6 Ways to Lose Weight Quickly

Photo Credit: Michael L. Baird CC-BY-2.0

There are healthy and unhealthy ways to losing weight quickly. Relying on quick fixes like appetite suppressants, liquid diets, herbal formulas and weight loss supplements will not produce long-term healthy weight loss. Although these methods might help a little, the best approach is make some big changes to your exercise and eating habits. As you begin your healthy weight loss journey, it’s imperative that you stay focused, consistent, motivated and disciplined to reap the best weight loss results.

Lose weight quickly by first eliminating foods that are high in sodium, fat and sugar, such as white flour products, deep fried foods, processed meats, fast foods, candy, chips, commercial baked goods and high-fat dairy products. Instead, select foods that are abundant in nutrients like lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, fruits, seeds and beans.

Reduce your total caloric intake and increase your activity level to lose weight fast. To lose one pound of body fat, you need to cut 3,500 calories per week through diet and exercise. For example, you could burn 250 calories through exercise and then cut 250 calories from your diet per day. The key is to reduce your daily intake by 500 calories to lose one pound per week. Safe weight loss is one to two pounds per week. Losing more than that is not healthy because more than likely you’re losing muscle and/or water weight. And if you lose weight too quickly by not consuming enough calories, it can cause your body to go into starvation mode, causing your metabolism to slow down and store more fat.

Avoid high calorie, sugar-laden beverages, such as sweetened tea, sodas, flavored coffee drinks, milk shakes, and fruit juices. Liquid calories can add up fast and can easily sabotage your weight loss efforts. Instead, drink water and other healthy beverages like green tea or vegetable juice.

Eat more often to burn extra calories throughout the day. Every two to three hours during the day, eat a small, well-balanced meal. Combine a healthy balance of complex carbs and protein, and make sure you eat breakfast every morning. For example, a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries is an ideal way to start your day. Add soy milk, walnuts and yogurt for an extra dose of balanced nutrition.

Boost your metabolism and burn more calories all day long by building lean muscle. You will burn calories even while you’re at rest because muscle is metabolically active tissue. Weightlifting workout routines that target all of your major muscle groups will help you to build muscle. For example, you can do chest presses, back rows, shoulder presses, bicep curls, triceps dips, squats, hamstring curls and calf raises. Start with one set of 12 to 15 repetitions, two to three non-consecutive days a week.

Lastly, do some calorie-blasting cardio interval training to really ramp up your weight loss efforts. The harder you push yourself, the more calories you will burn. First, do a 5-10 minute warm up and then begin your workout. Here’s an example of a 20 minute cardio interval routine on a bike: 1 minute of pedaling as fast as possible, and then 2 minutes of slow, recovery pedaling. Continue this pattern for a complete 20-minute workout routine. Finish by cooling down for 5-10 minutes. Do your cardio routine 3 non-consecutive days a week. For example, you can do your cardio on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and your weight training on Tuesday and Thursday. Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy such as cycling, walking, running, swimming, stair stepping, jumping rope or elliptical training.

Functional Ab Exercise

 

You’ve probably heard the phrase “functional training” tossed around at the gym or used by your personal trainer. Chances are you aren’t really sure what it means. Functional training is simply doing exercises that are similar to real life movements. For example, when you climb stairs, you use your legs, thighs, hips, core, back, arms and abs. Some stair stepper machines don’t work your arms or work only your lower body. Functional training uses more natural movements that simulate real life activities. Your muscles work in planes of motion that are normal. Many injuries occur when you exercise beyond the normal planes of movement. Functional training helps eliminate this risk. Functional training also strengthens your muscles, which makes every day activities easier. Your abdominal muscles stabilize your spine and hips, as well as assist in maintaining balance and lifting. A weak core impacts your overall level of fitness and endurance. Strengthen your core to be stronger, enjoy better balance and avoid back pain.

One of the best exercises to strengthen your core muscles as well as your back muscles for a stable spine is the plank. Your abdominal muscles help to stabilize your spine. The plank exercises is function in that you aren’t crunching or twisting in an unnatural manner. Your aren’t actually moving at all. The plank exercise trains your abdominal muscles, so that you develop stability and support for your spine. Keep your spine in a neutral, or straight, position when doing planks and squeeze your abdominal muscles to help keep your spine straight. Make a straight line with your body from the top of your head to your heels and hold the position for 20 to 30 seconds. It’s okay if you can hold a plank for only a few seconds in the beginning. Add 5 seconds to your hold each time you do planks and soon you will be holding the position for 30 seconds or longer without sagging your back.

