Natural ways to lose weight fast

Emeh Joy
By Emeh Joy

Basic Medical Scientist, Freelance Health Writer, Lifestyle Blogger and Business Enthusiast

Natural and fast ways to lose weight and body fat

The quest to lose weight fast has led many people to take extreme measures and even indulge in some harmful weight loss practices.

Some of the harmful things people do in a bid to lose weight include:

  • Taking unsafe supplements, pills or products that don't have proven safety or effectiveness against weight gain
  • Detoxification, which comes with a risk of electrolyte imbalance and dehydration
  • Different forms of purging which can cause excess loss of fluid
  • Extreme exercising
  • Smoking and use of illegal drugs

While some of these practices would seem like they yield weight loss results, they pose great harm to health. So, the question many people ask is, "how can I lose weight in a fast, natural and safe manner?"

This article points out things that can be done to promote natural weight loss.

Natural weight-loss strategies

Natural weight loss focuses on reducing appetite or consuming less food, watching dietary intake, avoiding unhealthy practise and lifestyle habits, and improving metabolic health.

Outlined below are ways to achieve all that to attain a healthy weight.

1. Stop consuming refined carbs

Avoid eating refined carbs and artificially sweetened foods to improve your weight loss strategy

The effects of refined (processed) carbohydrates on weight cannot be stressed enough. Refined carbohydrates are carbohydrates that have been processed and have their natural fibres removed or changed.

Consuming refined carbs can cause a spike in the insulin hormone, which can, in turn, increase the risk of weight gain and obesity.

Obesity has always been linked to type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is caused by cells' resistance to the insulin hormone.

Insulin hormone is an endocrine hormone that enables cells to absorb or take in sugar (glucose). One way insulin hormone can cause weight gain is by causing cells to absorb excess glucose, which it later converts to fat as long-term storage.

People with type 2 diabetes might experience weight gain due to insulin hormone therapy, which promotes fat storage in the body.

Unlike unrefined carbs, refined carbs are of less nutritional value and have been linked to different chronic diseases such as obesity.

Examples of refined carbs you should avoid include:

  • White bread
  • White flour
  • White rice
  • Soda drink
  • Pastries
  • Sweets and sweetened beverages
  • Pasta
  • Refined breakfast cereals.

Aside from the fact that refined carbs can cause weight gain, they are bad for health as they have been stripped of fibre, bran and nutrients.

2. Opt for proteins, fats, fruits and vegetables

It will help if you consume meals that contain fewer calories. Unfortunately, most of the carbs people consume are refined carbs that contain high calories.

That is why it is important to cut down on carbs. If you must consume carbs, stick with the unprocessed whole carbs as they contain fibre and more nutrients.

One of the natural ways to lose weight fast is by eating more of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and moderate protein

In fact, it is better to go on a low-carb diet. A low-carb diet means eating fewer carbohydrates, more fat and moderate protein. Are you surprised that fat is favoured over carbs for weight loss?

Don't be surprised. Not all fats are unhealthy; Unsaturated fats are healthy and do not increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The fact that fat contains nine calories per gram while carbohydrate contains four calories per gram has led many people to believe that consuming fats increases body weight compared to consuming carbohydrates.

However, when it comes to macronutrients and weight gain, there are other things to consider. Even though carbs contain fewer calories than fat, consuming more of it (particularly refined carbs) causes an increase in blood sugar levels.

When the blood sugar level is elevated, it, in turn, increases the need for the insulin hormone. Thus, more insulin hormones would be released. Note that, insulin hormone also regulates fat metabolism. As the pancreas secretes more insulin, the body stores more fat.

The high insulin level has again been linked to chronic health conditions like heart diseases, diabetes and cancer.

On the other hand, fat requires little or no insulin to be metabolized. It causes little or no increase in blood sugar levels. Fat also helps you stay fuller for a longer period.

However, care should be taken when consuming fatty foods. The body either burns fat for energy or stores it as body fat. However, the body can only burn fat as a source of energy in the absence of carbohydrates.

The fact here is that how much fat the body burns will depend largely on how much carbs and protein consumed. So what is the ideal natural way to lose weight? The ideal natural way to lose weight is to eat healthy fat, a low carb diet and a moderate amount of protein.

What about fruits and vegetables? What roles do they play in stimulating fast and natural weight loss?

Fruits and vegetables are needed for your weight loss journey as they contain lower calories, are highly nutritious and contain natural fibre, which helps improve metabolism. This can help burn even stubborn belly fat.

Since fruits and vegetables contain fibre, they can help you stay fuller, help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce spikes and dips in energy levels.

3. Choose healthy, weight-loss-friendly foods

To lose weight fast and naturally, you have to opt for healthy, weight-loss-friendly foods

Even though the ideal way to shed some weight is to consume less junk and calories, some foods are better than others when it comes to weight.

