How To Jump-Start Weight Loss: Tried-and-Tested Weight Loss Hacks
In a world where over 39% and 13% of the adult population is overweight and obese respectively, shedding off some pounds is a dream for billions of people (12). Since nobody can lose weight for you, knowing how to jump-start weight loss is an initiative that you should take on all by yourself if you are to achieve your weight loss goals. Other than enhancing your looks and making you feel confident, having a healthy weight helps prevent diabetes, cancer, heart diseases, control blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol among other benefits (1).
You must have come across various tricks to lose weight faster, especially when surfing the internet for quick fixes a few weeks to an important event that requires you to be in perfect shape. Even though the fastest weight loss plans will give you quick results, they are not sustainable and may negatively impact your health, causing malnutrition and weakened immune system (2). This is why experts recommend safe alternatives for losing weight that will result in loss of 1-2 pounds per week (10).
The best way to jump-start weight loss is by understanding your goal, then select the ideal, healthy, path to attaining it. This includes a healthy lifestyle involving physical activity and healthy eating habits. Do not focus on how to jump-start weight loss by zero carb diets, because completely cutting off essential nutrients is unhealthy and mostly unnecessary.
Example Of What To Eat To Jump-Start Your Weight Loss
What you eat matters when it comes to jump-starting your weight loss. You will have to embrace some changes in your meals. Here is an example of a healthy 1-day meal plan put together by experts at Shape.com (10):
Breakfast (about 300 calories)
- Pieces of apple and nutty oatmeal- Soak 1/2 cup of dry quick oats in 1/2 cup of hot original soy milk,then top the mixture with 1 small diced apple. You can add a tablespoon of walnuts.
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Lunch (about 400 calories)
- Bean stuffed pita and fresh tomato- Take 1 medium whole-wheat pita, and stuff it with a mixture of 1 cup chopped tomato,1/2 cup canned white beans, and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil. Dress with 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette dressing.
Snack (about 100 calories)
- 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt and 1 teaspoon of honey-Low-fat yogurt mixed with honey is very healthy because the yogurt contains proteins and probiotics, which is an immune system-boosting good bacteria. When honey is added to the yogurt, it feeds the good bacteria in the yogurt, making the bacteria stronger.
Dinner (about 400 calories)
- 3 ounces of grilled salmon with 1 cup chopped broccoli florets and 3/4 cup of cooked quinoa. You can a 1 juiced lemon an 1 teaspoon pine nuts
Healthline recommends consuming 1500 calories per day for moderately active women between 26–50 years old, and 2100 calories per day for average, moderately active men between 26–45 years to shed 1 pound a week (9). Therefore, the above low-calorie meal plan, which is nutritionally balanced, may help you shed about 2 pounds weight every week as you jump-start your long term weight loss journey. Note that this Shape.com meal plan will help you lose weight because:
- Apples contain 85% water and about 4.5 grams of fiber, making them filling.
- Oatmeal is a whole grain containing beta-glucan, therefore, may help regulate cholesterol levels.
- Whole wheat pita is high in dietary fiber, low in saturated fat, and is cholesterol-free.
- White beans are a great source of plant protein, iron, fiber, potassium, and zinc
- Other than being high in nutrients and low in saturated fats, grilles salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
- Broccoli is a cancer-fighting food; a great source of calcium, magnesium, iron, and rich in vitamins A and C.
Dieting Hacks To Jump Start And Maintain Weight Loss
Jump-starting weight loss will be easy and effective if you do the following:
- Remove non-healthy trigger foods from your refrigerator, cabinets, and drawers.
- Plan a healthy high-protein breakfast. When it comes to how to jump-start metabolism for weight loss, a high-protein meal in the morning is the best way to start your day. This may help you stay off junk food during the day because it fills you up. Some healthy proteins include Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, legumes and lean meat (3).
- Stay hydrated. Taking recommended amounts of water every day keeps your energy levels up, and helps in digestion. It also prevents dehydration and bloating. To make the water tasty, flavor it with fresh mint, or some slices of grapefruit or pears. Avoid sweetened and processed drinks such as soda and juices.
