You want to drop pounds, now. And you want to do it safely. But how?
First, keep in mind that many experts say it’s best to lose weight gradually. It’s more likely to stay off. If you shed pounds too fast, you’ll lose muscle, bone, and water instead of fat, says the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The academy’s advice: Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week, and avoid fad diets or products that make promises that sound too good to be true. It’s best to base your weight loss on changes you can stick with over time.
For faster results, you’ll need to work with a doctor, to make sure that you stay healthy and get the nutrients that you need.
Make a Plan
You’ve probably heard the saying, “calories in, calories out”; as in, you just need to burn more calories than you eat and drink.
But it’s not that simple, as many people can tell you from their own experience.
Your metabolism — how well your body turns calories into fuel — also matters. And if you cut too many calories, it’s bad for you. You slow down your metabolism, and that can make you fall short on some nutrients.
There are many ways you can do this, without cutting calories too much. You could:
- Cut back on portions.
- Figure out how many calories you get in a usual day, and trim back a bit.
- Read food labels to know how many calories are in each serving.
- Drink more water, so you’re not so hungry.
Whatever method you use, you’ll need to favor good-for-you foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean protein so you keep up good nutrition. Working with a dietitian is a good idea, so you make a plan that covers those needs.
Get Accountability and Support
Many apps can help you track your eating. Since you probably have your smartphone with you all the time, you can use it to keep up with your plan. Or keep a pen-and-paper food journal of what you ate and when.