In today’s society, losing weight is a big priority for most of us. It can be extremely difficult and challenging to lose weight, whether its 5lbs or 20lbs.
Losing weight can be quite frustrating because it requires dedication and commitment to be able to adhere to both diet and lifestyle changes.
Fortunately for most, when you combine multiple proven forms of weight loss it cannot only simplify but also expedite a weight loss journey.
Below are the top 10 ways to not only quickly but safely drop 20lbs.
10 – Practicing mindfulness and eating slowly
Practising mindfulness while eating is about becoming more aware of your thoughts and emotions while simultaneously focusing on the present moment.
By using a combination of slow eating and mindfulness, you can expedite weight loss while also allowing yourself to both appreciate and enjoy your food more.
One example is a study of 30 healthy women where a correlation between a decrease in caloric intake and slow, mindful eating was discovered.
Those within the study who ate normally were shown to have a higher caloric intake, whereas a review of 19 studies shows that in 68% of them, slow eating and mindfulness were able to drastically increase weight loss.
Top Tip – Try to limit the number of distractions such as TV during meal time, drink cold water with your meal and chew your food more thoroughly to get the most out of this technique.
9 – Add exercise, specifically cardio to your routine.
It makes no difference whether you’re trying to lose 1lbs or 20lbs, when you add a cardio activity into your routine, you’re almost guaranteed to drop those lbs quickly.
Now when we say cardio, we mean any type of activity that will get your heart rate up. An extra bonus is that cardio (aerobic exercise) also helps to strengthen your lungs too!
Adding this cardio time to your routine will also help your muscles grow which can be useful because as they become stronger, they use the fatty deposits around them as food, literally melting your fat for you.
This is known scientifically as increasing your resting metabolic rate.
In one study of 141 obese and overweight individuals, the results speak for themselves.
The cardio sessions alone worked well enough to begin a good rate of weight loss for participants.
Furthermore, the study showed us that when they burned between 600 & 800 calories every day for 5/7 days a week over the course of 10 months.
The participants of the study lost, on average, between 3.9kg (8.6lbs) and 5.2kg (11.5lbs) respectively.
When we analysed a second study we found that it had similar findings.
141 participants (obese older adults) dropped a whopping 9% body weight on average with cardio alone over six months.
On your weight loss journey you will want to aim for a weekly total of between 150 minutes -300 minutes a week, or 20 minutes -40 minutes of daily cardio to maximise the efficiency of your weight loss efforts.
Top tip – You can drastically boost your calorie burning ability by following this tip. Go walking, running, boxing or swimming.
These are all simple types of cardio that will speed up your weight loss journey.
8 – Make sure you hold yourself accountable.
Keeping yourself accountable for your goals throughout your weight loss journey is the key to success in the long term.
There are lots of ways you can go about this. A good example would be daily trips to the weighing scales.
Doing this actually decreases your chances of regaining any weight you lose, helping you keep it off longer.
Another great way to keep yourself accountable is to train with a buddy.
Take a friend with you to the gym and get involved with an online community for losing weight.
This will increase the fire inside you and it’s this type of motivation that will get you back on track to hitting your goals.
Top Tip – There is, in fact, research that suggests that if you were to keep a simple food diary to self-monitor how many calories you consume, you’re more likely to keep that weight off long term.
7- Stick to a rigid sleep routine
It’s logical to assume that diet and exercise are most likely going to get that 20lbs off but did you know how much sleep you get also plays a part in weight loss?
In fact, a study done on 245 women showed us that 33% of the women who had 7 hours of good quality sleep had higher weight loss rates than those who didn’t.
Did you know that if you’re suffering from sleep deprivation while you’re on your weight loss journey, it’s more likely that the lost weight will slowly creep back on the longer the sleep deprivation continues?
Another study that had roughly 68,000 women over the course of 15 years found that the women who were getting less than 5hrs sleep a night, on average, gained 1.14kg (2.5lbs) more than the women who slept for 7hrs a night.
Even one night of sleep deprivation can trigger your body to release hunger hormones that could give you an increased appetite and weight gain.
Top Tip –Get yourself a nightly bedtime ritual, have your last coffee early evening, this will help your body into a good sleep cycle which will enhance your weight loss.
