The Healthy Way to Lose Weight Fast

It’s very tempting to go on a crash diet which is to cut calories drastically in order to experience quick weight loss, but this can be neither fun nor safe.
By Corina Tan

The best way to lose weight is to make sustainable, long-term lifestyle changes but this isn’t always possible for a variety of reasons.  Inconsistent work hours and frequent travel, coupled with jetlag that affects sleep and mealtimes, stress, and insufficient rest, can sometimes make it difficult to be consistent and make the lifestyle changes needed to keep your weight in check.  It’s very tempting to go on a crash diet which is to cut calories drastically in order to experience quick weight loss, but this can be neither fun nor safe.  Most health experts agree that an extreme low-calorie intake which promises weight loss in a short period of time can result in multiple side effects.  These include but are not limited to slowing down metabolism, causing extreme hunger, triggering heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, fatigue, hair loss, losing muscle mass and depriving the body of vital nutrients.  Here are some safe ways to make quick changes to your diet without affecting your health:



Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Anna Bogush

Sodium causes the body to hold on to excess water, so eating foods high in salt means storing more water than necessary.  Avoiding salt does not mean that your food needs to be bland.  By making food from scratch and switching to natural herbs and spices like cilantro, cumin, lemon, rosemary, ginger, or Chinese five spice, food can taste very good with less salt and more flavour.



Staying hydrated is an extremely important step in weight loss.  Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so staying hydrated ensures that you are in tune with your body and able to identify real hunger from thirst.  Keeping hydrated also promotes good digestion and helps with bloating and constipation.  Eliminate sugary beverages like soda, juice or sweetened coffee and tea.  Instead, flavour your water with a lemon slice, or chopped fruit to keep it interesting.  A glass of water before meals has been shown to lead to increase weight loss by decreasing the amount you eat at meals.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Enrique Díaz

Everyone’s body is different when it comes to digesting gas-forming foods, but there are some common foods that everyone should be wary of.  It’s always best to avoid beans and cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli.  Instead, go for small amounts of nuts and seeds for protein, and other vegetables like asparagus, spinach, and cucumber.  It is also best to avoid all kinds of soda which has gas-forming sugars and are carbonated.  The bubbles trapped in liquid can cause bloating and gas.



Vegetables are nutrient-packed and provide plenty of fibre with hardly any calories. Plus, non-starchy veggies have a high water content, so they hydrate you while filling you up which is the perfect combination for weight loss.  Aim for filling at least half of your plate with non-starchy veggies like asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, kale, cucumbers, and more. This is a great idea for everyone’s health, not just people wanting to lose weight.



Photo Credit: Getty Images/ Alexander Spatari

Processed and packaged food is often loaded with more salt, sugar and refined carbs.  When you are trying to lose weight fast, avoid canned food, fast food, chips and granola bars. Instead, choose whole foods, lean proteins and healthy fats seasoned with herbs.  Some healthy snack ideas are carrot sticks, hardboiled eggs, apples, raw almonds.  Lunch and dinner substitutes could include quinoa, salmon, avocado, shredded chicken, diced peppers, and brown rice.



Eating larger meals in the early part of the day and reducing meal portions at lunch and dinner can help you lose weight.  Restricting food after 6 or 7pm may not always be feasible, so planning your meals ahead of time and keeping meals light in the evenings can make a big difference.  Consider what time of the day you struggle most with temptation, and if you feel like you want to eat more in the evenings, assess if you are doing it out of habit or boredom.

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