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How to naturally lose weight fast

how to lose weight essay pt3

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Many diets, supplements, and meal replacement plans claim to ensure rapid weight loss, but lack any scientific evidence. However, there are some strategies backed by science that have an impact on weight management.

These strategies include exercising, keeping track of calorie intake, intermittent fasting, and reducing the number of carbohydrates in the diet.

In this article, we consider nine effective methods of weight loss.

Science-backed ways to lose weight

trousers handing on line representing how to lose weight naturally

Methods of weight loss that scientific research supports include the following:

1. Trying intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that involves regular short-term fasts and consuming meals within a shorter time period during the day.

Several studies have indicated that short-term intermittent fasting up to 26 weeks in duration is as effective for weight loss as following a daily low calorie diet.

The most common intermittent fasting methods include the following:

  • Alternate day fasting (ADF): Fast every other day and eat a typical diet on non-fasting days. The modified version involves eating just 25–30% of the body’s energy needs on fasting days.
  • The 5:2 Diet: Fast on 2 out of every 7 days. On fasting days eat 500–600 calories .
  • The 16/8 method: Fast for 16 hours and eat only during an 8-hour window. For most people, the 8-hour window would be around noon to 8 p.m. A study on this method found that eating during a restricted period resulted in the participants consuming fewer calories and losing weight .

It is best to adopt a healthy eating pattern on non-fasting days and to avoid overeating.

2. Tracking your diet and exercise

If someone wants to lose weight, they should be aware of what they eat and drink each day. One way to do this is to log these items in either a journal or an online food tracker.

Research suggests that tracking diet and exercise may be helpful for weight loss because it promotes behavior changes and increases motivation.

One study found that consistent tracking of physical activity helped with weight loss. Even a device as simple as a pedometer can be a useful weight-loss tool .

3. Eating mindfully

Mindful eating is a practice where people pay attention to how and where they eat food. This practice can enable people to enjoy the food they eat and may help to promote weight loss.

As most people lead busy lives, they often tend to eat quickly on the run, in the car, working at their desks, and watching TV. As a result, many people are barely aware of the food they are eating.

Techniques for mindful eating include:

  • Sitting down to eat, preferably at a table: Pay attention to the food and enjoy the experience.
  • Avoiding distractions while eating: Do not turn on the TV, or a laptop or phone.
  • Eating slowly: Take time to chew and savor the food. This technique helps with weight loss, as it gives a person’s brain enough time to recognize the signals that they are full, which can help to prevent over-eating.
  • Making considered food choices: Choose foods that are full of nourishing nutrients and those that will satisfy for hours rather than minutes.

4. Eating protein with meals

Protein can regulate appetite hormones to help people feel full. This is mostly due to a decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a rise in the satiety hormones peptide YY, GLP-1, and cholecystokinin .

Research on young adults has also demonstrated that the hormonal effects of eating a high protein breakfast can last for several hours.

Good choices for a high protein breakfast include eggs, oats, nut and seed butters, quinoa porridge, sardines, and chia seed pudding.

5. Cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates

The Western diet is increasingly high in added sugars, which has definite links to obesity , even when the sugar occurs in beverages rather than food.

Refined grains undergo processing to remove the bran and the germ, which contain most of the grain’s fiber and nutrients. These include white rice, white bread, and regular pasta.

These foods are quick to digest, and they convert to glucose rapidly. Excess glucose enters the blood and provokes the hormone insulin , which promotes fat storage in the adipose tissue. This contributes to weight gain.

A 2023 study links the consumption of more refined grains with weight gain. Studies show that whole grains are more likely to reduce hunger and increase fullness, which could lead to decreases in calorie intake.

Where possible, people should swap highly processed and sugary foods for more nutritionally dense options. Good food swaps include:

  • whole-grain rice, bread, and pasta instead of the white versions
  • fruit, nuts, and seeds instead of high sugar snacks
  • herb teas and fruit-infused water instead of high sugar sodas
  • smoothies with water or milk instead of fruit juice

6. Eating plenty of fiber

Dietary fiber describes plant-based carbohydrates that are impossible to digest in the small intestine, unlike sugar and starch. Including plenty of fiber in the diet can increase the feeling of fullness, potentially leading to weight loss.

Fiber-rich foods include:

  • whole-grain breakfast cereals, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, oats, barley, and rye
  • fruit and vegetables
  • peas, beans, and pulses
  • nuts and seeds

7. Balancing gut bacteria

One emerging area of research is focusing on the role of bacteria in the gut on weight management.

The human gut hosts a vast number and variety of microorganisms, including around 39 trillion bacteria .

Every individual has different types and amounts of bacteria in their gut. Some types may increase the amount of energy the person extracts from food , leading to fat deposition and weight gain.

Some foods can increase the number of good bacteria in the gut, including:

  • A wide variety of plants: Increasing the number of fruits, vegetables, and grains in the diet will result in an increased fiber uptake and a more diverse set of gut bacteria. People should try to ensure that vegetables and other plant-based foods comprise 75 percent of their meal.
  • Fermented foods: Fermented foods including sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, and miso contain potentially probiotic microorganisms. Researchers have studied kimchi widely, and limited evidence suggests it may have anti-obesity effects. Similarly, studies have shown that kefir may help to promote weight loss in overweight women.
  • Prebiotic foods: These stimulate the growth and activity of some of the good bacteria that aid weight control . Prebiotic fiber occurs in many fruits and vegetables, especially chicory root, artichoke, onion , garlic, asparagus, leeks, banana , and avocado. It is also in grains, such as oats and barley.

8. Getting a good night’s sleep

Numerous studies have shown that getting fewer than 5–6 hours of sleep per night is associated with an increased incidence of obesity . There are several reasons behind this.

Research suggests that insufficient or poor-quality sleep slows down the process in which the body converts calories to energy, called metabolism. When metabolism is less effective, the body may store unused energy as fat. In addition, poor sleep can promote insulin resistance and increase levels of cortisol, which also promote fat storage.

How long someone sleeps also affects the regulation of the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin sends signals of fullness to the brain.

9. Managing your stress levels

Stress triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which initially decrease the appetite as part of the body’s fight or flight response.

However, when people are under constant stress, cortisol can remain in the bloodstream for longer, which will increase their appetite and potentially lead to them eating more.

Cortisol signals the need to replenish the body’s nutritional stores from the preferred source of fuel, carbohydrate.

