You don’t have to completely change your lifestyle to lose weight. There are plenty of options to shed pounds quickly without following strict diets or intense workouts.
Here are some strategies that you can incorporate into your daily routine for fast weight loss. Rather than giving a one-size-fits-all plan, choose the eating and exercise tips that best fit your lifestyle.
Pick at least four of the following expert-backed tips, and commit to doing them for two weeks straight. If you’re up for it, add a few more.
The more tips you choose, the more weight you can lose. By starting now, you can expect to look and feel lighter by this time next week, and you can reach your weight loss goal in two weeks.
1. Drink Mainly Water
A sports or energy drink, fruit smoothie, or light beer — each serving contains about 100 calories. Yet these beverages don’t satisfy you the way 100 calories of food does, so they’re a waste. Other liquids may be high in sodium and carbohydrates, which trick your body into retaining water, puffing you out.
Water, on the other hand, has zero calories and carbs and little to no sodium, making it the perfect slim-down drink. And strangely, it actually helps flush out excess water weight as well as jump-starts your metabolism. If it’s just too boring, add lemon wedges or mint leaves.
2. Avoid at All Cost White Bread and Pasta
Cutting out all white grain products — such as white rice, spaghetti, sandwich rolls — will instantly slim you down because the simple carbs in these foods cause bloating, especially around your belly. Simple carbohydrates wreak havoc on your weight because they’re digested very quickly, leaving you hungry and more likely to overeat later.
To go a step further, instead of replacing them with healthier yet still bloat-triggering whole-grain bread products, substitute vegetables for the week. This way, a chicken sandwich becomes chicken salad, and chips and dip turn into carrots and dip. The complex carbs from vegetables are digested more slowly, so you remain full longer. And because veggies are mostly water, they also help flush out excess water weight.
3. Do Cardio 30 Minutes a Day
Any workout that gets your heart rate up will burn calories. But you’ll use more calories if you pick a cardio routine that engages multiple muscles simultaneously.
Three to consider: spinning, cardio kickboxing, and boot-camp workouts. Half an hour of each torches 200 to 300 calories while toning up your arms, legs, and core so everything appears sleeker and tighter.
You’ll burn even more calories per session if your workout incorporates interval training: alternating short bursts of intense cardio with slower activity.
4. Drink Coffee an Hour Before Working Out
This is the one exception to the stick-to-water-only rule: Just as a coffee run makes your morning at work more productive, a pre-exercise cup of java with a splash of skim milk (about 11 calories) or black (just 5 calories) will energize your workout. You’ll burn more calories without realizing you’re pushing yourself harder.
5. Have Nightly You-on-Top Sex
Not that you needed an excuse to hook up with your guy every night, but the fact is, this position is a fat blaster. Being on top means you do the rocking, and the more active you are, the more calories you burn — up to 144 for 30 minutes.
Sex also pumps levels of feel-good neurotransmitters, endorphins, helping you ride out food cravings. Get on top in reverse-cowgirl (i.e., facing away from your guy) to give your thigh and butt muscles an extra push.
6. Do 36 Push-Ups and Lunges Every Other Day
These gym-class staples will help sculpt muscle, so you’ll sport a more streamlined appearance. Do three sets of 12 of each exercise every other day. Push-ups target your upper body, while lunges work your butt, hips, and thighs.
Quick tip: Make sure your back and legs remain in a straight line during your push-ups; it’ll improve muscle tone. Also, you can build even more muscle with the lunges if you hold free weights in each hand while doing them.
7. Sleep 30 Minutes More a Night
That extra half an hour, whether you sleep 5 hours or 8, can refresh you enough that you will make better food choices (in other words, no quick sugar fix for breakfast in search of energy) and won’t feel lethargic and skip the gym. More restful sleep (7 to 8 hours is best) also boosts your metabolism. And since your body builds muscle while you snooze, getting zzz’s equals better muscle tone.
8. Make One Food Sacrifice
Cutting out one indulgence — such as the chips you have with lunch or the chocolate dessert you eat after dinner — can subtract a few hundred calories from your diet, which translates into less flab. Your body won’t even notice their absence.
9. Eat Salmon for Lunch
It’s packed with nutrients that build muscle tone and give your skin a healthy glow. Some nutritionists claim that consuming a portion (doesn’t matter how it’s cooked) may immediately make your face look a bit more contoured.
10. Stand Up Straight
Keeping your spine rigid and your shoulders back while sucking in your belly toward your spine gives you a slimmer, more streamlined middle.
11. Do Squats and Sit-Ups
Bodybuilders use this technique before competitions because it adds definition to muscle. Do three sets of 12 of each exercise to tighten your abs, butt, and legs temporarily.