We are often asked about the best way to lose 20 pounds, 30 pounds, or more in the fastest way possible. The questions are sometimes from those more concerned with the opinions of others than they are about truly wanting to improve their own physical and mental health. They are motivated by an upcoming event, a visit, or some other external motivation.
There's no simple answer. Losing that kind of weight in a safe and healthy manner (and keeping it off over time) is a matter of commitment and self-discipline. So what we tell people, after they discuss the subject with their physician, is to simply set realistic and obtainable goals. How about starting off with 3 pounds? This is a very realistic short-term weight loss goal for just about everyone. Plus, losing 3 pounds and toning your muscles even in the slightest can have a big impact on the way you look and feel. If you do it right, losing those initial 3 lbs can be your springboard to much bigger weight loss success.
The basis of good advice incorporates five simple steps:
1. "See" what you want. Every day spend some time mentally visualizing yourself losing weight, being confidant, and feeling fantastic. Have a clear image of what you want in mind at all times.
2. Boost your energy. Make sure you have the energy you need to lose pounds quickly by getting at least 7 hours of quality sleep per night, avoiding soda, sweets and other junk foods, and drinking about 60-70 ounces of pure water per day.
3. Cut out white carbs. Stop eating all highly-processed "white" carbs and you could easily lose 3 pounds in a couple of weeks without doing anything else! The worst and most common white carb foods are white sugars and white flours (e.g. white bread, pasta, etc.)
4. Eat protein and plants. The "perfect" meal for fast fat loss is one based around a lean protein, raw or lightly cooked vegetables (especially the leafy green variety), a serving of beans for appetite-killing carbs, and some good fats (e.g. from olive oil or avocado). No sugars, bad fats, bad starches, fried foods, or processed carbohydrates. Most, if not all, of your daily calories should come from lean proteins, oily fish, vegetables, nuts, seeds, raw fruit, and healthy fats. You'll spike your metabolism and you'll be losing pounds every day!
5. Do short, effective workouts. Don't spend hours every week jogging on a treadmill. Instead, do a short, fun, and intense workout every other day or so. Combine weight training with high-intensity interval training cardio. Do full-body workouts and keep them under 60 minutes in length.
Exercising like this will help you lose those 3 pounds in a reasonably short amount of time, while simultaneously toning your muscles in a way that will make it look like you've lost much more. And remember, you're over the hump when you honestly are doing this for improving what you think of yourself versus what others think.
Read an assortment of fitness tips out on our "Fitness Education" page. Good luck...we're your biggest fan!
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