Woman doing lunges at the gym

How To Lose Weight

Lose Weight to Look and Feel Your Best

Every morning, there it is, waiting in the corner. It’s been expecting you. You stand fast and stare at it. It stares at you. With the rising tension of an Old West showdown, you take a step forward. It braces. It’s ready. Bring it. You, your bathroom scale, and the struggle of how to lose weight.

This same scene plays out in millions of bathrooms around the world every day. Weight loss is an issue that many people struggle with at some point during their lives, and if you’re wondering how to lose weight, your best bet is to stick with tried-and-true strategies that are scientifically proven and medically endorsed. These take time, effort and commitment. The fastest ways to lose weight are not the most effective over the long term, but for those times when you just need to lose weight now, there are ways to quickly melt pounds off.

The Best Way to Lose Weight

Despite never-ending advancements in medicine and science, the best way to lose weight has never changed over time. Eating a lower-fat, lower-calorie, nutrient-rich diet and getting regular physical exercise has always been and always will be the safest and most effective strategy for long-term, sustainable weight loss. This approach has many secondary health benefits; for example, if you’re wondering how to lower blood pressure, your doctor might suggest a very similar regimen.

Don’t think of it as a diet; think of it as a permanent lifestyle change. Ease into it by replacing unhealthy foods with healthier alternatives one by one; try making one change per week and sticking with it. Also, you’ve got to allow yourself the occasional treat. Otherwise, your cravings will get too strong and you’ll end up binging, which will only set your efforts back. Just use moderation.

In terms of exercise, always clear activities with your doctor before beginning, especially if you’ve been inactive for a long period of time. Aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day, three days per week; that’s considered the minimum activity level that will lead to weight loss.

Here are some other tips to keep in mind:

  • Add weight training to your workout; the more muscle you have, the faster your body burns calories
  • Identify and avoid triggers that cause overeating or unhealthy indulgences
  • Control your food portions, especially when eating out
  • Slow down when you eat; this can help you feel fuller with less food
  • Cut down on fats; they pack more calories per gram than any other food form

How to Lose Weight Fast

When you lose weight quickly, most of the actual pounds you’re shedding are water weight and muscle mass, not fat. You shouldn’t expect to sustain rapid weight loss, and there are many health professionals who insist it does you more harm than good in the long term to use this kind of approach.

That said, if you positively must fit in those undersized pants or that slinky black dress and you only have two weeks to lose 15 pounds, there are ways to do it. Specialized cleansing diets, such as the lemonade diet, the grapefruit diet or the cabbage soup diet, are probably your best bets. These approaches emphasize a high level of water intake, which helps your body flush out stored water weight, along with major caloric restrictions. The combined effect sends your metabolism into overdrive and makes pounds vanish into thin air. However, use caution, pay close attention to how your body responds and remember that these are temporary solutions, not permanent ones.