There is no magic recipe for losing weight. To lose a few kilos, you will have to change your diet and do a lot of physical activity that allows you to burn calories. When it comes to diet, there are many popular trends today, from keto to Paleo to Whole30. While they can provide good results, it’s because they stick to the basic concept that always works: eat fewer empty calories and eat more nutritious, filling foods like vegetables, lean protein, and fruit. To support this new diet, you’ll need to incorporate moderately intense exercise into your weekly routine, whether it’s through cardio, high-intensity interval training, or weight lifting.
Prepare nutritious and low-calorie meals
Fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables at each meal. Vegetables should be the food you incorporate the most in your diet, since they have few calories and many essential nutrients that will help you stay healthy. Many experts recommend consuming at least four servings of vegetables a day, but if you want to lose weight, then you’ll need to incorporate more into your diet. By planning meals with a generous serving of non-starchy vegetables, you’ll feel full without having to eat as much.
Non-starchy vegetables include cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, zucchini, lettuce, asparagus, and many other delicious foods that can be prepared in a variety of ways so you don’t get bored.
Include a serving of lean protein at each meal. Lean proteins include chicken and eggs, white fish (such as salmon and tuna), some cuts of beef, and legumes. Protein is important for weight loss because its consumption helps the body build lean muscle mass and speeds up metabolism.
A good rule of thumb to remember is that each individual serving at each meal should be about the size of the palm of your hand.
If you don’t eat meat, there are plenty of vegetable options available that are even healthier. Look for them in the frozen section of the supermarket.
Replace refined carbohydrates with whole grains and lots of fiber. Many studies have found that people who want to see rapid weight loss should follow a low-carb diet. However, instead of cutting them out completely, you can focus on reducing the amount of refined carbohydrates you consume and processed sugars, and eat whole grains and plenty of fiber. This food category should make up the smallest part of each meal (just one serving or about 1/4 of the plate).
Healthy carbohydrates are found in fruits, legumes (such as chickpeas, lentils, and black beans), whole grains (such as oatmeal, brown rice, quinoa, or whole-grain breads and pastas), and vegetables starched.
Stick to appropriate serving sizes for different types of carbohydrates. Be sure to read the nutritional label of foods and measure them correctly before eating them.
Look for low-calorie versions of your favorite sauces and condiments. Garnishes on your favorite foods can often be a deceptive way that calories and carbohydrates are hidden in foods. For example, a tablespoon of mayonnaise can have up to 90 calories. Restock your kitchen with low-calorie options for the sauces and condiments you use most.
You can also season foods with herbs and spices, which naturally contain fewer calories and more flavor.
Pair your main meals with a few small, nutritious snacks throughout the day. Eating an occasional snack can be part of a nutritious weight loss diet because it will keep you from getting too hungry or eating too much. When you do snack, be sure to choose foods that are filling, nutrient-rich, and low in calories.
Some examples of healthy and filling snacks are one medium piece of fruit (such as a banana or apple), 1 ounce (30 grams) of your favorite nuts, a small bag of carrots and celery with hummus, and beef jerky.
Many snacks are available in the supermarket in 100-calorie portions. Buy several and carry one or two with you throughout the day to munch on when you’re hungry.
Reduce liquid calories
Stop drinking sodas, fruit juices, most alcoholic beverages, and other high-calorie beverages. One of the easiest ways to reduce daily caloric intake is to start with fluids, since people often forget or don’t know how many calories are in their favorite beverages. To lose weight fast, eliminate these drinks from your daily life.
Drink 8 to 13 cups (2 to 3 liters) of water throughout the day. Water is an ideal beverage for weight loss because it provides satiety, reduces hunger pangs, and has no hidden calories. Try to drink between 8 and 13 glasses of water a day.
Contrary to popular belief, fluid retention and bloating are caused by not drinking enough water, not too much.
Drink a cup of a low-calorie beverage if you’re looking for a flavored option. If you find it difficult to drink plain water, you can drink other liquids, but make sure they are low in calories and less in sugar or carbohydrates. Coffee and tea are ideal options, since they are mostly water. If you don’t like these options, look for low-sugar lemonades, sports drinks, and flavored carbonated water.
Practice eating habits to lose weight
Keep a food diary to keep track of your food intake. Finding a dietitian can be difficult, and their fees are often high. However, you can use an online service or mobile app to get the same benefits, but at no cost. These apps allow you to enter the foods you eat and how much, and then provide the number of calories and other nutrients you’ve consumed throughout the day. With this information, you’ll be able to track what you eat and set smarter weight loss goals.
When recording food, pay attention to the times of the day when you tend to eat more, the types of foods you eat that have the most calories and the detail of the nutrients of the foods you eat the most. This information is crucial for reconsidering your diet plan.
