It is never wise to tell you to take weight-loss supplements or to try something super sketchy like the corset diet. In general, making small, sustainable lifestyle changes is the best route to weight loss. If we get that doing something quick-and-easy, then it becomes more appealing. I chatted with some of the top weight-loss experts to find out which get-fit-quick tricks will actually help you slim down and are also totally, 100 per cent safe. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s go conquer fat!
1. Eliminate alcohol
As hard as it is to utter those words, quitting drinking for a month is an efficient way to slim down quickly. But no worries, you don’t have to give it up for life.
“Once you start seeing results, you can slowly start introducing alcohol back into your routine again,” says Kerry Ganes, author of The Small Change Fast Results Diet. “It’s just a quick trick to help you jumpstart your weight loss efforts without having to do anything super drastic.” And when you do add alcohol back into your routine, think about how much you were drinking before – and subtract a little, suggests Ganes. “So if you normally had three glasses of wine with your friends, cut it to two or even one.”
2. Don’t eat after 9 p.m.
You don’t have to buy special foods or even go to the gym every single day. You just have to not eat after 9 p.m. “Snacking after dinner usually equals extra calories, plain and simple, because chances are, you’ve already consumed enough for the day,” says Ganes. “You’re probably just eating out of boredom, stress, or habit.”
3. Drink more water (isn’t this obvious?)
We’ve said it so many times, but that’s because it ACTUALLY works. “Our bodies can mistake dehydration for hunger, so one of the easiest ways to reset your appetite is to stay hydrated,” says Dr Jennifer Dale. “Plus, research has shown that eating foods primarily composed of water, like brothy soups and salads with lots of juicy vegetables, can keep us full with fewer calories.” Aim for six to eight glasses a day, and if you can’t get there, just do the best you can. It’s better than nothing!
4. Sleep in
This is quite possibly the easiest weight-loss tip ever – all you have to do is log eight hours of shuteye. “Most people don’t realize that sleep directly affects the hormones that control our hunger and satiety cues,” says Dale. “By clocking in at least eight hours of sleep a night, we can keep those hormones balanced and thus keep our appetites in check.”
5. Less is more at the gym
Interval training is perhaps the most efficient use of your time at the gym. The idea is that by doing a certain exercise at your max intensity for short intervals (with recovery breaks in between) you can burn more calories and increase your fitness level in less time than it would take to see the same results if you were working out at a steady pace that’s more sustainable. Plus: “With the right HIIT program, your body will keep losing fat after your workout – while maintaining muscle tone,” says exercise physiologist Julie Anderson.
6. Drink coffee
This one is my favourite. As long as you skip out on the super high calorie latte triple pump vanilla, hazelnut, whatever, coffee can be a great tool to help you slim down. “Caffeine may increase the release of free fatty acids in the bloodstream, which helps you train longer and more intensely,” says Anderson. “Coffee has been shown to suppress your appetite, as well.” So, we sip to that!
7. Eat protein and fibre at every meal
Rather than count your calories, count your protein and fibre intake. “New research has found that the exact number of calories needed to shed pounds is specific to the individual and that it’s more effective to track protein and fibre – the nutrients that keep us full at every meal,” says Anderson. Try to have one serving of protein and fibre at every meal, and you’ll pretty much be good to go.
8. Eat a whole-foods diet
“When you eat whole foods, you’re getting the food in its natural state,” says Ganes. “You’re getting what you eat intact, with all of the vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in the food.” Basically, it’s the healthy whole food, rather than the bits that remain after refinement and processing. It’s the difference between an apple and apple juice , or a baked potato and mashed potatoes.