This is because asides from the fact that food calories differ, foods also go through different metabolic pathways, which means they affect hunger, hormones and the number of calories the body burns in different ways.

So, what are the foods that help achieve fast and natural weight loss? Here is a list of some weight-loss-friendly foods that can help you lose weight safely and faster:

  • Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, swiss, collards and chards
  • Whole eggs
  • Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower
  • Salmon
  • Lean beef
  • Tuna
  • Chicken breast
  • Boiled potatoes
  • Cottage cheese
  • Soups
  • Beans and legumes
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Avocados
  • Whole grains
  • Chilli pepper
  • Nuts
  • Fruits
  • Full-fat yoghurt
  • Coconut oil
  • Chia seeds

4. Burn more calories

According to an article on scientificamerican.com, what causes weight gain is "an imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended".

This makes sense because the food we eat contains calories, and calories are converted into energy that the body uses. However, when calories are in excess, and you are unable to expend (burn it), it becomes stored in the body as fat.

This also means that many fat people either eat much or live sedentary lifestyles or both. The point is that one of the most powerful, natural ways to lose weight fast is by eating less and exercising more!

In order to maintain a healthy weight, there should be a balance between the amount of calories consumed and that expended.

Exercising helps you burn calories while enhancing metabolism. Aim for three to four times weekly routine gyming.

Cardio workouts and weight lifting can help with fast and natural weight loss. However, weight lifting is not for everyone. If you can't lift weights, try the following exercises to help you lose pounds safely:

  • Walking: Taking a walk might seem like nothing, but it is, in fact, one of the best exercises for natural weight loss. If you are a beginner, try walking for at least 30 minutes 3-4 times a week and gradually increase frequency or duration from there.
  • Running or jogging: Just like walking, running and jogging are other easier but effective weight loss exercises. Aside from helping with calorie burning, studies have shown that exercises like running and jogging can help with burning the stubborn visceral fat known as belly fat.
  • Swimming: Swimming is fun, but it doesn't only end there; it is a great way to burn those extra calories! The number of calories you will burn will depend on how you swim too. According to a study, for a 30 minutes swim, a 70kg person burns 298 calories doing the backstroke, 372 calories treading water, 372 calories during breaststroke and 409 calories during butterfly.
  • Cycling: Cycling is another popular way of exercising. It offers a natural way of losing weight via burning calories. It is more of outdoor activity; however, some fitness centres and gyms have stationary bikes that enable you to cycle within the facility.
  • Yoga: Many people are familiar with the fact that yoga exercises help relieve stress, but it also helps burn calories. It helps improve physical and mental health and has other health benefits which can help people in their natural weight loss journey.

5. Adopt healthy eating habits that can help you lose weight

Adopting healthy eating habits is a key to fast and natural weight loss

You can't be aiming for weight loss and be seen around the kitchen every time with large food portion sizes. No, that is going to slow down your weight loss journey.

It is better to get a small-sized plate for meals to help measure food quantity. With a larger plate size, most people will be tempted to dish out more food-size.

When you settle down to eat, chew your food slowly. When you eat fats, you consume more quantity of food within a short duration; however, the reverse is the case when you eat slowly; you tend to get full even with a smaller quantity of food.

A study has shown that eating slowly might be an effective strategy for reducing the amount of food consumed.

How about those that eat dinner very late? For a healthy weight, it is recommended that you eat dinner earlier. This is to avoid going to bed with a full stomach.

Thus, it is best to eat dinner at least 3 hours before bedtime to give the body ample time to digest the food before you hit the bed. It would also help to eat less calorie at night as you will likely not be engaging in any activity that would help burn the calories by that time.

This is also the best time to stop emotional eating. If you want to lose weight fast and naturally, then you have to stop eating simply because you want to soothe your emotions.

Emotional eating is the act of eating food to make one's self feel better. Emotional eaters eat not because they are hungry but because they want to fill their emotional needs. Women are usually most affected here. Emotional eating is, in fact, one of the reasons why it is harder for women to lose weight.

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6. Stay hydrated, drink water before meals

According to science, water can help with weight loss in a couple of ways. Water is needed for metabolism; it helps to fasten digestion.

Do you notice that on days that you drink water before going to bed, you wake up the following day feeling lighter?

Water suppresses appetite and makes it easier to exercise more efficiently. Water is needed when working out to replenish the water lost (via sweat). This helps to sustain workout sessions for a longer duration. If workout sessions are not effective, the body cannot burn calories as needed.

Among the side effects of not drinking enough water are slower metabolism, over-eating and weight gain.

Research has suggested that the more hydrated you are, the more efficient your body performs tasks, including burning fats.

Also, a study has suggested that drinking water before meals might help reduce calorie intake. These and more are reasons why you need to increase your daily water intake (especially if it is below 2 litres per day).

7. De-stress, get quality sleep

Two top strategies for fast and natural weight loss is to eat less and sleep more

One of the common questions people ask regarding causes of weight gain is, "can stress cause weight gain?" Yes, stress can cause weight gain. Stress is one of the culprits that cause weight gain.

But how does stress make you fat?

How stress makes someone fat involves a mixture of psychological and hormonal factors. Stress itself does not cause weight gain, but the stress hormone does.

When stressed, the body releases a hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol is released alongside the hormones epinephrine (adrenaline) and norepinephrine (noradrenaline) which trigger the "fight or flight" response.

The function of epinephrine and norepinephrine is to get the body ready to fight or run from the perceived threat that caused the stress in the first place.

After the threatening or stressful event, adrenaline and noradrenaline hormone levels go back to normal. However, the level of cortisol remains elevated in the blood. This is where the problem lies because cortisol's major role is to ensure energy provision for the body.

Cortisol provides fast energy by stimulating fat and carbohydrate metabolism as well as the release of insulin. In the end, the cascade of events also leads to increased appetite.

In fact, asides from weight gain, cortisol can cause fat deposition around the abdominal area, thus causing the formation of abdominal fat, which is toxic and has been associated with the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Sleep helps relieve stress and can help fight food cravings. Also, lack of adequate sleep might increase appetite and thus cause increased calorie intake.

When you get enough sleep, you tend to get more physically active. A study found that sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in physical activity. Remember, you need to stay physically active in order to burn more calories.

How fast should you lose weight?

How fast you lose weight will depend on different factors such as genetics, how your body burns calories etc. However, it is safe to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week.

What does 'fast weight loss' mean?

When discussing fast weight loss, someone might wonder if there is a way of measuring the pace at which it occurs.

Almost everyone would want to see fast results when it comes to weight loss. However, in reality, weight loss doesn't always come fast.

You need consistency, patience and determination with your weight loss journey. While weight loss comes fast and easy for some people, it poses a great challenge for others.

Also, you have to be careful about how you go about your weight loss journey. Too quick results might be harmful to the health and can even cause weight rebound at the end of the weight loss program.

While it is technically possible to lose up to 4.5kg (10 pounds) in a week, it is not advisable. Most times, when people lose weight rapidly, what they are actually losing is 'water weight' and not really body fat. It is almost impossible to lose as much as 10 pounds within one week safely.

How fast should one lose weight?

Usually, it is safe to lose about 1-2 pounds per week. This rate of fat loss is also recommended if you want an effective long-term weight management strategy. However, for the sake of personalization, You might want to see your doctor as regards the amount of fat to lose at intervals.

Losing weight at the pace of 1 pound per week might seem like a slow pace, but it would more likely help you maintain your weight loss strategy for a long time.

Rapid weight loss plans might be unsafe. Losing weight more rapidly might mean you make unhealthy extraordinary efforts which you might be unable to sustain for the long term.

Natural home remedies for weight loss

Some home-made ingredients might be good natural remedies to your weigh issues

Every day, more people look out for the best weight loss diet plans to help fight obesity and overweight. If you are among such people, have you thought of using some natural home products to remedy your weight problem?

If you are tired of following the hard rules and restrictions or want to see faster results with your weight loss plan, you might want to check out some beneficial, natural home remedies that help control weight.

Most natural home remedies are ingredients that can be easily sourced for and quickly fixed up in the kitchen. Some natural home remedies for safe and fast burning of body fat include:

  • Drinking lemon water with honey: Mix a glass of lemon water with two teaspoons of full honey and drink every morning. Since lemon helps detoxification and honey have many medicinal properties, this might help your weight loss journey.
  • Chewing raw garlic: Among the health benefits of garlic are the reduction of oxidative stress, heart diseases, and blood pressure reduction. However, garlic might also help with weight loss. Chew two or more cloves of garlic every morning.
  • Cinnamon and honey-infused tea: Cinnamon has properties that help regulate blood insulin levels and curb sugar cravings. It can help you in your weight loss journey. Add a teaspoon of honey and two cinnamon sticks into a glass of lukewarm water. Mix well and drink every morning before you eat.
  • Apple cider vinegar: This works as a natural home remedy for burning fat because it is a rich source of acetic acid with anti-obesity and anti-inflammatory properties. It promotes weight loss.
  • Curry leaves: Since curry reduces triglycerides and blood cholesterol levels, it should be safe to say that it helps with natural weight loss. Curry leaves also aid digestion which is a good one for weight loss.

While seeking a fast weight loss plan, it is important to know that there is a difference between losing water weight and body fat. The former happens faster and within a few days, while the latter takes longer.

With a sustainable dietary plan, lifestyle changes and physical activity, people can attain a safe and fast weight loss.