If only losing weight was as easy as gaining it, right?
While there are plenty of advertised ways to shed some pounds, there are only a handful of methods that actually work.
And one thing’s for sure: None of them are the weird tea cleanse your favorite Instagram influencer swore by.
Here are some other, much more legit ways you can lose 10 pounds in 10 days without hating your life.
1. Don’t try another fad diet
Do fad diets ever get anyone long-term progress, ever? Sure, you might drop a few pounds at first — but these quick solutions aren’t long-lasting and can also be dangerous. Develop healthy habits and stick with them instead of doing something that will drive you insane.
Weight loss that is based on nothing but hype and celebrity endorsements never lasts — scientific research has proven this time and time again. It actually leads to weight cycling, or yo-yo-ing, which research suggests may be the true cause of many of the health problems we associate with being overweight, including diabetes and heart issues.
2. Eat more protein
If you want to stay full and satisfied, increase your protein intake— and not just meat. Eat hearty plant sources, too, like tempeh, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
Protein requires 25 percent more energy to digest than carbs, so it’s possible to cut your calorie intake without eating less food. In other words, your body has to work harder to digest a salmon filet than it does a bowl of pasta, meaning you can get away with a few extra bites of that perfectly cooked fish while the noodles could do a number on your waistline.
3. Drink more water
Here’s your permission to dump that electric-green juice craze down the drain. A better plan is to sip water throughout the day. Research shows it actually helps you cut down on calories. Often, thirst is confused for hunger. And try salt water, while you’re at it. When it comes to H20, salt is not the enemy. Water needs electrolytes like sodium, potassium, and chloride to be best absorbed, which explains why they’re added to popular sports drinks.
Try adding a pinch of Celtic sea salt or real salt (unrefined and unbleached) to your water before chugging. The electrolytes in the salt will push water into the cells where they need to be, rather than letting the water get flushed out, causing you to go to the bathroom every other minute. You’ll notice a spike in energy after staying hydrated, too, and you’ll be less likely to give in to cravings which are even harder to avoid when you’re running on empty.
4. Move around doing what you enjoy
Change the way you think about exercise by choosing to do something you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be in a gym. It could be a dance class or going for a run around your neighborhood. And it might even be worth it to get into tree pose when you’ve only got a few minutes. A study published by researchers at John Hopkins University found that just 10 minutes of exercise a day can improve a person’s metabolism by 30%.
5. Eat healthy fats
When you’re trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to do is eat anything fatty, right? Wrong. You just have to make sure you’re eating the right kind of fat. While eating certain types of fat are definitely no-nos when you’re trying to lose weight — looking at you, saturated fat! — adding healthy fats into your diet is a game-changer. Research has shown eating good-for-you fats like avocado on a daily basis — even if that’s just throwing some onto your salad for lunch — can leave you so full and satisfied that you’re not reaching for unhealthy, sugary snacks later on. And without all those excess calories, you’re bound to drop unwanted weight.
6. Give yoga a go
You might not see yoga as a solid weight-loss method, but think again. Aside from working out every muscle in your body and reducing your stress levels, you’re also raising your heart rate to reap some major fat-burning benefits.
7. Drink less (or cut out completely if possible) alcohol
Studies have linked heavy alcohol consumption to a significantly increased risk of central obesity — that is, excess fat storage around the waist. Cutting back on alcohol may help reduce your waist size. You don’t need to give it up altogether but limiting the amount you drink in a single day can help.
In a study in more than 2,000 people, those who drank alcohol daily but averaged less than one drink per day had less belly fat than those who drank less frequently but consumed more alcohol on the days they drank.
8. Reduce your stress level
Stress can make you gain belly fat by triggering the adrenal glands to produce cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Research shows that high cortisol levels increase appetite and drive abdominal fat storage.
What’s more, women who already have a large waist tend to produce more cortisol in response to stress. Increased cortisol further adds to fat gain around the middle.
To help reduce belly fat, engage in pleasurable activities that relieve stress. Practicing yoga or meditation can be effective methods.
9. Get good sleep
Sleep is important for many aspects of your health, including weight. Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to gain more weight, which may include belly fat.
A 16-year study in more than 68,000 women found that those who slept less than five hours per night were significantly more likely to gain weight than those who slept seven hours or more per night. The condition known as sleep apnea, where breathing stops intermittently during the night, has also been linked to excess visceral fat.
In addition to sleeping at least seven hours per night, make sure you’re getting sufficient quality sleep. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, speak to a doctor and get treated.
10. Eliminate alcohol
As hard as it is to utter those words, quitting drinking for a month is an efficient way to slim down quickly. But no worries, you don’t have to give it up for life.
Once you start seeing results, you can slowly start introducing alcohol back into your routine again. It’s just a quick trick to help you jumpstart your weight loss efforts without having to do anything super drastic. And when you do add alcohol back into your routine, think about how much you were drinking before – and subtract a little. So if you normally had three glasses of wine with your friends, cut it to two or even one.