The fastest way to lose weight is by combining a sound diet and daily exercise that will allow you to diet and burn off at least 3,500 calories per week. While this may not seem like much, to make the weight loss permanent, a change in lifestyle has to occur. If you consult a doctor, the general guideline is to lose no more than a pound to a pound and a half per week. Exercising appropriately at least four to five times a week will greatly speed your lasting weight loss efforts.
Check with you doctor if you have been on diets before and they did not work. If you have any chronic diseases or take any prescription medications, also check with your physician. If your goal is to lose 20 lbs., do the math. One pound is 3,500 calories. Trimming 500 calories from your daily intake should allow you to shed 1 lb. per week. That makes it 5 months to lose 20 lbs. You might bump that weight loss up to 1.5 lbs. if you are exercising daily or at least four to five times a week. Exercise will increase your metabolism and increase the energy needs of every cell, thereby burning more calories. That cuts the time down to 3.5 months. Avoid fad diets that promise weight loss of more than 1.5 lbs. per week; that is water weight that will return once you are properly hydrated.
Quick solutions are often unhealthy solutions when it comes to weight loss. If you simply starve yourself on very-low calorie diet, you are probably not getting all the protein and vitamin and minerals you need to remain healthy. Any diet below 1,200 calories a day for an adult is too low. A safe and lasting way to lose weight is to have your doctor or nutritionist determine how much weight you need to lose (along with your preference) and devise a diet to suit you. Fad diets that eliminate entire groups of foods, such as carbohydrates or fruits, can be hard to sustain. It is easy to fall off the bandwagon if you do not eat any dairy, bread or fruit, for instance. Instead, select a balanced diet that includes a wide variety of whole foods: lean proteins, legumes, low-fat dairy, fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Hire a personal trainer to help you design a realistic exercise plan. Start by walking 30 minutes a day; you can divide that into walking for 10 minutes after each meal. This can be done even on very busy days at the office--give yourself that 10-minute walk before returning back to your desk. Adding resistance training will build more lean muscle tissue to boost your metabolism to safely increase your weight loss over time. Any exercise that you enjoy and can perform consistently and safely is the one to do. Swimming, biking as well as climbing stairs, parking the car further away to walk an extra 5 minutes to your destination all counts as exercise.
If you have any serious medical issues you must get medical clearance from your doctor. If you have lost and gained weight repeatedly or have not exercised for more than 2 weeks, also get a medical clearance. For example, if you have hypertension, physicians will ask you work with a personal trainer to learn how to safely take your heart rate and to not go above a certain level of exertion. If you are pregnant, it is not appropriate to be on a weight loss diet until the baby is delivered. You will already be receiving detailed nutritional advice from your doctor for pregnancy care.
Losing weight permanently will require a permanent change in the way you eat and exercise. Once you reach your target weight, do not return to your days of being sedentary or binging; it is easy to regain the weight back. By keeping within a few pounds of your doctor-approved healthy weight and maintaining a baseline of physical fitness, you are making your health and well-being a priority. Weight management and regular exercise greatly reduces the risk for developing heart disease, diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer such as colon cancer. Keeping your weight under control and exercising regularly also act as effective tools for stress management. Anything that will reduce stress levels will also reduce your risk for chronic disease.
Losing more than 1.5 lbs. per week is generally not recommended, so if your goal is to lose more than that, you must be under medical supervision. There may be a life-threatening case of gross obesity when a person is more than 30 percent over the ideal weight. In such cases, hospitalization may be required. If you have a history of eating disorders or "yo-yo dieting" where you lost and regained even more weight back, seek professional help. In each case, there are several factors to consider, and professional medical advice is the best avenue to take. Avoid taking diet pills or anything that is sold as a way to increase your metabolism. The fastest way to lose weight is to make permanent lifestyle changes.