Some great apps you can use are MyFitnessPlan, My Food Diary, and MyPlate. All (and more) are available for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Try an intermittent fasting routine. Instead of incorporating the three large meals throughout the day, eat all your meals in an 8-10 hour period, then fast until the next day. Pick a time (11 am to 7 or 9 pm) when you can eat. Outside of these hours, drink only water and other calorie-free beverages.
Some studies have shown that intermittent fasting speeds up metabolism and increases fat loss during regular exercise, which can be an ideal addition to any diet plan.
An easy way to get started with intermittent fasting is to pick one or two days a week to do it. Then, increase the frequency in one or two days until you do it full time.
Eat your largest meals early in the day and your smallest meals closer to night. Meals eaten after 8 pm have the same number of meals as before 8 pm, but you’re unlikely to exercise at night or close to bedtime. Instead of snacking lightly and ending the day with a big dinner, have a hearty breakfast, lunch, and smaller dinner. This way, you’ll be able to burn off the calories from those meals as the day goes on.
If your schedule doesn’t allow it, you can also incorporate several small meals throughout the day, instead of three large meals. The goal is to eat enough to be satisfied, but not to overeat because you’re hungry, which often happens if you start to feel hungry.
Allow yourself to enjoy a “cheat” meal in moderation to avoid burnout. Cutting out multiple meals at once can be difficult, especially if it means you won’t be able to eat your favorite foods. Once or twice a week, give yourself permission to eat something you’ve cut out of your diet, like a slice of your favorite ice cream or a glass of wine. This will help you beat cravings and avoid overeating.
There are many healthy versions of junk food (such as ice cream, cookies, chips, or wine). They are often found near or next to regular products in supermarkets. Otherwise, you can purchase these versions online to have them delivered to your home.
perform aerobic exercise
Get about 30 minutes of aerobic exercise a day. In addition to changing your diet, you’ll need to add cardiovascular exercise to your routine. Cardio exercises are those that increase your heart rate, which speeds up your metabolism and burns fat. Exercises like jogging, swimming, biking, or using the rowing machine are great to start with if you haven’t done much cardio in the past.
When choosing an exercise, try to make it a moderate intensity for you. The goal is to get you out of breath, sweat and get your heart rate up.
Incorporate high-intensity interval training into your exercise routine. This is a great method of maximizing the amount of fat you burn in a single training session. When doing this, the goal is to increase your heart rate as high as you can for a short period, take a break, and then increase your heart rate again.
Make one or two weekly cardio sessions high-intensity interval training. The combination of the latter with cardiovascular exercise in a continuous state (such as jogging for 30 minutes) is ideal for losing weight.
Move during the day. In addition to respecting your structured and planned exercise routine, try to move more during the day. This will also help you burn more calories throughout the day.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator whenever you can.
When you go to the store or run an errand, park farther away from the building to walk around a bit.
If you have a meeting with just one person at work, ask if it’s okay to take a walk while you talk.
Take your lunch to work and walk to a nearby place to eat it.
Do quick exercises (such as sit-ups, jumping jacks, or lunges) during commercial breaks while watching TV.
Increase the intensity of training over time. If you notice that you are not losing weight or have plateaued, you may need to make your workouts longer or more intense. As the body gets used to training, it also makes exercise more efficient, which burns fewer calories. To correct this problem, increase the duration of your cardio exercises or pick up the pace for the same amount of time.
For example, if you usually run 20 minutes every day, increase by 5 or 10 minutes each time. You can also run faster for the same amount of time.
Build lean muscle mass
Include regular strength training in your weekly training routine. Strength training is another type of exercise that supplements short-term weight loss and helps maintain long-term weight loss. Regardless of the weight exercise you do (such as biceps and triceps curls, chest press, pull-ups, or deadlifts), do three sets of 12 reps for each. To choose the right weight, start low and gradually increase it until the exercise becomes difficult for you.
Strength or resistance training doesn’t burn as many calories on its own. However, it helps increase lean muscle mass, speeds up metabolism and promotes the body’s ability to burn calories.
Do simple exercises that use your body weight instead of using equipment. Building muscle mass does not require the use of weights. You can do many different exercises with your body weight. The best thing is that you can do this workout anywhere (in the office, at home, in the park or anywhere whenever you have some free time).
Bodyweight exercises include push-ups, plank, squats, lunges, mountain climber, and jump push-ups, among others.
Aim for 15 reps of any of these exercises, or hold for a minute as a full set. Then repeat two more times in a routine.
Train all major muscle groups to lose weight throughout the body. There are six main muscle groups in the body that you should consider when creating a strength training plan: chest, biceps, triceps, back, legs, and shoulders. Dedicate at least 20 minutes of training to each muscle group twice a week, with a rest day in between for one muscle group and the other.
For example, you can target your chest, biceps, and back on Monday and Wednesday, and work your triceps, legs, and shoulders on Tuesday and Thursday.