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NUTRITION
How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple
Steps, Based on Science
If your doctor recommends it, there are ways to lose weight safely. A steady weight loss of 1 to 2
pounds per week is recommended for the most effective long-term weight management.
That said, many eating plans leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied. These are major reasons
why you might find it hard to stick to a healthier eating plan.
However, not all diets have this effect. Low carb diets and whole food, lower calorie diets are
effective for weight loss and may be easier to stick to than other diets.
Here are some ways to lose weight that employ healthy eating, potentially lower carbs, and that
aim to:
reduce your appetite
cause fast weight loss
improve your metabolic health at the same time
One way to lose weight quickly is to cut back on sugars and starches, or carbohydrates. This
could be with a low carb eating plan or by reducing refined carbs and replacing them with
whole grains.
When you do that, your hunger levels go down, and you generally end up eating fewer calories
(1 
).
With a low carb eating plan, you’ll utilize burning stored fat for energy instead of carbs.
u
u Evidence Based
Evidence Based
Ways to lose weight Calories & portions Tips Meal ideas
How fast to lose Bottom line
How to Lose Weight Fast in 3 Simple Steps
1. Cut back on refined carbs
Written by Kris Gunnars,
BSc — Medically reviewed
by Katherine Marengo LDN,
R.D. — Updated on October
29, 2020
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If you choose to eat more complex carbs like whole grains along with a calorie deficit, you’ll
benefit from higher fiber and digest them more slowly. This makes them more filling to keep
you satisfied.
A 2020 study confirmed that a very low carbohydrate diet was beneficial for losing weight in
older populations (2).
Research also suggests that a low carb diet can reduce appetite, which may lead to eating fewer
calories without thinking about it or feeling hungry (3 
).
Note that the long-term effects of a low carb diet are still being researched. It can also be
difficult to adhere to a low carb diet, which may lead to yo-yo dieting and less success in
maintaining a healthy weight.
There are potential downsides to a low carb diet that may lead you to a different method.
Reduced calorie diets can also lead to weight loss and be easier to maintain for longer periods
of time.
If you opt for a diet focusing instead on whole grains over refined carbs, a 2019 study correlated
high whole grain with lower body mass index (BMI) (4 
).
To determine the best way for you to lose weight, consult your doctor for recommendations.
SUMMARY
Reducing sugars and starches, or carbs, from your diet can help curb your appetite,
lower your insulin levels, and make you lose weight.
But the long-term effects of a low carb diet are not yet known. A reduced calorie diet
could be more sustainable.
Each one of your meals should include:
a protein source
fat source
vegetables
a small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains
To see how you can assemble your meals, check out:
this low carb meal plan
this lower calorie meal plan
these lists of 101 healthy low carb recipes and low calorie foods
Protein
Eating a recommended amount of protein is essential to help preserve your health and muscle
mass while losing weight (5 
).
Evidence suggests that eating adequate protein may improve cardiometabolic risk factors,
appetite, and body weight, (6 
, 7 
, 8
).
Here’s how to determine how much you need to eat without eating too much. Many factors
determine your specific needs, but generally, an average person needs (9 
):
56–91 grams per day for the average male
46–75 grams per day for the average female
Diets with adequate protein can also help:
reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%
2. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables
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reduce the desire to snack late at night by half
make you feel full
In one study, people on a higher protein diet ate 441 fewer calories per day (10 
, 11 
).
Healthy protein sources include:
eggs: whole eggs with the yolk
plant-based proteins: beans, legumes, quinoa, tempeh, and tofu
Low carb and leafy green vegetables
Don’t be afraid to load your plate with leafy green vegetables. They’re packed with nutrients,
and you can eat very large amounts without greatly increasing calories and carbs.
Vegetables to include for low carb or low calorie eating plans:
broccoli
cauliflower
spinach
tomatoes
kale
Brussels sprouts
cabbage
Swiss chard
lettuce
cucumber
Healthy fats
Don’t be afraid of eating fats.
Your body still requires healthy fats no matter what eating plan you choose. Olive oil and
avocado oil are great choices for including in your eating plan.
Other fats such as butter and coconut oil should be used only in moderation due to their higher
saturated fat content (12 
).
SUMMARY
Assemble each meal out of a protein source, healthy fat source, complex carb, and
vegetables.
