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Friday, July 28, 2006

Fast Weight Loss


Losing excess weight provides valuable benefits: better health, higher self-esteem, and increased quality of life. For many people, however, the long road to weight loss takes too much time, when they are looking for fast results.

There are many ways to speed up the weight loss process, but doing so requires caution—after all, shedding pounds too quickly has health risks of its own.

Losing Weight Naturally: Increasing Metabolism

Diet pills and crash diets promise quick results, but the potential side-effects can be deadly, and these methods don’t always work. A more effective way is to use natural methods, such as altering the diet and exercise regimen.

Increasing metabolism can help enhance any weight loss plan, and can easily be incorporated into the existing routine. Eating breakfast in the morning can increase metabolism, as can eating smaller meals throughout the day. Eating four to six small meals, two to three hours apart, is usually recommended.

Try not to go too long between meals, as even a five- to six-hour gap between meals can greatly slow down metabolism.

Ways to Increase Metabolism

Altering the diet can also produce quick and powerful results. To increase metabolism, include more protein, whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits. Also, incorporate more exercise into your daily routine: walk rather than drive, take the stairs, do more housework or yard work, or try to walk between 30 and 40 minutes several times a week.

Also, increase the intensity of exercise, and try adding strength training. Strength training builds muscle, which increases metabolism—each pound of muscle gained is estimated to burn an extra 35 to 50 calories a day; long-term strength training may increase metabolism by as much as 15 percent.

Meal Planning

For filling snacks that will keep you away from fattening junk food, opt for low-calorie and high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables. These help you feel full longer, making any diet plan more effective.

Also, plan your meals and buy the foods you need so that you won’t be tempted to turn to fast food when you’re hungry. Try to plan for the whole week, choosing low-fat, low-calorie meals that will accelerate your weight loss.

And, take food with you to work or when you are traveling for extended periods. This will help keep you on track, preventing setbacks that could make your diet last longer than necessary.

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