You won’t find any gimmicks on this rapid weight loss list – no fad diets, secret weight loss supplements, or crazy long sessions at the gym. What you will find are sustainable and achievable tips that will help you see results fast, without feeling deprived or like you’re on a diet. Ready to jumpstart your weight loss journey? Let’s get started!
1. ALWAYS STAY HYDRATED DURING YOUR WORKOUT
It’s important that you keep yourself hydrated throughout your entire workout – not just at the end. Drinking water throughout your workout can help you keep up the intensity of your workout and maximize your caloric burn. Staying hydratedprevents overheating and makes it easier for your heart to pump blood. If you’re not properly hydrated, your body won’t be able to function at its highest level, and you may even start to feel lightheaded or dizzy.
HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD YOU DRINK DURING A WORKOUT?
The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking 7-10 ounces of water every 10-20 minutes of a workout. This range accounts for body size (height and weight) as well as the intensity of a workout.
Let’s look at an oversimplified example of this. Imagine a friend of yours decided to do 20 minutes of HIIT at home, and she’s an average body size. For instance:
- Time: 20 minutes
- Intensity: High (frequency of drinking water ~ every 10 minutes)
- Body Size: Average (amount of water required ~ 8.5 ounces)
That would mean your friend would need roughly 8.5 ounces of water every ten minutes of her high-intensity workout, or around 17 ounces of water throughout the entirety.
That’s quite a bit of water, a little over two cups in 20 minutes. Keeping up with that amount can be a real challenge. How do you keep it top of mind?
HYDRATING DURING A WORKOUT: HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
There are two types of people that struggle with making water a part of their workouts; the laser-focused and those who want more flavor.
If you’re the former, you’re probably only thinking about your workout once you start – which is amazing! But it also means that you might forget to drink water until you’re already feeling thirsty.
To make sure you get in those all-important sips, set a timer on your phone for every 15 minutes. As soon as it goes off, take a few big gulps from your water bottle. Or, you could plan water breaks after you complete a circuit.
Either way, try to find a way that reminds you to hit the hydration station!
Don’t like the taste of plain water? It’s okay to mix things up. You could try adding lemon wedges, cucumbers, or mint leaves for a bit of flavor.
If you want something with more of a punch, you could try more flavorful powders with electrolytes and natural nutrients.
STAYING HYDRATED ALL DAY
Staying hydrated outside of your workouts is a must.. You’ve probably heard you’re supposed to drink as much as 64 ounces (8 cups) of water per day.
While the intent of both is correct, it’s time for some truth around the ounces.
The Food and Nutrition Board recommends that women should drink 91 ounces of water a day, where 80% of that should come from fluids and the other 20% from food. This means women should drink nearly 73 ounces of fluids (preferably water) a day, which is a little more than 9 cups.
There are a few things you can do to hit almost 73 ounces of fluid a day:
- Flavor: Try sparkling water or unsweetened tea; or something that doesn’t have additives and sugars, but provides some variety of flavor
- Water Bottle: Invest in a water bottle to keep with you throughout the whole day. This will serve as your artifact to remind you to stay hydrated.
- Reminders: Set an hourly reminder on your phone or watch, or get a water bottle with time markings on it.
All three of these tips will either make it easier (and more enjoyable) to hit your daily water goals and ensure you’re hydrated before you start exercising.
2. DITCH REFINED CARBS, GRAB MORE VEGGIES
When it comes to carbs, quality matters more than quantity. It’s better to eat a smaller portion of nutrient-rich carbs than a larger portion of simple refined carbs.
Simple carbs like white rice, spaghetti, and bread can quickly derail your weight loss goals. While they’re usually delicious, refined carbohydrates are easier to digest and less satiating, meaning you’re more likely to overeat. The process of refining, or processing a carbohydrate takes out a lot of the nutrients that your body needs.
On the other hand, nutrient-rich carbs, found in many vegetables, are high in fiber and nutrients.
Nutrient-loaded veggies will digest slowly, keep you fuller for longer, and add sustained energy to your day.
DITCHING REFINED CARBS: HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
Eating a carrot instead of a delicious scone is easier said than done. So how do you actually do this, and stick with it? The key is to replace like for like, swapping a refined carb with its veggie counterpart.
Here are 5 delicious ideas on how to swap simple carbs for veggies, without hating it:
- Swap Rice For Cauliflower Rice: Cauliflower rice is a great alternative to regular rice. You can make it at home by pulsing cauliflower florets in a food processor until they’re the consistency of rice.
- Swap Spaghetti For Zucchini Noodles: Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, are a fantastic alternative to traditional pasta. You can make them at home with a spiralizer or buy them pre-made.
- Replace Potato Chips with Carrots and Dip: Carrots are a crunchy and satisfying alternative to potato chips. Serve them with your favorite dip or hummus for an extra flavorful treat.
