Maybe you’ve decided to get in better shape to improve your overall health, gain more energy, or in preparation for a competition or special event. Whatever the goal, you are certainly not alone. Most people in this world know what it’s like to live with extra body weight, and that it can be a struggle to sustain weight loss.
Assuming you’re not already underweight (you can use a BMI calculator to determine this) and go about weight loss in a healthy manner, then there’s never a bad time to get fit and work on reaching a healthier weight.
But if you’ve ever tried slimming down in the past, you know that it’s not necessarily easy to just change your diet and squeeze in more exercise. That’s why experts are always offering up their favorite tips and suggestions.
From exercising for short bursts of time, to making weekly menus, to even having a cheat meal here and there, the diet and lifestyle tips below can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Just remember, this is not only about losing weight, but living a better healthier, happier life.
5 Keys for How to Lose Weight
1. Remove “Metabolism Death Foods”
When it comes to learning how to lose weight fast and easy, some common issues may be getting in the way. For some, research shows that one or more health issues may be what prevents them from losing weight (in addition to factors like physical activity, genetics, mental health status and socioeconomic status). First and foremost, try to identify any roadblocks that are keeping you from seeing results, such as:
- Thyroid issues
- Leaky gut syndrome, autoimmune diseases and inflammation
- Hormonal and adrenal issues (“adrenal fatigue”)
- Cellular toxicity
- Candida overgrowth
In order to address these obstacles and overcome them, consider avoiding certain foods that can contribute to over-eating and trigger inflammation by causing gut-related issues. I call these the metabolism death foods, which you will want to remove and replace with healthy alternatives.
- Fast Food and Processed Foods: Unfortunately, foods for which studies show we have a high biological preference (those high in sugar and calories), and which contribute to overeating, are currently the cheapest and most accessible. It takes effort, but cut out ANY fast food, which relies on additives and excessive sodium to taste appealing, and foods with long ingredient lists that are hard to pronounce. Higher consumption of fruits and veggies and lower consumption of fats/oils and sweets/beverages has been shown to help prevent obesity. What to do instead: Eat minimally processed, whole foods that have ideally been cooked from scratch.
- Added Sugar: Contrary to popular belief, fat isn’t the first thing that will make you fat … it’s consuming too much sugar. Sugar can be hidden under names like corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, juice concentrate, maltodextrin, raw sugar and brown sugar. These sugars can often be hidden in things that sound like health foods, including fruit juice, granola bars, dressings and protein bars. What to do instead: Eliminate and replace all of these types of sugar with natural sweeteners like green stevia and raw honey, but have even both of these in moderation.
- Refined Grains: I know it may seem that “whole grains” like wheat bread are healthy, but most are far from helping your metabolism. Three of the main compounds in grains are gluten, starch and phytic acid, all of which can cause issues. Gluten can cause inflammation, starch turns into sugar quickly, and phytic acid binds to minerals, blocking some of their absorption. What to do instead: Replace your daily intake of grains with fruits and vegetables, or consume up to one piece daily of a sprouted grain bread or sourdough. If you don’t want to totally ditch grains, have sprouted and fermented grains instead, which contain fewer antinutrientsand are more filling. When it comes to using flour, switch to almond or coconut flour — it’s the perfect flour for fat loss.
- Canola or Vegetable Oils: Canola oil or other vegetable oils are found in many processed foods that can slow down your fat loss. What to do instead: Replace all vegetable oils with beneficial coconut oil and grass-fed butter to promote more rapid fat loss.
2. Eat These 4 Fat-Burning Foods Daily
Here are some of the top fat-burning foods that can help revive your metabolism:
- Quality Protein: If you want to turn your body into a fat-burning furnace, you’re going to need to eat plenty of quality protein. Proteins are the building blocks of muscles, which support a healthy metabolism. Also, protein is the least likely macronutrient to be stored as fat. Aim to get between 0.5 and 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight a day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, shoot for around 80–100 grams of protein a day. What to eat: Grass-fed beef, organic chicken, free-range eggs, wild-caught fish like salmon, lamb, venison and bone broth are some of the best foods high in protein.
- Coconut: Coconuts contain MCFAs (medium chain fatty acids), a type of healthy fat your body can easily burn for energy. You will want to replace most other sources of fat and oils with things like coconut oil. If you want to know how to steadily lose weight over a period of 30 days and beyond, this is a great start. What to eat: Coconut oil for cooking, coconut milk in your morning smoothie and coconut flour can replace other flours when baking.
- Sprouted Seeds: Seeds that have been sprouted, such as flaxseeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds, are loaded with healthy fiber that can support your fat loss efforts. Also, they are high in protein and contain omega-3 fats, which can help your metabolism. What to eat: Use chia, flax or hemp seeds in your morning smoothie and in baking.
