If, like many of us, you've looked in the mirror or stepped on the scales and not been particularly happy with what you've seen, you're likely looking for the most effective way to lose weight quickly and regain some of that body confidence that is so, so important.
To be completely honest with you, if you want to lose weight quickly and, more importantly, keep the weight off, it isn't going to be easy and you should really consider the reasons as to why you want to lose that weight in the first place.
here are going to be times when you want to give up, you're going to have slip-ups and set-backs but you have to remember that this is all part of your journey and it's going to make the rewards all the sweeter!
If you stay focused and remain determined, you will get to where you want to be, it's as simple as that.
Before you start any type of training program, set yourself goals and make them SMART.
This means that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. Sure, 'lose weight fast' might be what you want to do, but that is an extremely broad goal and isn't likely to do a whole lot in terms of keeping you motivated.
Let's say Dan weighs 250lbs and he wants to lose some weight before his wedding next month. With a healthy rate of weight loss being 1-2lbs per week, an example of a SMART goal for Dan could be 'On my wedding day in 4 weeks time, I will weigh 242lbs and I will achieve this by eating healthier, well portioned meals and training 4 days per week'. Setting SMART goals hold you accountable for and allow you to keep track of your progress which will help keep you motivated and more likely to achieve those goals.
Weighing yourself at the end of each week will give you an idea of whether you are on target to meet your goal, but keep in mind that the number on the scale is not everything! If you feel like you've hit a wall with your progress, try to focus less on what number is on the scale and more on what your body is telling you.
If the number on the scale doesn't change from one week to the next but you feel good within yourself, you should count that as a victory!
Aerobic vs Anaerobic exercise
Now that you've set yourself your SMART goals, you need to decide how you are going to achieve them. Whereas aerobic exercise, such as jogging or swimming, is great for building endurance and increasing cardiovascular fitness, anaerobic exercise is perfect for burning fat and building lean muscle.
If you are completely new to exercise, it is not advised that you jump straight in with anaerobic exercise so try starting with aerobic training a few times per week to build up your cardiovascular fitness and then progress to anaerobic training after several weeks.
Pushing yourself too far too soon is only going to hinder your progress in the long run and could potentially cause you some real problems. Losing weight isn't worth putting your health at risk so keep yourself safe and follow recommended guidelines, they're there for a reason!
So, how will anaerobic exercise help you lose weight fast?
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) alternates short periods of high intensity anaerobic activity with less intense recovery periods in – most commonly – a 2:1 ratio. An example of this would be a 30 second sprint followed by a 15 second rest period.
HIIT sessions tend to last between 4-30 minutes and are extremely effective for burning fat and building lean muscle. The huge benefit of this form of training is that your metabolic rate, which is responsible for how quickly your body burns fat, remains elevated for up to 24 hours after exercise has stopped, meaning you will continue to burn calories at an increased rate post workout, speeding up your weight loss.
Weight Training works on a similar principle, despite common misconceptions that weight training will make you 'bulky', it is actually a great way to lose weight fast. As your muscle mass increases, so will your metabolic rate, meaning that you'll be burning more calories than you were previously helping you attain a lean and toned figure.
The importance of fueling your body correctly
When it comes to nutrition, it is not only important to eat the right stuff, but also the right amount. If you were baking a cake – maybe not the best analogy to use when talking about weight loss but we'll go with it – it wouldn't matter if you had all the right ingredients if you didn't use the right measurements.
The same concept applies to your food! There are three key food groups your body needs to function; Carbohydrates, fats and proteins and they'll often be referred to as macros (short for macronutrients).
Counting macros rather than calories makes it much easier for you to get the balance of different food groups right to ensure for the most effective weight loss diet. Apps such as myfitnesspal allow you to keep track of not only calorific intake, but also individual macros so that you know that you're getting all the nutrients your body needs.
You can calculate your advised calorific intake and your recommended daily macros using trusted websites and alter your diet accordingly.
Why restrictive diets don't work
There is a lack of understanding about what different food groups do for our bodies often leads to restrictive diets in hope of losing weight fast. These kinds of diets might work short term, but your body will quickly adapt which usually leads to a re-gain of the weight you've lost, plus more.
So what is the purpose of each food group and where do we get them?
Carbohydrates – These are the main source of energy for our bodies and are the first point of call when the body needs energy.
If you cut carbohydrates out of your diet, your body calls on the proteins from our muscles, meaning your body is essentially eating away its muscle. Some examples of carbohydrates are; brown rice, beans, vegetables, fruit.
Fats – Fat is stored in special cells called adipose tissue as an extra energy store and to provide insulation for to the body. Fats also help make up myelin, which is wrapped around nerve cells and is essential for the transport of electrical messages in the body.
Without fat in the diet, our brains and nerve cells would not be able to function properly. Examples of healthy fats include avocados, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate.
Proteins – Without protein, our bodies ability to grow and repair would fail. Proteins have so many different functions in the body from helping form your hair and nails to carrying oxygen around your body. Proteins come from things such as eggs, milk, chicken, lentils, fish.
After graduating from Psychology with first-class honors, Megan gained her personal trainer qualifications with Origym and now works for them as a personal trainer specializing in the development of weight loss and nutrition programs. Megan can often be found on the tennis courts, practicing her backswing and has also played clarinet since a young age.