How to lose weight fast

5 tips for rapid weight loss

Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
healthy food and exercise equipment

Ideally, you should approach weight loss step by step, gradually eating better food and adding exercise to your daily routine. For the dieter on a deadline, though, there are some semi-easy changes to your diet and fitness routine that will deliver faster results.

After all, in order to live your best life, you need to fit into your best jeans. Are you ready to start a weight loss journey with quick results now?

Fastest ways to lose weight

Some tried-and-true methods of losing weight quickly include dietary adjustments and extending workouts, while others involve lifestyle changes like getting more sleep and drinking less alcohol. Try these tricks, and learn more about how to boost your metabolism so you can lose weight and get healthier:

  1. Replace sugars and starches with lean proteins and veggies
    Snack on berries, beans, citrus, green tea, lentils and whole grains instead of starches and sweets. Studies have shown that protein reduces appetite and boosts metabolism. Switching to a high-protein diet can reduce food cravings, especially at night, and make you feel full throughout the day, so you can avoid eating carbohydrates and sugar. Look for items with lean protein and fiber to add to your shopping cart. Calorie counting is less important when you keep carbs to a minimum and eat mostly good fats, lean proteins and veggies.
  2. Drink more water
    Most drinks that aren’t plain water are just empty calories. You should cut soda, juice and milk from your diet and drink zero-calorie water to avoid bloating, dehydration and thirst, which often leads to mistaken hunger. Coffee and green or herbal teas, also calorie free, can potentially reduce your appetite and boost your metabolism too. If you’re experiencing bloating from water retention, consider lowering the amount of sodium you consume. Ask your doctor about taking a dandelion supplement, which studies show can treat water retention.
  3. Exercise smart
    If you already exercise, you can simply add time to your routine or adjust it to include an extra day of training. Running can help you lose belly fat when used as part of a complete workout plan, including fat burning and strength training. Targeted ab work is important when trying to lose belly fat, as is running the right way—at intervals rather than long distances—to increase metabolism. Switch up the pace by creating a walk-run-sprint routine. Even regular 15-minute walks or jogs through your neighborhood can help speed weight loss.

    Try to find ways to exercise when you’re not at the gym—take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park far from the front door when out shopping. If you’re wondering how to lose weight at home, remember that any time you’re moving you’re burning calories, so you might as well enjoy it.

  4. Sleep more
    Sleep deprivation can kill your will to exercise and drive you to eat, especially quick pick-me-up foods that bolster energy through fat-causing carbs and sugars. Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier every night until you’re getting a full 7 to 8 hours of sleep.
  5. Try intermittent fasting
    Occasional fasting forces your body to tap into your fat storage. You can eat your normal diet most of the time and then drastically reduce your intake part of the time. A popular intermittent fasting plan suggests eating regularly for five days of the week and eating less than 500 calories for two days of the week. It’s natural to feel hungry sometimes when you’re dieting, but you should never starve yourself to lose weight.

Weight loss questions

Can you lose 10 pounds in a week?

If you already have a significant amount of weight to lose (50 pounds or more), it is possible to lose up to 10 pounds in one week. You’ll have to follow strict dietary guidelines along with a consistent exercise regime during that time. Drastic changes in your regular diet, specifically the sharp and sudden decrease in calories, will cause fast weight loss. The hard part will be maintaining your weight loss.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports weight loss is best obtained slow and steadily with a program that includes physical activity, suggesting 1–2 pounds of weight loss as a healthy goal for most people.

What foods should you eat to lose belly fat?

If you want to lose belly fat fast, start by cutting trans fats and alcohol from your diet. Instead, snack on bananas (potassium limits swelling) and add avocados to your shopping list. Their mono-saturated fats stop the blood sugar spikes that tell your body to store fat around the midsection. Eat yogurt because the probiotics are good for your gut, but look out for added sugar.

How long does it take to start losing weight?

As soon as you start cutting calories, your body starts burning fat. A variety of factors (height, weight, gender, etc.) impact how quickly or slowly you’ll start to see results, but most people can see up to 2 pounds of weight loss after about a week of healthy dieting and regular exercise. On average, a dieter will need to lose 8 or 9 pounds before other people begin to notice results. This will take closer to a month.

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Jumpstart your weight loss

Weight loss programs can help you fast track your weight loss goals by assisting with dietary changes and workout plans.

You can take the stress out of planning your meals by ordering food from a weight loss program and following a daily menu of breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Healthy food prep means not succumbing to the temptations of a vending machine or leftovers. While 24-hour, at-home fitness access helps avoid the pitfalls of crowded gyms, closing times and travel.

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Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.