Insulin then transports the sugar from carbohydrates from the blood to the muscles and brain. If the individual does not use this sugar in fight or flight, the body will store it as fat.

Insulin allows sugar from the blood to enter the body’s cells, where it can provide energy. If an individual does not immediately use this sugar, the body will either store it is glycogen, the storage form of glucose, or fat.

Researchers found that implementing an 8-week stress-management intervention program alongside a low-calorie diet resulted in a significant reduction in the body mass index ( BMI ) of children and adolescents who were overweight or have obesity.

Some methods of managing stress include:

  • yoga , meditation, or tai chi
  • breathing and relaxation techniques
  • spending some time outdoors, for example walking or gardening

Frequently asked questions

Below are some frequently asked questions about how to lose weight fast.

Can someone lose 10 pounds in 3 days?

Losing 10 pounds in 3 days is an unrealistic goal for most people and could entail unsafe dieting behaviors.

Rapid weight loss like this may also make it more likely that someone will put weight back on, rather than losing the weight permanently.

How can someone lose 20 pounds in a month?

To lose 20 pounds in a month, people must burn more calories than they take in, either through dietary changes or increased physical activity.

However, rapid weight loss like this may not be a viable long-term option and could increase the risk of health complications, such as gallstones.

What happens if someone loses weight too fast?

Losing weight too quickly may also increase the risk of certain health complications, such as gallstones, or complications associated with unhealthy dieting behaviors, such as dehydration or nutritional deficiencies.

People who experience rapid weight loss may be more likely to put weight back on in the future. The CDC recommends that people aim for steady, gradual weight loss of around 1–2 pounds per week.

It is important to remember that there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss.

The best way to manage weight is to eat a nutritious, balanced diet.

This should include 10 portions of fruit and vegetables, good quality protein, and whole grains. It is also beneficial to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.

Last medically reviewed on November 8, 2023

  • Nutrition / Diet
  • Obesity / Weight Loss / Fitness

How we reviewed this article:

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  • Baudrand R, et al. (2015). Cortisol dysregulation in obesity-related metabolic disorders. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4517681/
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  • Compare D, et al. (2016). The gut bacteria-driven obesity development. https://karger.com/ddi/article-abstract/34/3/221/94882/The-Gut-Bacteria-Driven-Obesity-Development?redirectedFrom=fulltext
  • Daghlas SA, et al. (2023). Biochemistry, glycogen. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK539802/
  • Dieting & gallstones. (2017). https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/gallstones/dieting
  • Dimidi E, et al. (2019). Fermented foods: Definitions and characteristics, impact on the gut microbiota and effects on gastrointestinal health and disease. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6723656/
  • Dobbie LJ, et al. (2022). Exercise in obesity—the role of technology in health services: Can this approach work? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8597870/
  • Elortegui Pascual P, et al. (2023). A meta‐analysis comparing the effectiveness of alternate day fasting, the 5:2 diet, and time‐restricted eating for weight loss. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC10098946/
  • Eshghinia S, et al. (2013). The effects of modified alternate-day fasting diet on weight loss and CAD risk factors in overweight and obese women. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3598220/
  • Faruque S, et al. (2019). The dose makes the poison: Sugar and obesity in the United States – a review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6959843/
  • Fathi Y, et al. (2015). Kefir drink leads to a similar weight loss, compared with milk, in a dairy-rich non-energy-restricted diet in overweight or obese premenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00394-015-0846-9
  • Gabel K, et al. (2018). Effects of 8-hour time restricted feeding on body weight and metabolic disease risk factors in obese adults: A pilot study. https://content.iospress.com/articles/nutrition-and-healthy-aging/nha170036
  • Ghelani DP, et al. (2020). Mobile apps for weight management: A review of the latest evidence to inform practice. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7326765/
  • Green M, et al. (2020). Microbial medicine: Prebiotic and probiotic functional foods to target obesity and metabolic syndrome. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7215979/
  • Klempel MC, et al. (2012). Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women. https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-11-98
  • Laitinen K, et al. (2019). Overall dietary quality relates to gut microbiota diversity and abundance. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6515207/
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Losing 10 pounds safely is possible in 5–10 weeks or more. Creating a calorie deficit, eating a nutritious diet, and moving more are important factors.

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Fastest Ways to Lose Weight

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how to lose weight essay pt3