- Swap Tater Tots For Broccoli Tots: Broccoli tots are a fun and easy way to sneak some extra veggies into your diet. You can make them at home with broccoli, breadcrumbs, cheese, and an egg. Or, look for them in the freezer section of your store.
- Swap Burger Buns For Portobello Mushrooms: Swap out your burger bun for a portobello mushroom. This will reduce the number of carbs you’re eating and add some extra nutrients into the mix.
All of these ideas can either be made at home, but you can also find them and other alternatives at most grocery stores these days.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO SACRIFICE FLAVOR FOR HEALTH
Making healthier choices doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor. There are plenty of ways to make delicious meals that are also good for you. With a little creativity, you can make all of your favorite foods healthier.
After a while, you won’t even miss your simple carbs!
3. ADD CARDIO TO YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE
Thanks to years of calorie-counting products and advertisements, we all know that losing weight boils down to burning more calories than you consume.
Before you close this tab to search for the latest fad diets, remember the best way to burn calories isn’t through diet alone – a combination of diet and exercise is always best. And when it comes to exercise, cardio is the ruling queen.
ADDING CARDIO TO WORKING OUT: HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
Sure, lifting weights and doing Pilates are great for toning your body. But when it comes to weight loss, you’ll need cardio to elevate your heart rate, burn calories, and torch fat.
Before you start dreading hours on the treadmill or scheduling separate time for cardio, you should know that you can have the best of both worlds.
The key to making cardio a habit is to modify your existing routines instead of adding new days altogether. Since some workouts help you build muscle and increase your heart rate, think of this as a way to turbocharge your anaerobic exercises.
And the best way to do that, and reach your weight loss goals quicker is through HIIT.
WHAT IS HIIT? IS HIIT MORE EFFECTIVE THAN RUNNING?
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a method of interval training that alternates between periods of all-out effort and active recovery. This is different from continuous training, where you do an activity like running at a constant pace for longer periods of time.
Both forms of cardio improve your aerobic fitness and burn calories, but HIIT training takes less time and can be more enjoyable. If that makes you more likely to work out then HIIT will be just as effective as continuous training, found a study published in the Pakistan Journal of Medical and Health Sciences.
The beauty of HIIT is you can find this method in a variety of workouts that mix things up and keep things interesting. If you find running boring, try doing sprints or even mix in bodyweight or weight training exercises with your run. The variety is engaging and makes the workout feel less tedious.
4. ADD MATCHA TO YOUR DIET
Matcha is a type of green tea that’s packed with some miraculous powers, benefiting your body and mind. While matcha’s been an integral part of many Asian cultures for hundreds of years, it’s recently become more popular in the United States, and for good reason too.
Just look at all the things this tea can do:
- Lowers Cholesterol: Matcha is powdered green tea, and green tea has the potential to lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol, says a study fromBioMed Central’s Nutrition Journal.
- Protect Your Heart: A study published inMolecules found that matcha can protect your heart from inflammation caused by smoking and even surgery.
- Fights Free Radicals: The antioxidants in matcha help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Improves Concentration: The L-theanine in matcha tea can improve concentration and focus.
Matcha is great for oxidizing fat and helping your body burn more calories quicker, but as you can tell, there’s a lot more to this powdered tea than meets the eye. So how do you incorporate this green goodness into your diet?
ADDING MATCHA TO YOUR DIET: HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
Putting matcha into your diet isn’t necessarily difficult, but it can be a bit of an acquired taste. After all, it is green tea and does have a bit of a grassy taste. But there are ways to make matcha more palatable, especially if you’re new to it.
One way is to mix matcha with other ingredients to create something to mask the taste if it’s not your cup of tea. Here are a few ingredients that pair well with matcha teas or lattes:
- Honey: This natural sweetener can help take the edge off matcha’s grassy taste.
- Vanilla Extract: A few drops of vanilla extract can add a lovely sweetness to matcha.
- Lemon Juice: If you like your tea on the tart side, mix in some fresh lemon juice for a zesty kick.
5. ADD STRENGTH TRAINING TO YOUR WORKOUTS
If you’re afraid of becoming too bulky from strength training, don’t be. Lifting weights (even heavy ones) doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly increase in size. In fact, you’llincrease your metabolism and burn calories even when you leave the gym and are resting at home.
This is known as your RMR, or resting metabolic rate.It’s a measurement of how many calories your body burns while you’re at rest. It’s influenced by factors like muscle mass, age, and gender.
The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your RMR will be, and the more calories you’ll burn even when you’re not working out. So if you’re looking to maximize your metabolism in a short amount of time, add some strength training to your gym routine.
There are several ways to incorporate strength training into your workouts.
ADDING STRENGTH TRAINING: HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
This doesn’t mean cutting cardio out of your routine altogether, but rather, adding in some additional strength training to help you build more muscle. Making this easier is about preventing you from getting injured or discouraged.
