If you need to lose weight fast, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find 100 proven free tips below to help you lose weight quickly and to keep you inspired along the way.
Cutting calories has an upside. A study recently that showed that cutting just 15 percent of your caloric intake can substantially increase your lifespan!
Implement these diet and exercise tips gradually. If you try to jump in full force, you can become overwhelmed. Take it a few tips at a time. It might be slower, but your chance for success and losing weight will increase if you incorporate these tips at a comfortable rate. If you are looking for a full diet and exercise plan, learn how to lose weight the smart way with our book.
How to Lose Weight Fast
1. Set Realistic Goals – Write down short-term and long-term goals, and keep them where you can see them. If you see your goals every day, you are more likely to reach them. Keep your goals realistically achievable. It feels great to cross off a goal when you reach it!
2. Visualize – Imagine yourself reaching your next short-term goal and your long-term goal and crossing each goal off your list as you reach it. Imagine your life when you reach your BIG goal. Imagine how you will look and how it will feel. See yourself in a new outfit at your healthy weight.
3. Pick Your “Diet” – Whether you adopt one of today’s popular diets or you create your own, have something to use as a game plan—a roadmap to keep you on track. By selecting one of “today’s” diets, you can get support on the Internet from other dieters. Just stay away from fad diets, because they don’t work for the long term, and they can damage your health.
4. Steer Clear of Diet Pills – Remember Fen-phen? Some diet pills can cause serious illness. Most are not natural and are not needed at all, so why take the risk?
5. Replace – Make a list of all the current foods you like to eat. Cross off the ones that you know are not going to help you reach your goal, and find new healthy recipes for weight loss to replace them. Print out at least 10 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for future use.
6. Clear Out – Gut your fridge and pantry! Remove all unhealthy foods you might be tempted to eat that you listed above. Then, head to the store, and make sure to keep your fridge and pantry stocked full of healthy food at all times.
7. To Tell or Not to Tell – Some dieters tell others about their journey. Others keep it to themselves. Tell only those who will support you in your efforts. There is no point in sharing your objectives with negative people.
8. Incorporate Tips Slowly – Don’t try to incorporate all of these tips at once. That’s a sure-fire way to disappointment. Start slowly incorporating the easy tips first, then move on to the ones you find more difficult. While your short-term goal is to lose weight fast, it’s the long-term goal of health of fitness that matter most—this is a marathon, not a sprint.
9. Persistence Pays – Few people reach any goal without persistence. View each setback as a learning opportunity, and you’re on your way to eliminating unhealthy behavior.
10. Shop on a Full Stomach – Shopping on a full stomach will help to ensure that you don’t buy unhealthy comfort foods.
11. Make a List – Make a shopping list and stick to it. If you find another fruit or vegetable on sale, you can substitute, but as a general rule, stick to the list and get out of the grocery store as quickly as possible. Studies show that the more you dawdle, the more junk food you place in your cart and the more money you spend in the grocery.
12. Swear off Processed Foods – Replace processed foods with foods that you cook from scratch. Yes, fresh, healthy foods cost money, but they cost no more than expensive, fat- and sugar-laden processed Frankenfoods. Have you read the ingredients on those boxes lately?
13. Shop the Perimeter – Healthy foods live on the perimeter of the grocery store—produce, meat and dairy. The aisles are your danger zone, except for a few condiments and spices and herbs, you’ll want to steer clear of the aisles. Also avoid the endcaps.
14. Pick up Healthy Snacks – Pick up nuts, fruit, cheese—whatever your diet allows—for treats to replace candy bars and sugar-filled snacks. Keep health snacks on hand at all times.
15. Buy Large Meat Packages – You can make chicken stir-fry one day, sesame chicken the next day and grill some chicken for the freezer. You can also add leftover chicken to salads—you get the idea. Use the same strategy with meat, and you’ll never have an excuse to eat fast foods.
16. Don’t Fall for Low-Fat – You’ll find all kinds of low-fat cookies, pastries and other treats. When you remove most of the fat, you’re removing flavor, and you have to replace the fat with something. In this case, they replace it with sugar!