 

Still Trying To Lose Belly Fat? Try An Exercise Ball

Photo Credit:  LocalFitness.com.au
It can be difficult to lose stubborn belly fat. There are no reliable and safe quick fixes. Diet pills won’t burn away belly fat and fad diets are dangerous. To get rid of belly fat, you have to eat a healthy, low-fat diet and exercise. Sometimes even the most dedicated person can reach a plateau in the battle against belly fat and just can’t seem to lose those last couple of inches. Try an exercise ball. An exercise ball, also called a fitness ball, may help you tight up your abdominal muscles and lose those last couple of inches of belly fat. Continue to exercise regularly, eat a nutritious low-fat diet and drink plenty of water. 
Exercise ball crunches can help you burn belly fat because you are not only doing crunches, you have to balance on the ball which works your obliques, hips, thighs and lower leg muscles. To do crunches on an exercise ball, sit on the ball with  your feet planted firmly on the floor. Place your feet about hip-width apart on the floor and sit up straight. Cross your arms over your chest. Inhale and squeeze your abdominal muscles. Slowly lean backwards until you feel the pull in your abdominal muscles. Hold the position for a couple of seconds and then exhale as you slowly return to the upright position. Do 10 repetitions if you are a beginner and slowly increase the number of repetitions by adding 5 repetitions every other day. 
The exercise ball lift is an easy-to-do exercise that will really work your abdominal muscles and burn belly fat. Lie on your back and place the exercise ball between your ankles. Place your hands on either side of your body, palms down for stability. Squeeze the ball with your ankles and inhale. Tighten up your abs and slowly lift the ball using your legs. Lift the ball as high as you can and hold it for 3 to 5 seconds. Exhale and lower the ball back to the floor. Do 10 to 15 repetitions. Add 5 repetitions each week until you can perform 25 to 30 repetitions. Add some extra fat burning power to your ball lift by adding an ab crunch to the lift. Cross your hands over your chest and lift your upper body toward your knees as your lift the ball with your ankles. Hold the crunch and lift for 5 seconds and the roll your upper body back to the floor slowly as you lower your legs. 

Worst Foods for Belly Fat

Photo Credit: Brittany Carlson PD US Army
We all know that excess body fat can be a threat to our health. Excess fat around your waist can be a bigger threat to your health than fat anywhere else on your body. Belly fat has been associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke. Some people have a tendency to put on belly fat due to their genes, but poor eating habits and lifestyle choices often lead to extra fat around the midsection. High-fat foods alone are not to blame for belly fat. Foods high in fat are not helpful, but eating foods high in calories and low in nutrition are more of a threat than high-fat foods alone. The best way to prevent or to get rid of excess belly fat is to reduce the amount of food you eat and eat healthier foods. Eat a nutritious diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and incorporate exercise into your daily routine. 
Alcohol is a major contributor to belly fat. Alcohol has almost as many calories per serving than most high-fat foods. Drinking alcohol can also leave you feeling more hungry than normal. Also, your liver is too busy ridding your body of the alcohol to burn fat calories, so you end up storing calories as fat. This is the reason many people develop what is commonly called “beer belly.” Drink moderately and avoid eating when you drink. 
Foods that contain trans fats, especially hydrogenated oils, add fat to your waistline. Trans fats are found in cookies, crackers, fried foods, margarine, shortening and processed foods. Packaged and convenience foods, such as cake, biscuit and pancake mixes are usually high in trans fats. Condensed canned soup and dried noodle soups are also high in trans fats. Frozen foods, including frozen fish sticks, pizza, pot pies and frozen pies and cakes are high in trans fats, too. Watch out for excess trans fats in baked goods. Donuts, cakes, breads and cookies found at your supermarket bakery are usually prepared using shortening or margarine and processed flour, all of which are high in trans fats. Baked foods that are prepared using whole grain flour and butter are lower in trans fat, 
Fast food is one of the worst options for trans fats. Burgers, French fries and sauces on sandwiches offered by fast food restaurants are high in trans fats and calories. Many people also overeat fast food, which leads to even more calories and fat in your diet. The occasional fast food treat is probably okay, but when eaten frequently, fast food adds to belly fat and overall weight gain. Choose low-calorie or reduced fat options when available. 

Soft drinks can really pack on the belly fat because most contain high-calorie sweeteners. Many soft drink manufacturers have replaced refined sugar with high-fructose corn syrup for sweetness. High-fructose corn syrup is high in calories. Limit the amount of soda in your diet or choose sugar-free sodas. Try drinking some green tea instead of soda. Green tea, when combined with exercise and healthy food choices, can help you reduce belly fat and lose weight. 
Keep your waist trim and avoid the health risks of excess belly fat by eating a diet low in trans-fats, high in fiber and rich in nutrients. Choose brown rice over white rice. Select fresh foods instead of frozen treats. Drink less soda and alcohol. Combine healthy foods with exercise and the belly fat should soon start to melt away.