloons.
The balloons are small when there is nothing inside, but as more air is blown into the balloon it expands and takes up space. The fat cells in your body do the same. When you consume more calories than you burn the fat cells will expand as it stores the energy.
However, as you burn more than you consume the energy is used to fuel your body and the fat cells will shrink. This is also why weight loss surgeries such as liposuction are short-term fixes. These surgeries will remove fat cells from the body, but if you continue to consume more calories the energy will simply be stored in remaining cells, which will eventually increase in size and return your body back to how it looked previously.
So since weight loss is all about burning more calories than you take in, how much weight can you realistically drop?
Well, according to the Mayo Clinic (2018), there are roughly 3,500 calories in a single pound. This means through a combination of diet and exercise you need to burn 3,500 more calories than you take in to shed a single pound.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says losing one to two pounds a week is healthy weight loss. Now, this does depend on what your starting weight is. If you are in need of dropping 100 or more pounds you can expect to lose more than one or two pounds per week early on.
However, if you’re 20 or 30 pounds overweight than one or two pounds is healthy.
Remember, weight loss isn’t about losing it all right away. You need to be in it for the long haul. And by aiming for two pounds a week it means you’ll cut 7,000 calories out of your diet. This might sound like a considerable amount, which it is, but with only a few adjustments you can easily slash 7,000 calories (or more) from your diet, all without too much difficulty.
Cutting Out Calories
First off, you need to find a diet that works for you. It’s also important to not look at it as a short-term diet. It needs to be a lifestyle change.
If you start a diet and after a few weeks don’t think it is plausible to maintain you need to try something else. Because if you can’t maintain the diet you’ll just end up binging later on and putting all the weight back on.
It takes time to shed a few pounds, yet you can put all of it back on in that matter of a few bad meals. Thankfully there are a lot of great lifestyle diets out there.
If you want a diet that doesn’t cut out entire food groups (like carbs, grains, fats, or anything like that) you might want to consider the Mediterranean Diet. The Nordic Diet is another great option that doesn’t get as much press (probably because Mediterranean just sounds sexier). Also known as the Baltic Sea diet, this diet is based on foods consumed in the Northern European region, which includes fruits, vegetables, and seafood. There isn’t much beef or cattle proteins in this diet. Whatever you do, go with something that you can sustain (Cooking Light, 2018).
Outside of the diet though you need to consider ways you can easily cut out calories. It’s far easier to chip away 100 calories in your diet than to burn 100 extra calories at the gym.
First, cut out soft drinks and juices.
A single can of Coke contains 150 calories. If you drink two of these a day that’s 300 calories. Cut the two cans out and that’s 2,100 calories you just chopped out of your diet without even changing your diet all that much.
From there, remove the sugar you pour into your coffee. One teaspoon of sugar in your coffee has 16 calories. And you probably put more than one teaspoon of sugar in your coffee. But let’s say you only do one, and you have two cups of coffee a day. That’s 32 calories a day, or over 200 calories a week.
You can see how quickly you can chip away calories from your diet. Need a way to sweeten up your coffee without sugar? Use cinnamon. You’ll cut the calories and boost your metabolic rate at the same time.
Another fast way to remove calories is the sauce. Ditch the creamy salad dressings for vinegar dressings. And use tomato based sauces instead of fatty cream sauces. These little changes will go a long way in helping you slash thousands of calories a week, all without major changes.
Super Charge Your Metabolism
Beyond removing calories from your diet and burning more calories at the gym you can super charge your metabolism. Your metabolism is the rate at which you use these calories. One of the main reasons why you’re more likely to put on weight as you get older is because your metabolism begins to slow down. This is why you can follow the same diet for years and only start to put on weight as you get older.
To help you drop weight faster you’ll want to eye ways to boost your metabolic rate. This way, you’ll burn more calories doing the same activities.
So how can you boost your metabolism?