Essay: Losing weight

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There are several different ways and means of losing weight. Some people have surgeries, take pills, or starve themselves to death to reach this goal. The purpose of this essay is to compare and contrast the expenses, health benefits, and the consequences of weight loss between these different methods. The best way to lose weight is to eat healthy and exercise properly, because this method is more beneficial and the results are more positive. During the last decades technology has gone so far that now people get an unexpected chance of quick change of body and health. Weight loss or bariatric surgery is regarded as a fast mean of losing weight and getting fit body. This type of weight loss is not for everybody. It is recommended only for those people who failed in any other method of losing weight or for those who have serious health issues or severe obesity. There are two types of bariatric surgery: restrictive and malabsorptive (Berdanier et al., 2008). Restrictive surgery limits food intake, by shrinking stomach size, modifying long-term eating behavior. The advantages of this procedure is that it is technically easier to carry out and fewer mineral and vitamin deficiencies are noted. The disadvantage of the surgery is the risk of increasing frequency of calorie consumption. Malabsorptive surgery limits the absorption of food by extraction or rearrangement of digestive system (Berdanier et al., 2008). The advantage of that procedure is rapid weight loss without changing eating habits. Unfortunately, this surgery exclude most of the small intestine from the digestive tract that is why less calories and nutrients are absorbed. This type of surgery is no longer recommended because it results in nutritional deficiencies (Berdanier et al., 2008). As mentioned above, weight loss surgery can be very effective in achievement of long-term weight loss. But as any other surgery it carries a lot of risks, which vary according to your age and the degree of your obesity. Another way to lose or control weight is taking weight loss drugs. They are prescribed for those people who could not lose weight with any other method. Before buying any medication the person should consult a doctor on what types of drugs are approved by the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and have less side effects (Deeugenio et al., 2004). FDA approval shows that the drug is relatively safe. There are two types of weight loss pills: prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication. Prescription drugs, also called anti-obesity drugs are prescribed by the doctor in more severe cases to those people who have serious health problems. They increase the expenditure of energy, decrease the number of absorbed calories and suppress appetite. The side effects of this type of medication are hypertension, increased blood pressure, pulse and heart rate, dizziness, insomnia, constipation, vomiting (Deeugenio et al., 2004). Over-the-counter or nonprescription medication includes herbal products or dietary supplements. They are easy to buy, and in comparison to prescription drugs they are cheaper. OTC diet pills contain herbs that burn calories, suppress appetite, and decrease fat. The major disadvantage is that it is not monitored by the FDA. The common side effects of OTC drugs are diarrhea, liver and kidney damage, heart attack and stroke. It is important to remember that this type of weight loss is not suitable and may not work for everybody. Besides advantage of losing weight all drugs have a lot of side effects. Diet pills alone without regular physical activity and diet plan will not show any results. So the consultation of the doctor is obligatory before taking any weight loss medication. Starvation is a severe food restriction in order to lose weight. But the result of starvation is reverse. Not eating enough food slows down metabolism and stores fat. It will be impossible to lose weight whether exercising or not. The lack of calories deprive body of vitamins and minerals. Starvation may be related to fasting and dieting. Fasting is an old practice, usually used because of religious views to develop self-discipline, but if it is used to lose weight it may have irreversible consequences. Today fasting presupposes the consumption of water, juices, tea. Such detox diets may last only for a limited period of time. People fast in order to loose weight quickly, but in fact they loose only body fluid not fat. Fasting slows down a metabolic rate so when the person starts eating normal food again, all the lost weight will be regained. Another type of starvation is dieting. Today we can find so many popular and trendy diets, proposing to lose weight in several days. In fact, none of them will bring the desired effect. People who are dieting are always stressful, depressed, nervous, and angry. Any type of starvation leads to imbalance between energy take and energy expenditure. This imbalance may cause eating disorders such as anorexia, an intense fear or gaining weight that can lead to serious health problems or bulimia, a disease when eating is followed by deliberate vomiting (Deeugenio et al., 2004). The signs of bulimia are similar to those of anorexia: losing a lot of weight, refusing to eat, being depressed etc. Starvation will never bring positive results and makes it easier to gain weight. People should always remember if they lose fast, they gain fast. If you are starving you will always achieve opposite effect. In order to lose weight it is essential to eat healthy. Healthy diets should provide food from each of the following food groups: grains, vegetables and legumes, fruit, dairy, poultry, fish, eggs. In addition it also includes unsaturated fats and plenty of water. For healthy functioning body cells, blain, muscles, digestive system require water. The recommended fluid intake is 8 glasses of water, 250 ml. each, per day. While adopting healthy eating habits it is suggested to reduce the consumption of alcohol. It provides a body with 7 calorie of energy per gram. This means that if a person consumes a small amount of alcohol it can result in large calorie intake. Food provides us with calories. Exercising as well as normal body functioning burns calories. If we eat more calories than we burn, we can gain fat and weight. If we burn more calories than we eat, we can lose weight and fat. That is why suddenly lowering calories can result in many health problems. Another issue while eating healthy is consumption of macronutrients. Proteins, carbohydrates and fat are macronutrients that we cannot live without. And last but not least people should never forget about healthy snacks during the day. Healthy eating and regular exercises are interconnected. This combination can boost the level of energy so that the person feels better physically and mentally. So if a person wants to lose weight and get fit naturally, the consistency is required in every action. So the best way to lose weight and feel good and healthy about yourself is to maintain healthy lifestyle. Unlike all other methods of weight loss, embracement of healthy lifestyle has no side effects. It is the cheapest way of getting fit and it requires a small amount of free time.

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Dieting: Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind Essay

Introduction, the process, works cited.

Being healthy is of great importance to our lives, and people are constantly looking for ways to maintain good health. One condition that is detrimental to good health is obesity, which is characterized by excessive weight. This condition increases the likelihood of developing diseases and diminishes the quality of life for the person. Obesity has emerged as one of the most important issues threatening human health in modern society.

The World Health Organization reports that the prevalence of Obesity in Europe has tripled since the 1980s, and the numbers are rising even higher (par.1). Being overweight has numerous physical and psychological health consequences. It is, therefore, necessary for people to deal with obesity and maintain good health. There are many diet plans designed to assist people to quickly lose weight. These plans vary in their efficiency, health outcomes, and cost. It would be important to know how to select the most appropriate diet plan. However, there are a few general steps common to all weight loss plans.

The first step is determination and perseverance. Determination will cause someone to research on the various weight-loss strategies available. Determination and perseverance can be fostered by gaining a better understanding of the various risks associated with obesity. Head reveals that the alarming increase in the incidences of obesity in Western nations can be attributed to the lack of knowledge on the numerous adverse health impacts of obesity (1). When a person understands the risks of metabolic disease, cardiovascular complications, and premature death associated with obesity, he or she is likely to develop the determination to lose weight. A person will be prompted to seek a real solution to his/her weight problem when he/she understands that the excess weight can lead to chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension (Head 2).

It is, therefore, important to look for information on the health consequences of diabetes in order to promote determination and perseverance to lose weight. An individual can also get determination by finding a support group. A person might find it hard to faithfully follow the weight loss program on his/her own. In such a case, a support group will be beneficial since it will connect the person with other individuals that are facing the same challenges. One can join a fitness class, which will help increase the motivation to lose weight. Fitness classes provide a social support system as the person is surrounded by other people who are trying to achieve the same goal. These people support and encourage each other in their journey to acquiring healthy bodies.

The second step in the process is to increase water intake considerably in order to promote weight loss. Water consumption has numerous benefits to humans since it promotes health. Overweight people benefit from increased water intake since it reduces food consumption in addition to facilitating digestion. Research by Muckelbauer, Sarganas, Gruneis, and Muller-Nordhorn demonstrated that water consumption contributes to weight loss among dieters (1).

Consuming water before a meal reduces food consumption since the water produces a filling effect, therefore, causing the person to eat less food. Another reason why increased water intake contributes to weight loss is that people sometimes confuse thirst for hunger. They, therefore, end up consuming food that they do not need since they do not understand that they are feeling thirsty and not hungry. Regular consumption of water will ensure that this confusion does not occur therefore reducing food intake and promoting weight loss. Drinking water also facilitates obesity prevention since this is a health drink that does not contain any calories. People consume between two and three liters of liquid every day. Without consuming water, individuals are likely to consume unhealthy drinks that contain a lot of calories, such as soft drinks.

Elder declares that water consumption may also suppress sugar-sweetened beverage drinking (149). This is of significance to weight loss since the high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages has contributed to the overweight issue in many countries.

