“How do I lose weight fast?” is a question I get pretty frequently. Another common question is “How do I get rid of belly fat fast?” Nowadays, we’re so used to instant gratification that many of us fail to realize that losing weight and keeping it off is a process, not something that can be achieved instantaneously. Unless you have a large amount of weight to lose (we’re talking 100+ pounds here), it’s not only difficult to lose a large amount of weight in a short period of time, but it’s also unhealthy.
You see, the problem with very fast weight loss is that you end up losing two things that you actually need more of – muscle and water – instead of fat. When you lose water, your body doesn’t function properly. And when you lose muscle, your body loses its ability to rev your metabolism.
So when attempting to lose weight quickly, you must be careful that you’re not losing too much muscle or water. You want to lose the right kind of weight: FAT. Keep in mind the first place you put weight on is often the last place it comes off. If you want to lose belly fat and have visible abs, you have to lose body fat.
Get Real and Know Your Numbers
So, if you’ve hit a plateau, or you’re attempting to lose weight as quickly as possible without doing any damage to your metabolism, you must set a realistic goal, get real with yourself, and know your numbers. You must know an accurate number of calories that you’re burning each day and how many more you need to burn to lose weight. If you’re off by just 100 calories per day, you can gain up to 10 pounds in a year! That’s why you need to get real and know your numbers.
There are many calorie-tracking devices out there from the Bodybugg to Body Media, the Fit Bit, and now the Nike Fuel Band that will help you track your calorie burn. If you don’t want to invest in one of these devices, you can always do it online with free sites like My Fitness Pal and LiveStrong My Plate. However, be cautious – sites like these often give an average suggestion based on your weight, height, and age. To be on the safe side, go a little lower than the suggested amount of calories.
To Lose Weight Make Sure You’re Eating Enough
On the flip side, you want to make sure you’re not creating too great of a deficit between the calories you burn and the calories you consume. When this occurs, your body starts to metabolize the muscle and lean tissues that help you burn fat. Instead, your body will begin to store fat, as it believes your body is under attack… and fat is a protector.
Do it Right
Overall, to lose weight safely and effectively, you want to do it right. A body fat test will provide you with an accurate understanding of your weight loss. Typically, we lose 1% body fat for each pound lost. You’ll know you’re losing muscle and water instead of fat if you get your body fat tested, and you’re losing pounds on the scale but showing no progress in your body fat tests.
In conclusion, if you want to successfully lose weight and keep it off, don’t look for shortcuts. Know your numbers, track your calorie intake and calorie burn, and set a realistic goal for yourself. If you do it right, slowly but surely, you’ll lose body fat and be able to maintain your progress.