So to keep you safe and interested, use the following tips to incorporate strength training into your workouts:
- Start Slow: If you’re new to strength training, or it’s been a while since you’ve done any heavy lifting, start slow and gradually increase the amount of weight you’re lifting.
- Use Proper Form: This is important for any type of exercise, but it’s especially important when lifting weights to avoid injury. Make sure you have good form and technique before increasing the amount of weight you’re lifting.
- Focus on Compound Exercises: These are exercises that work for multiple muscle groups at the same time, and they’re a great way to get a full-body workout in a short amount of time.
- Use Supersets: This is a great way to save time and increase the intensity of your workouts. A superset is when you do two different exercises back-to-back with no rest in between. For example, you could do a set of bicep curls followed by a set of tricep kickbacks.
- Add in Cardio: As we mentioned, cardio is still important for overall health and weight loss, but if you’re looking to give your metabolism a boost, adding in some additional strength training will help.
6. TURN OFF YOUR PHONE
We know this one’s tough. But hear us out. One of the biggest things that can sabotage your workout is being distracted by your phone.
Whether you’re scrolling through social media, checking email, texting, or shopping for an amazing high-impact sports bra, all of that time spent on your phone is time that could be spent working out.
In addition to lost time, you’ll have a less effective workout. When you check your phone between sets or while you’re on the treadmill, the odds are very good that your intensity will drop.
That means your heart slows down, and you’re not burning as many calories as you could. The longer you keep it elevated, the harder your body has to work and the more calories you’ll burn.
Alright, this one falls into the “easier-said-than-done” category, so what’s the plan?
TAKING A BREAK FROM YOUR PHONE: HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
We’re not saying you have to leave your phone in the locker room, although that’s an effective solution (as you’ll see below). There are other ways to minimize your screen time while you’re working out without phone-avoidance.
Here are a few tips:
- Put it on Do Not Disturb: This will help you avoid any unnecessary distractions, and you can still use it if you need to (for music, timer, etc.).
- Leave it in Your Locker: If you can swing it, leave your phone in your locker while you work out. This way, you won’t be tempted to check it every 5 minutes.
- Use a Workout App: There are tons of great apps that help you stay on track with your workouts and keep you motivated. Find one that you like and use it to track your progress, making it the only open app.
- Set a Goal: If you’re someone who likes to be rewarded for a job well done, set a goal for yourself (like working out for 30 minutes without looking at your phone) and give yourself a prize when you reach it.
- Find a Workout Buddy: Sometimes, all you need is someone to keep you accountable. Find a friend or family member who is also trying to cut back on phone use and work out together.
7. GET MORE SLEEP
This is another one that seems easy enough but can be tough to do. We all know how important sleep is for our overall health, but did you know that it’s also essential for weight loss?
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body produces more of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone that’s been linked to increased appetite and cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods.
Plus, when you’re tired, you’re more likely to make poor food choices and less likely to have the energy to exercise. We’ve all stumbled into the kitchen at midnight looking for cheesecake – if you’re tired, you won’t be able to resist the temptation.
GETTING MORE REST: HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
So what makes it difficult to sleep in the first place? It could be anything from stress to caffeine to working out too close to bedtime – there’s no single cause for every night. Life can get busy, and sometimes your sleep takes the fall How can you make sure you’re getting enough sleep?
- Set a Bedtime and Stick To It: This one is key. Just like you would with a work or school schedule, set a specific time that you want to be in bed and wake up each morning.
- Create a Relaxing Environment: A dark and quiet bedroom will help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Consider using a noise machine or earplugs to block out any unwanted noise.
- Limit Caffeine: Caffeine can stay in your system for up to 8 hours, so if you’re trying to sleep, it’s best to steer clear.
- Avoid Alcohol Before Bed: Although alcohol may make you feel sleepy, it disrupts your sleep and can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
- No Phones: This article might make it seem like phones are the enemy, but when it comes to your sleep, they might be. The blue light emitted from screens can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that makes you sleepy.
8. THE IMPORTANCE OF EATING AFTER WORKING OUT
If you’re trying to lose weight, eating after your workout is mandatory! While eating might sound counterintuitive to losing weight, it helps your body recover from all the work you just did.
Whenever you work out, your body breaks down muscle tissue. To repair that muscle, your body needs protein and other nutrients. To get the full muscle-building benefit from your workout, theJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends eating protein up to 4 hours after you finish.
Eating after working out also helps you refuel your body so you have enough energy to make it through the rest of the day. If you don’t eat, you’ll likely feel tired and sluggish.
So what should you eat? A combination of protein and carbohydrates is ideal. Protein supplements, whether in powder or bar form, make it easy to get your protein. You can also eat a meal after your workout with protein, carbs and fat.