The third step is eating healthy foods to improve the nutritional content delivered to the body and adopt healthy lifestyles. The food consumed by a person has an effect on his/her health, and it can either promote health or put someone at risk of developing certain diseases. The person trying to lose weight might have to change his habits in order to promote healthy eating. Changes might have to be made in the environment that the person is constantly in. This means that the person might need to make some changes in his work setting or home setting in order to increase the chances of succeeding in healthy eating. Maoyong and Yanhong acknowledge that making changes in eating habits is a difficulty since most unhealthy foods are appealing, and people tend to pursue immediate gratification and place short-term impulses over long-term goals (127).

It is, therefore, important to realize that the changes in eating habits do not need to be huge and sudden. A person can make small and gradual changes, and over time, the changes will have become big. Behavioral changes can be enough to start weight loss for many people. These changes include planning meals in advance and choosing meals that contain a healthy balance of vegetables, fruits, grains, low or free-fat dairy, and low-calorie proteins.

For instance, replacing fried potatoes or spicy steak with salad or steamed vegetables can reduce the number of calories in each meal. Also, preparing meals at home instead of buying junk food can decrease unhealthy calorie intake. Maoyong and Yanhong note that eating at restaurants increases the consumption of unhealthy foods (137). When dieting, the individual should plan meals in advance. This helps in the tracking of the number of calories consumed each day. A person should not skip meals, especially breakfast, since starting the day with a healthy meal keeps energy levels high. It also helps a person resist the impulse to consume high calorie snacks, such as a piece of chocolate, during the day.

The final step in the weight loss process is to engage in physical exercises such as swimming, running, walking, and bowling. There is a strong correlation between being overweight and not exercising. Barnes declares that sedentary behavior contributes to the development of obesity in people (224). There is a higher prevalence of obesity in adults who report no leisure-time physical activity compared to those who engage in some physical activity.

As such, regular physical exercise can contribute to weight loss in obese individuals. However, it should be noted that physical exercise should be combined with healthy eating. If a person exercises without eating healthily, he/she is unlikely to achieve the desired weight loss. Exercising should, therefore, be supplemented with healthy eating to ensure the best weight loss results are achieved. Engaging in physical exercises leads to weight loss since it promotes the burning of excess calories.

For example, by engaging in cardio exercises such as rowing and cycling, the individual burns many calories and improves his/her fitness. Walking can also be a good form of exercise, and it can be carried out without causing significant strain to the body. Maoyong and Yanhong declare that to promote weight loss, and a person should engage in exercise that lasts at least 30 minutes for at least five days during a typical week (132). Therefore, the person who wishes to achieve significant weight loss must engage in consistent exercising.

Obesity is a dangerous condition that is linked to numerous health consequences. Dealing with this condition is crucial to promoting good health and ensuring a good quality of life for everybody. Obesity can be defeated by undertaking a weight loss program. Losing weight is a desirable and achievable goal that anybody can achieve. However, most people assume that losing weight is a challenging endeavor that is hard to achieve. This is not the case, and by following the four steps described in this paper, a person can achieve his/her goal of weight loss. The journey to weight loss begins by having a sense of determination and insistence.

After that, the person should drink a lot of water, which will help in the reduction of the amount of food consumed. Healthy eating is crucial to weight loss, and this step should be done in order to promote weight loss and good health. Finally, the person should engage in some physical exercise. Through these steps, the seemingly tough challenge of losing weight can be overcome. The individual will be able to achieve a healthy weight and avoid all the negative consequences associated with obesity.

Barnes, Ann. “Obesity and Sedentary Lifestyles.” Texas Heart Institute Journal 39.2 (2012): 224-227. Web.

Elder, John. “Promotion of water consumption in elementary school children in San Diego, USA and Tlaltizapan, Mexico.” Supplement 56.1 (2014): 148-156. Web.

Maoyong, Fan and Jin Yanhong. “Obesity and Self-control: Food Consumption, Physical Activity, and Weight-loss Intention.” Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy 36.1 (2014): 125-145. Web.

Muckelbauer, Rebecca, Giselle Sarganas, Anke Gruneis and Jacqueline Muller-Nordhorn. “Association between water consumption and body weight outcomes: a systematic review.” AJCN 10.3(2013): 1-18. Web.

World Health Organization. Obesity: WHO Approaches to Obesity. 2015. Web.

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"Dieting: Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind." IvyPanda , 21 Mar. 2024, ivypanda.com/essays/dieting-losing-weight-without-losing-your-mind/.

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IvyPanda . 2024. "Dieting: Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind." March 21, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dieting-losing-weight-without-losing-your-mind/.

1. IvyPanda . "Dieting: Losing Weight Without Losing Your Mind." March 21, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/dieting-losing-weight-without-losing-your-mind/.


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How to lose weight fast: 5 easy evidence-based steps

How to lose weight fast: 5 easy evidence-based steps

Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

  • What is “fast” weight loss?
  • Five simple steps
  • Higher protein
  • Moderate fat
  • Meal planning
  • Additional tips

Do you want to lose weight as quickly as possible? When it comes to fast weight loss, it’s important to take a healthy approach — one that promotes loss of fat, retention of muscle, and increases your likelihood of keeping the weight off.

After reading our new guide, you’ll be on your way to losing weight quickly in five simple steps.

What is “fast” weight loss?

Therefore, losing any more than 2 pounds (0.9 kilo) per week is considered “fast” weight loss. Yet for many people, that may not sound quick.

While losing 10 pounds (4.5 kilos) in a week may technically be possible for some — especially those who carry a lot of excess weight — it isn’t realistic for most of us.

What about severe calorie restriction?

What if you eat only 500 or 600 calories a day? Although drastically cutting calories can cause rapid weight loss, consuming far less than your body needs can be counterproductive.

So fast weight loss via severe calorie restriction may not be a good idea for many people.

Fast, healthy, sustainable weight loss

Is it possible to lose weight both rapidly and permanently? Yes, indeed.

Therefore, for fast weight loss that’s also healthy and sustainable, aim to lose fat without losing muscle.

In addition, several factors influence how quickly you can lose weight. Women typically lose weight more slowly than men. 7 And because metabolic rate tends to decline with age, older women may lose at a slower pace than younger men and women — despite putting in just as much effort, if not more.

Are you ready to start losing fat in a healthy way while enjoying delicious, nourishing food that prevents you from feeling hungry or deprived?

