Losing weight can be a painful process.
Additionally, with all the conflicting information within the health and fitness industry, it is hard to know where to start.
While there is an abundance of differing opinions, it is often accepted that to lose weight you need to be eating a calorie deficit, and exercising regularly.
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Unfortunately, that is about the only piece of information that is accepted regularly when discussing this topic.
Something that is hotly debated, is the speed at which weight should be lost.
Some people swear that losing weight too rapidly is ‘unhealthy’, and will have negative effects on your metabolism. On the other side of the fence are those who believe rapid weight loss is ideal, and that losing weight gradually is unnecessary and slow.
Now, in all honesty, I truly believe that weight loss is somewhat dependant on the individual.
Some people respond well to rapid weight loss protocols, while some find gradual weight loss easier to maintain.
Neither way is wrong, although I can say with certainty that rapid weight loss is possible.
I won’t say it is easy, because weight loss never is, but it doesn’t have to be horrible either.
By following these key steps, you can lose 20 pounds fast, without feeling the negative effects of dieting.
Remove sugars and starches from your diet
This is arguably the most important step in stimulating rapid weight loss.
Sugars and starchy carbohydrates stimulate the secretion of insulin, a hormone that promotes the storage of fat in our body.
When our blood levels of insulin go down, fat becomes increasingly available as a fuel source. As a result, the body starts using fats for energy, which causes an increase in fat loss.
Additionally, reducing our blood levels of insulin directly reduces the amount of fat that we store in the short term, this can limit weight gain and further promote weight loss.
As an extra bonus, by lowering insulin secretion, we also flush excess sodium and water from our cells. This reduces bloating and helps reduce unnecessary water weight .
Cutting sugars and starches from our diets also has another key benefit.
Once sugars and starchy carbohydrates have been removed from the diet, it is quite common to experience a reduction in hunger levels. As a result, we will eat less calories.
This reduced caloric intake in conjunction with reduced insulin secretion creates an ideal environment for fat loss .
Increase your consumption of protein, fats, and vegetables
Each meal you consume should include a source of protein, a source of fat, and some form of low carbohydrate vegetable. Not only will this help you easily reduce your carbohydrate intake, it will promote additional fat loss through other mechanisms as well.
Increasing protein consumption alone has shown to cause significant increases in resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy we burn at rest) .
This means that by increasing protein consumption, we can increase the amount of energy we burn each day, even before exercise.
Additionally, increased protein consumption has been shown to significantly lower hunger, while also reducing snacking throughout the day, and overall food consumption during the day.
Key protein sources include poultry, red meat, pork, eggs, and whey protein supplements.
Additionally, by slightly increasing our fat intake, we can also cause slight increases in metabolism (not to the same degree as protein) , which can help promote additional fat loss.
As a bonus, increasing our fat intake increases the amount of fatty acids in the blood. We use fatty acids for energy, and by increasing the amount of fat in the blood, we can stimulate an increase in fat metabolism.
By increasing fat metabolism, we increase the amount of fat we can use for energy, which can lead to further fat loss.
Now, some people may read this and suggest that fat intake is linked to heart disease, and cardiovascular risk factors. Fortunately, this is not the case at all. In fact, it is important to note that a recent study showed that an increase in saturated fat intake does not increase your risk of heart disease AT ALL .
Fat sources that should be included are full fat dairy, butter, egg yolks avocados, and coconut oils.
Now, onto the vegetables.
While we should avoid eating starchy carbohydrates (potatoes, pumpkins, carrots etc.), increasing our consumption of green vegetables can go a long way to help stimulate rapid weight loss.
The reason is that these vegetables contain very little energy, and are very filling.
So quite simply, eating these vegetables make us feel satisfied without increase our energy consumption, which lowers our feelings of hunger and our daily energy intake.
By increasing our green vegetable consumption, we can stimulate further fat loss through a reduction in energy intake.
These vegetables include lettuce, chard, broccoli, spinach, cucumber, celery, and cauliflower.
Lift weights regularly
Now this advice goes against conventional (or should I say outdated) recommendations, but that is not to say it isn’t important.
Firstly, lifting weights will burn additional calories, which can contribute to weight loss, but more importantly, lifting weights creates a demand for muscle tissue.
Our muscle tissue is ultimately what determines our metabolism. The more muscle tissue we have, the higher our metabolism is.
By lifting weights 3 to 4 times per week, we create an environment where we are telling our body we need to keep (or even increase!) our muscle tissue.
This ensures we do not see any reductions in metabolism that can happen in response to rapid weight loss protocols.
Full body workouts using mainly compound exercises are going to be most beneficial here, as they use the most amount of muscle tissue, which increases that demand for muscle tissue.
Drink lots of Water
Drinking water can help promote weight loss through two key mechanisms.
Firstly, it ensures that our cells maintain hydrated and healthy. This aids our ability to use fat for energy, increasing fat metabolism and increasing our rate of fat loss.
Secondly, drinking water regularly can reduce our feelings of hunger while increasing our feelings of satiety.
This leads to a lower energy consumption throughout the day, which promotes weight loss even further!
While some people may suggest that rapid weight loss is not sustainable, I beg to disagree.
By following these key principals for 2-4 weeks, rapid weight loss is achievable.
Additionally, by using this protocol you reduce hunger and increase satiety, which makes it a much more enjoyable experience that traditional dieting protocols!
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1. Tiwari, Swasti, Shahla Riazi, and Carolyn A. Ecelbarger. “Insulin's impact on renal sodium transport and blood pressure in health, obesity, and diabetes.”American Journal of Physiology-Renal Physiology 293.4 (2007): F974-F984.Viewed at: http://ajprenal.physiology.org/content/293/4/F974.full
2. McClernon, F. Joseph, et al. “The Effects of a Low‐Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet and a Low‐Fat Diet on Mood, Hunger, and Other Self‐Reported Symptoms.” Obesity 15.1 (2007): 182-182. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17228046
3. Veldhorst, Margriet AB, Margriet S. Westerterp-Plantenga, and Klaas R. Westerterp. “Gluconeogenesis and energy expenditure after a high-protein, carbohydrate-free diet.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 90.3 (2009): 519-526. Viewed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19640952
4. Siri-Tarino, Patty W., et al. “Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease.” The American journal of clinical nutrition (2010): ajcn-27725. Viewed at: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract