Why does the scale move so slowly when you’re trying to lose weight? If you’ve hit a plateau or you just want the motivation that comes with seeing significant results each week, there are ways to accelerate your weight loss.
Shape up faster without wasting money on products that make deceptive claims or give you caffeine jitters. Try these safe and natural methods for slimming down.
Changing the Way You Eat
- Limit sweets. Sugary foods are often high in calories and they trigger cravings that make you want more. Satisfy your sweet tooth with something more nourishing like fruit or yogurt with cinnamon.
- Downsize your portions. On the other hand, creating forbidden foods can increase the temptation to indulge. Treating yourself to a small slice of cake may help you to avoid overdoing it later.
- Drink more water. Studies show that even though diet soda has no calories, it may slow down your metabolism and make you want to eat more sugar. Quench your thirst and curb your appetite with water and tea.
- Spread out your protein. Protein tends to boost your metabolism. Make it part of each meal and snack rather than saving it up for dinner.
- Avoid crash diets. Cutting calories too much can backfire because your body will start to burn less energy. Talk with your doctor or use an online calculator to estimate how many calories you need to consume each day.
Changing the Way You Work Out
- Do aerobics. Running, biking, swimming, and other aerobic exercises are the most effective workouts for losing weight. Find a variety of activities you enjoy and invite a friend along, so you can encourage each other to stick to your program.
- Build your muscles. As your muscle mass increases, you burn more calories even when you’re resting. Schedule at least 2 days a week for strength training and give your body adequate rest in between sessions.
- Focus on compound exercises. Lunges use up more energy than bicep curls. That’s because they’re a compound movement that targets multiple muscle groups at once.
- Try interval training. Alternating between higher and lower intensity exercises is another way to consume more calories in less time. You can apply this strategy to any workout from walking to CrossFit.
- Move more. Activity outside of the gym counts too. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk around when you’re talking on the phone and do pushups while you’re watching TV.
- Sleep well. Insufficient sleep can cause you to gain weight. Go to bed and get up on a consistent schedule, even on weekends and holidays. Darken your bedroom and use a fan to block out noisy neighbors and car alarms.
- Manage stress. Chronic stress can make your body store more fat too. Find relaxation practices that work for you, such as massage or Tai Chi.
- Keep a journal. Many adults underestimate how much they eat. Use a digital app or a notebook to track what you actually consume each day. Watch for patterns so you can spot your personal triggers for overeating and overcome them.
- Talk with your doctor. If you’re still struggling to lose weight, your doctor can answer your individual questions and help you to find a solution. You may need to be tested for a variety of conditions that can contribute to being overweight or you may just need to eat less and exercise more.
While losing a large amount of weight takes time, you can speed up the process by making positive lifestyle changes. Knowing what to eat and how to exercise will help you to reach your fitness goals faster.