Leafy green vegetables are a great way to bulk up a meal with low calories and lots of
nutrients.
HEALTHLINE QUIZ
Take our free 3-question diet quiz
Our free assessment ranks the best diets for you based on your answers to 3 quick questions.
FIND YOUR DIETS
FIND YOUR DIETS
3. Move your body
How Intermittent Fasting Can Help
You Lose Weight 
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Exercise, while not required to lose weight, can help you lose weight more quickly. Lifting
weights has particularly good benefits.
By lifting weights, you’ll burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down,
which is a common side effect of losing weight (13 
, 14 
, 15 
).
Try going to the gym three to four times a week to lift weights. If you’re new to the gym, ask a
trainer for some advice. Make sure your doctor is also aware of any new exercise plans.
If lifting weights is not an option for you, doing some cardio workouts such as walking, jogging,
running, cycling, or swimming is very beneficial for weight loss and general health.
Both cardio and weightlifting can help with weight loss.
SUMMARY
Resistance training, such as weightlifting, is a great option for losing weight. If that’s not
possible, cardio workouts are also effective.
Choose what’s sustainable for you.
If you opt for a low carb eating plan, it’s not necessary to count calories as long as you keep
your carb intake very low and stick to protein, fat, and low carb vegetables.
If you find yourself not losing weight, you may want to keep track of your calories to see if that’s
a contributing factor.
If you’re sticking to a calorie deficit to lose weight, you can use a free online calculator like this
one.
Enter your sex, weight, height, and activity levels. The calculator will tell you how many calories
to eat per day to maintain your weight, lose weight, or lose weight fast.
You can also download free, easy-to-use calorie counters from websites and app stores. Here’s
a list of 5 calorie counters to try.
Note that eating too few calories can be dangerous and less effective for losing weight. Aim to
reduce your calories by a sustainable and healthy amount based on your doctor’s
recommendation.
SUMMARY
Counting calories isn’t usually needed to lose weight on a low carb eating plan. But if
you’re not losing weight or on a reduced calorie eating plan, calorie counting may help.
Here are 9 more tips to lose weight faster:
1. Eat a high protein breakfast. Eating a high protein breakfast could help reduce cravings
and calorie intake throughout the day (16 
, 17 
).
2. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. Empty calories from sugar aren’t useful to your body
and can hinder weight loss (18
, 19).
3. Drink water before meals. One study showed that drinking water before meals reduced
calorie intake and may be effective in weight management (20 
).
4. Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. Some foods are better for weight loss than others.
Here is a list of healthy weight-loss-friendly foods.
What about calories and portion control?
9 weight loss tips
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5. Eat soluble fiber. Studies show that soluble fibers may promote weight loss. Fiber
supplements like glucomannan can also help (21 
, 22 
, 23).
6. Drink coffee or tea. Caffeine consumption can boost your metabolism (24 
, 25).
7. Base your diet on whole foods. They’re healthier, more filling, and much less likely to
cause overeating than processed foods.
8. Eat slowly. Eating quickly can lead to weight gain over time, while eating slowly makes
you feel more full and boosts weight-reducing hormones (26 
).
9. Get good quality sleep. Sleep is important for many reasons, and poor sleep is one of the
biggest risk factors for weight gain (27 
, 28
, 29).
For more tips on weight loss, read about natural tips for losing weight here.
SUMMARY
Eating whole foods, higher protein, soluble fiber, and less sugar can help you lose more
weight. Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep, too.
These sample meal plans are low carb, which limits carbs to 20–50 carbs per day. Each meal
should have protein, healthy fats, and veggies.