Below, you’ll find the simple steps to take to start losing weight quickly.

Five simple steps to fast weight loss

1. cut way back on carbs.

Start by eliminating foods high in carbs: sweets, bread, pasta, fruit, and similar foods . Going low carb can significantly speed up weight loss, for several reasons.

This impressive fat loss may be partly due to the drop in insulin levels that occur during keto eating. When insulin levels are low, your body is primed to burn rather than store fat. 11

How many carbs should you eat to lose weight quickly? Sticking to 20 or fewer grams of net carbs (total carbs minus fiber) per day may produce the fastest results. 13

But instead of counting every carb, you can simply choose foods from our ketogenic diet foods list below and avoid any foods that aren’t on it.

Note: Be sure to read our tips to avoid or minimize symptoms of the keto flu before going low carb.

Keto foods

Ketogenic diet foods – what to eat

Guide Are you not sure what to eat on a keto diet? Here you’ll find a quick food list and visual guide, showing you what to eat and avoid on keto.

2. Eat plenty of protein

Protein is an essential nutrient your body needs to survive and thrive. 14 In addition, boosting your protein intake may help speed up your weight loss.

Check out our list of top 10 high protein foods — which includes vegetarian options — to see how much protein your favorite foods provide.


Top 10 high-protein foods

Guide Are you getting enough protein? In this guide, we’ll share the 10 foods highest in protein and provide tips for including them in your own diet.

3. Keep fat intake moderate

When you’re trying to drop pounds or kilos quickly, eating less fat may seem to make sense.

However, it’s not a good idea to eat a diet that’s low in both carbs and fat. You’ll likely end up feeling deprived within a few days or weeks — and it certainly isn’t sustainable long term. 20 There’s no need to fear fat.

So don’t add large amounts of butter, heavy cream, or other fat to your food. Also, avoid or minimize your intake of fat bombs and similar treats that provide very little protein or other nutrients. 22

Instead, eat enough fat to add flavor and richness to your food but not so much that you feel stuffed. Let your body burn its stored fat rather than the fat you are eating.

Woman thinking of butter

Healthy fats on a keto or low-carb diet

Guide On a keto or low-carb diet, fat is your primary energy source, so choosing healthy types and eating the right amount is important. In this guide, we’ll tell you all about fat and help you make the best choices.

4. Go for non-starchy vegetables

The Atkins diet, which has helped millions of people lose weight, recommends eating two cups of leafy green vegetables and one cup of other low-carb vegetables every day. This advice is designed to produce fast weight loss during the initial stage of the diet.

In the 2007 A to Z weight loss trial, people who followed the Atkins diet lost an average of 10 pounds within the first two months — far more than people who followed the other three diets being studied. 24 Other studies have also reported rapid weight loss in participants who included several daily servings of low-carb vegetables. 25

While these studies don’t prove that the veggies caused the weight loss, they do show that low-carb, fiber-filled veggies can be part of a rapid weight loss diet.

How many low-carb vegetables should you eat? We recommend that you eat as many keto-friendly vegetables as you want while staying within your daily carbohydrate target. For many people, this will be about two servings per day, but a great deal of individual variation exists.

Low carb visual guide

Keto vegetables – the best and the worst

Guide What vegetables can you have on a keto diet? There’s a simple rule: Above-ground vegetables are generally lower in carbs and are usually the best keto options.

5. Get some exercise, but don’t overdo it

However, getting regular exercise can provide benefits during weight loss.

While it’s good to engage in physical activity, working out vigorously for several hours every day isn’t necessary or advisable for weight loss and good health. Plus, making dramatic changes to both your diet and exercise routine at the same time can be overwhelming.

So try to lift weights, do push-ups, or perform other resistance exercise for 15 to 30 minutes a few times a week. Walk, run, dance, ride a bike, or do similar aerobic activity for 30 to 60 minutes on most days, if possible.

In short, aim to move your body in some way every day without forcing yourself to do more than you can comfortably handle.

Let's Get Moving #2: Walking

How to lose weight

Guide Do you have trouble losing weight? Or would you like to lose faster? You’ve come to the right place. Get ready for weight loss without hunger.

made of stone tower on the beach and blur background

Weight, health and happiness: striking the right balance

Guide Are you struggling to lose weight? Have you come here looking for tips to blast away belly fat or lose weight quickly and permanently? If these are your goals, you’re not alone.


Weight gain and menopause: 8 tips to win the battle of the middle-age bulge

Guide Are you a woman in your mid-40s to mid-60s? Have you found that your belly is getting thicker? Are you gaining weight no matter what you do?

Keto for beginners: How it works

4. Enjoy healthier foods

Adopting a new eating style that promotes weight loss must include lowering your total calorie intake. But decreasing calories need not mean giving up taste, satisfaction or even ease of meal preparation.

One way you can lower your calorie intake is by eating more plant-based foods — fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to help you achieve your goals without giving up taste or nutrition.

Get your weight loss started with these tips:

  • Eat at least four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruits daily.
  • Replace refined grains with whole grains.
  • Use modest amounts of healthy fats, such as olive oil, vegetable oils, avocados, nuts, nut butters and nut oils.
  • Cut back on sugar as much as possible, except the natural sugar in fruit.
  • Choose low-fat dairy products and lean meat and poultry in limited amounts.

5. Get active, stay active

While you can lose weight without exercise, regular physical activity plus calorie restriction can help give you the weight-loss edge. Exercise can help burn off the excess calories you can't cut through diet alone.

Exercise also offers numerous health benefits, including boosting your mood, strengthening your cardiovascular system and reducing your blood pressure. Exercise can also help in maintaining weight loss. Studies show that people who maintain their weight loss over the long term get regular physical activity.

How many calories you burn depends on the frequency, duration and intensity of your activities. One of the best ways to lose body fat is through steady aerobic exercise — such as brisk walking — for at least 30 minutes most days of the week. Some people may require more physical activity than this to lose weight and maintain that weight loss.

Any extra movement helps burn calories. Think about ways you can increase your physical activity throughout the day if you can't fit in formal exercise on a given day. For example, make several trips up and down stairs instead of using the elevator, or park at the far end of the lot when shopping.

6. Change your perspective

It's not enough to eat healthy foods and exercise for only a few weeks or even months if you want long-term, successful weight management. These habits must become a way of life. Lifestyle changes start with taking an honest look at your eating patterns and daily routine.

