By the time you finished this sentence, you could have burned 100 calories. Well, that’s only if you knew these 35 essential secrets to losing weight fast.
We know that losing extra pounds used to mean giving up your favorite foods, spending hours at the gym and being hungry (and hungry) all the time. Fortunately, giving up a dress size (or two) doesn’t have to be so complicated or torturous. Sure, losing a significant amount of weight requires lifestyle changes and hard work, but it all comes down to simple choices.
By making these instant weight loss changes, you can jumpstart your fat burning efforts in no time and lose weight fast. Try a few of these tips to experience the fastest weight loss, then follow up your results by starting your morning with a weight loss smoothie. Why? This: what happens to your body when you drink a smoothie every day.
Rise and shine – literally! Researchers at Northwestern University found that people exposed to daylight earlier in the day tended to weigh less than those who didn’t receive sunlight until later. So right after you wake up, open the blinds and let the sunshine in. Or better yet, go outside and enjoy your morning cup of coffee on the porch
STAY INFORMED: Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest culinary news delivered straight to your inbox.
Avoid cream and sugar in your cup of Joe, and opt for black to help you lose weight fast. Black coffee has zero calories and can help you burn calories faster. According to a study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, the average metabolic rate of those who drank caffeinated coffee was 16 percent higher than those who drank decaffeinated coffee.
Sugary sodas are terrible for you and are prone to weight gain. One can of Coke has 140 calories and 39 grams of sugar – more than your total daily amount! Replace it with unsweetened tea, hot or iced. Tea has no calories and has its own fat-melting properties. Opt for green or oolong, which are among our best teas for weight loss.
RELATED: What happens to your body if you drink tea every day
Instead of constantly refilling the same disposable bottle over and over again, pick up a BPA-free bottle, preferably made of glass or aluminum. Not only is this better for your waistline, but carrying a bottle with you will encourage you to drink more H2O throughout the day. Drinking more water means you’ll be less hungry and boost your metabolism. For more hydrating health benefits to help you lose weight fast, find out what happens to your body when you drink water.
Squeezing refreshing lemon will not only help you drink more water; it also has detoxification benefits that are sure to help you lose weight fast. Lemons are rich in polyphenols, which are compounds containing antioxidants. A study in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry found that mice fed lemon polyphenols were less likely to gain weight and accumulate body fat.
RELATED: What happens to your body when you drink lemon water every day
Swap your large plate for a smaller salad plate and eat your meals. By eating from a smaller plate, you’re more likely to get more accurate portions. You are also likely to trick your brain into thinking you are eating more, making you feel fuller and faster.
Getting more than five hours of sleep per night may seem like a luxury to some, but it can have a serious impact on your overall health. Not getting the recommended 7 to 8 hours of shut-eye per night puts you at risk for fatigue the next day, which means you’re more likely to crave and snack on high-calorie comfort foods. Try going to bed earlier to get a little more sleep, which will help you eat less. And to blast fat even faster, don’t miss these essential ways to boost your metabolism.
Refined white breads are simple carbs that your body turns into sugar and can really hurt your weight loss efforts. Whole grain bread, on the other hand, is packed with slimming fiber and can help you feel fuller longer. Just be sure to read your labels. “If the ingredients at the top of the ingredient list read sugar, sucrose, fructose, corn syrup, white or wheat flour, these foods contain mostly simple carbohydrates and should be limited,” Rebecca Lewis, RD told us. “A food is only considered whole grain if the first ingredient on the package says ‘whole grain’ or ‘whole wheat’.”
Another way to cut carbs and calories and lose weight fast is to make your sandwich open-faced. Opting for one slice of bread instead of two will save you 70 to 90 calories and give you more room to pile on healthy toppings like lettuce, tomato, sprouts and avocado. Still hungry? Pair your sandwich with a side of baby carrots or bell pepper strips. The water and fibre in vegetables will fill you up and help you in your weight loss efforts.