If you’d prefer to lose weight while still eating complex carbs, add in some healthy whole grains
such as:
quinoa
whole oats
whole wheat
bran
rye
barley
Breakfast ideas
poached egg with sliced avocado and a side of berries
spinach, mushroom, and feta crustless quiche
green smoothie with spinach, avocado, and nut milk and a side of cottage cheese
unsweetened Greek yogurt with berries and almonds
Lunch ideas
kale and spinach salad with grilled tofu, chickpeas, and guacamole
Dinner ideas
antipasto salad with white beans, asparagus, cucumbers, olive oil, and Parmesan
roasted cauliflower with tempeh, Brussels sprouts, and pine nuts
Snack ideas
cauliflower hummus and veggies
healthy homemade trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
Sample meal ideas for fast weight loss
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Lose weight fast

  • 1. NUTRITION How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science If your doctor recommends it, there are ways to lose weight safely. A steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended for the most effective long-term weight management. That said, many eating plans leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied. These are major reasons why you might find it hard to stick to a healthier eating plan. However, not all diets have this effect. Low carb diets and whole food, lower calorie diets are effective for weight loss and may be easier to stick to than other diets. Here are some ways to lose weight that employ healthy eating, potentially lower carbs, and that aim to: reduce your appetite cause fast weight loss improve your metabolic health at the same time One way to lose weight quickly is to cut back on sugars and starches, or carbohydrates. This could be with a low carb eating plan or by reducing refined carbs and replacing them with whole grains. When you do that, your hunger levels go down, and you generally end up eating fewer calories (1  ). With a low carb eating plan, you’ll utilize burning stored fat for energy instead of carbs. u u Evidence Based Evidence Based Ways to lose weight Calories & portions Tips Meal ideas How fast to lose Bottom line How to Lose Weight Fast in 3 Simple Steps 1. Cut back on refined carbs Written by Kris Gunnars, BSc — Medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo LDN, R.D. — Updated on October 29, 2020 ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science  WATCH VIDEO How to Lose Weight Fast in 3 Simple Steps 
  • 2. Stuff Your Face and Still Lose Weight Yes Really!
  • 3. If you choose to eat more complex carbs like whole grains along with a calorie deficit, you’ll benefit from higher fiber and digest them more slowly. This makes them more filling to keep you satisfied. A 2020 study confirmed that a very low carbohydrate diet was beneficial for losing weight in older populations (2). Research also suggests that a low carb diet can reduce appetite, which may lead to eating fewer calories without thinking about it or feeling hungry (3  ). Note that the long-term effects of a low carb diet are still being researched. It can also be difficult to adhere to a low carb diet, which may lead to yo-yo dieting and less success in maintaining a healthy weight. There are potential downsides to a low carb diet that may lead you to a different method. Reduced calorie diets can also lead to weight loss and be easier to maintain for longer periods of time. If you opt for a diet focusing instead on whole grains over refined carbs, a 2019 study correlated high whole grain with lower body mass index (BMI) (4  ). To determine the best way for you to lose weight, consult your doctor for recommendations. SUMMARY Reducing sugars and starches, or carbs, from your diet can help curb your appetite, lower your insulin levels, and make you lose weight. But the long-term effects of a low carb diet are not yet known. A reduced calorie diet could be more sustainable. Each one of your meals should include: a protein source fat source vegetables a small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains To see how you can assemble your meals, check out: this low carb meal plan this lower calorie meal plan these lists of 101 healthy low carb recipes and low calorie foods Protein Eating a recommended amount of protein is essential to help preserve your health and muscle mass while losing weight (5  ). Evidence suggests that eating adequate protein may improve cardiometabolic risk factors, appetite, and body weight, (6  , 7  , 8 ). Here’s how to determine how much you need to eat without eating too much. Many factors determine your specific needs, but generally, an average person needs (9  ): 56–91 grams per day for the average male 46–75 grams per day for the average female Diets with adequate protein can also help: reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60% 2. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables ADVERTISEMENT 10 Morning Habits That Help You Lose Weight  ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT 29 Healthy Snacks That Can Help You Lose Weight  Health Conditions Discover Plan Connect Subscribe