After assessing your personal challenges to weight loss, try working out a strategy to gradually change habits and attitudes that have sabotaged your past efforts. Then move beyond simply recognizing your challenges — plan for how you'll deal with them if you're going to succeed in losing weight once and for all.

You likely will have an occasional setback. But instead of giving up entirely after a setback, simply start fresh the next day. Remember that you're planning to change your life. It won't happen all at once. Stick to your healthy lifestyle and the results will be worth it.

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  • Hensrud DD, et al. Ready, set, go. In: The Mayo Clinic Diet. 2nd ed. Mayo Clinic; 2017.
  • Duyff RL. Reach and maintain your healthy weight. In: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Complete Food and Nutrition Guide. 5th ed. John Wiley & Sons; 2017.
  • Losing weight: Getting started. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/getting_started.html. Accessed Nov. 15, 2019.
  • Do you know some of the health risks of being overweight? National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/weight-control/health_risks_being_overweight/Pages/health-risks-being-overweight.aspx. Accessed Nov. 15, 2019.
  • 2013 AHA/ACC/TOS guideline for the management of overweight and obesity in adults: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines and The Obesity Society. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2014; doi:10.1016/j.jacc.2013.11.004.
  • 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines. Accessed Nov. 15, 2019.
  • Physical activity for a healthy weight. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/physical_activity/index.html. Accessed Nov. 15, 2019.

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How to lose weight essay sample, example.


Cutting down on sugars and starches is difficult, but it is perhaps the best first step. These elements are very tasty and common, but controlling your intake of these factors will significantly reduce your weight. According to Heathline, “The most important part is to cut back on sugars and starches (carbs). When you do that, your hunger levels go down and you end up eating much fewer calories. Now instead of burning carbs for energy, your body starts feeding off of stored fat” (“How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science”). It is said that within the first week of this diet, one can lose up to 10 pounds. This reflects both body fat and water weight.

Speaking of weight, it is important to lift them in order to shed some pounds. Being physically active in general helps, but lifting weights can work on body fat more intensely. According to My Fitness Pal, “Your best bet for fat loss will be to perform a combination of cardio and strength training. After all, one study in BMC Public Health found overweight and obese adults who followed a 12-week cardio and resistance-training program lost more weight than those who only did cardio” (“Can Lifting Weights Help You Lose Fat?”). Also of note is that lifting weights increases testosterone and growth hormone, which makes you lose fat easier eventually. Besides, these hormonal effects increases your good mood and promotes a more positive body image.

Like many areas of health, getting enough sleep is vital. Unsurprisingly, a lack of sleep has been connected to weight gain and unhealthy weight in general. As stated by Healthline, “People with short sleep duration tend to weigh significantly more than those who get adequate sleep. In fact, short sleep duration is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity. In one extensive review study, children and adults with short sleep duration were 89% and 55% more likely to become obese, respectively” (“10 Reasons Why Good Sleep Is Important”). As it can be seen, sleep has a large impact on our weight gain and loss. Besides, it is nice to feel well-rested.

It is also important to eat well. There is no need to starve yourself to lose weight. In fact, this is a rather unhealthy way to lose weight. It is best to eat regular meals that are focused on a low-carb diet. This way, your body will receive the nourishment it needs, and also your metabolism can be stable (“How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science”).

Furthering on the topic of metabolism, it has a significant impact on how we lose and gain weight. Eating the right foods that will increase our metabolism undoubtedly helps us to lose some pounds. Foods such as almonds, beans, berries, bone broth, celery, chia seeds, chocolate, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, coconut oil, coffee, curry, fish, grapefruit, green tea, hot peppers and jalapenos, lean turkey, seaweed, spinach, watermelon, and water are all sources of nourishment that boosts metabolism (Monaco, Emily). Of course we should not overindulge in these foods. However, eating these items regularly will increase our metabolism and promote weight loss.

Weight loss can be a difficult journey. However, by consuming less sugars and starches, lifting weights a few times a week, getting great sleep, eating regular meals with less carbs, and increasing metabolism through the foods we take in, we can manage to lose weight and be healthy at the time. Losing weight should not be suffering, but rather a conscious decision we stick to.

Works Cited

“How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-lose-weight-as-fast-as-possible#section1.

“Can Lifting Weights Help You Lose Fat? | Fitness | MyFitnessPal.” Under Armour, 9 Oct. 2018, blog.myfitnesspal.com/can-lifting-weights-help-you-lose-fat/.

“10 Reasons Why Good Sleep Is Important.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-reasons-why-good-sleep-is-important.

Monaco, Emily. “21 Foods That Increase Metabolism (You’ll Love #7).” Organic Authority, Organic Authority, 6 Nov. 2015, www.organicauthority.com/health/no-more-diets-16-foods-that-naturally-boost-your-metabolism.

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The Process of Losing Weight, Essay Example

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Losing weight is a major concern today because unhealthy food and lifestyle cause more and more people to become overweight. Obesity is a global problem which is determined by two main causes, lack of physical activity and poor diet, consisting in too much fat and sugar. Many people try to lose weight but they do not succeed because they apply incorrect strategies and follow all kinds of diets that may affect their health and even cause them to gain more weight. This process is nevertheless based on simple and clear principles that may represent the basis of a healthy lifestyle. Losing weight may seem hard in the beginning but by following the steps below, you will get fit and much healthier in a short period of time.

The first step in losing weight is to start exercising. In order to do so, you must first get the approval of your physician. This is very important because many people have health problems that do not allow them to exercise and they may not even know about it. After receiving approval from your doctor, you must buy special training equipment. Look for comfortable sportswear that allows you to move freely. After buying the equipment, you must find a gym that suits your needs. It must be close to your home in order to save your time and well-equipped to fit all your needs. After finding the gym, you must choose a training program. While the instructor will help you to choose a weight losing program, it is important to go there prepared. In order to lose weight, you must choose cardio exercises. Start by walking for 30 minutes. After a few days, you may start alternate walking and running. Walk for ten minutes and then run for 4 or 5 minutes. In a few weeks, you should be able to reduce the walking time and increase the running time. The ultimate goal is to be able to run for the entire 30 minutes you spend on the treadmill.  You may also try the stepper and the bicycle, applying the same rule of increasing the effort level gradually.  While exercising three or four times per week is enough to lose weight, people who are really ambitious and want to lose weight faster may chose to go to the gym every day.  Be very careful not to exaggerate though because this may lead to important health problems, which can vary from an uncomfortable muscle pain the next day, to heart failure and death.