Also, practice good sleep hygiene to improve the quality of your sleep long term by turning all electronic devices off 30 minutes before bed.
6- Get more fibre in your diet.
Fibre is extremely important in weight loss.
It moves slowly through your GI tract (Gastrointestinal tract) it keeps you feeling fuller for longer which decreases your appetite throughout the day, so your caloric intake decreases significantly.
A study was done to look into this theory where 33 healthy men were given 33 grams of insoluble fibre (common in wheat and vegetables) to see if it was an effective way of decreasing your appetite and your food intake.
It was found to be effective.
Another review suggests that 14 grams of insoluble fibre daily resulted in a 10% drop in caloric intake and 1.9kg (4.2lbs) of weight loss over the course of four months with no other change to their lifestyle.
Furthermore, a study of 252 women over a 20 month period showed that every gram of the dietary fibre consumed translated to 1/2 lbs (0.25kg) less body weight over the 20 month period.
Top Tip – Excellent sources of fibre are whole grains, seeds, fruit, vegetables and nuts that can provide an excellent midday snack or incorporated into your daily meals.
5 – Get into Weight Training
What we mean by this is to get yourself some small free-weights for the home so you can do resistance training.
This type of exercise is key for increasing your endurance levels and the strength of your muscles overall.
This technique helps to speed up your metabolism, which will help your body burn those calories even while you’re resting.
Top Tip – There are great exercises you can do at home such as planks, squats and lunges.
Raising your metabolism is key to keeping fat free mass that will burn those calories for you throughout the day.
4 – Refined Carbohydrates are not your Friend.
Another way to accelerate your weight loss is by cutting down on the number of refined carbs in your diet.
Refined carbs are heavily processed. This procedure strips the carbs of most of the nutritional benefits of complex carbs, which is why they can be detrimental to weight loss efforts.
Furthermore, refined carbs typically have a higher glycaemic index which, in a nutshell, means your body digests them quickly, causing spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels and increased hunger as the body attempts to stabilise itself.
Over-consumption of refined carbs has also been linked to increased body fat and weight gain.
Top Tip –The best way to get started with this technique is to simply swap out your refined carbs for a healthier option such as quinoa, barley, brown pasta\rice etc.
3 – Plenty of protein.
If you’re looking to lose 20lbs as quickly as possible, eating a diet that includes protein-rich foods is essential.
Studies have shown us that by having a protein-rich breakfast, we decrease the amount of the Ghrelin hormone that stimulates hunger.
Top Tip- Some simple sources of protein-rich foods that can be added to your diet with little effort are poultry, eggs, red meat and seafood.
2. Drink Lots of Water
A simple way to increase weight loss is to drink more water.
Drinking water has been proven to increase your metabolism which means your body will burn calories faster, especially if you drink cold water with a meal.
A bonus point here is that by drinking water with your meal it will help simulate the feeling of fullness faster, therefore consuming fewer calories.
Studies have shown that drinking 500ml (16.9floz) of water before the participants ate reduced the number of calories consumed by 13%.
Top Tip- In order to get the most out of this form of weight loss drink between 1L & 2L (34 – 68 fluid ounces) per day.
1. Keep track of your calorie intake.
It may seem like an obvious idea of counting calories but it is one of, if not the easiest and most effective way to expedite your weight loss journey.
You lose weight by burning calories, eating less or becoming more active. Keep in mind, however, simply cutting calories from your diet is not realistically a sustainable way to lose weight.
This form of weight loss is best paired with other methods, such as diet modifications and increasing physical activity levels.
Many studies of this method have shown us that calorie counting can increase your weight loss by 3.3kg (7.3lbs).
Top Tip – There are several apps available online for free that can help you track your calorie intake and advise on alternative, healthier options.
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The Nitty-Gritty Bottom Line.
Although most would think that losing 20lbs is a phenomenal challenge, surprisingly it’s not quite as difficult to do when you fully commit to the lifestyle choices.
It is suggested that in order for you to get the best possible results on your weight loss journey, it is advised that you combine multiple techniques to achieve your ultimate goal.
Commitment, dedication and patience are the 3 main elements that will allow you to get the results you desire, from 1lb to 20lbs it’s 100% possible to achieve.