Weight Loss Guide to Lose Fat Fast

A Weight Loss Rookie's Guide to Dropping Pounds Fast

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Even if you're #blessed with a super-fast metabolism, at some point, you'll likely have to face the fact that your natural calorie-burning ability just isn't what it used to be. Thanks, biology!

As you get older, your metabolism starts to slow down. According to the American Council on Exercise, your basal metabolic rate drops roughly one to two percent per decade.

So if you're finding that you're eating the same things as you used to, but you're not able to keep the weight off as easily as you once did, it's not in your head.

While that may be a scientific fact, it doesn't make it any easier to deal with weight gain—especially if you have no experience trying to drop pounds.

So what's a weight-loss newbie to do? Here's our ultimate guide to weight loss for beginners.

1. Drink More Water

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Drinking more water is an easy way to help with weight loss for beginners, says Angela Onsgard, R.D. at Minerval Resorts. Aiming to drink nearly half of your body weight (75 ounces for a 150 pound woman) will help you to learn to separate thirst from hunger, she says.

And don't just drink when you're thirsty. "Once you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated," says Onsgard. "You want to stay ahead of thirst."

Staying hydrated prevents constipation and bloating by providing fluids for the soluble fiber in your body to absorb, she says. "Soluble fiber then acts like a gel to keep things moving through the GI tract," says Onsgard.

Related: New Bizarre Outback Flower Melts Fat Off Thighs Magically!

2. Sweat Hard in The A.M

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Not only does the early bird catch the worm—she burns that worm off more easily. A challenging morning sweat can help kick-start your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the rest of your day, says Maurice Williams, C.S.C.S.

"Tough workouts that get your heart rate up, such as Tabata, circuit training, heavy resistance training, and CrossFit, cause excess post-exercise oxygen consumption," says Williams.

That means that your body burns more calories post-workout to repair the tissue you worked during your sweat. Plus, these types of workouts burn 500 calories or more per hour, making them an ideal way to drop those stubborn extra pounds, she says.

Related: Get Paid $500 to Lose Weight!

3. Eat Until You're 80 Percent Full

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Maybe you hate wasting food or you're always on the go (or both). But those habits can cause you to eat beyond your fullness level, says Onsgard.

Slowing down and tuning into your hunger during each meal is key to managing weight. "When you eat slower, it's easier for you to recognize your body’s satiation cues," she says.

"If we stop eating when we start to feel full, instead of when we're stuffed, it decreases our calorie intake, which ultimately leads to weight loss," she says.

4. Plan Ahead

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You start your week out with the best of intentions, and a midday meeting throws off your plan to grab a healthy lunch. Then, you're stuck with the chips stashed in your desk drawer.

That's why it's so important to "know what you’re going to eat and when you intend to eat it," says Onsgard. That limits the amount of game-time food choices you have to make, which helps you stay on track.

"When you have to make a decision for every meal throughout the day, it gets harder to make good choices as your willpower weakens," she says. To make sure you're prepared, allot two days of the week to meal plan, grocery shop, and prep.

"Use the first day for planning what you are going to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week," she says.

"Day two is for grocery shopping and prepping as much as possible ahead of time." Overnight oats, chia seed pudding, and smoothies are some are some of Onsgard's favorite easy breakfast ideas.

5. Evaluate Your Recent Lifestyle Changes

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Sure, a slower metabolism may be the culprit behind those sneaky extra pounds, but sometimes there's more to it than that. Albert Matheny, R.D., C.S.C.S., says that small shifts in our lifestyle, like how much you're working out, drinking, or what you're eating, have a big impact over time.

To ID what's behind your weight gain, Matheny recommends taking a look at the habits you had before you noticed a change in your body, and figure out what changed.

Stress and sleep deprivation could actually be to blame for your weight gain, too. "Ghrelin and leptin are two hormones that control appetite and satiation," Onsgard explains, "and when we don’t get enough sleep these hormones get out of balance and make us feel constantly hungry."

These hormones get balanced in the deeper stages of sleep, says Onsgard, so getting a solid seven to nine hours per night should be enough time for this process to take place.

6. Don't Obsess Over Calories

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A healthy, sustainable diet is more likely to keep the weight off than a fad diet that's extremely restrictive, says Matheny. Your body thrives on consistency, so drastic changes in calories isn't helpful.

In fact, your body will fight to keep weight on thanks to a process called "starvation mode." Make small changes, like adding more veggies and lean protein to your diet, and you'll see big results over time, says Matheny.

Besides bulking up your meals with low-calorie, dense foods, Onsgard suggests reducing how much processed food you eat. Things like cereal, pasta, crackers, and cookies are digested quickly and spike your blood sugar, she says.

The subsequent blood sugar crash can leave you craving even more carbs, sugar, and fat. While you don't have to be that strict, cutting back on processed foods is a solid way to reduce your calorie intake.

7. Start Strength Training

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When you think about the types of exercise that burn the most calories, cardio workouts likely come to mind. But Andrew James Pierce, C.S.C.S. says strength training is a super important component for maintaining an active metabolism and can help you burn more calories in the long run.

That's because muscle requires more energy (a.k.a. calories) to fuel, which prevents fat storage. If hitting the weight room isn't your jam, workouts like circuit training, boot camp-style classes, Pilates, and yoga all incorporate elements of resistance, says Pierce.

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