Changing your diet is the next important step in losing weight. This step must take place in the same time, or shortly after the beginning of the first step. First, you must stop eating fast-food, semi-prepared aliments and pizza. Next, look into your fridge and replace all fattening aliments. If the fridge is now empty, you must go shopping for healthy food. Avoid pork and cold cuts. Go for chicken, beef and fish instead. Also buy fresh vegetables and fruits.  Then, you have to learn how to prepare your healthy meals yourself. You must give up most carbs in your diet.  Introduce wholegrain bread and cereals instead and replace sweets with fruits. You must stop eating fried food and start considering grilled and boiled meat and vegetables instead.  Look on the internet for easy and fast recipes. Then, you must change your eating habits, if they are wrong .You must never skip a meal and you must include a healthy snack. A fruit or a simple yogurt is a great choice for a snack. Finally, you must respect your new diet at all times. Avoid entering fast-foods and buying sweets. Ask all your friends and relatives to help you by not eating in front of you and if this is the case, by preparing healthy meals for you. If you respect all of the above, you may lose between one and three kilograms in the first week. Always be careful however to eat enough, particularly since you are also exercising.  Starving yourself is not a good method of losing weight because it may predispose you to health problems and also, it is efficient strategy. You will end up giving up and eating even more than before.

After having completed the above steps, it is time to enlarge your knowledge on the topic. If you start the weight losing process by knowing nothing about the mechanisms that govern it (as most people), this does not mean that you have to remain in the dark.   It is important to learn everything you can about losing weight and healthy lifestyles because this will motivate you and will help you to achieve better results.   The first source of information is your physician or a nutrition specialist. You may ask him everything you want to know about nutrition, exercising and living a healthy life. However, if your weight problems are not so serious as to endanger your health, you may skip this step. The next competent source of information is your gym instructor. He may advise you in aspects concerning diet and supplements, as well as other details such as drinking enough water. Finally, the internet will provide you with an enormous source of information and will tell you everything you have to know about healthy living and losing weight. Be careful though and pick your sources of information wisely, because not all sites are reliable. For this reason, it is also advisable to double-check the information.

The weight losing process thus involves exercising, dieting and gaining knowledge on the topic. Even though in the beginning, this process may seem extremely difficult, you will see that in a very short while, it will become easy and even enjoyable. After having achieved your goal, you will discover that you are not only lighter, but also healthier and more energetic so the result is worth each second spent at the gym and in the kitchen.

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Tips for the best way to lose weight fast but healthy. If you are looking for the best way to lose weight fast, there are numerous web sites with suggestions or magazine articles. But if you are serious about losing weight, it is best to do it in a healthy way. Often times when rapid weight loss happens it can be extremely detrimental to your health . The following tips are a healthier alternative to losing weight. Knowing what amount of calories you should have per day is vital when attempting to lose weight. When you exercise or do regular activities, you burn calories. In order for you to maintain a healthy weight, you should not burn a tremendously a lot more than you take in. Before beginning your weight loss adventure, you …show more content…

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Losing Weight, Losing Myself: A Story by Tim Guan


This week we happened upon Lose It! member Tim Guan’s personal essay of reflection on his weight loss journey. It’s a look into the mindset of the stages of losing weight, the learnings and very real struggles along the way, and how he was able to reframe his journey into one of rewriting his relationship with his body.

You can check out tim’s original article on medium  here .  tim is not alone in his experience, and while we focus on creating a tool that allows members to reach their goal weight in a healthy way, we understand that this type of change in routine is hard, mentally and physically. tim’s amazing story outlines the mental struggles that come with this type of change and how easy it can be to teeter over to the side of unhealthy weight loss.  is there a part of tim’s story that resonates with you do you have an experience of your own you can tell us more about talk to us in the comments – we’re listening., cw: disordered eating.

My weight loss journey began at an all you can eat Brazilian steakhouse. More precisely, it began after a gratuitous, should-this-even-be-legal meal of beef and more beef that I shared with my friends last July. Amazed by how much we’d eaten in our attempt to beat the house, we wondered out loud if we’d maybe gone a little too far. “What have we done to the planet? To ourselves?”

We eased some environmental guilt by pulling our phones out and buying carbon offsets. Next, we turned to our health. Talks of eating salad for a month eventually morphed into a joking-not-joking proposal to go on the “Beychella diet” for a week. Some of us had recently watched Beyoncé Knowles describe her draconian diet regimen in Homecoming, the film about her 2018 Coachella performance.

“In order for me to meet my goals, I’m limiting myself to no bread, no carbs, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no fish, no alcohol — and I’m hungry.”

Despite our better judgement, and in blatant defiance of internet articles warning that the diet was unhealthy for most people, a few of us committed to the plan and signed up to be each others’ accountability partners for the week.

As it so happened, dieting was already on my mind. I’d recently weighed in at 219 pounds, which was within spitting distance of my heaviest weight ever (223) and put my Body Mass Index at 32.3 — Obese. I’d been overweight for most of my life and had grown steadily larger each of the last few years. I was due for an attempt to reverse that trend, having tried and failed to do so about a dozen times before.

I wish I could claim that my weight loss journey was kickstarted by some intrinsic motivation. But I’m pretty sure the difference between this time and all the others was that I wanted to lose weight at the same time that my friends tried an extreme diet as a joke.

I feel it’s important to mention here that I love food. Insofar as people can have a “thing”, food is probably mine. In college, I cooked part-time and saved most of my paychecks to pay for Michelin-starred dinners. I even briefly considered a career as a chef. All this to say that for something to take away my enjoyment of food, it would have to be pretty awful. The Beychella diet did it in just a few days.

My research on the diet led me to a comparable, more established one called “vegan keto.” You may have encountered these terms separately; I assure you the combination is worse than the sum of its parts. Navigating my food options that week was exhausting. Avoiding animal products was simple enough, but avoiding carbs? Carbs were everywhere. My internet search history read like a cry for help: are beans keto? is kale keto? are onions keto? is salad dressing keto? (no, yes, no, likely no.)

By the second day it was clear that, as jokes go, this one was decidedly unfunny. The world of food had narrowed from infinite possibilities to a countable list of ingredients: leafy greens, olive oil, tofu, mushrooms, almonds, and berries in moderation. I lost the will to eat. I gave up in the middle of my lightly dressed salads because I was tired of chewing. I consumed as little as 800 calories per day.