17. Don’t Fall for Veggie Chips – They’re veggie, but the vegetable is more often than not potatoes and some kind of other vegetable derivative. In essence, they’re just potato chips by another name.
18. Don’t Fall for Substitutes – You must read the label on all products you buy, because often enough, when a product says its “free” of something considered unhealthy the replacements used to achieve the same taste can be just as unhealthy!
19. Sugar Substitutes – Avoid Aspartame, Splenda and all the other new-fangled sweeteners.
20. Approach Mealtime as an Adventure – Keep your healthy eating dynamic by trying new things and mixing up what you eat. This will help you develop a rich diet that you can stick to forever instead of a short time. The more healthy options you have, the less your chances will be of running for fast food or take out.
21. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables – Vegetables represent dense calories, that is, calories packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables are recommended daily. If you eat your vegetables first, you’re bound to lose weight. Fruits supply extra fiber and water and can provide a quick and easy snack.
22. Incorporate Color and Texture – Buy mixing green, yellow, orange, red and purple vegetables, you’ll get a wide array of nutrients. Adding texture gives you something to chew on.
23. Add Raw Foods – Raw foods pack a bigger punch nutritionally. Nutrients are always loss in the cooking process. If you can start by adding 20 percent raw foods and work up from there, you’ll quickly replace empty calories with dense calories and fiber.
24. Undercook Vegetables – There’s nothing worse than limp broccoli or asparagus. YUK! Not only are overcooked vegetables unappetizing, but they can have less nutrition. The more nutrition you get from your food, the less likely you are to overeat.
25. Add Fiber – The typical American diet contains only about half the amount of recommended fiber. By adding vegetables, nuts, whole grains and beans to your diet, you’ll automatically increase the fiber content of your diet, helping you to feel full and aiding in cancer prevention.
26. Season Food – Fresh ground sea salt and pepper, garlic, herbs, chiles and lemon juice add tons of flavor with few calories, and all that flavor excites the taste buds and helps to satisfy your hunger.
27. Cut Down on Salt – A little salt goes a long way. Replace some salt with lemon juice and herb mixtures.
28. Replace Table Salt – Throw out that blue box of table salt and replace it with sea salt, which is full of trace minerals.
29. Eat Seasonally – People are moving toward supporting local farmers and eating local food. That means that they’re eating seasonally. When you eat seasonally, you’re guaranteed the freshest produce, the produce that contains the most nutrients, and nutritionally dense food keeps your appetite at bay better than sugary empty calories.
30. Capsaicin Burns Fat – Incorporate hot peppers that contain Capsaicin into your diet to raise your metabolism. Add raw peppers to salads, omelets, etc.
31. Spice up Your Metabolism – Some spices and condiments aid in thermogenesis, the production of heat, which helps to burns fat. Adding ginger, peppers, allspice, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, turmeric, etc., can keep the fat burning engine in top form. Try a side of wasabi, chutney or salsa—all on the spicy side—and use garlic and onions liberally in your cooking.
32. Don’t Forget the Protein – Try to work some protein into each meal. It’s satisfying, fills you up, and it will hold you until your next meal.
33. Plan a Cook-a-Thon – When you cook healthy meals, make enough for multiple servings and save or freeze individual portions. You can have leftovers or defrost one or more frozen portions when you don’t want to cook.
34. Use Healthy Fats – Fats keep the skin supple, and used in moderation, they can enhance mealtime. Stay away from trans-fats, and stick to olive oil, coconut oil (yes, that’s right) and even butter when cooking (a little goes a long way)—those are the only fats you should use when cooking, because heat does not transform them into trans-fats. Use olive oil, safflower or sunflower oil sparingly on salads. Never, ever use margarine.
35. Eat More Small Meals – Instead of eating three large meals a day, eat five or six small meals a day.
36. Drink Water – Drink at least eight glasses of non-carbonated, purified water—half your weight in ounces each day. Water keeps the metabolism engine running, and drinking enough water ensures that you burn more calories each day. There is no substitute for water. If you really hate the taste of water, add a little lemon or lime juice or brew a weak green tea.
