Conventional wisdom tells us that losing 1 – 2 lbs per week is both safe and effective when it comes to keeping the pounds off longterm. But if you’ve ever actually lost a significant amount of weight, you know that a steady loss of 1 – 2 lbs at a time is not the reality. It’s more like a steep drop down, followed by a period of plateau, then hopefully steady decline.
While on one hand we have the the National Institute of Health telling us that we should aim for 1 – 2 lbs per week of weight loss, on the other hand we have weight loss reality shows demonstrating that we should do whatever it takes to get big weight loss numbers during weekly weigh-ins. On shows like The Biggest Loser and Celebrity Fit Club, the only thing that matters how many pounds were lost each week when you get up on the scale. Imagine how entertaining the show would be if each week, contestants battled it out to see whose cholesterol had moved closer to normal? Or imagine all of the contestants on a stage, getting their blood pressure taken, as America sits on the edge of their seats. None of this is likely to happen. People like the drama of seeing weight loss contestants slim down as fast as possible. We are a nation of quick-fixes. But I would argue that the reality of weight loss lies between these two extremes. For example, I had a family member who dropped 10 lbs in two weeks just from quitting her daily cola habit cold turkey.
The DailyBurn community also contains community members who have lost weight very quickly just from logging their foods regularly. The main benefit of keeping a food log is that it brings an awareness to your eating patterns. By recognizing the volume of processed foods, sugars, and grains that the average Americans eat, people can make informed decisions regarding eliminating these foods from their diet.
Here are healthy weight loss tactics that can accelerate your weight loss beyond the suggested 1 –2 lbs per week:
- Eliminate sugar. If you cut out all forms of added sugar, including soda, snacks, pastries, and processed foods, you will lose weight faster than if you increased your exercise volume but kept these foods in your diet. For example, a 12 oz can of Coca-Cola has 39g of sugar, which is 156 calories of sugar. If you have 3 servings a day each day, you are getting 3,276 calories of sugar per week thanks to soda alone. Since you need to cut 3,500 calories to lose a pound, then you would lose close to 1 pound per week if you just cut out soda.
- Eliminate grains. Many people struggle with gluten sensitivity without even knowing about it. Gluten is a protein in wheat that makes wheat flour sticky and pliable. The high fiber content of grains like oatmeal and whole wheat can actually aggravate the digestive tract, leading to gas and bloating. By eliminating grains, many people notice that they lose additional weight thanks due to undiagnosed digestive problems.
- Decrease sodium. Elevated sodium levels on the body can result in water retention. Most Americans get way more than the recommended 1500 mg per day that the National Institute of Health has set as a recommended daily allowance. By decreasing the sodium in your diet, you’ll eliminate water weight, which will result in more weight lost.
- Sip on herbal tea. Teas like Green Tea Blueberry Slim Life from Yogi Tea contain herbs that are traditional appetite suppressants. Sipping on tea will also distract you if you tend to be a mindless eater. Include high intensity intervals in your workouts. Increasing the intensity of your workouts will help you lose weight faster. Increasing the duration of your workout won’t.
So if you are struggling with a plateau or just trying to find some techniques that will help you see some faster results to keep you motivated. Keep these in mind!