How to Lose Weight Fast, But Safely
We've studied dozens of scientific papers so you can get your speed, diet, and workout plan right.
How fast can you lose weight without harming your health?
Many people think that fast weight loss leads to rapid weight gain after quitting the diet, while slow weight loss, on the contrary, helps to keep the weight off. A recent Australian study disproved this notion.
One group of subjects lost weight in 12 weeks, and the other group lost weight in 36 weeks. Then those who lost more than 12.5% of their original body weight were put on a 144-week weight maintenance program.
As a result, 70% of those who lost weight quickly and 72% of those who lost weight gradually regained all the pounds they had lost. However, in the first group, 81% of the subjects could yield 12.5% of their body weight, while only 50% could do so in the second group.
It turns out that fast weight loss is more effective than slow weight loss.
Dr. Donald D. Hensrud of the Mayo Clinic advises losing no more than 0.5-1 kg per week. In his opinion, when losing weight too quickly, people often get rid of water or even muscle tissue rather than fat. After all, it isn't easy to burn a lot of calories in a short period.
In addition, rapid weight loss can have other harmful effects. Dr. Michael Dansinger lists them in his article:
- Gallstones in the gallbladder. Twelve to 25 percent of people who lose weight quickly suffer from this disorder.
- Lack of nutrients.
- Problems with the menstrual cycle.
- Hair loss.
So, to not harm your health and lose more fat, lose a maximum of one kilogram per week.
If you count, a kilo a week is a pretty fast result (8 kg in two months), which allows you to form healthy habits and keep the weight for a long time. And now let's talk about how to make a proper diet.
How to make a diet?
How to Calculate Calories?
Since one kilogram of fat contains 7,716 kcal, you need to create a deficit of 1,100 kcal per day to lose a kilogram per week.
A two-year American study showed that giving up 25 percent of calories does not harm your health. So if your current diet is less than 4,400 kcal, create a deficit not only through diet but also through physical activity.
For example, you can reduce your daily quota by 500-600 kcal and add an hour and a half of quiet running or other exercises.
It is also worth considering the number of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates (BZU). This is especially important for those who want to lose fat and keep most of the muscle mass.
How to calculate proteins fats and carbohydrates?
Number of proteins
A Washington University School of Medicine study showed that a high-protein diet helps you lose weight even without calorie restrictions.
The subjects' diets consisted of 30% protein foods, 20% fat, and 50% carbohydrates. People consumed fewer calories without any restrictions and, after 12 weeks, lost about five kilograms.
A scientific article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2015 also confirms the benefits of a high-protein diet. It states that daily consumption of 1.2-1.6 g of protein per kilogram of weight reduces hunger and helps control weight. Muscle mass is preserved while fat disappears.
Add more protein to your diet: 30% of your daily caloric intake, or 1.6 grams per kilogram of weight.
The ratio of fats and carbohydrates
Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates, not fat, are to blame for gaining extra pounds. That's why low-carb diets are usually more effective.
Participants in Frederick F. Samaha's study, who were on a low-carbohydrate diet, lost 5.8 kg in six months, while those on a low-fat diet lost only 1.9 kg.
In a study by Stephen B. Sondike, people on a low-carbohydrate diet lost 9.9 pounds over 12 weeks, and those on a reduced-fat diet lost 4.1 pounds.
Jeff S. Volek obtained similar results in 2009: a 12-week low-carbohydrate diet lost 10 kg, a low-fat diet lost 5.2 kg.
The Samaha and Sondeyk studies used diets with a 20-40 g carbohydrate intake per day; the Wolek study used carbohydrates as 10-12% of total calories.
If you want to quickly get rid of extra pounds and are ready to give up flour and sweets altogether, try a diet with a ratio of FFA 30-60-10 or 30-50-20.
A diet with a 30-30-40 or 30-25-45 GI ratio will allow you to add to your diet cereal and pasta, some bread, dried fruit. But you will have to wait longer for the results.
Remember: the main thing in the diet is to stick to it. So try different ratios of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates and choose the most comfortable one for you.
How to train properly?