EATING POST-WORKOUT: HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
There’s always an excuse when it comes to cooking or grabbing some healthy food after a workout – you can barely lift your arms or stand, so how could you labor in the kitchen? The time of day you work out is another big factor in whether or not you skip a meal.
If you exercise in the morning, you might use being late for work as an excuse. If it’s after work, you might say you’re too tired, and opt for an unhealthy option. So here are some ideas to make sure you get your food after a workout, regardless of the time of day.
Morning Post-Workout Food: If you’re working out first thing in the morning, it can be difficult to eat right after. Prepare your post-workout meal the night before and have it ready to go in the fridge. Invest in a quality protein powder that you can mix with water or milk, and add some fruit or veggies for a balanced meal.
Afternoon Post-Workout Food: If you’re working out after work, make sure to pack a healthy snack or meal so you can eat as soon as you’re done. Because you won’t typically have the luxury of using your kitchen if you work out during office hours, this is a great candidate for meal prepping. Make a big batch of protein-rich quinoa or brown rice at the beginning of the week and mix it with some grilled chicken or salmon and you’ve got a healthy, post-workout meal that will last you all week long.
Evening Post-Workout Food: If you’re working out at night, you should still try to eat a healthy meal afterward. It’s the end of the day and the end of your workout, so if you had to forego a full meal, then at least have a snack ready to go.
Just remember, when and how you eat are both keys to losing weight. If you want to lose weight, make sure you’re exercising regularly and eating the right foods at the right times.
Eating right before and right after your workout will help you burn more calories, stay energized, build lean muscle and speed up your recovery – not to mention help you lose weight.
9. EAT FOODS THAT SPEED UP YOUR METABOLISM
Weight loss is just as much about what you eat as it is about how much you work out. So make sure you’re eating the right types of foods to boost your metabolism and help your body burn more fat throughout the day.
Hunt for foods that create a thermogenic effect in your body and help you shed the extra weight, just like matcha. There are tons of tasty options for metabolic-inducing foods, but here are some of our favorites:
- Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, which is a compound that increases your metabolism andhelps you burn more calories.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon is a great spice to add to your food if you’re trying to boost your metabolism. It helps toregulate blood sugar levels, which stabilizes insulin levels and promotes weight loss.
- Ginger: Gingerincreases the thermogenic effect of food, which means your body uses more calories to digest a meal. It also reduces hunger, which can help you lose weight.
- Garlic: Garlic contains allicin, which is a compound that has beenshown to boost metabolism.
EATING METABOLIC BOOSTING FOODS: HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
While all of these foods are great for boosting your metabolism, they’re often ingredients to more complex meals, which means they can sometimes be time-consuming to prepare. And since this is all about making things easier for you, we’ve got some tips on how to make sure you’re getting your daily dose.
- Prep Your Spice Rack: Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, etc – are you seeing a trend here? There are so many food options to increase your metabolism that are available in ground-up form. This makes it easy to use them as a spice in a dish, or add unique flavors into a drink.
- Supplement What You Dislike: you can also take supplements that contain these nutrients. For example, if you don’t like the taste of garlic, you can take a supplement, which contains more of the important compounds you need to lose weight than you could comfortably eat in a meal.
10. DON’T STARVE YOURSELF!
We’ve all been there. You’re trying to lose weight, so you think the answer is to eat less food. But that’s not necessarily true. Starving yourself can actually lead to weight gain.
Restricting your diet is amajor cause of late-night binging – something that will most certainly derail your weight loss efforts. So instead of eating less, focus on eating the right types of foods that will help you lose weight.
And when it comes to snacking, don’t deprive yourself. If you’re feeling hunger pangs, reach for a healthy snack like fruit or nuts instead of unhealthy junk food.
Not eating enough or not eating at all can also slow down your metabolism and further disrupt your weight loss efforts.
By listening to your body and giving it what it needs, you’ll be more successful in your weight loss journey.
EATING CORRECTLY: HOW TO MAKE IT EASIER
Just like late-night binging, the biggest challenge around eating the right amount surrounds the time of day. There are a few moments that are more challenging than others. Here are some of the common ones to watch for, and how you can work around them.
- All Day – Meal Prepping: This is one of the best ways to make sure you’re eating correctly throughout the day. By taking the time to prep your meals ahead of time, you can control portion sizes and make sure you’re getting the right mix of nutrients.
- Lunch – Eating Out: Whether you’re grabbing lunch at work or going out with friends, it can be tough to find healthy options. If you’re eating out, try to find places that have healthier options like salads or lean protein. And if you’re at work, pack your lunch ahead of time so you know exactly what you’re eating.
- Dinner – Family Mealtime: This is often the time when people tend to overeat. If you’re trying to lose weight, try to make healthier choices when you’re cooking for your family. And when everyone else is eating dessert, remember that you don’t have to indulge just because they are.