Diet For Fast Weight Loss

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Diet For Fast Weight Loss: Losing weight is one of the best ways to improve your health and wellbeing. However, it’s also a process that can be challenging. To have a sustainable weight loss plan, you need to create a healthy diet for fast weight loss that is both enjoyable and will produce results. The following article explores some great tips for losing weight fast that can help you lose between 1 pound and 2 pounds per week, which is considered healthy and realistic when considering long-term results.

Diet For Fast Weight Loss

If your doctor recommends it, there are ways to lose weight safely. A steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended for the most effective long-term weight management.

That said, many eating plans leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied. These are major reasons why you might find it hard to stick to a healthier eating plan.

However, not all diets have this effect. Low carb diets and whole food, lower calorie diets are effective for weight loss and may be easier to stick to than other diets.

Here are some ways to lose weight that employ healthy eating, potentially lower carbs, and that aim to:

  • reduce your appetite
  • cause fast weight loss
  • improve your metabolic health at the same time

How to Lose Weight Fast in 3 Simple Steps

1. Cut back on refined carbs

One way to lose weight quickly is to cut back on sugars and starches, or carbohydrates. This could be with a low carb eating plan or by reducing refined carbs and replacing them with whole grains.

When you do that, your hunger levels go down, and you generally end up eating fewer calories.

With a low carb eating plan, you’ll utilize burning stored fat for energy instead of carbs.

If you choose to eat more complex carbs like whole grains along with a calorie deficit, you’ll benefit from higher fiber and digest them more slowly. This makes them more filling to keep you satisfied.

A 2020 study confirmed that a very low carbohydrate diet was beneficial for losing weight in older populations.

Research also suggests that a low carb diet can reduce appetite, which may lead to eating fewer calories without thinking about it or feeling hungry.

Note that the long-term effects of a low carb diet are still being researched. It can also be difficult to adhere to a low carb diet, which may lead to yo-yo dieting and less success in maintaining a healthy weight.

There are potential downsides to a low carb diet that may lead you to a different method. Reduced calorie diets can also lead to weight loss and be easier to maintain for longer periods of time.

If you opt for a diet focusing instead on whole grains over refined carbs, a 2019 study correlated high whole grain with lower body mass index (BMI).

To determine the best way for you to lose weight, consult your doctor for recommendations.

2. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables

Each one of your meals should include:

  • a protein source
  • fat source
  • vegetables
  • a small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains

To see how you can assemble your meals, check out:

  • this low carb meal plan
  • this lower calorie meal plan
  • these lists of 101 healthy low carb recipes and low calorie foods

Protein

Eating a recommended amount of protein is essential to help preserve your health and muscle mass while losing weight.

Evidence suggests that eating adequate protein may improve cardiometabolic risk factors, appetite, and body weight.

Here’s how to determine how much you need to eat without eating too much. Many factors determine your specific needs, but generally, an average person needs:

  • 56–91 grams per day for the average male
  • 46–75 grams per day for the average female

Diets with adequate protein can also help:

  • reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%
  • reduce the desire to snack late at night by half
  • make you feel full

In one study, people on a higher protein diet ate 441 fewer calories per day.

Healthy protein sources include:

  • meat: beef, chicken, pork, and lamb
  • fish and seafood: salmon, trout, and shrimp
  • eggs: whole eggs with the yolk
  • plant-based proteins: beans, legumes, quinoa, tempeh, and tofu

Low carb and leafy green vegetables

Don’t be afraid to load your plate with leafy green vegetables. They’re packed with nutrients, and you can eat very large amounts without greatly increasing calories and carbs.

Vegetables to include for low carb or low calorie eating plans:

  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • tomatoes
  • kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • lettuce
  • cucumber

Healthy Fats

Don’t be afraid of eating fats.

Your body still requires healthy fats no matter what eating plan you choose. Olive oil and avocado oil are great choices for including in your eating plan.

Other fats such as butter and coconut oil should be used only in moderation due to their higher saturated fat content.

3. Move your body

Exercise, while not required to lose weight, can help you lose weight more quickly. Lifting weights has particularly good benefits.

By lifting weights, you’ll burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight.

Try going to the gym three to four times a week to lift weights. If you’re new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice. Make sure your doctor is also aware of any new exercise plans.

If lifting weights is not an option for you, doing some cardio workouts such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, or swimming is very beneficial for weight loss and general health.

Both cardio and weightlifting can help with weight loss.

What About Calories And Portion Control?

If you opt for a low carb eating plan, it’s not necessary to count calories as long as you keep your carb intake very low and stick to protein, fat, and low carb vegetables.

If you find yourself not losing weight, you may want to keep track of your calories to see if that’s a contributing factor.

If you’re sticking to a calorie deficit to lose weight, you can use a free online calculator like this one.