37. Dehydration vs. Hunger – When the first hunger pang strikes, drink a tall glass of water before eating. Dehydration often mimics hunger, and once you’ve killed your thirst, you may find that you’re not hungry.
38. Eliminate Stress – Stress is one of the biggest causes of overeating.
39. Uncover Food Addictions – Any food that you must have and that you cannot stop eating is most likely an addiction. If you feel bad or sleepy after eating a certain food, it’s a good bet that you’re addicted to that food. Avoid it and find a suitable substitute. Soon, you’ll lack the desire for the addicting food.
40. Always Eat Breakfast – Not only will eating breakfast get you off to a good start and stave off the mid-morning slump, but studies show that it improves learning and memory.
41. No Time for Breakfast? – Make a superfoods smoothie with one of the green drink mixes. Add a scoop of protein powder, a scoop of superfoods greens powder and mix with ice, water and fruit for a delicious breakfast drink that will keep you satisfied for hours.
42. Add Raw Veggies to Fruit Smoothies – Adding spinach, celery, etc. to your morning smoothie, supercharges it, adds fiber, and the fruits overpower the taste of the vegetables.
43. Avoid Commercial “Smoothies” – Don’t confuse a superfoods smoothie with a commercial smoothie—commercial smoothies are mostly sugar suspended in ice cream or yogurt in drinkable form. Most contain little, if any, actual fruit.
44. Eat Before You Get Hungry – This tip requires practice, because sometimes we get busy, and by the time we realize we’re hungry, we starving. That’s why snacks are important when you’re on a diet. You never want to go more than a few hours without food. Eating before you get hungry helps you to eat sensible portions.
45. Eating at Work – Pack your lunch and plenty of snacks for work each night. Stock the refrigerator at work with healthy snacks and make sure that you don’t run out.
46. Replace Commercial Luncheon Meats – Luncheon meats contain lots of nasty fillers. Buy whole turkey breasts, chicken breasts and lean cuts of meat. Roast them and slice thinly for use as luncheon meats. Freeze in small portions and defrost as needed.
47. Fake Fried Foods – Almost anything that you can fry, you can “oven-fry.” You’ll find plenty of oven-fried recipes on the Internet.
48. Avoid Liquor – Did you know that alcohol is sugar? If you must raise a (a, as in one) glass, have some red wine and tell yourself that you’re getting lots of age-defying antioxidants. The resveratrol in red wine also can help you to keep from gaining abdominal fat.
49. Replace Commercial Fruit Juice – Commercial fruit juice contains a high concentration of sugar. If you can’t stand the thought of giving up fruit juice, eat whole fruit instead so that you receive the benefit of the fiber.
50. Replace Soda – One can of soda contains a ton of sugar! Most commercial diet sodas also contain Aspertame. Squeeze one orange, including the pulp, and top it off with club soda for a refreshing treat. That way, you’re getting whole fruit and minimal sugar.
51. Replace Sports Drinks after Exercise – Drink an “electrolyte” water such as SmartWater to receive the same benefits you would from a sugary sports drink—without the added sugar.
52. Water First – Drink a large glass of water 10 minutes before meals. You will feel satisfied with less food.
53. Sleight of Hand – Trick your mind. Use smaller plates when you eat and you will be reducing portion sizes and calories. Your stomach is about the size of your fist, so it takes a very small plate of food to fill your stomach. Restaurant and fast-food meals are sized for an army, and that amount of food is neither healthy nor normal.
54. Slow Down – Eat slower. Put your fork down in between bites. Enjoy conversation with family and friends.
55. Chew Well – Digestion starts in the mouth, and if you don’t fully digest your food, you miss out on some of the nutritional value.
56. Leave Behind the Multitasking – When it’s time to eat, sit at the table and eat. Don’t stand at the counter, watch TV, pay bills, talk on the phone or work while eating. You will eat less if you concentrate your energy on eating slowly and purposefully.
57. Not So Fast – After you eat, wait at least 10 minutes before thinking about second helpings. It takes time for your stomach to signal your brain that it is full enough, which translates into not hungry. Routinely waiting 10 minutes will help you differentiate between not hungry and full.
