How To Lose Weight Fast and Simple

Contrary to common belief, there are actually many ways to lose weight fast.  However, that does not mean that there are many easy or healthy ways to lose weight fast.  What’s more is some strategies that target rapid weight loss leave an individual prone to rapid weight regain following completion of the intervention.  It is important to note that if you take the time to dive into the research a bit then you may find that there are some effective strategies for dropping weight quickly, easily, safely, and allow yourself the ability to maintain that weight loss.

Don’t Keep It Simple

Cutting simple carbohydrates are almost a must for allowing yourself to lose weight fast.  Simple carbohydrates like refined grains and simple sugars can wreak metabolic havoc on your body when consumed in high amounts.  Eating these foods leads to drastic increases in blood sugar and subsequently insulin levels.  Not only can this condition make burning fat that much harder, it can also cause you to overeat.  Many foods that contain simple carbohydrates are not only not very satiating but they can also stimulate the want for excess food intake.  Increases in blood glucose also means that there has to decrease in blood glucose (hypoglycemia).  These hypoglycemic episodes can lead to hunger pains that force you to consume more calories than you otherwise would have.  This can make losing weight much harder.

Furthermore, if we cut these foods out we can reduce our insulin levels which can allow you to lose weight fast.  While some of this weight lost is a result of increased water excretion, some of it is also coming from fat loss.  When insulin is lower, our pancreas secretes another hormone known as glucagon which can plan a key role in fat burning.

Restrict Carbohydrates

If you want to ramp up your weight loss even more than you can try restricting not only simple carbohydrates but all carbohydrates.  While many people like to believe that weight loss is a simple matter of calories in and calories out, plenty of studies have found that carbohydrate restriction leads to greater weight loss than a low-fat diet despite total calories being the same.  This is because when we restrict carbohydrates we can allow our bodies to transition in fat burning machines that can burn through our stored body fat at a rapid pace.

Carbohydrate restriction can come in many different forms, from carbohydrate cycling to a full-blown ketogenic diet.  While stricter approaches such as the ketogenic diet will likely lead to more robust results, carbohydrate cycling can still be a very effective mechanism to lose weight fast.

Related: Here are 20 easy and simple ways to help you stay fit

Train Intensely

The common belief is that it takes hours and hours in the gym to reach body composition goals.  However, this simply is not true.  What is more important is how you are spending your gym time.  If you are taking 5 minutes between an exercise to check Facebook or take a gym selfie, then it is likely that you are not maximizing your time in the gym and this is not an effective method for rapidly losing weight.

Instead, you should try to maximize your time in the gym by training at a higher intensity.  This is going to allow you to not only burn more calories and lose weight fast but also spend less time in the gym which will likely help you stay motivated to continue training.  You can even try high-intensity interval training or HIIT, which has been shown to not only lead to great calorie burning during your session but also greater calorie burning throughout the rest of the day!

Eat More Protein

Eating enough protein is crucial when following any diet to help prevent losing muscle.  Furthermore, protein can provide a thermic effect on the body which can allow for greater calorie burning.  The thermic effect of food refers to how many calories it takes to digest and absorb the different macronutrients.  Of the macronutrients, protein has the highest thermic effect meaning consuming more of it or consuming it in place of other macronutrients like carbohydrates can allow changes in body composition.

Related: How much protein do I need to eat daily?

Manage Your Hunger

Earlier I mentioned how cutting our simple sugar can improve your hunger.  Managing hunger is a very key aspect to losing weight fast.  If you fail to manage hunger then you can drastically slow down your progress.  Additionally, research has shown that not only does your hunger increase when dieting, but it can often remain elevated following a diet.  This means that taking the proper steps to manage hunger now could prevent you from rapidly regaining weight later.  Here are several other methods to improve your feelings of hunger.

 

1. Eat a High Fat Breakfast

  • Consuming more fat for breakfast can help you feel more during the rest of the day.

2. Try Fasting

  • While this may seem counterintuitive, intermittent fasting can actually allow you to feel fuller. It is important to note that this may take time and those just starting a fast may be prone to increases in hunger.  However, if you stick with your fasting strategy, you will likely find that you are not as hungry and you can go longer into the day without being hungry. See our post on the benefits of intermittent fasting

Related: The amazing benefits of intermittent fasting

3. Grab a Cup of Joe

  • Coffee can do a lot more for the body than just wake it up. Coffee has been known to have appetite suppressing effects.

While managing hunger will not directly lead to rapid weight loss, it is crucial to understand how it relates to maintaining steady progress when it comes to dieting.