  • 4. reduce the desire to snack late at night by half make you feel full In one study, people on a higher protein diet ate 441 fewer calories per day (10  , 11  ). Healthy protein sources include: eggs: whole eggs with the yolk plant-based proteins: beans, legumes, quinoa, tempeh, and tofu Low carb and leafy green vegetables Don’t be afraid to load your plate with leafy green vegetables. They’re packed with nutrients, and you can eat very large amounts without greatly increasing calories and carbs. Vegetables to include for low carb or low calorie eating plans: broccoli cauliflower spinach tomatoes kale Brussels sprouts cabbage Swiss chard lettuce cucumber Healthy fats Don’t be afraid of eating fats. Your body still requires healthy fats no matter what eating plan you choose. Olive oil and avocado oil are great choices for including in your eating plan. Other fats such as butter and coconut oil should be used only in moderation due to their higher saturated fat content (12  ). SUMMARY Assemble each meal out of a protein source, healthy fat source, complex carb, and vegetables. Leafy green vegetables are a great way to bulk up a meal with low calories and lots of nutrients. HEALTHLINE QUIZ Take our free 3-question diet quiz Our free assessment ranks the best diets for you based on your answers to 3 quick questions. FIND YOUR DIETS FIND YOUR DIETS 3. Move your body How Intermittent Fasting Can Help You Lose Weight  ADVERTISEMENT The 14 Best Ways to Burn Fat Fast  ADVERTISEMENT
  • 5. Exercise, while not required to lose weight, can help you lose weight more quickly. Lifting weights has particularly good benefits. By lifting weights, you’ll burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight (13  , 14  , 15  ). Try going to the gym three to four times a week to lift weights. If you’re new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice. Make sure your doctor is also aware of any new exercise plans. If lifting weights is not an option for you, doing some cardio workouts such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, or swimming is very beneficial for weight loss and general health. Both cardio and weightlifting can help with weight loss. SUMMARY Resistance training, such as weightlifting, is a great option for losing weight. If that’s not possible, cardio workouts are also effective. Choose what’s sustainable for you. If you opt for a low carb eating plan, it’s not necessary to count calories as long as you keep your carb intake very low and stick to protein, fat, and low carb vegetables. If you find yourself not losing weight, you may want to keep track of your calories to see if that’s a contributing factor. If you’re sticking to a calorie deficit to lose weight, you can use a free online calculator like this one. Enter your sex, weight, height, and activity levels. The calculator will tell you how many calories to eat per day to maintain your weight, lose weight, or lose weight fast. You can also download free, easy-to-use calorie counters from websites and app stores. Here’s a list of 5 calorie counters to try. Note that eating too few calories can be dangerous and less effective for losing weight. Aim to reduce your calories by a sustainable and healthy amount based on your doctor’s recommendation. SUMMARY Counting calories isn’t usually needed to lose weight on a low carb eating plan. But if you’re not losing weight or on a reduced calorie eating plan, calorie counting may help. Here are 9 more tips to lose weight faster: 1. Eat a high protein breakfast. Eating a high protein breakfast could help reduce cravings and calorie intake throughout the day (16  , 17  ). 2. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. Empty calories from sugar aren’t useful to your body and can hinder weight loss (18 , 19). 3. Drink water before meals. One study showed that drinking water before meals reduced calorie intake and may be effective in weight management (20  ). 4. Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. Some foods are better for weight loss than others. Here is a list of healthy weight-loss-friendly foods. What about calories and portion control? 9 weight loss tips ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT
  • 6. 5. Eat soluble fiber. Studies show that soluble fibers may promote weight loss. Fiber supplements like glucomannan can also help (21  , 22  , 23). 6. Drink coffee or tea. Caffeine consumption can boost your metabolism (24  , 25). 7. Base your diet on whole foods. They’re healthier, more filling, and much less likely to cause overeating than processed foods. 8. Eat slowly. Eating quickly can lead to weight gain over time, while eating slowly makes you feel more full and boosts weight-reducing hormones (26  ). 9. Get good quality sleep. Sleep is important for many reasons, and poor sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for weight gain (27  , 28 , 29). For more tips on weight loss, read about natural tips for losing weight here. SUMMARY Eating whole foods, higher protein, soluble fiber, and less sugar can help you lose more weight. Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep, too. These sample meal plans are low carb, which limits carbs to 20–50 carbs per day. Each meal should have protein, healthy fats, and veggies. If you’d prefer to lose weight while still eating complex carbs, add in some healthy whole grains such as: quinoa whole oats whole wheat bran rye barley Breakfast ideas poached egg with sliced avocado and a side of berries spinach, mushroom, and feta crustless quiche green smoothie with spinach, avocado, and nut milk and a side of cottage cheese unsweetened Greek yogurt with berries and almonds Lunch ideas kale and spinach salad with grilled tofu, chickpeas, and guacamole Dinner ideas antipasto salad with white beans, asparagus, cucumbers, olive oil, and Parmesan roasted cauliflower with tempeh, Brussels sprouts, and pine nuts Snack ideas cauliflower hummus and veggies healthy homemade trail mix with nuts and dried fruit Sample meal ideas for fast weight loss ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT
  • 7. kale chips cottage cheese with cinnamon and flaxseeds spicy roasted chickpeas roasted pumpkin seeds tuna pouches steamed edamame strawberries and brie You may lose 5–10 pounds (2.3–4.5 kg) of weight — sometimes more — in the first week of a diet plan and then lose weight consistently after that. The first week is usually a loss of both body fat and water weight. If you’re new to dieting, weight loss may happen more quickly. The more weight you have to lose, the faster you’ll lose it. Unless your doctor suggests otherwise, losing 1–2 pounds per week is usually a safe amount. If you’re trying to lose weight faster than that, speak to your doctor about a safe level of calorie reduction. Aside from weight loss, a low carb diet can improve your health in a few ways, though the long- term effects are not yet known: blood sugar levels tend to significantly decrease on low carb diets (30) triglycerides tend to go down (31) LDL (bad) cholesterol goes down (32  ) blood pressure improves significantly (33  ) Other diet types that reduce calories and increase whole foods are also associated with improved metabolic markers and slower aging (34, 35  , 36  ). Ultimately, you may find a more balanced diet that includes complex carbohydrates is more sustainable. SUMMARY Significant weight can be lost on a low carb or low calorie diet, but the speed depends on the individual. General weight loss can improve certain markers of health, such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels. By reducing carbs or replacing refined carbs with complex carbs, you’ll likely experience reduced appetite and hunger. This removes the main reasons it’s often difficult to maintain a weight loss plan. With a sustainable low carb or lower calorie eating plan, you can eat healthy food until you’re full and still lose a significant amount of fat. The initial drop in water weight can lead to a drop in the scales within a few days. Fat loss takes longer. Read this article in Spanish. How fast will you lose weight? The bottom line ADVERTISEMENT Start a custom weight loss program Noom helps you adopt healthy habits so you can lose weight and keep it off. Your program is customized to your goals and fitness needs. Just take a quick assessment and get started today. Yes No ADVERTISEMENT Was this article helpful?
  • 8. Last medically reviewed on October 28, 2020 LEARN MORE LEARN MORE   v  z  FEEDBACK:   READ THIS NEXT Medi-Weightloss Review: Does It Work? Written by Rachael Link, MS, RD Medi-Weightloss is a popular physician-supervised weight loss program. This article takes a look at what it is, how it works, and whether it's… READ MORE  ADVERTISEMENT Noom Diet Review: Does It Work for Weight Loss? Written by Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD and Rachael Link, MS, RD Since its inception in 2008, the Noom diet, or Noom, has quickly grown to become one of the most searched diets. This article reviews whether Noom… READ MORE  Collagen for Weight Loss: Does it Work? Medically reviewed by Alissa Palladino, MS, RDN, LD, CPT Not much research has been done on collagen supplements and weight loss. However, there’s some evidence that collagen can indirectly help your efforts… READ MORE  ADVERTISEMENT Why Starving Yourself Isn’t a Good Idea for Weight Loss Written by Katey Davidson, MScFN, RD, CPT It may be tempting to deprive yourself of food to lose weight, but this has serious negative effects. This article explains why starving yourself… READ MORE  Supplements for Weight Loss: Do They Work? ADVERTISEMENT
  • 9. v  z   Filter out the noise and nurture your inbox with health and wellness advice that’s inclusive and rooted in medical expertise. About Us Newsletters Health Topics Advertising Policy Privacy Policy Terms of Use Researchers reviewed more than 300 clinical trials measuring the effectiveness of weight loss supplements and therapies. They found little to no… READ MORE  FDA Approves Popular Diabetes Medication for Use as Weight Loss Drug Wegovy is a synthetic version of a gut hormone that suppresses hunger and appetite and is the first drug the FDA has approved for weight loss since… READ MORE  6 Steps to Break Up with Diet Culture for Good I’m healthy. I feel good. Why deprive my body just to reach a certain number on the scale? READ MORE  ADVERTISEMENT The Different Stages of Losing Weight: Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss Written by Gavin Van De Walle, MS, RD When can you expect to see results after embarking on a weight loss journey? This article explains the stages of weight loss and the difference… READ MORE  Is It Possible to Lose a Pound a Day? Steps and More Written by Rachael Link, MS, RD Fast weight loss is an appealing prospect for many people. This article examines whether it's actually possible to lose 1 pound (0.5 kg) per day. READ MORE  ADVERTISEMENT Get our wellness newsletter
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