Why training is necessary?
Exercise helps you lose weight faster for several reasons at once:
- Burn more calories during activity. This point needs no explanation: the more intense and prolonged you move, the more calories you burn.
- Increase post-exercise caloric consumption through excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). For a particular time after exercise, the body consumes more oxygen to get back to its average values and consumes more calories at rest.
In 2011, researchers found that after a 45-minute intense workout, the metabolism remained accelerated for 14 hours. At rest, subjects burned an average of 190 kcal more than on non-exercise days.
- Increase the amount of brown fat that wastes calories. In a 2012 study on mice, Dr. Bruce Spiegelman discovered that working muscles produce irisin during exercise. This hormone travels through the body with the blood and turns white fat cells into brown cells, a unique tissue that uses up energy instead of storing it.
Since humans also have brown fat reserves, Spiegelman decided that the hormone irisin has similar functions in the human body.
Scientists have calculated that 50 grams of brown fat can burn about 20% of your total daily calories.
The adult body has about 20-30 grams of brown fat, but the amount can increase when exposed to cold and exercise.
How to exercise to lose weight?
If you only want to lose weight, choose cardio exercise. A study by Professor Joseph E. Donnelly of the University of Kansas found that cardio exercise promotes weight loss even without dieting.
For ten months, overweight people spent 400-600 kcal on a treadmill five days a week. As a result, they lost about 5 kg without any diet.
A study by Leslie H. Willis and his colleagues at Duke University found that aerobic exercise is better for weight loss and strength training for fat-free mass gain.
Combined workouts help reduce fat and preserve muscle.
At what intensity to train?
A study by Rachel Simmons showed that in the first 10 minutes after high-intensity interval training, oxygen debt is significantly higher than after moderate-intensity exercise. However, in the next 30 minutes, the EPOC values become about the same.
A study by Edward Melanson of the University of Colorado confirmed that caloric expenditure during the day after a workout does not depend on its intensity. The same conclusions were reached at the University of Massachusetts.
High-intensity workouts help you burn more calories faster. But if you have time and don't want to die in the gym, opt for medium-intensity cardio and strength training.
Here are a few activities that will help burn about 600 kcal for a person weighing 70 kg:
- An hour of running at 9 km/h and a heart rate of 140-150 beats per minute.
- Two hours of walking at 5-6 km/h.
- Two hours of cycling at 10-12 km/h or an hour of cycling at 20 km/h.
- Two hours of calm swimming (1-1.5 km/h) or one hour of fast swimming (1.8 km/h).
For interval training, burpees, double jumping rope, throwing a stuffed ball, and other weight-loss exercises are suitable.
How many times a week to train?
Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found out that you should exercise in moderation. Those participants who exercised four times a week began to spend 200 kcal more per day in their daily lives. Those who exercised six times a week consumed 150 kcal less.
Four workouts a week are suitable for those who want to expend calories in the gym and the rest of the day. You can do both strength and cardio exercises at such intervals.
High-intensity interval training should not be done too often: two times a week will be enough. On the other days, you can do medium-intensity cardio exercises.
Don't go overboard with running, either. Experienced running coach and physiologist Susan Paul (Susan Paul) advises to start with three running workouts a week and, if you want, supplement the program with two more cross-training sessions. For example, dancing, yoga, Zumba, and others.
Checklist for those who want to lose weight fast
- Count how many calories you consume in a day.
- Subtract 500 kcal from your daily allowance. Depending on your weight and your desired rate of weight loss, you may subtract more or fewer kilocalories, but in any case, do not cut your diet by more than 1100 kcal: it may be dangerous for your health.
- Make a menu so that about 30% of all calories are protein and 10-45% are carbohydrates.
- Do three to five workouts a week. Calculate your physical activity so that you burn about 600 kcal per workout. If you don't have enough time, try high-intensity interval training.
- Do cardio exercises if you only want to lose weight, and add strength training to maintain muscle mass.
- Avoid stress. Many studies prove the connection between pressure and visceral fat.
- Get enough sleep. Studies have shown that lack of sleep increases appetite and is terrible for your health.
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