You don’t need to break out the measuring cups to properly divide your food: a serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards or the size of the palm of your hand. Your whole fist should be the size of a serving of vegetables (although the more the better!). A serving of fat, like butter or coconut oil, should be the size of your thumb. Your serving of carbohydrates should be no larger than what can fit in your cupped hand. For more ways to see your proper serving sizes, see what serving sizes actually look like.
If you eat a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, chances are you’ll get the vitamins and minerals you need to boost weight loss and lose weight fast. But it’s also a good idea to take vitamins that can supplement your diet; B vitamins (especially B2 and B12) can boost energy, vitamin D can regulate appetite and help with weight loss, and magnesium can trigger lipolysis, a process by which your body releases fat from where it is stored.
Spice up your favorite dishes with a few dashes of cayenne pepper sauce. Cayenne pepper contains capsaicin, an appetite suppressant; a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate capsaicin consumed 200 fewer calories at their next meal. Not only will this help you cut calories and increase weight loss, but researchers also found that capsaicin can help you lose belly fat and lose weight quickly.
While you’re enjoying your meal or snack, be sure to take a few seconds to write it down. Whether you prefer the old-fashioned pen and journal approach or a food app like MyFitnessPal, recording what you eat can help you cut calories.
There’s no way to sugarcoat it: your TV makes you fat. It keeps you from being active, gives you cravings, and distracts you while you eat. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate in front of the television consumed 10% more than they normally would. Eating while distracted disrupts your satiety signals, so turning off all your electronic devices while you snack will help you stick to your portions and feel full.
Even listening to music while you eat can lead to weight gain, according to a study published in the journal Appetite. Research has shown that people who listen to music eat more food, and it doesn’t matter how fast or loud the music is. It’s best to focus on the food you’re eating while you’re eating, which helps you connect to satiety signals.
One of the easiest ways to burn extra calories is to get up from your chair at work; standing burns 50 more calories per hour than sitting, according to a British study. If you’re lucky enough to have a standing desk, be sure to use it. If not, you can easily create your own by stacking books or boxes on your desk and standing up to work. At the very least, make sure you take a break every hour to get up and stretch, and maybe take a walk around the office. Every movement counts!
Do you mindlessly sprinkle salt on your food without even tasting it first? Stop it! Seriously. Too much sodium can lead to water weight gain and bloating, which will make your pants fit tighter (and the number on the scale go up). Also, be sure to read your labels; sodium is usually hidden in processed foods, even “healthy” foods like frozen dinners and canned soups.
Red wine can actually be good for you, thanks to the antioxidant resveratrol, which studies show is good for you and may help you lose weight. But any more than one glass, and you open yourself up to extra sugar, empty calories and an alcoholic buzz, which can inhibit your ability to make healthy food choices. If you’re at happy hour, stop at one drink and opt for club soda (which has no calories) or lemon water instead.
Eliminating fat can be as simple as turning down the heat (or starting the air conditioner) before bed. A study published in the journal Diabetes found that participants who slept in rooms at a cold temperature of 66 degrees burned almost twice as much brown fat after a few weeks as those who slept in rooms at 75 degrees neutral or 81 degrees toasty.
Just popping a few almonds in your mouth could help you lose weight, and not just because almonds are better for you than, say, candy. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating 1.5 ounces of almonds a day reduced belly and leg fat. And another study of overweight adults found that people who ate ¼ cup of almonds for 6 months had a 62% greater reduction in weight and BMI.
If you stock your purse, car and desk with healthy snacks, you’ll be less tempted to hit the vending machine or drive-thru. Try raw almonds, bananas, or one of our Eat This approved nutrition bars for a satisfying, nutrient-rich option to feed those cravings.
When you’re done cooking, divide up just enough for your meal and put the rest away. The more your food sits, the more likely you are to snack and go back for seconds (or thirds). The same goes for eating out: ask for a to-go box with your meal, that way you can store the leftovers and not be tempted to overeat.