- Keep your hunger in check. Take all meals and snacks once or twice a day. Some experts recommend eating every 3-4 hours meals and snacks with both fiber and protein to control hunger (6).
- Eat plenty of vegetables. One serving of veggies contains about 20 calories, which is much less than other foods. Vegetables also have a high water percentage, making you feel full, and the potassium in them may help in regulating blood pressure among other benefits. After serving, eat vegetables first before other foods because they will fill you up quickly. Also, eating more plants will make you feel fuller because of their high fiber content.
- Eat healthy snacks. Have some healthy, low-calorie snacks such as fruits, nuts, air-popped popcorn, young soybeans, and carrots among others (7). This will help you avoid junk foods such as cookies, chips, and crisps.
- Your food presentation should be appealing to make you want to eat. Carefully and colourfully organize vegetables and fruit salad in a plate or bowl. This will make you enjoy eating healthy, well-presented foods. Also, make the foods visible, for example have fruits in a pretty visible bowl, so that they are the first thing you see when you need a snack.
- Try to eat most of your meals at home so that you can easily control your portions and amounts of sugar, fat and sodium. You can carry your homemade lunch to work. However, treat yourself to a fancy meal once in a while without feeling guilty. This will help you to stay on track and avoid binge eating.
- Listen to your satiety signals. Are you really hungry? If the answer is no, then you do not have to snack. Be a mindful eater.
- Prepare meals in advance so that every time you want to put something in your mouth, you will have healthy snacks and foods at the ready. If you do not have time to pre-slice your vegetables or fruits, buy the ones that are already pre-sliced and stored without additives at the grocery store.
- Have a physical or online food journal where you track what you eat. Be detailed. Specify the type of food, quantity, time and place eaten, emotions and hunger levels at the particular time, among others. This will make you more aware of your eating patterns and portion sizes, as well as help you identify emotional or mindless eating.
Example of Workouts To Jump-Start Your Weight Loss
You should jump-start your weight loss by exercising in the morning to boost your metabolic rate and minimize cravings. However, as long as you make working out a habit by being consistent, exercise any time you are comfortable. Here is how you can burn about 300 calories in 1 hour as outlined by Shape.com:
Cardio Circuit 1
- Jog for 2 minutes to warm up.
- Interval train for 3 -5 minutes, then increase the intensity by upping the speed or jogging on an incline.
- Do push-ups by extending arms and legs to shoulder-width apart as you balance on your toes. Your back should be straight, then lower your body down, and push back to the starting position. Repeat this 20 times.
- Start the leg lifts by lying flat on one side and extending legs straight. Lift the top leg, then lower it to just a few inches off the bottom leg, but they should not touch. Repeat this 20 times on one side before switching legs. When doing leg lifts, lean the body slightly forward and do not let the top hip roll back
- Next, do the chair dips. Sit on the edge of a chair, feet together and flat on the floor. Put your hands on either edge of the chair, at the side of the thighs, then bend elbows 90 degrees, with the lower body to the floor. Straighten your arms to raise your body back to the starting position. Repeat this 20 times.
Other cardio workouts include:
- Jumping rope for 7 minutes
- Chest Press with Dumbbells
- Walking Lunges
- Double Crunch
- Twisting Bicycle
Working Out Hacks For Healthy Weight Loss
For you to gain the most from exercising you need to:
- Exercise for at least 3 to 5 days a week for 30-40 minutes. After 6 weeks, you can change to new or increase the intensity of the routine for more visible changes.
- To get lean muscle, combine weight training with cardio.
- When working out, try not to break until you are done. However, if you cannot push through, stop briefly then continue.
- Exercise at 75% of your target heart rate.
General Hacks To Jump Start Weight Loss
Other than eating healthy and working out, you need to:
1. Always plan ahead
Write a grocery list to shop for all the things you need for a healthy diet. Buy the right outfits for working out so that you do not have an excuse not to squeeze in a quick sweat session. Have a timetable on when to eat and exercise. Mark your calendar to track your progress.
2. Figure out exactly why you want to lose weight
Set small, realistic weight loss goals, then slowly and steadily work towards one goal at a time. Always focus on the benefits of healthy lifestyle changes, don’t get too wrapped up in the numbers on the scale. This will encourage you to stick to a healthy lifestyle that will lead to sustainable weight loss.
