The most common goal of people in the health and fitness world is to lose weight. Not only do hundreds of millions of people go on diets to try and lose weight every year, but they want to lose weight as fast as possible. It’s no wonder the weight loss industry is a $20 billion industry, with the sales of books, diet drugs, and weight-loss surgeries fueling revenue as people try and lose unwanted weight once and for all.
There are thousands of weight loss programs to choose from. A Google search for how to lose weight returns over 97 million results. With so much information out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or confused. Especially since most of the information you come across on weight loss is completely false. There are gimmicks and bad advice that lead desperate dieters down the wrong path, and the only measurable result is the decrease in the weight of your wallet!
Here is the no BS guide for losing weight fast (or at least, as quickly as you can while still losing weight safely):
Rule #1: Eat Less Calories
The only actual requirement for losing weight is to consume less calories. We could stop right here with this single weight loss tip and if you managed to consume fewer calories than your body requires for energy on a daily basis – you would lose weight. You would lose weight eating fewer calories even if you did nothing else.
As simple and basic as it is, eating less calories is much harder in practice than it sounds. Ask anyone who has ever gone on a diet before! Everyone knows if you want to lose weight, you need to eat less. It’s the first step of any legitimate diet and fitness program, but how much less, and what to eat remains a mystery to many dieters. Or, the results don’t come quickly enough and the dieter gives up before real results are experienced.
Some weight loss programs promise miracle solutions, so you can eat as much as you want while still losing weight. While you may get temporary results from changing your eating habits or consuming supplements, the only way to lose weight and maintain your weight loss is to eat less. That’s it. That’s the entire miracle of weight loss.
The amount of protein you eat, fat grams, carbohydrates, types of foods, supplements, and exercise all play a role in healthy weight los, but they are all secondary to eating fewer calories.
Some athletes and bodybuilders help their body with the weight loss process using peptides like GHRP-2, a growth hormone releasing peptide. GHRP-2 has been shown to increase bone density and cellular repair, increase lean body mass, decrease body fat, and improve sleep. Combined with a reduced calorie diet and exercise program, GHRP-2 can help you achieve your weight loss and fitness goals faster.
The Science Behind Calories and Weight Loss
Your body requires a minimum number of calories each day in order to maintain your current weight, called your “calorie maintenance level”. If you only ate that number of calories each day, you would never gain or lose a pound. This is the calorie count with which you will maintain your weight. Your calorie maintenance level is the number of calories your body requires to function, and these calories are burned through walking, sitting, moving, pumping your blood, breathing, digesting food – just living, basically.
Understanding your calorie maintenance level is important to losing weight, because:
- Eating the same number of calories you burn daily allows you to maintain your current weight.
- Eating more calories than you burn daily allows you to gain weight.
- Eating fewer calories than you burn results in your body turning to your stored body fat for energy, and results in weight loss.
If you’re dieting and not losing weight, you’re eating too many calories. Don’t worry so much about which type of foods you’re consuming or what kind of exercise you’re doing in the early stages of weight loss – just get your calorie count right first as it is the most important thing you can do to reach your goal.
Calculating Your Calorie Maintenance Level
To figure out how many calories you need to eat to lose weight you first need to know what your calorie maintenance level is.
Use this calorie calculator from the Mayo Clinic to figure out your daily caloric intake needs to maintain your current weight. Once you know what that number is, you can figure out how many calories you need to eat to lose weight.
The Number of Calories You Need to Lose Weight
The traditional recommendation for losing weight is to subtract 500 to 1,000 calories from your total maintenance calorie needs daily to lose one to two pounds per week. While most people want to lose weight faster than two pounds a week, that is the recommended rate of weight loss for your health.
You need to create a 3,500 calorie deficit to lose one pound of fat. If you are weight training or exercising a lot during the week, you may want to reduce fewer calories to ensure you have enough energy to work out.
Rule #2: Monitor Your Weight Loss Results
If you want to lose weight you’re going to need to keep track of your calories. Don’t just estimate portion sizes – at least in the beginning. You’ll probably be amazed at how little the serving sizes are for many of your favorite foods. You could easily add hundreds of calories to your daily intake by estimating measurements, which can derail your weight loss results. Use a fitness app or calorie tracker to help you stay on track. Some favorites include:
· Lose It
Weigh yourself once a week, preferably on the same day each week and about the same time of morning, before you’ve had breakfast. If you’re losing weight at the rate of one to two pounds per week, then you’re right on track! Don’t change a thing!