Enter your sex, weight, height, and activity levels. The calculator will tell you how many calories to eat per day to maintain your weight, lose weight, or lose weight fast.

You can also download free, easy-to-use calorie counters from websites and app stores. Here’s a list of 5 calorie counters to try.

Note that eating too few calories can be dangerous and less effective for losing weight. Aim to reduce your calories by a sustainable and healthy amount based on your doctor’s recommendation.

9 Weight Loss Tips

Here are 9 more tips to lose weight faster:

  1. Eat a high protein breakfast. Eating a high protein breakfast could help reduce cravings and calorie intake throughout the day.
  2. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. Empty calories from sugar aren’t useful to your body and can hinder weight loss.
  3. Drink water before meals. One study showed that drinking water before meals reduced calorie intake and may be effective in weight management.
  4. Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. Some foods are better for weight loss than others. Here is a list of healthy weight-loss-friendly foods.
  5. Eat soluble fiber. Studies show that soluble fibers may promote weight loss. Fiber supplements like glucomannan can also help.
  6. Drink coffee or tea. Caffeine consumption can boost your metabolism.
  7. Base your diet on whole foods. They’re healthier, more filling, and much less likely to cause overeating than processed foods.
  8. Eat slowly. Eating quickly can lead to weight gain over time, while eating slowly makes you feel more full and boosts weight-reducing hormones.
  9. Get good quality sleep. Sleep is important for many reasons, and poor sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for weight gain.

Sample Meal Ideas For Fast Weight Loss

These sample meal plans are low carb, which limits carbs to 20–50 carbs per day. Each meal should have protein, healthy fats, and veggies.

If you’d prefer to lose weight while still eating complex carbs, add in some healthy whole grains such as:

  • quinoa
  • whole oats
  • whole wheat
  • bran
  • rye
  • barley

Breakfast ideas

  • poached egg with sliced avocado and a side of berries
  • spinach, mushroom, and feta crustless quiche
  • green smoothie with spinach, avocado, and nut milk and a side of cottage cheese
  • unsweetened Greek yogurt with berries and almonds

Lunch ideas

  • smoked salmon with avocado and a side of asparagus
  • lettuce wrap with grilled chicken, black beans, red pepper, and salsa
  • kale and spinach salad with grilled tofu, chickpeas, and guacamole
  • BLT wrap with celery sticks and peanut butter

Dinner ideas

  • enchilada salad with chicken, peppers, mango, avocado, and spices
  • ground turkey bake with mushrooms, onions, peppers, and cheese
  • antipasto salad with white beans, asparagus, cucumbers, olive oil, and Parmesan
  • roasted cauliflower with tempeh, Brussels sprouts, and pine nuts
  • salmon baked with ginger, sesame oil, and roasted zucchini

Snack ideas

  • cauliflower hummus and veggies
  • healthy homemade trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
  • kale chips
  • cottage cheese with cinnamon and flaxseeds
  • spicy roasted chickpeas
  • roasted pumpkin seeds
  • tuna pouches
  • steamed edamame
  • strawberries and brie

How Fast Will You Lose Weight?

You may lose 5–10 pounds (2.3–4.5 kg) of weight — sometimes more — in the first week of a diet plan and then lose weight consistently after that. The first week is usually a loss of both body fat and water weight.

If you’re new to dieting, weight loss may happen more quickly. The more weight you have to lose, the faster you’ll lose it.

Unless your doctor suggests otherwise, losing 1–2 pounds per week is usually a safe amount. If you’re trying to lose weight faster than that, speak to your doctor about a safe level of calorie reduction.

Aside from weight loss, a low carb diet can improve your health in a few ways, though the long-term effects are not yet known:

  • blood sugar levels tend to significantly decrease on low carb diets
  • triglycerides tend to go down
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol goes down
  • blood pressure improves significantly

Other diet types that reduce calories and increase whole foods are also associated with improved metabolic markers and slower aging. Ultimately, you may find a more balanced diet that includes complex carbohydrates is more sustainable.

Diets That Work Fast: Fastest Diet Plans For Quick Results

When you’re trying to lose weight, it’s easy to think diets that work fast are the way forward. Quick and easy, many promise maximum weight loss in minimum time. 

But the more extreme weight loss methods often promote unhealthy weight loss ideas and can end up causing more problems than creating solutions in the long run. As advice from the NHS says, “If you’re trying to lose weight, the safe weekly rate of weight loss is between 0.5kg and 1kg. That’s between around 1lb and 2lb a week. Lose weight faster than this and you’re at risk of health problems that include malnutrition and gallstones, as well as feeling tired and unwell.”

Experts from the NHS to dieticians and personal trainers will confirm that losing weight consistently is better for long term weight loss than a sudden drop, there are some ways to lose pounds quickly that are healthy. So whether it’s lockdown weight gain you’re trying to shed or just looking to transform your diet, these are the diets that actually work.

