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How to lose weight fast

Learn the quickest ways to lose weight

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

Losing weight is hard, and it’s easy to get discouraged when you’re starting out. Luckily, even some small changes to your routine can help reduce your appetite and encourage quicker dieting results. Are you ready to kick-start your weight loss journey?

31 weight loss tips

For dieters on a deadline, here are some fast weight loss tips for changing your diet and fitness routine to get fast results.

  1. Try alternate-day fasting: Alternate-day is a type of intermittent fasting where you eat every other day. On fasting days, you can have water, tea and other calorie-free drinks. Other fasting plans to lose weight let you eat up to 500 calories on your fast days.
  2. Follow the 70% rule: Don’t finish an entire meal in one sitting. Leave about 30% on your plate, take a short break from the table and only come back if you’re still hungry in 20 minutes.
  3. Get therapy: For some people, weight problems are part of a more significant psychological or behavioral issue. A mental health professional can help if you have issues with body image or food addiction.
  4. Get enough sleep: Food cravings are more difficult to resist when you’re sleep-deprived. Getting a full night of rest also helps if you’re on a fasting diet plan. Try making your bedroom darker or taking melatonin supplements if you have trouble sleeping.
  5. Eat breakfast: Dieters who skip breakfast often end up eating more later in the day. Start your day with a healthy breakfast for weight loss (egg whites and spinach, oatmeal, whole-grain cereal or a high-fiber meal replacement shake) to boost your metabolism and keep you feeling full longer.
  6. Switch to black coffee in the morning: Weight loss research indicates that drinking coffee helps you lose weight by speeding up your metabolism. Taking the cream and sugar out of your coffee in the morning cuts 50 to 100 calories per day. If you’re having trouble making the bitter switch, try switching to a premium brand of beans. Most people find that higher-quality coffee tastes fine without added cream and sugar.
  7. Switch to tea in the afternoon: Drink tea instead of soda or fruit juices. Green and pu-erh are some of the best teas for weight loss. Enjoy it iced or hot to decrease appetite and boost your metabolism.
  8. Take vitamins and supplements: Ask your doctor about taking vitamins that help with weight loss. B vitamins and iron boost your metabolism, D vitamins help control blood sugar levels and magnesium assists with energy production. Further, dandelion root supplements can decrease water retention and garcinia cambogia could reduce belly fat. Glucomannan supplements and probiotics can also make weight loss easier for dieters.
  9. Set a kitchen curfew: Late-night snacking can ruin a full day of dieting diligence. Avoid mindless munching by not letting yourself in the kitchen after dinner.
  10. Use alternatives: Replace empty carbs and fatty meats with nutrient-dense, high-fiber foods. Use lettuce leaves instead of taco shells, dip celery in salsa and switch out beef burgers with plant-based burger patties or grilled portobello mushroom caps.
  11. Get a great water bottle: Buy a water bottle that you love to carry around everywhere. Drinking water to lose weight is smart — it suppresses your appetite and boosts your metabolism. Try flavoring your water with organic lemon or ginger if it’s hard for you to drink 10 full glasses each day. Bonus tip: If you experience bloating from water retention, consider lowering your sodium intake.
  12. Chew more slowly: Make an effort to chew every bite of food 35 to 40 times. Slowly chewing forces you to pace yourself at meals and is easier on your digestive system — both help to lose weight fast.
  13. Take more selfies: Snapping weight loss progress pics helps motivate you to stay on track even if you don't post them on social media. You might surprise yourself with how quickly you start to notice dieting results.
  14. Get sober: Beer and mixed drinks are loaded with calories, carbohydrates and sugar. Cutting out alcohol is the best way to lose a beer belly. Plus, it’s easier to give in to impulsive junk food cravings after you’ve had a few drinks.
  15. Set the dining mood: Hang a mirror opposite where you sit for most meals to train yourself to eat less. Seeing yourself eat helps remind you to chew slowly. A study in Psychological Reports shows that people also eat less when the lights are dimmed.
  16. Change your plates: Using smaller plates encourages effortless portion control. The color of your plate could also make a difference — a higher contrast between the plate and food color makes people eat less, according to a 2012 study at Cornell University.
