How to lose weight fast

Posted by Dr Kate Garside on

how to burn fat and lose weight fast

How to lose weight and maintain muscle

When we talk about losing weight what most of us want to do is lose fat and maintain our muscle and body water, but in fact what a lot of dieters do when they lose weight fast is also lose lean muscle and water.

If you can maintain your muscle mass while dieting, this will make losing fat much easier, as our muscles use up energy which can help us burn up more calories.

Put very simply to lose body fat you need to put yourself into a calorie deficit, where the number of calories that you ingest each day is less than the number that your body uses, and so force your body to use your stored fat as an energy source.

There are three ways to lose body fat

  1. Reduce the number of calories that you eat each day
  2. Increase your exercise
  3. A combination of both 1 and 2 (this is usually the most successful method)

 Can you lose weight fast without exercise

The answer is yes you can lose weight fast without exercise, and lots of people do this very successfully. Exercising can give your weight loss a boost and helps to maintain muscle mass, but it is not essential for weight loss.

Why are so many people in the UK having weight problems

Like many women living in a western society I have been calorie restricting of one sort or another and exercising to keep my weight down since I was 15 years old. 

The diet in the UK has for the last 50 years been a very processed, high carbohydrate, high fat and high sugar diet which encourages us to gain weight and has led to the massive increase we have seen in the last 20 years in obesity and type 11 diabetes in the UK. The USA has similar problems. Childhood obesity is now common whereas this used to be rare. Incidentally obesity in cats and dogs is also common in the UK and USA.

The sedentary lifestyle that many children, teenagers and adults now lead is also a contributing factor with most, including my own family, spending their free time on computers. 'Playing outside' is now something that happens if your internet goes down or you go camping.

How to lose weight and keep it off my ten top tips:

Like many women living in a western society I have been calorie restricting of one sort or another and exercising to keep my weight down since I was 15 years old. 

    1. Invest in a pair of digital scales that measure body fat, muscle mass and body water as well as weight as these can be very motivating. Good ones that show small changes in weight can be purchased online for around £30. I have a pair that I love and and would be happy to send the information just leave me a message in comments. I weigh every day as i find this more motivating 
    2. Detox your shopping and your cupboards-if there are certain foods that you really struggle with it is best either not to let them into the house in the first place, or limit their availability to an occasional treat. For me its chocolate and ice-cream. If they are in the house I become obsessed with them. I have much more self control when I'm in the supermarket. I have found that if i buy 70% Cocoa chocolate I can exert self control and just eat a couple of pieces at a time.
    3. Eat unprocessed real food as much as possible and avoid processed foods. At each meal aim for 2/3 of your plate to be vegetables (not potatoes) and aim for as much colour as possible on your plate. Make sure you always have a protein source at each meal to maintain your muscle mass.
    4. Be carb aware-some fast release carbohydrate foods can make your crave more of the same. This is because they are digested into sugar very quickly, which causes a spike in blood glucose, which then triggers insulin release to reduce the blood sugar. This release of insulin can then result in us feeling hungry again and craving carbohydrates and the whole cycle starts again. This is a big problem for me, it may be for you also. It can feel like being on a rollercoaster. Problem is our modern western diets tend to have a lot of these fast release refined carbohydrates in them. These foods are often referred to as the beige foods ie bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, suagr and of course any processed foods with added sugars will do the same. It will make it much easier for you to lose weight and keep it off if you reduce these in your diet
    5. Watch what you are adding to your meals-oils, salad dressings, mayonaise and butter can all add lots of calories as they are very concentrated so go sparingly with them if you want to lose weight
    6. Consider intermittent fasting-this can be a great addition to any calorie restrictors armoury for when they want to lose weight fast. I have been doing this now for a couple of years since reading Michael Moseley's book The 5:2 diet and watching his Horizon programme. 
    7. Cut down on alcohol or cut it out altogether until you get to your target weight. Alcohol although pleasant at times, is just empty calories with no nutritional value. Alcohol is processed by the body to glucose which leads to insulin release and bang you are on the blood sugar roller coaster again.
    8. Keep a food diary-keeping a record of what you are eating can really help to keep you on track and motivated
    9. Consider joining a slimming or weight loss group either in the real world or virtually and following their weight loss plan. There are lots of different diets and they pretty much all work if you follow them. If you are the sort of person who enjoys being in a group (which I am) you will find the support helpful. I have been attending Slimming World for the last 21 years since having a large weight gain during my pregnancy with my third child, and have been a target member most of that time with the occasional slip, I'm only human.  Personally I have found that if i follow the low carbohydrate, high protein plan with some fat I always lose weight quickly and maintain my muscle mass without feeling hungry all the time which can be a problem for me on some very low fat diets.
    10. If you are struggling then just start by changing one thing and keep up this new habit-for example when you feel like a snack in the day or evening have an apple instead or change your sugary high carb breakfast cereal to porridge (the proper stuff with the oats not the processed version or have unsweetened greek yoghurt with fresh berries )

And of course exercise if you want to super charge your weight loss

  • Increasing your exercise is a great addition to all of the above to supercharge your weight loss as you use more calories , but you must get the food right. I have found adding some weight training using light weights into my exercise routine has helped me build my muscle mass and reduce my body fat.

Recommended reading to help you lose weight fast:

I am a big Dr Michael Moseley fan and all these books by him and his wife are excellent reading, or you can listen to them as audiobooks. He also has recipe books and food diaries to go along with diets and there is lots of interviews on You Tube with him that are helpful. 

  • The Fast Diet
  • The 8 week blood sugar diet
  • The 5:2 Diet

 

 

 


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