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3. Get enough sleep
For your weight loss diet to be effective, you should rest. Constant lack of sleep may affect your metabolic rate, and cause you to overeat. 7-9 hours of sleep every day is recommended as it helps regulating ghrelin and leptin, the hunger and fullness hormones. When you do not sleep enough, your body produces more ghrelin that tells the brain that it is time to eat. On the contrary, the production of leptin, which cues fullness, is reduced when you do not get enough sleep. As a result of these hormonal changes, you will overeat. Sources report that a study presented at the 2011 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions established that those who slept for only 9 hours consume 329 less calories the next day, than those who slept for 4 hours (11).
4. Let those morning sun rays in
This will list up your spirits, and will help you focus on your diet and exercise. According to experts, some sunshine and fresh air every day may increase your metabolism (3).
5. Physical activity
Instead of taking the elevator, take the stairs. If you drive to work, park a few blocks from the office, then walk. This will help burn off some unwanted calories.
6. Limit checking your weight to only once a week
Weigh yourself with the same scale, if possible in the morning. Try to always weigh yourself at the same time of the day.
7. You can have a visual board pinned with motivating pictures and mantras that will remind you what you want to attain
These images should make you confident that you can achieve your weight loss goal.
8. Have an understanding and concerned accountability partner who will help you in your journey
It can be a friend or a professional like a qualified nutritionist or personal trainer.
9. Make small changes in your daily routine that will contribute to your overall well-being
These small healthy lifestyle changes will eventually make a huge difference.
How To Jump-Start Weight Loss Water Fast?
Water fasting involves abstaining from all types of food or beverages, apart from water, for a day to several weeks, therefore, to jump-start weight loss water fast, you need to take only water and nothing else (8). Medically, you should avoid water fasting as there is no scientific evidence to back its long term effect and efficiency.
How To Jump Start Weight Loss After Plateau?
Weight loss plateau is the inability to lose more weight (5). To jump start weight loss at this point, track what you eat, avoid alcohol, minimize your carbohydrate intake while eating more protein and fiber-rich food, increase exercise intensity or frequency, sleep well and manage stress. Also, you can try intermittent fasting, drink more water, tea, or coffee, and be as active as possible (5).
How To Jump Start Weight Loss After 50?
For most people, it is difficult to lose excess body fat or maintain healthy weight as they grow old. To jump-start weight loss after 50 years, enjoy strength training, be more physically active, cook at home, avoid added sugars and processed food, increase protein consumption, and choose the right supplements if necessary. It is important to consult your dietitian, so that they can customize the best diet for your weight loss, hire a personal trainer, and sleep better (13).
The road may be bumpy but stay committed to the process. The diets and workouts that advocate for weight loss quick outcomes should be used for a few weeks only to prepare you for a long-term, healthy and sustainable weight loss journey. With the above hacks on how to jump-start weight loss, you not only lose weight, but also get to maintain it. Always get a green light from your doctor, dietitian, and personal trainer before beginning any weight loss diet and workout routine.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 2-week diet plan can jump-start weight loss (2010, chicagotribune.com)
- 4 Reasons Why Fad Diets Are Bad for You (2018, readersdigest.ca)
- 7 ways to jumpstart weight loss (2018, ahchealthenews.com)
- 11 Easy Things You Can Do TODAY to Jumpstart Your Weight-Loss Journey (2015, womenshealthmag.com)
- 14 Simple Ways to Break Through a Weight Loss Plateau (2017, healthline.com)
- 21 Dietitian-Approved Tips to Jump-Start Weight Loss (2017, blog.myfitnesspal.com)
- 25 Super Snacks With 100 Calories or Less (n.d, webmd.com)
- All you need to know about water fasting (2018, medicalnewstoday.com )
- How Many Calories Should You Eat per Day to Lose Weight? (2020, healthline.com)
- How to Jump Start Weight Loss Efforts to Improve Your Chances of Success (2019, shape.com)
- Is Your Sleep Schedule Making You Fat? (2012, womenshealthmag.com)
- Obesity and overweight (2020, who.int)
- The 20 Best Ways to Lose Weight After 50 (2019, healthline.com)