These Are The Diets That Work Fast

When trying to lose weight, whatever the diet you choose, establishing a calorie deficit is a “great place to start”. Constantinos Yiallouros, the head of fitness at Anytime Fitness UK, says, “Without expending more calories than you take in, you’re unlikely to lose weight and achieve the results that you want.

“There are simple tools online for you to calculate the number of calories that your body needs to maintain your weight. From then, you need to set yourself an achievable deficit which you can attain from your food consumption and your physical activity. There’s no one size fits all approach but in general, the rule of thumb is that by having a daily deficit of 500 calories, it should result in one pound of weight loss per week.”

Here are some of the most common diets that work to get you into a calorie deficit quickly…

1. High protein diet plan

High protein diets work fast – and more easily than others. Studies from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that a higher intake of protein increases the level of fullness you feel. This is because protein works to increase the hormones GLP-1, peptide YY and cholecystokinin and decrease the ghrelin hormone, which causes hunger. It also works to increase your metabolic rate while sleeping.

Woman using calorie counter app to see what diet work fast

Foods that are high in protein are also easily-accessible, with plenty of high protein breakfast ideas out there. This diet doesn’t require a special plan either, other than the standard calorie deficit if you’re looking for optimum weight loss. Foods with a particularly high protein count include:

  • Eggs (6g of protein per egg)
  • Nuts, especially almonds (6g of protein per 28g)
  • Chicken (53g of protein per chicken breast)
  • Oats (11g of protein per 128g)
  • Lean beef (25g of protein per 85g)
  • Tuna (27g of protein per 142g)
  • Lentils (18g of protein per 198g)
  • Greek yogurt (17g of protein per 170g)

There are many diets that revolve around this idea with The Dukan Diet being one of the most popular high-protein plans out there.

2. Detox diet plan

‘Detoxing’ is a buzz word in the diet and wellness industry. While many people immediately associate detoxing with green juices, kale smoothies and a lack of ‘real’ food, it doesn’t have to be that way. The body naturally takes itself through a detox with processes in the liver and kidneys, but the addition of more macronutrients, vitamins and minerals in your diet will help the journey along. More fruits and vegetables have also been linked to better skin, an improvement in hair growth and more energy day-to-day – as well as weight loss.

Some of the best foods to eat on a detox include those that include high amounts of protein, B vitamins, vitamin E and C, magnesium, selenium and zinc. These include affordable, accessible and versatile foods such as potatoes, wholemeal toast, yogurt, eggs, green and fibrous vegetables, lentils and chickpeas.

As all these foods are also low in calories, you’re more likely to be able to get into your calorie deficit as well and stay full in the meantime. As the foods are lower in calories, you can have more of them without exceeding your target for the day.

3. The 5:2 diet

Just one of the ways to get into intermittent fasting, the 5:2 diet plan is one of the most popular diets that work fast out there. It involves fasting, which is eating a restricted number of calories for two days of the week and your maintenance calorie level for the other five. While some people have said that your calorie target on fasting days should be around the 600 mark, founder of the diet Dr Michael Mosely has also said that 800 calories on fast days is a good number to aim for to achieve results.

Salad, one of the main components of the 5:2 diet

This comes largely from research on similar types of short-term, low-calorie diets of around 450 to 800 calories per day. One study from 2017 found that both rapid weight loss and long-term weight loss plans “caused reduction in waist circumference, hip circumference, total body water, body fat mass, lean body mass, and resting metabolic rate (RMR)”. They did find, however, that those who lost weight slowly over time retained more muscle mass than those who did it quicker.

Intermittent fasting may be difficult when you get going and the 5:2 diet should only be attempted for a limited amount of time before going into your maintenance phase. But, it’s a successful way to drop pounds quickly.

4. The 16:8 diet plan

A similar plan to the 5:2 but with a different time scale is the 16:8 diet plan, which uses similar theories of calorie restriction to create a diet that works to help weight loss quickly.

The 16:8 diet plan stems from the 8 Hour Diet book by author David Zinczenko and editor-in-chief of Men’s Health, Peter Moore. They suggest that a longer fasting time between eating gives the body the time it needs to process the food and burn away any extra fat. Also called the 8 Hour Diet, this type of intermittent fasting breaks the day up into two parts – a 16 hour period and an 8 hour period. For the larger portion of the day, you eat and drink nothing but water, coffee and other unsweetened drinks. Then for eight hours, you eat all your meals and snacks.

While the 16 hour period may seem like ages, this is stretched over your regular sleeping time so you’re only fasting for about eight hours in actuality.

A 2014 review into 16:8 fasting shows that it’s a good alternative to traditional methods of getting into a calorie deficit. It also helps to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and aids weight loss in people who are overweight or obese.

