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Fitness & Health

14th May 2019

To lose weight fast, put this 10-step diet and training plan into action

You need to get off to the best start if you want to lose weight fast. Put these 10 steps into action for sustainable weight loss that sticks around

Alex Roberts

Most people want to burn body fat as quickly as possible

Long-term weight loss occurs with consistency – but you still need to get off to the best start if you want to lose weight fast.

You don’t have to starve yourself or make life unbearable. Weight loss can be more straightforward than you think with a couple of tweaks to your diet and training.

JOE spoke to Elliott Upton, head of Ultimate Performance‘s online training platform, who provided 10 key things you need to kickstart weight loss quickly.

1. Understand calories count

“So many people have a hard time losing weight because they’re simply consuming too many calories day to day.

“The key is shifting your ‘energy balance’ towards burning fat and losing weight – this means you need to be in a calorie deficit. A simple way to do this is to find out what your ‘maintenance level’ is (the amount of calories your body uses to maintain weight) and then simply reduce this intake between 5-20%.”

2. Eat protein with every meal

“If you are looking to achieve a lean and toned body when losing weight, you’ll want to only lose fat but preserve the muscle you have.

“Protein is responsible for the repair and growth of muscle tissue – so getting 30-50 grams per meal is important to preserve muscle. Not only that, but protein is really satiating. This means it will help you feel fuller for a lot longer, so you don’t get hungry between meals.”

3. Prepare your meals

“When trying to lose weight, something that will pretty much guarantee success is preparing your meals for the day well in advance.

“It’s so much easier to achieve your goals if you have all your healthy meals planned, prepped and ready to go when you’re hungry.”

Elliott’s top two tips for becoming a food prep master:

  • Buy your food in bulk: it’s more cost-effective and you can portion it out – whether that’s your protein, veg or bags of nuts.
  • Batch cook your food: find recipes you love that match your weight loss goals, then cook a batch in one go so you can portion them out and freeze them for a later date. It will save you lots of time in the long run.

4. Reduce carbs (initially at least)

“Carbs are not the devil. There’s a time and place in every body transformation plan for carbs. However, going low-carb for an initial period can help you improve insulin sensitivity – your body’s ability to handle sugar.

“It’s always best to start by cutting out highly-processed sources of carbs from your diet (bread, pasta, cereal and baked goods) and replacing them with green vegetables and carb sources with a lower glycemic load (such as sweet potato). Then, when you do start adding carbs back in down the line, your body is better able to handle them.”

5. Eat healthy fats

“Just like carbs, fats have a bad reputation. It’s not fat that makes you fat, it’s simply eating too many calories.

“You need fats for hormone production and absorbing vitamins. The thing to remember with fats is they contain more calories than protein and carbs, so they’re just easier to overeat. The difference between a 25g handful of cashew nuts and 50g is 154 calories, for example.”

Fats can help sustain energy levels if you’re cutting back on carbs for a short period.

6. Get active

“If you want to lose weight, you need to increase your activity levels – and not just the 60 minutes you spend working out at the gym either.

“By this, we mean moving more and increasing the amount of activity you do during the whole day. We always advise people to aim for 10,000 steps per day and build in activities like walking to work, taking the stairs and carrying the shopping home to their routine.”

7. Get lifting

“Performing big compound exercises like the squat, deadlifts and pull-ups are a great bang-for-your-buck way to recruit more muscle mass in training and burn more calories.

“These exercises should be prioritised above isolation exercises like leg extensions and bicep curls if fat loss is your goal. Doing 1,000 reps with a 2kg dumbbell isn’t enough to stimulate muscle growth or lose weight.”

8. Drink more water

“Not consuming enough water during the day dents muscle protein synthesis and even 3% dehydration can impair your strength, power and performance in the gym.

“Water plays a more prosaic role too when it comes to weight loss – it will help fill you up more, stave off hunger and keep you from overeating. A good daily water intake target to aim for is around 1 litre per 25kg of bodyweight.”

9. Improve your sleep

“The relationship between sleep and weight loss has long been documented by science.

“Sleep lays the foundation for a healthy hormone balance in the body. Testosterone and growth hormone levels (important for both men and women) are key hormones to help improve your body composition. We advise every client at Ultimate Performance to get around 7-9 hours of good quality sleep per night.”

10. Make a long-term plan

“Crash diets, weight loss pills and extreme training regimes are never the answer – they’re not sustainable in the long run.

“Building healthy and sustainable habits into your lifestyle, like the ones mentioned above, will not only help you lose weight, but will then give you the framework to keep it off for years to come.”

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