  17. Be kind to yourself: Don’t beat yourself up if you hit a diet plateau. Be patient and remember your goals to keep you motivated.
  18. Keep a food journal: Logging what you eat, whether on paper or through an app, gives perspective on how you can improve your eating routine. It’s easier to see at a glance where you might be overindulging, which in turn makes it easier to find diet solutions, according to food diary weight loss studies.
  19. Order off the kids’ menu: Always order off the kids’ menu when you can, especially for delivery and carry-out. Child-sized servings are better portioned for weight loss goals, and it’s almost always cheaper.
  20. Meditate on it: Meditation helps many dieters reflect on their weight loss journey and avoid stress eating. While you’re at it, get a weight loss mantra. Repeating a calm, encouraging phrase to yourself helps when you’re tense and prone to comfort eating. Examples of motivation mantras for weight loss include ”progress is enough” or “I am someone who makes me happy.”
  21. Grocery shop online: Stock up on whole, single-ingredient foods for easy meal plans and healthy snacks. It’s easier to avoid impulse purchases by grocery shopping online since there are no tempting bakery goods or bargain bins of junk foods.
  22. Indulge with confidence: You deserve to indulge now and then, but not every treat is one you have to eat. Find ways to reward yourself that don’t involve food — get a massage, new haircut or pedicure, for example. If you genuinely need a diet break, have cheat meals instead of whole days. If you absolutely must eat something sweet, individually wrapped chocolates or candy help with portion control.
  23. Buy organic produce: Non-organic fruits and veggies often have trace residue of commercial pesticides. According to research in the American Journal of Epidemiology, pesticides can alter your thyroid function and make it more difficult to lose weight.
  24. Run the right way: Switch up the pace by creating a walk-run-sprint routine. Running for weight loss is most effective at intervals rather than long distances. Running combined with strength training and targeted ab work is an effective way to increase metabolism and cut belly fat fast.
  25. Read nutrition blogs: Nutrition blogs are full of words of encouragement for dieters. Learn about new weight loss tips and stress-management tools from people with real weight loss success who share their personal dieting experiences.
  26. Make thicker smoothies: Smoothies are a great meal replacement for weight loss as long as you don’t use sugary fruit juices and full-fat milk. Add ice to your favorite smoothie recipe for extra thickness without added calories. The more solid consistency tricks you into feeling more satiated.
  27. Throw your fat clothes away: It’s overwhelming (and expensive) to replace your wardrobe with better-fitting apparel, but holding on to your “fat clothes” won’t motivate you to lose weight for good. After all, to live your best life, you need to fit into your best jeans.
  28. Brush your teeth after meals: Brushing your teeth 30 minutes after meals could curb your appetite and help you snack less. When saliva mixes with food particles in your mouth, it sends a signal to your brain that makes you feel ready to eat again before you’re hungry.
  29. Add low-cal volume to each meal: A pile of low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods on your plate makes you feel more satisfied, especially if you’re used to larger portions. Blueberries, grapefruit, melon, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and carrots are so low in calories that you can get away with eating several servings at once.
  30. Eat more spicy foods: Spicy food is good for weight loss. Capsaicin, the component that makes chili peppers spicy, leaves you feeling more satiated after eating and temporarily boosts your metabolism.
  31. Find exercise opportunities: As much as you can, take the stairs instead of elevators and walk instead of drive. Look for ways to multitask — lift weights while you’re watching TV, walk when you have to take a long phone call and do some lunges during regular house chores.
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Jump-start your weight loss

A variety of factors, including your height, weight and gender, impact how quickly or slowly you start to see weight loss results from diet and exercise. Weight loss programs help 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 prevents you from succumbing to the temptations of a vending machine or leftovers, and having access to fitness equipment at your home 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.