It’s not as difficult as you might think. First, you’ll want to eat breakfast. Failure to eat breakfast will force your body to go into a conservation mode. This reduces the calories you burn throughout the day. Basically by skipping breakfast you’ll start your day behind the 8-ball. Even if it’s just a protein shake in the morning, always eat breakfast.
Focus on protein.
Protein is already the best energy source for weight loss. There are fewer calories per gram of protein than per gram of fat or carb. Protein also boosts your metabolic rate. According to Nutrition and Metabolism (2004), your body will experience a 10 percent increase in its metabolic rate when consuming protein.
Making sure you drink plenty of water will help as well.
Water will help your weight loss quest in a number of ways. First, it helps you stay hydrated, and as long as your body remains hydrated it won’t retain water. So while you’ll increase your need to use the bathroom it will help cut down on the water weight. You should drink water instead of other beverages (like soda), which will cut out unnecessary calories. It will also help boost your metabolism. So drinking more water is a win-win-win.
Working out will improve your metabolism as it forces your body to burn through more calories. The best way to boost your metabolic rate though is through a high-intensity workout. So while a slow jog is good, you want to elevate your heart rate.
If you struggle with this kind of workout you might want to consider a cardio class at your gym. Spin classes are great for this as it is low impact on your knees and a quality spin instructor will help work you through high-intensity intervals while mixing in some recovery time.
There are ways you can boost your metabolic rate with what you eat beyond protein.
Do you like spicy food?
If so, good, because it will help boost your metabolism. Cinnamon also helps increase your metabolism as well.
Lastly, you need to get quality sack time. A lack of sleep is a major culprit in weight gain. Your body needs time to rest and to recover if you worked out during the day. Also, the longer you stay awake the greater the chance of late night snacking.
Now, it doesn’t matter what time you eat food, so it doesn’t matter if you eat food at 5pm or 11pm, but you have a greater chance of consuming more calories if you stay up later and sleep less. So do what you can to get eight hours of sleep (Healthline, 2018).
Anti Carb Diets With Massive Weight Loss
If you’re on social media at all you’ve probably seen people posting about starting up a diet such at Atkins or keto, and they just won’t stop posting about all the weight they’ve lost in the first week or two. They’ll get online and put the world on blast over dropping 10 pounds in the first week. Naturally this all sounds pretty good, right? Of course, it does.
But is it sustainable, and what is the weight that is being dropped?
You will always drop the most weight early on when starting any kind of diet. Why? Because most of the weight you’re dropping isn’t real body weight. It’s water weight.
As you’re now regulating what you’re putting in your body will not retain as much water, which means you’ll push more water out of your body. This is why you will almost always notice an excellent drop in your weight during the first week or two. Low to no carb diets will emphasize this water weight drop.
Have you ever eaten a plate of pasta and, the next day, felt like your belly doubled in size?
It’s not that you suddenly put on 20 pounds. It’s because carbs more than anything else retain water. Depending on your body a single gram of carbs can hold two or three grams of water. There are 14 grams of carbs in 2 ounces of pasta.
So, let’s say you ate half a box of pasta one night for dinner. That’s eight ounces of pasta, which would be 56 grams of carbs. And that’s not including the sauce. At 56 grams of carbs your body might end up holding an additional 168 grams of water. In total, the carbohydrates alone in the pasta can cause your body to retain over 200 grams of carbs and water (Huffington Post, 2017).
By going with a low to no carb diet your body will not hold this kind of water, which will instantly help your body slim down and “drop weight.” But this kind of weight loss will stop after a few days. So while you might end up dropping 10 pounds during the first week or two of a ketodiet, almost all of it will be due to dropping water.
If you want to look good for a dance or other event coming up dropping the water weight is important, but if you’re serious about improving the overall appearance of your body long term the water weight loss will stop after a few days. Due to this, you need to follow a diet that works best for you.
Weight loss isn’t just a short term goal. It needs to be a way of life. So don’t go on crash diets or try to force yourself into losing too much weight too quickly. The slow and steady path is the best course of action, not to mention it’s the healthiest and will set you up for the greatest potential success long term. And long term is far more important than anything short term.