At one point or another, everyone wants to shed a few pounds. Motivations range from upcoming weddings to becoming healthier and even impressing a date, but losing weight is harder than it sounds (especially if you want to lose it quick).

If you’re ready to drop your extra pounds as fast as possible, then there are a few things you should know before getting started. In this article, we take a close look at the effectiveness of eleven weight loss tactics as well as how many pounds you can safely lose. Here’s how to lose weight fast without risking your health.

When Slimming Down Becomes Dangerous

Person with tape measure

The first thing to understand is that rapidly shedding pounds is that it can quickly become dangerous. Dropping two pant sizes in a week isn’t impossible, but it is incredibly unhealthy and can leave you with medical complications.

Based on the Center for Disease Control, healthy weight loss is dropping one to two pounds per week. That might sound a little defeating based on your goals, but there’s a lot of research behind that statement.

First, the CDC’s findings show that individuals who steadily lose weight are more likely to keep their waistlines down in the future. Instead of a quick fix, this slow progression requires adopting healthy lifestyle habits that will benefit you for years to come. As the expression goes, slow and steady wins the race.

Second, the benefits to your health are noticeable after losing five to ten percent of your total body weight. Your risk for chronic diseases related to obesity decreases, energy level increase, and your general mood is lifted. If health is your primary reason, then it helps to know that each small step makes an impact.

Third, slimming down quickly means you’re losing water weight instead of fat. Regardless of your motivation for losing weight, you’re only doing yourself a disservice if the fat stored in your body is allowed to stick around.

Finally, the risks associated with dropping pounds too quickly are frightening and cumbersome.


Common issues include:

  • The development of gallstones
  • Dehydration from losing water weight
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Frequent headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Increased irritability
  • An infrequent menstrual cycle

Keep in mind that everyone loses weight at different rates, which means you may be able to drop more than two pounds a week safely. However, this is something worth taking the time to discuss with your doctor.

Methods and Tricks

So, how can you lose weight fast without damaging your body in the process? As it turns out, there are eleven ways to achieve your desired results safely. Unfortunately, none of them work as fast as the numerous gimmicks and over the counter supplements claim, but those methods never work.

If you want to truly lose weight as fast as possible, then pick one or several of these methods and incorporate them into your everyday life. Weight loss has more to do with changing your lifestyle than anything else. So, here’s what you need to do.


1. Keep Your Calorie Intake Low

Ice Cream

The fewer calories you eat, the less weight you gain. Research suggests that maintaining a healthy caloric intake is just as important as exercise. To get started, you first have to determine what your healthy calorie range is.

This number depends on several factors including your age, body size, and activity level. If your job forces you to live a more sedentary lifestyle, then you don’t need to eat quite as much to give your body what it needs. If you’re always on the go or doing manual labor, then you probably need to eat a lot more.

You don’t need to schedule a visit with your doctor to get this number, either. Several online calculators and apps will tell you how much you should eat if you want to lose weight safely. While 1200 is usually the recommended number, you might find that yours is higher or lower.

Once you know the number, stick with it. Don’t eat over your daily limit, and make sure to keep track of any exercise. Working out means your body needs more calories to function properly.


2. Nix the Junk Food

Junk Food

This one is obvious, but also incredibly difficult for most people. Candies, baked goods, and processed snacks are as delicious as they are fattening. Plus, their high salt content and processing are a fast track to health problems in the future.

Replace every sinful delight with something healthy. Not only are fruits and vegetables low in calories, but they’re also more filling. The combination is an excellent way to stick with a low-calorie diet while fighting off cravings.

It’s also important to watch out for processed foods. The more ingredients listed, the worse that item is for you. You might be surprised at how bad simple meals like canned soup and granola bars are for your diet.


3. Don’t Cut Out Protein, Just Keep It Lean

Protein

Not only do lean proteins leave you feeling fuller, but they also help to build muscle faster than their fatty counterparts. Muscle burns fat, which means you’re killing two birds with one stone while working towards your weight loss goals.

Fish, beans, and certain nuts are the healthiest options. If you aren’t keen on any of those, stick with 90% lean ground beef, grilled chicken, and pork tenderloin. You can also choose to eat soy and dark green vegetables if you want to try a vegetarian or vegan diet.


4. Get Moving

Walking

While exercise and weight loss go hand in hand, you don’t have to start doing P90X or any other workout regimen to see results. Just walking, in general, can help you drop the pounds, and there are plenty of ways to get your steps in each day. Try the following:

  • Park in the back of the lot when stopping places
  • Give yourself a fifteen-minute break during the day to walk around your home
  • Take a walk during your lunch break at work
  • Always use the stairs

5. Cardio Is Your Best Friend

Running

Many find cardio the easiest way to incorporate a workout into their lifestyle. It isn’t as complicated or painful as other routines, and it requires no equipment. By increasing your heart rate and muscle movement, you’re working towards your goal.

High-intensity cardio is often considered the best for weight loss. You can start your workout routine today with interval training, switching between intense cardio and a slower pace. Cardio isn’t for everyone, though. Ask your doctor if you have any conditions that this form of exercise might complicate, like diabetes or heart disease.


6. Hit the Gym

Gym

Whether you pick up a gym membership or work out at home, adding weights to your exercise is an excellent way to boost your metabolism. After adopting a new diet, especially a low-calorie one, that boost helps counteract the metabolic dip that often occurs.

You can also incorporate resistance training into your workout regimen. Combined with cardio and aerobic exercise, you’ll burn calories at a faster rate. Remember, the more calories you burn, the more you can eat.


7. Cut the Carbs

Salad

If you want to know how to lose weight fast, cut out your intake of carbohydrates. Choosing to eat a low-carb diet is difficult, but it pays off in both the short and long run. While the initial loss comes from water weight (which carbs help your body hold), eating less bread can help you keep the pounds off as time goes on.


8. Beat the Bloat

Bloating

Are there any foods that leave you feeling bloated after eating them? Write them down, then avoid them like the plague. Bloating causes your body to hold extra gas and water, both which contribute to weight gain. Food with excess sodium and carbonated beverages are often the main causes.


9. Make a Meal Plan

Diary

To help you stick to your new diet, create a weekly meal plan. Writing down each meal for every day of the week can help keep you accountable while making it easier to fight cravings. Hop online and search for healthier versions of meals you enjoy to help you get started. You might be surprised by what you find!


10. Create Healthy Habits

Changing Lifestyle

The toughest part of long-term weight loss is changing your lifestyle. You have to start somewhere, though, and this initial step toward better health is a perfect time. Work on being mindful of what you eat, when you eat, and why you eat.

Practice portion control to help fight cravings as time goes on. Then, take ten minutes out of each day to get up and move around. It helps to create one healthy habit at a time, adding on as you continue to reach your weight loss goals.


11. Support Helps

Campfire

It isn’t impossible to lose weight on your own, but it does help to have the support of other individuals. Friends and family make excellent workout and dieting buddies, as do online communities. Plus, some of these people may be able to tell you their secrets on how to lose weight fast.