58. Closed for the Night – Close the kitchen early so that you aren’t tempted to snack in the evenings. Wash the dishes, clean the sink and stove top, and put everything away for the night. Often, evening snacking is habitual. If you must snack, try a few nuts or a half cup of homemade, sugar-free ice cream.
59. Treats and Cheats – When the urge strikes to cheat and nothing else will do, make your cheat-treat from scratch. Yes, you’ll have to go to the store to buy the ingredients, mess up the kitchen, clean up after yourself and it could take hours. Do you still want to cheat?
60. Healthy Cheats – According to Dr. Andrew Weil, plain dark chocolate, used sparingly is the only healthy sweet. Note: sparingly is the operative word. Save for a treat when you’ve been especially good for a week or when you’ve had a terrific workout.
61. Stock up on Gum – Keep sugar-free, Aspartame-free gum around. Sometimes the act of chewing is all you really need to keep hunger at bay.
62. Supplements – Even though you’re eating healthier, it’s next to impossible to get enough nutrients from today’s food supply. At a minimum, supplement with a good multi-vitamin and extra C.
63. Maintain a Healthy Gut – According to Dr. Mercola, a healthy gut environment can aid in weight loss.
64. Stay Low – Familiarize yourself with the Glycemic Index and substitute low GI foods such as multigrain bread, apples and sweet potatoes for white bread, melon and French fries. High GI foods wreak havoc with insulin levels, while low GI foods result in stable insulin levels, which helps with weight loss.
65. Don’t Fall for the Myth of Negative Calorie Foods – Negative calorie foods use more calories for digestion than they provide—or so they say. This myth has been fully debunked. Sorry, but you’ll have to take responsibility for every morsel that passes your lips.
66. Brush Your Teeth – Brush your teeth after a meal. The mint flavor simulates the after-dinner mint, signaling the end of eating.
67. Eat Out Infrequently – Stay away from restaurants whenever possible. When eating out, check out the heart-healthy choices or stick with grilled or broiled chicken or fish. Watch out for the salad entrées, because some can have up to 2,000 calories! Pass on appetizers, dessert and liquor. Plan a “restaurant meal” at home one night each week. That way, you control the ingredients and the portion.
68. Fill up at Home – If you are going to a restaurant you know has unhealthy, tempting foods, eat something healthy before you leave so you are already full when you go. You will keep temptation under control and eat less at the restaurant.
69. To Go, Please – Ask your server to pack up half your meal before bringing your order t the table.
70. Share the Wealth – Split a large meal at a restaurant with your dining companion.
71. Control Restaurant Selection – When eating out with family or friends, try to steer them toward a restaurant with healthy food.
72. Why Exercise? – By adding regular exercise to your health and fitness routine, your diet doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting alone. You’ll feel better once you begin to exercise regularly, and you’ll sleep better as well. In short order, you’ll look forward to your exercise routine.
73. Total Fitness – You MUST have a solid workout program for maximum weight loss and fitness—a combination of cardio, weight-bearing and stretching exercises.
74. Early Bird Gets the Worm – Work out in the morning, if possible. It will energize you for hours to come and make you feel good for the rest of the day.
75. Shake it UP – Vary your exercise routine so that you don’t get bored and so that you are constantly challenging different muscles. This is especially important when you reach a plateau in weight and body mass loss.
76. Stretch – Always begin your workouts with stretching to warm up muscles and avoid injury. End with stretching to cool down. Bursting into a full-blown workout without warming up can be stressful on your heart.
77. Walking for Fitness – Add walking to your exercise program. Start walking one to two miles a day—or whatever you can. A simple two-mile walk can help you lose lots of weight over a few months when combined with a good diet. Thirty minutes of brisk walking burns off 300 calories. An hour of brisk walking can absolve a multitude of sins when you’ve been bad.
78. Power Walking – When you do your two-mile walk, start working in a 30-second power walk every two minutes to keep your heart rate up. This will help you build up your endurance, burn more calories. Studies show that by adding 30-second bursts, you increase the effectiveness and receive the maximum benefit from your walk.
79. Hot Fun in the Summer Time – Take advantage of the nice weather. Play tennis, swim, hike, garden, go horseback riding—sneak in all kinds of summertime outdoor activities in addition to your normal exercise routine. This is also the perfect time to park your car as far as possible from the entrance to a building.
