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Rapid Weight Loss: Lose Weight Safely

Updated on August 30, 2012
Rapid weight loss can be safe and free
Rapid weight loss can be safe and free | Source

Need to Lose Weight?

If you're like most people, you want to lose pounds quickly. While there are plenty of weight-loss programs and diet books that promise fast and easy weight loss, the truth is that if you want to lose pounds quickly and safely, you need to prepare to work hard. Daily exercise and dietary changes are absolute requirements, but if you're up for the challenge, you'll be rewarded with lower numbers on the scale every week. And unlike with fad diets and other weight-loss gimmicks, you'll enjoy long-term weight loss without having to restrict yourself to packaged meals and diet drinks day after day.

Step by Step Guide to Losing Weight

  1. Aim to lose 1 lb. to 2 lbs. per week. Losing 1 lb. to 2 lbs. each week is a realistic goal for rapid weight loss, but don't try to lose any more than that. If you're dropping more than 2 lbs., you're probably losing water and muscle rather than fat.
  2. Cut at least 500 calories from your diet every day. If your calorie intake is already very high, you can safely cut as many as 1,000 calories, as long as you don’t eat fewer than 1,200 calories if you’re a woman or 1,500 if you’re a man. Cutting out high-calorie junk foods like soda, desserts, chips and many packaged foods can significantly reduce your calorie intake without leaving you hungry. Instead, choose fiber and protein-rich foods that are low in calories, including fruits, veggies, whole grains, poultry, beans, fat-free dairy and seafood. Finding a variety of healthy foods you enjoy eating is essential for long-term weight loss.
  3. Keep a food diary to record every last thing you eat, and track the calories to make sure you're staying within your daily limit. It's easy to let hundreds of calories add up by serving too-large portions or forgetting about the calories in sauces, condiments and beverages. Making small changes to your diet here and there is a great way to lose pounds quickly without having to completely overhaul your diet.
  4. Perform 60 to 90 minutes of cardio exercise six to seven days per week to burn the calories you can't cut from your diet. Exercise is the part of weight loss that many people dread the most but rapid weight loss is extremely difficult to achieve and maintain without it. Opt for high-intensity activities like running, rollerblading and high-impact aerobics for the greatest calorie burning benefits; or try interval training, which helps you make the most of every minute spent exercising. Interval training simply means alternating short bursts of maximum-intensity activity with longer periods of moderately-paced activity, such as two minutes of brisk walking and one minute of sprinting, or four minutes of stationary biking at low resistance and two minutes at high resistance.
  5. Add three or four 60-minute resistance training workouts to your weekly exercise routine. Many people focus entirely on cardio when they're trying to lose pounds quickly, but strength-training is one of those little-known tricks for achieving rapid weight loss. The extra muscle your build will increase your metabolism, so you burn more calories 24 hours per day and lose more weight over time. Be sure to exercise all major muscle groups equally and allow your muscles at least one day of rest in between strength-training sessions.

Tips for Rapid Weight Loss

  • Cutting calories is a critical step for rapid weight loss, but if you don't use those calories wisely, you'll end up hungry and miserable. Learn exactly what to eat so you can lose weight while staying full and satisfied.
  • Eating plenty of fiber and protein-rich foods but still feel hungry? Try a protein shake using protein powder, ice and fat-free milk or yogurt; vanilla protein powder is great with frozen or fresh fruit, while chocolate protein powder tastes good with a spoonful of peanut butter.
  • Fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole-grains are the building blocks of a healthy diet, but they can quickly turn bland and boring if you don't find interesting ways to prepare them. Experiment with ingredients that are low in calories but high in flavor: salsa, garlic, sriracha sauce, mustard, fresh herbs and chipotle peppers are just a few ways to add flavor and variety to healthy foods.

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