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A group of three friends sit on the floor of the gym after a workout and drink True Lemon Energy.

How To Lose Weight Fast (And Safely!)

When it comes to shedding pounds, a lot of people tend to focus on the best way to lose weight quickly. I.e., what is the best way we can get rid of unwanted pounds in the shortest amount of time? This almost always leads to fad diets, crash dieting and unrealistic expectations.

When it comes to losing body weight, fast actually isn’t the best method. And it’s not in the best interest for your body. The recommended speed of weight loss is between half a pound and two pounds per week for best results and lasting change. 

Why Crash Diets Don’t Work For Long Term Weight Loss

Crash diets are usually defined by a rigid meal plan. These consist of only eating certain foods at specific times. You’ll almost always lose weight by sticking with a disciplined structure like this for a period of time. Because you’ll likely be cutting out a significant number of extra calories. But you won’t lose body fat this way. Instead, you will lose a lot more water weight, bone density and muscle mass than actual fat pounds.

Fad diet trends usually focus on cutting out specific food groups, such as carbs or fat, leading to initial weight loss. This also leads to cutting out necessary nutrients. Because of these things, as soon as you go back to your normal way of eating, you’ll likely gain all the weight right back. And sometimes the weight gain is more than the amount of weight you lost!

You want to burn fat for sustainable weight loss. And also keep your muscles strong and make sure your bones and joints are healthy. The focus should be on making good food choices consistent with healthy eating. Then you’ll be more likely to maintain eating changes as a long-term lifestyle rather than a quick fix.

10 Strategies to Jump Start Weight Loss.

Track diet and exercise.

Weight loss is very simple in theory. It’s calories in minus calories out which gives your net caloric (energy) intake. The goal is to put out more energy than you take in. In reality there are a lot of other factors. BUT it’s always good to get an idea of how much food you actually eat, and how much of this you may actually be burning off. There is always a little variability in food tracking. But using an app like MyFitnessPal to track meals can give you a good idea of how many calories you eat in a day. Being more mindful of this will help you adjust calories up or down to meet your daily needs. It’s actually common for people to find out they are not eating enough!

(PRO TIP: There are many reasons that people don’t like to track or count calories. If you’re one of those people, there are other options. Watch your intake by keeping a food journal or using hand-size portions as a guide.)

Eat Slowly and Mindfully.

Most people lead busy lives. And the busier we get running from one activity to another, the harder it is to sit down and actually enjoy a meal. Paying attention to what you’re eating, how you’re eating and controlling the environment in which you’re eating is mindful eating. Take time to sit down and experience your meal without any distractions. Slow down and take time to truly taste and enjoy your food. Practicing mindful eating can lead to better portion control and weight management.

Increase water intake.

Our bodies are made up of nearly 60% water, so it needs water throughout the day for several processes. These are things like digestion, blood circulation and regulating body temperature. Staying hydrated throughout the day is important for every day health and may actually help you lose weight. If you have trouble drinking plain water, adding a hint of lemon can make it more palatable. You can also add other flavor enhancers, but be on the lookout for added sugars and excess calories. True Citrus Fruit Infusions come in a variety of fresh fruit flavors to make your water taste great. But with no calories, added sugar or artificial sweeteners. These True Lemon packets are also great to take on the go. Pour a packet into your water glass at a restaurant or shake it into your bottle while moving through your daily activities.

Cut out or reduce refined carbohydrates and added sugar.

Refined carbs and sugar cause insulin spikes and short bursts of energy, rather than sustained energy throughout the day. Because of this people often consume more of these foods to keep energy levels maintained. This leads to overall higher calorie intakes. Focus on eating fresh whole foods rather than processed foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains.

Consume more protein.

Protein is satiating and helps keep you feel fuller longer. It also adds lean mass and is important for muscle recovery after exercise. Adults should aim for 0.5 to 0.7 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. For best results, look for lean sources of protein. Some great options are white fish, plain Greek yogurt, chicken breast, turkey and lean cuts of beef.

Move more.

Adding more movement throughout your day will help your non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). NEAT is the energy you burn throughout the day while doing non-exercise activities. Walk more throughout the day, stand for longer periods and do other movement-related activities. This will help you burn more calories throughout the day.

Sleep well and manage stress.

Have you ever noticed yourself wanting to snack more often the day after a poor night of sleep? It’s not a coincidence! Sleep gives your body the rest and recovery it needs to function properly. Lack of sleep will impact your hormones, hydration levels and energy…all of which can also increase appetite.

Exercise and strength train.

If you are not already exercising, start adding some activity to your weekly routine. The Physical Activity Recommendations for Americans says adults should exercise 150 minutes per week at moderate intensity; or 75 minutes per week at vigorous intensity. Along with walking or other aerobic activity, it’s recommended that adults strength train at least twice per week.

Maintaining muscle is super important to weight loss. Lean muscle mass will help you burn more fat. Muscle plays a role in metabolism and actually helps you burn more calories. This is why strength training is so important. Adults should aim for strength training at least twice per week.

Try intermittent fasting.

Everybody is different and every body is unique. Intermittent fasting is a way of eating based on specific time intervals throughout the day. For some people, it can boost metabolism, decrease inflammation and improve insulin levels. There are several methods for intermittent fasting, so it’s best to find one that fits your lifestyle best. And then determine how your body feels and reacts to it.

Grab an accountability partner.

It never hurts to get a buddy involved. Chances are lots of people in your life are on the same struggle bus and could use the extra push that you need as well. Find someone to hold you accountable. Another great way to do this is hiring a personal trainer if your budget allows. Whatever you do, find a space where you feel safe and comfortable. And choose workouts that you enjoy so you’ll be more likely to stick to it.

Amy Cimo

Written by

Amy Cimo is a Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach and Wellness Enthusiast based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. After going through her own health journey, she found her passion in helping others find balance between nutrition, physical activity and mindset to live healthy and be truly happy. Amy attended Louisiana State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is a Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).