Carbs and protein, that is. Carbs are certainly not the enemy; you can totally benefit from carbs and still lose weight. The trick is to choose something complex (like brown rice, quinoa, or whole grain bread) or something refined (like white rice, white pasta, and white bread) and pair it with a protein. So, if you have crackers for a snack, make sure you also eat almonds or a string cheese stick. “I always incorporate a protein and a carbohydrate into every meal,” Jim White, RD, ACSM Health and owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios, told us. “This can curb your appetite and slow down the glycemic index of some of your high sugar foods.”
Opting for jeans instead of more formal work clothes could help keep the extra pounds off. A University of Wisconsin study found that people who wore denim to work took nearly 500 more steps during the day than on days when they wore more formal clothing. If your office allows it, try to make Casual Friday happen more than once a week.
No seriously. This annoying social media habit could end up helping you eat less. A review of studies on mindful eating published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that if people remember their last meal as hearty and satisfying, they tend to eat less at their next meal. So take your delicious food and scroll through your diet before you eat next.
You know all those high-calorie, high-sugar recipe videos littering your Facebook news feed? Trippy hands arranging layers of cookie dough, peanut butter cups, and chocolate brownie batter that come together to make a mouthwatering, decadent dessert that also makes you ridiculously fat. “The Internet and social media sites make you fat,” Lisa Hayim, MS, RD and founder of The WellNecessities, told us in our article on the worst weight loss mistakes women make. “If it’s not 25 ways to eat tater tots, it’s [another] national [something] day. The Internet has made it nearly impossible to stay away from cravings and indulgences. These are not excuses to eat unhealthy foods. “The next time you see one of these videos, scroll quickly.
Going out to dinner? Decide what to order before you even sit down by researching the restaurant’s menu beforehand. You’ll be less likely to order on impulse and be able to select the healthiest item without thinking about it. For more ways to lose weight at restaurants, check out our list of tips for healthy eating out.
Studies have shown that taking a whiff of fresh green apples, bananas, and pears can help curb appetite and reduce cravings for sweet desserts. If you keep a fruit basket on your counter, stop and smell it if you’re craving something sweet. Otherwise, the scented lotion will have the same effect.
You may think hand sanitizer gets rid of germs and keeps you from getting sick, but it can also make you fat. Hand sanitizer contains triclosan, which researchers have found to be an “obesogen,” meaning it could cause weight gain by disrupting your body’s hormones. A study published in the journal PLOS One found that people who had detectable levels of triclosan in their bodies were associated with a 0.9 point increase in body mass index (BMI). If you’re really worried about germs, it’s best to rely on good old-fashioned soap and water.
It sounds silly, but changing the hand you eat with can save you calories and help you lose weight. “It takes your brain 15 minutes to realize you’re full,” celebrity personal trainer Jay Cardiello told us in our 40+ weight loss tips article. “To give your mind time to catch up with your mouth, simply switch your fork to a non-dominant hand. It can be frustrating, but it’s a simple and imperceptible way to curb overeating and lose weight.”
Stopping eating after dinner is an easy way to cut down on mindless snacking and extra calories, and can help boost weight loss, says White. One way to avoid that after-dinner grazing is to brush your teeth almost immediately after your last meal of the day. The mint flavor in your mouth will make all your favorite foods taste gross anyway, and you won’t want to go back and brush your teeth again.
Getting up early for a morning workout is always tough, especially if you get dressed before the sun comes up. Leaving your sneakers in view of your bed will make it easier to get out of bed and remind you why you wake up early in the first place. Plus, putting your entire workout ensemble together will cut down on prep time, so you can get dressed and out the door before you have time to change your mind.
Scrolling through your social media one last time may be most people’s ritual before bed, but it can seriously disrupt your sleep cycle. The light from your screen can suppress melatonin, the hormone that controls sleep. And getting plenty of firmness is important for your waistline; a study published in the journal Sleep found that people who did not get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night were at greater risk of weight gain. Try putting your phone away 20 minutes before bedtime to avoid light distraction. And if you need a little extra help falling asleep, try the 5 absolute best foods to eat for better sleep.