On the other hand, if you’re losing weight too slowly, gaining weight, or simply maintaining your current weight you need to decrease your calorie intake further. Start with a decrease of 300 calories per day do see what your weight does after a week.
If you’re losing weight too quickly, you will want to increase your calories to try and get your weight loss rate at one or two pounds per week to ensure you’re losing weight safely.
Rule #3: Choose Weight Training Over Cardio
Cardio is not required for weight loss. You can lose weight simply by changing your diet, but exercise in general is good for your health. If you’re making a choice for which exercise to include in your routine, choose weight training over cardio.
Here’s why weight training is a better choice for most people:
- Weight training burns calories
- Weight training builds muscle
- Having more muscle helps you burn more calories naturally
- Muscle makes people look thin and in shape, versus just skinny as weight loss without muscle building can do
- Weight training ensures you don’t lose muscle while losing weight
Peptides for Diet and Exercise
Peptides are made from amino acids. Peptides may act like hormones in our bodies, or as neurotransmitters. Many peptides influence how our bodies respond to exercise and how we react to diets. As people age, physical changes to our bodies and from different diets or stress can cause the production of peptides and essential amino acids to decrease.
People who are serious about losing weight or improving physical performance may choose to use some of the controversial peptides. They are generally sold for research purposes, but many injectable forms of peptides have been used by athletes to increase the production of their body’s HGH to achieve increased lean body mass, decreased body fat, and improved recovery time after workouts. Peptides used for these purposes include:
Rule #4: Increase Protein
Once you have your calorie intake figured out and you’re losing weight consistently, then you can think about increasing your protein. High protein foods include eggs, chicken, fish, turkey, lean cuts of most meats, and protein supplements.
There are a lot of benefits to a high protein diet when you are trying to lose weight, including:
- Protein helps maintain lean muscle tissue even during weight loss
- Foods high in protein help you feel full longer than fatty foods or carbohydrates, making it easier to stick to your reduced calorie diet
- Protein burns more calories than other foods and nutrients you consume
How Much Protein Should You Eat to Lose Weight?
About 30% of your daily calories should come from protein. It’s been shown that this amount of protein will increase the metabolic rate, therefore helping you burn more calories and preventing hunger.
- For people who work out: eat .8 to 1.2 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
- For people who will not be working out: eat .7 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
Rule #5: Drink More Water
If you’re not calculating every last calorie you consume, you may be surprised to learn you could be drinking your daily intake of calories! Switching to water from other beverages will save your calories for food. Avoiding soda, juice, sports drinks, sweetened iced teas, and limiting alcohol will go a long way to helping you lose weight faster.
Other benefits of drinking more water?
If you’re exercising, it’s not unusual to lose up to 6-10% of your body’s water weight from sweat. You’ll experience reduced body temperature control, increased fatigue, and reduced motivation from this lack of hydration. Drink more water to eliminate these negative effects of dehydration which can make exercise harder physically and mentally.
Staying hydrated offers a variety of health benefits unrelated to weight loss, too, including:
- Clearer skin
- Improved kidney function
- Improved digestion
- Reduced decongestion when sick
- Clearer thinking ability
- Physical pain prevention
- Increased focus
- Decreased fatigue
- Help for a hangover
Beyond the Diet and Exercise
In addition to reducing calories, increasing exercise, and drinking enough water – there are other things in your life you can do which can help make losing weight easier. None of these things will help you lose weight if you don’t first get your caloric intake correct, but they can provide assistance and side benefits that make you feel better in general.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is essential to feeling good – and losing weight. “It’s not so much that if you sleep, you will lose weight, but if you are sleep-deprived, meaning that you are not getting enough minutes of sleep or good quality sleep, your metabolism will not function properly,” explains Michael Breus, PhD and the clinical director of the sleep division for Arrowhead Health in Glendale, Ariz.
Weight loss doesn’t happen as fast as most of us want it to, especially if you have a lot of pounds to lose. You need to stay motivated to the goal for the long haul – even when it feels difficult.
Track Your Progress
Just as you could eat more calories than you think if you aren’t keeping track, you might miss some positive results of your efforts if you aren’t tracking your progress. Weigh yourself weekly. Take body measurements of your waist, legs, chest, and arms every other week. Measure your body fat percentage. Take photos of yourself once a month. Sometimes the scale won’t show results from week to week, but if you have all of the other methods of tracking in place, you’ll be able to see your efforts are being rewarded.