- Nutrient-Dense Vegetables: In order to lose those unwanted pounds, you not only need to be aware of your calories but also focus on getting more nutrients. Vegetables are your highest source of vitamins and minerals, which regulate metabolic function and support organs like your thyroid. What to eat: Green leafy vegetables and cruciferous vegetables are at the top of the list. Other favorites are kale, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus and carrots. Steamed, sautéed and cooked in coconut oil are all great choices.
What are some other foods to include in a healthy diet that may lead to weight loss? These include grapefruit and green tea. New research is revealing that consuming grapefruit may be beneficial due to an enzyme called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) that helps your body utilize sugar. Additionally, nootkatone, a component found in grapefruit, has been shown to significantly increase fat-burning (AMPK) activity.
Drinking 1–3 cups of herbal teas such as green tea, white tea, black tea and rooibos tea daily may help amp up your metabolism. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, green tea is more effective than other teas like oolong at promoting weight loss because of its high levels of catechins.
Remember to have protein, fiber and healthy fat at every meal. Also, when consuming carbohydrates, like fruit, consider having them in the morning and around workouts.
Here’s a One-Day Sample Eating Plan:
Breakfast: Coconut Berry Smoothie
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 cup berries
- 1 scoop protein powder from bone broth or whey
- 1 tablespoon sprouted flax meal
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Lunch: Greek Salad
- 1 sliced chicken breast
- 1 cup spinach
- 1/4 cup sliced cucumber
- 1/2 tomato sliced
- 1 ounce goat cheese
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Dinner: Organic Meat (bison burger, salmon, chicken)
- 6–8 ounces organic meat
- 1 serving sautéed kale
- 1 serving sautéed broccoli
3. Exercise Less to Lose More Weight
Believe it or not, here’s how to lose weight fast with exercise: do less, not more. If you want to break through a weight-loss plateau, jumpstart your metabolism and burn belly fat fast, there is no better type of exercise than burst training and Tabata training. Studies show that this type of exercise causes an afterburn effect in your body so you keep burning fat for hours after your workout.
I recommend doing Burst training three to four days a week for between 20 and 40 minutes. Many people have seen amazing results with a Burst training workout. Here is an example of a 4-minute Tabata with 40 seconds of burst exercise and then 20 seconds of rest. You would repeat this set 2 to 3 times for a complete workout:
- Sprint on spin bike // Rest
- Fast push-ups // Rest
- Pulsing squats with shoulder press // Rest
- Sprint on spin bike // Rest
- Squat thrusts // Rest
- Plank walk (spider walk) // Rest
- Sprint on spin bike // Rest
- Lunges with shoulder press // Rest
If you’re at a total loss as to how to begin a fitness routine, have an injury or other health issues or simply want to learn how to maximize your gym time, considering investing in a personal trainer. They can help shape a fitness program to reach your goals while taking into account any special considerations. A certified personal trainer can be a great way to kick-start your healthy lifestyle or help get you over a weight loss plateau.
4. Take These Supplements That Support Fat Loss
- Quality Protein Powder — Protein is essential for building lean muscle and supporting a healthy metabolism. Because it can sometimes be difficult to get all the protein you need through eating meat, protein powder is a great supplement for fat loss. You can add it to smoothies, baking or drink it in water or juice. The best protein powders available include organic whey protein, collagen protein, protein made from bone broth, pea protein, hemp protein, and brown rice protein. One of the benefits of whey protein is that it’s a fastest acting protein, so I recommend that you consume right before or after a workout. Collagenis the most easily digested protein and can help heal your body in addition to helping your metabolism. Plant-based protein powders are good options for people looking to avoid animal products or who can’t tolerate dairy.
- Green Superfood Powder — Quality greens powders contain fat-burning compounds like green tea, green coffee and rhodiola that can boost your energy. They also contain green foods like chlorella, wheatgrass juice and kale that may help improve digestion and bloating. Try taking one scoop before or after exercise.
- Fish Oil with Vitamin D — Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically EPA and DHA. These healthy fats can help reduce inflammation and may work to improve body composition and counteract obesity-related metabolic changes. Vitamin D is a vitamin and pro-hormone that can help balance hormones, which aids in fat loss. Take 1,000 milligrams of fish oil daily and 2,000 I.U. of vitamin D3.
- Probiotic Supplement — Probiotics are involved in energy homeostasis, regulation of appetite, dietary intake and storage of lipids. Taking a daily probiotic can support digestion and may also help manage blood sugar, particularly when combined with prebiotics and a high-fiber diet.
5. Intermittent Fast
Intermittent fasting, also known as cyclic fasting, helps to stop you from eating mindlessly, can crank up your metabolism and is beneficial for hormone production, digestion and more. Research shows that fasting can stabilize blood sugar levels, help reduce inflammation and help keep your heart healthy.
You may want to try fasting approaches like “Time-Restricted Feeding,” which you fast for 16 hours everyday and limit your eating to eight hours (often this involves not eating anything after dinner and skipping breakfast the next morning), or “Alternate Day Fasting”, in which you eat no food at all or only a very small amount on fasting days, and then eat normally on non-fasting days.