To say losing weight can be challenging, a little bit tricky, and frankly, a time-consuming process is a major understatement. I get it, the ups and downs of dieting and trying the latest fad probably has your head spinning.
But here’s the thing, there are several fundamental ways to speed up the process and see results more quickly. I promise, they’re basic and easy to tips follow. And if you keep it simple, I’m confident you can make them a habit.
Here are the top 10 best ways to accelerate weight loss in 2024:
Eat a high protein diet
Let’s be real for a moment. If I were to tell you to have an extra piece of steak, would you be mad at me for it? No way!
I’m not saying you have to gobble down an entire cow on the daily, but adding a little extra protein in your diet to accelerate weight loss shouldn’t be too difficult for most. So yes Chipotle lovers, go ahead and double that meat!
Of course incorporating protein into your diet can help to boost metabolism, reduce appetite, and increase muscle mass. Aim to get at least 20-30% of your daily calories from protein sources such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, and plant-based protein like beans.
No time to cook? A delicious protein shake is always a tried and true fill-in when you’re coming up short on your daily protein intake.
Incorporate strength training
Naturally for most, cardio is the go-to when it comes to losing weight. And while it’s true that cardio is essential, lifting heavy things and putting them back down is a must.
There’s a common misconception that lifting weights will make your body bulk up rather than slim down. In reality, studies have repeatedly shown that is simply not the case. Strength training not only boosts metabolism, but the added muscle mass will help burn more calories.
For the maximum weight loss benefit, aim to do strength training at least two to three times a week.
It seems a little absurd that we have to constantly remind ourselves to drink more water. It’s the one thing that’s essential for life, but here we are struggling.
Not surprising, drinking plenty of water can help to flush out toxins, keep you feeling full, and aid in digestion.
The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is:
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women
Eat plenty of fiber
Somewhere along the line, getting enough fiber became synonymous with getting older. Prunes, anyone?
Kind of silly really, considering the role fiber plays in our overall health and wellbeing.
Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Aim to get at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day.
Get enough sleep
Getting enough sleep is another one of those, what I like to call, “duh” suggestions to accelerate weight loss. Without question, every person on the planet knows how important sleep is, yet we collectively can’t seem to get enough of it.
Whether it’s circumstantial or by choice, 1 in 3 people report not getting enough sleep. Once again, considering the fact that sleep is critical to life, it’s a little scary we don’t prioritize it more.
Let it be said once more, all healing and rejuvenation of the body happens while we sleep. If you want to improve your health, both physical and mental, go to bed already!
Eat more whole foods
For the overweight, you don’t have a weight problem as much as you have a food problem.
Given that 75% of the food at most grocery stores is considered ultra-processed, it’s no wonder you can’t lose weight. It’s a shame that more isn’t being done about it, but that’s reality.
If dropping pounds is your goal, unfortunately your only option is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store. You know, the place where they keep the real fruits, veggies, and meat.
I hate to say it, but when it comes to life, maybe Taylor Swift was right, “You Need to Calm Down”.
Stress can lead to absurdly unhealthy habits such as emotional eating, which can sabotage weight loss efforts. Try to finally commit to some stress-reducing activities such as yoga, meditation, or exercise into your daily routine.
Avoid sugary drinks
Drinking an excessive amount of calories is one of the biggest weight loss mistakes around. It’s so easy to overdo it, yet we sabatage ourselves by saying, “It’s only 1 can of Coke”.
Because it’s so difficult to manage, all sugary drinks like soda and juice should be avoided when losing weight. Choose water, unsweetened tea, or coffee instead.
When was the last time you actually paid attention to what you are putting in your mouth? I mean actually focusing on each bite, thinking about how it tastes, carefully chewing, and taking it all in? Not often I imagine and I’m guilty too.
Mindful eating involves paying attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues and eating without distractions. This can help to reduce the risk of overeating and promote weight loss.
Find a support system
Committing yourself to eating healthier is no small feat and of course it’s easier if done with others. Having a support system of friends, family, or a weight loss group can provide motivation and accountability.
Does no help necessarily = no success?
No, but human nature and guilt tend to be strong motivators for good and bad. Learning to not only be accountable to yourself, but having a buddy to lean on can be helpful in sticking to a weight loss plan.
Other Proven Ways To Accelerate Weight Loss
In addition to the strategies listed above, there are also several specific techniques and methods that can help to accelerate weight loss. Here are a few examples:
- Intermittent fasting: This involves alternating periods of eating with periods of fasting. Research has shown that intermittent fasting can lead to weight loss and improved metabolic health (1).
- Low carb diets: Reducing carbohydrate intake can lead to rapid weight loss, especially in the short-term. However, it’s important to ensure that you are getting enough nutrients and not cutting out entire food groups.
- High intensity interval training (HIIT): This type of exercise involves short bursts of intense activity followed by periods of rest. HIIT has been shown to be effective for weight loss and can be done in as little as 15 minutes per day (2).
- Meal prepping: Planning and preparing meals in advance can help to reduce the risk of making unhealthy food choices and can make it easier to stick to a weight loss plan.
- Portion control: Paying attention to portion sizes can help to reduce calorie intake and promote weight loss. Using smaller plates and measuring out servings can be helpful in this regard.
I know this will sound very robotic, but remember that weight loss is not a one-size-fits-all process and what works for one person may not work for another. Trust me, I’ve been there and I know. Take the time to experiment and find what works best for you and your body and to be consistent with your weight loss efforts.
That said, also be sure to set realistic goals and be patient with the weight loss process. Fast weight loss is often not sustainable and can even be unhealthy. Aim for a slow and steady weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week.
Editor-In-Chief at Recovatech. Dr. Ben is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic with over 10 years of clinical experience. He specializes in structural and neurological imbalances with an emphasis on functional movement patterns, exercise performance, and muscle recovery. He has been the team chiropractor for professional baseball and soccer organizations, as well as collegiate athletes. In his personal life, he’s always been driven when it comes to athletics and personal performance.