There’s no way around it—losing weight takes time.
It all depends on where you start, but true results will take at least a few weeks to achieve. And if you have a large weight loss goal, it might even take a few months or maybe longer.
Of course, despite knowing this, almost everyone still wants to know what can be done to “speed up” the process.
Perhaps the most important key to “fast” results is consistency. Many people make the process seem longer by see-sawing back and forth between following a healthy routine and then falling off track when they don’t see results right away.
Think about it this way: if you follow a healthy eating and exercise plan for two weeks, then give up and revert back to your old habits because you were discouraged by a lack of results, and then pick back up again two, three or four weeks later, of course the process will take much longer than if you had just stuck with it for that stretch of time.
It’s like taking two steps forward and then four back. That ratio is not likely to get you very far, if anywhere, at all.
But, on the other hand, if you implement the following tips persistently over the course of a few weeks’ time, you’ll likely see the “speed” of the process pick up at a much quicker pace.
1. Get your metabolism going as soon as you wake up.
A well-planned out morning routine—one that preferably includes exercise and a healthy breakfast—can help you increase your calorie burn all day long. Plus, starting your mornings off on the right foot will help set a healthy precedent for the rest of your day, encouraging you to maintain your healthy habits, which is important because when it comes to achieving any goal, consistency is key.
In addition to exercising and fueling your body with a healthy breakfast, there are several more things you can do to rev up your metabolism immediately after getting out of bed. Check out these easy ways you can kick-start your metabolism every morning.
2. Commit to some classes.
Whether it takes place at your local gym or a swanky fitness studio, a group fitness class (preferably one with an enthusiastic and motivating instructor) is a great way not only to make sure that you’ll get a kick-butt workout, but reserving your spot (as most classes require) will help keep you committed to your workout. Try building a weekly workout schedule around two or three classes a week so that you’ll easily be able to fit some high intensity workouts into your routine.
Don’t forget, though, exercise is important for weight loss, but so are diet and sleep. Make sure that you’re also focusing on eating mostly nutritious whole foods and getting at least seven hours of sleep every night.
3. Exercise everywhere.
By now you likely know the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle, but just because you’re exercising regularly doesn’t mean your body is immune to the health issues associated with sitting. So, make it your goal to create a healthier lifestyle for yourself by incorporating more light activity into your day-to-day routine and as a bonus, you’ll burn a few extra calories to help you reach your goal just a little bit faster.
4. Lift some weights.
“You can definitely lose weight with cardio exercise alone, but if you don’t incorporate strength training, you may be losing muscle along with body fat, which is not ideal in the long-term,” says Lisa Hisscock, an ACE certified personal trainer and Interval Training Rx coach. She calls muscle a “built-in calorie furnace” because the more lean muscle mass you have the more calories your body will burn at rest. This is because as opposed to fat, muscle is what’s called “metabolically active” tissue, meaning it requires energy from the body in order to be maintained.
Try incorporating at least two strength training sessions in your workout routine each week (group classes that involve resistance training like weight lifting, bodyweight workouts or resistance band exercises totally count) and making sure to target all major muscle groups.
5. Give it time.
Everybody wants fast results and following these tips (as long as you’re consistent and diligent) can certainly help to speed up the “get in shape for summer” process, but don’t forget: you won’t see results overnight. In fact, depending on where you’re starting, it could take a few weeks. Just remember not to let a lack of immediate results discourage your from continuing on. If you plow through and stick with your routine you will eventually see changes, and when you do your confidence and motivation will boost to new levels.