80. Winter Blues – During the winter, replace outdoor activities with an exercise bike, treadmill or elliptical machine.
81. Double Up – Find a workout partner. You’ll keep each other motivated and help drag each other out of bed on those tough mornings!
82. Get Personal – If you can afford a personal trainer a few times a week (at least when you start your workout program), this will give your workout an extra edge and ensure that you are performing the exercises properly.
83. Frequency Counts – Frequency is even more important than duration when it comes to exercise. Even short exercise periods elevate metabolism for several hours. If you (legitimately) don’t have time for a full workout, settle for an abbreviated workout rather than skipping a day.
84. Step Away from the Couch – Make your TV time count by incorporating exercise with TV viewing. Try this aerobic coordination exercise the next time you’re tempted to veg out on the couch. Raise your right knee up to your left elbow, and then alternate with your left knee to your right elbow. Start with 20 reps and work up to 100 or more reps.
85. Dance, Dance, Dance – Dancing is not only fun, but it’s aerobic and a terrific caloric burner.
86. You Snooze, You Lose – Make sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sound sleep each night to help keep you energized. One of the major causes of weight gain, other than overeating, is inadequate sleep. Sometimes evening exercise can keep you awake at night. That’s one more good reason to exercise first thing in the morning.
87. Prepare Ahead of Time – If you work out at the gym, get your bag ready the night before, and place it by the door. In fact, repack your bag when you return home from the gym and have it ready to go on a moment’s notice.
88. Ask Yourself – Every time you contemplate taking an action that you know is bad for you, take a minute to ask yourself, “Is this action taking me toward my goal or away from goal?” Make it a habit, and choosing wisely becomes easier with practice.
89. Buy an Accurate Digital Scale – There’s a big difference between 130.0 and 130.8 pounds, especially when you begin to reach a plateau.
90. Weight Once a Week – Daily weight fluctuations are normal, but they can set you up for unnecessary disappointment. You’re more likely to see real progress by weighing once a week.
91. Take Progress Photos – Take a photo when you begin your diet and exercise program. Once a month, take a progress photo. Wear the same outfit (or lack thereof) so that you can compare against your baseline photo. Now, you have visible progress—your eyes don’t lie.
92. Measure This – Take your measurements when you start your fitness program and once each month thereafter. Tape measures don’t lie either.
93. Calculate BMI – Measure your Body Mass Index once a month. The BMI measures the amount of body fat based on your weight and height. It’s a better indicator of fitness than weight alone.
94. Post-it – Place inspirational post-it notes all over the house—on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, on the edge of your computer monitor, etc.—to help keep you motivated.
95. Healthy Before You Know It – You begin reaping healthy benefits by the time you’ve lost just five to 10 percent of your weight. That’s motivation to stick with your program until you reach your goal.
96. Journal Your Progress – Record your daily intake and exercise in a journal. Studies show that those who keep a journal reach their fitness goals quicker. You’ll be able to look back over your path to fitness and relish your success. Better yet, why not start a blog and lend encouragement to your readers.
97. Celebrate Success – When you reach an interim goal, pull out all the stops and celebrate. Find a nonfood celebration—indulge in a facial or a mani/pedi. Go to a concert or museum. Take a weekend getaway. Throw a barbecue with friends.
98. If You Fall off the Wagon – Pick yourself up and get back on board. Today is a brand new day toward your ultimate goal. Look at your written goals, note how far you’ve come and visualize the final outcome. Get out of the house and go for a walk. Do whatever you have to do to stop beating yourself up and get back on track.
99. Fit for Life – Don’t think of your diet and exercise program as temporary. These changes are LIFESTYLE changes to incorporate into your daily routines and habits.
100. Stay Connected – Check in regularly with diet blogs like this one, online forums and chat rooms for dieters. Helping others stay inspired is a sure route to firing up your motivation.
Zig Ziglar used to say, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right in both cases.” Once you set your mind to something and believe that you can accomplish it, you can move mountains. Set your mind to getting healthy and go for it. Your quality of life depends on it.
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