Conclusion

As I stated at the beginning, there are many ways to lose weight fast, however many of these methods are not safe and can lead to long term problems.  Extreme calorie restriction for long periods of time coupled with hours spent in the gym could cause many problems that can effect short term and long term health.  Instead, the best approach is to see how your body reacts to the different strategies mapped out in this article and choose the ones that help you lose weight quicker and simpler.:

Related: Fasted Cardio – The benefits of training on an empty stomach

The Amazing Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Fasting is becoming a popular dietary protocol despite it having nothing to do with eating food at all. Contrary to common belief, fasting is no novel approach. In fact, fasting has been around as long as man has and there have even been references to this practice in the bible. Ben Franklin was even quoted saying, “the best of all medicine is resting and fasting.” This is because the art of fasting can not only be healthy but also therapeutic. Let’s start at the beginning.

What is Fasting?

Fasting is the avoidance of food and in some cases liquid for a certain period of time. Typically, fasting involved only consuming water to stay hydrated however, there are other fasting protocols that exist which we will go over in greater detail later. Fasting can provide great benefit ranging from cognitive performance to body composition and many more in between.

How Long Do You Fast For?

There are actually many different fasting protocols. Early studies looking at fasting were monitoring what happens when humans refrain from consuming foods for days, weeks, or in some cases even months at a time! While there are people out there who still use more extreme fasting protocols today, the majority of people take a much more modest approach which is referred to as intermittent fasting.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Intermittent fasting is the periodic restriction of food consumption. Typically, this consists of a 16-20 hour fasting and a 4-8 hour eating window. Some individuals may choose to take this approach on a daily basis while others may choose to do this several times per week.

While intermittent fasting is probably the most common fasting method we see today, there are other fasting protocols that you may find in the literature such as alternate day fasting which is one full day of fasting followed by a day of eating.

Regardless of your approach, it has been found that fasting is very beneficial to the human body. One of the reasons why this strategy is gaining so much popularity because of the many different benefits that it can provide!

 

What Are the Benefits of Fasting?

As mentioned previously, there are many different benefits of fasting. Different individuals may experience different benefits as well as different magnitudes of each benefit. Let’s touch now on some of the important benefits!

Ketone Production

Fasting can allow for some degree of ketone production depending on the length of the fast. A longer fast will lead to greater ketone production than a shorter one. If you are following a low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet then fasting may contribute to greater ketone production. Ketones can provide an array of benefits themselves including increased energy!

Related: Low carb diets and weight loss – Benefits of dieting on a low carb

Cognitive Focus

One of my personal favorite benefits of fasting is the increased cognitive focus. When a healthy individual fasts, they lower their blood glucose an increase their ketone production. Another way ketones can provide benefit is by being a fuel source for the brain. Additionally, the lowering and stabilizing of blood glucose can prevent lethargy like you may experience following a high carbohydrate breakfast.

Weight Loss

Fasting can have a profound effect on weight loss. When we restrict our bodies from food, we have to tap into our stored energy to keep our body functioning. For the healthy individual, this is likely stored body fat. Not only are you burning body fat but you are also likely eating fewer calories. Typically, we see that if you are restricting yourself from eating for a large window, then you incidentally consume fewer calories which can further contribute to weight loss. See how fasted cardio can improve training

Hunger Reduction

This benefit may seem like a big surprise since we automatically assume that fasting will lead to a huge appetite. The truth is, at first it might. But once you are used to fasting it is very common to experience satiety or fullness during the fasting period. There are many proposed mechanisms at play but one may be the stabilizing of blood sugar

Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the primary factors contributing to many of the chronic diseases we see today. Fasting has been shown to decrease certain markers of inflammation. This could be due in part to reduced blood glucose but also due to an anti-inflammatory mechanism of ketones.

Heart

Fasting can even improve your overall heart health. Studies have found that blood markers such as LDL cholesterol and triglycerides tend to lower when following a fasting routine.

Insulin Resistance

One of the biggest effects fasting could have is on insulin resistance. When you fast, blood glucose lowers which in turn lowers pancreatic insulin output. This is very important since insulin resistance is caused by chronic elevated insulin and can be a major contributor to diseases like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Cancer

You may be surprised to hear that fasting can even provide benefit to the individual suffering from cancer. Research suggests that cancer can feed on glucose which means limiting it availability to the cancer cell is important. Remember, fasting can reduce blood glucose which in turn reduces the preferred fuel supply of the cancer cell. Additionally, research has found that fasting in conjunction with cancer treatments like radiation can increase the effectiveness of the treatment.

 

How Do I Start Fasting?

After reading the benefits of fasting, you may be on board with giving it a try!

You are likely wondering where to start.

I recommend starting small.

Start with a 14-16 hour fast every other day and see how you react.

Since fasting can require some adapting to get used to, you may find that you are having a hard time at first. However, if you stick to it you will find that it becomes much easier! Once you start getting used to fasting and experiencing some of the benefits like reduced hunger, improved cognition, and increased energy, you will be much more likely to adhere to the plan and eventually even push to more intense fasting protocols. Just remember that fasting does not have to be an everyday thing so be sure to give yourself a break when you need it!

 

References: Marks Daily Apple on Fasting.