Another study from 2018 found that this 8-hour eating window could also help to reduce blood pressure in adults who are obese.

5. Palaeolithic diet plan

The Paleo diet plan is all about going back to the basics and has long been cited as one of the diets that work fast. This plan involves eating mainly whole foods, vegetables, fruit, lean meats, nuts and seeds, similar to how hunter-gatherers would have eaten all those millennia ago. Much like the detox, the Paleo diet also restricts particular foods, including processed items, grains, sugar, and dairy in some circumstances.

One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a Palaeolithic diet “resulted in greater short-term improvements in metabolic syndrome components than did guideline-based control diets.” This means that the diet was found to be better than standard portion and calorie-controlled diets at improving our metabolic rate, which helps us to burn calories outside of exercise.

Salmon on a plate, part of the Mediterranean diet

Another set of research from 2016 on people with type two diabetes found that the diet improved fat mass and metabolic balance, improving insulin sensitivity, glycemic control, and leptin.

There’s also multiple studies that suggest the Paleo diet could be more effective for weight loss than similar ones, such as the Mediterranean diet or low-fat diets. One study from 2013 which looked at the difference between the Paleo diet and the diabetes diet suggests this might be because the Paleo diet is orientated around high-protein foods. These are more filling and help you feel satiated for longer.

6. Low-carb diets

It’s not recommended to cut carbohydrates completely from your diet. As Constantinos says, “you still need to be consuming the right foods to achieve your [calorie] deficit. Having a healthy balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates is the essential backbone of your diet.”

However, there are plenty of low-carb diets that have hit the headlines over the years for being effective diets that work fast to help people lose weight. Our bodies break down carbohydrates and fat into sugar, which then gives us lots of energy. These diets are based around the idea that if we don’t eat carbohydrates then our bodies will used fat which has been stored for energy instead, allowing us to lose weight quickly.

The most popular ones include the Atkins diet and the ketogenic diet. However, these are two of the more drastic diets as they cut down carbohydrate levels to less than 10% of total calories. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, this should normally be a minimum of 45%. So while these diets may have their benefits, be sure to consult a health professional beforehand if you’re thinking of taking one on.

For a less restrictive version of the ketogenic diet, many prefer the Lazy Keto Diet which is significantly less restrictive and you don’t have to track all your macronutrients.

7. The Mediterranean diet

People living in Mediterranean countries, such as Italy and Greece, have traditionally followed a diet that’s mainly composed of:

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Bread
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Potatoes
  • Red wine
  • Fish and poultry
  • Dairy and eggs

While all these components are high in macronutrients, including carbohydrates and protein, the main fat in the Mediterranean diet is extra virgin olive oil. Red meat also only plays a very minor role in the diet.

Shakshuka served in frying pan

There are several studies which show that the rates of heart disease in these countries seems to be significantly lower than those living in the United States.

Further research published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2004 also shows, however, that the Mediterranean diet is an effective method of weight loss as well. In this particular study, almost 200 people with metabolic syndrome followed either a low fat or a Mediterranean diet for two and a half years. At the end of the study, 44% of patients who had followed the Mediterranean diet still had the condition – compared to a significantly higher 86% of the patients on the other diet.

The same group on the Mediterranean diet experienced an overall decrease in body weight as well, suggesting that over even just a short period of time, this is an effective weight loss method. This was by 4kg in the Mediterranean group and just 1.2kg in the low fat diet group.

In a similar study from 2008 involved 322 people with obesity. Participants followed either a calorie-restricted low fat diet, a calorie-restricted Mediterranean diet or a unrestricted low carbohydrate diet. The group who followed the Mediterranean diet showed similar results to the earlier study with an average weight loss of 4.4kg over one year. This is compared to the low fat group who lost 2.9kg and the unrestricted, low carbohydrate group who lost 4.7kg over the same time period.

How Important Is Exercise For Weight Loss?

They’re equally important as each other, says Constantinos at Anytime Fitness, as they “work together in tandem”.

He says, “I would say that initially, your diet is the most important thing to focus on and it isn’t unheard of that a personal trainer would give a client two weeks or so to focus on getting their nutrition right before starting their physical activity programme.

“By dieting alone, consistent weight loss can be more difficult due to your body quickly adapting to your lower calorie intake and becoming more efficient in processing food. While you may see an initial drop on the scales, this will likely tail off as to keep up the same rate of weight loss, you will need to keep cutting even more calories which is unlikely to be sustainable.

“There are several scientific studies that show people lose more body weight by combining diet and exercise. Furthermore, not only do you lose more weight, almost all of it will go hand in hand with a reduction in body fat. If you’re losing weight by dieting alone, you are likely to be losing muscle mass too which can further reduce your metabolic rate.”

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