In response to my coworkers’ raised eyebrows over lunch, I eased their concerns with the Brazilian steakhouse story. “We’re doing it as a solidarity thing,” I told them, “If I’m a dick to you this week, this will be why.”

At the end of the week, I’d lost 6 pounds in 7 days. This was an astounding result. It was also the most weight I’d ever lost on purpose. I stepped on and off the scale an unreasonable number of times. The scale was pretty damn sure.

I was of two minds. On the one hand, I’d hated the last week. On the other, those numbers had given me an intense dopaminergic high. I finally had precious momentum. How could I pass up the opportunity?

Okay. I decided. We’re really doing this. With the Beychella diet behind me, I began to use a calorie counting application on my phone called “Lose It!” to manage my food intake. As the name suggests, Lose It! has a cheerful, encouraging, and all-around vibrant brand. The application is bright orange and filled with cute illustrations of food. This would have made it fun to use if I weren’t afraid to be seen with it.

Growing up, relatives frequently offered unsolicited advice about how to correct my weight gain. “It’s not that hard; just eat less and exercise more,” they’d say, as if I were not just fat, but also ignorant of my basic physiology. Their comments, and the incessant drum beat of diet culture rhetoric from news media and the internet, taught me that fatness was mark of deficient moral character.

Calorie counting felt like the truest distillation of this idea. If a lack of discipline got you into this mess, a little bit of discipline would get you out. I worried that by counting calories, I’d be accepting diet culture, and by extension, admitting my own laziness and moral failing. I had qualms about doing it at all and didn’t want to be caught in the act.

Once the highlight of my workday, lunch time quickly became associated with shame. To avoid being seen Losing It!, I stole away to a bathroom stall or a far corner of the office to log my meals and snacks. From time to time, someone would walk by and I’d hurriedly close the application on my phone. Moments like these sent my thoughts spiraling. Why am I so afraid to be seen doing this? Do people think I’m fat because I’m an undisciplined, bad person? Do I think I’m fat because I’m an undisciplined, bad person?

In stark contrast to my public shame was the private, perverse pride I felt on the bathroom scale. With my settings maxed out at two pounds a week, Lose It! gave me a daily budget of 1,733 calories, from which I subtracted another 500, ignoring the application’s health guidance. I began to lose close to three pounds a week, which meant losing close to half a pound a day. I weighed myself every morning, always right after my morning shit, always before drinking any water, and never while wearing pants or a watch. Seeing the numbers shoot down made my heart race. On days when the number wasn’t lower than the last, I went straight back to the toilet — maybe I could squeeze out another quarter pound. Looking back, I see this behavior as a red flag. I was becoming addicted to losing weight.

Thin people like to talk about fat people like they’re thin people in fat bodies. In my life as a fat person, I’ve never once felt this way. In fact, I’ve experienced the opposite — becoming thinner has made me feel less like myself. I spent much of my adolescence and early adulthood building defenses around my fatness. My first line of defense was distraction. If my fat body was the first thing people noticed about me, I sure as hell wouldn’t let it be the last. I did what I could to earn my right to take up space. I put pressure on myself to be funny and likable at all times. I channeled my energy into hobbies, blurring the lines between enjoyment and performance and seeking validation on social media. Yes, I’m fat. But look at all these other things I am!

My second defense mechanism was self-delusion. I spent years convincing myself that I didn’t care how other people saw my fat body. This delusion comprised two beliefs: that while other people made value judgements based on bodyweight, I did not, and that this made me superior to other people.

Because I believed I didn’t care, I rarely paid attention to how my body looked before I started losing weight. But now that I was down two or three pounds a week, the changes were too dramatic to ignore. I became obsessed with my naked body. Each morning, I examined every monstrous inch of it while the water warmed in the shower. Stretch marks crept along my inner thighs and torso, growing deeper and darker each day. Skin hung limply from my arms. I stared until the mirror fogged up, then wiped it down and stared some more. I was ostensibly on a journey of self improvement, but all I could see was the growing list of ways I became worse — uglier, more grotesque.

As time went on, I recognized myself less and less, both in the mirror’s reflection and in my cruel judgement of it. My horror grew greater still when I started to like what I saw: collarbones, a shrinking belly, less chin fat. I’d catch my reflection in power poses, standing with arms akimbo and gut sucked in, and feel suddenly overcome with shame. My bathroom mirror shallowness leached into the rest of my life. I started comparing my body to every other body I saw on the street, feeling discouraged when I saw thinner ones and, distressingly, feeling superior when I saw fatter ones. Well-intended compliments about my appearance from family and friends reinforced my new “fat bad, thin good” value system. I grew distrustful of strangers. Was that cashier especially nice to me because I’m thinner than the last time I was here? Would that person have smiled at me if I were 5, 10, 20 pounds heavier?

People think the hard thing about dieting is hunger. They’re not completely wrong. Hunger is certainly a hard thing about dieting, but it pales in comparison to the feeling that you’re losing your identity. My hardest moments were not when I was hungry, but when I felt like I didn’t know who I was anymore.

By November, I was 30 pounds lighter and the waistband of my jeans had begun to fold in unsightly pleats under my belt. After years without buying clothes, it took me only a couple weeks to develop a full-blown shopping obsession. There was hardly a moment over the two months that followed that I wasn’t thinking about shopping. I shopped every weekend. I shopped after work. I shopped before work. I shopped from bed. I left work early to shop.

The shopping spree was about replacing my old wardrobe until it wasn’t. More than clothes themselves, the thing I couldn’t resist was buying them. For the first time in my adult life, I could walk into a store and feel surrounded by things that might fit me. I shopped not because I liked the clothes but because I could — because my body was approaching a shape that companies designed for. Because buying clothes made me feel accepted and unremarkable.

I ended the year having spent thousands of dollars. All the while, my friends and coworkers congratulated me, interpreting my behavior as an expression of newfound confidence. “You’ve completely changed your style,” they cheered, “I love the new look.”

“So do I.” I played along.

In early February, I stopped tracking my meals and weighing myself. I’d lost 48 pounds and started to get nervous about my unhealthy patterns of thought. I could easily see what was happening to my body, but had a shaky understanding of what was happening to my mind.

Painfully, reluctantly, I started opening up to a few people about my experience, each time trying on different words to describe how I felt. I knew that finding the right vocabulary to name my experiences would help me reckon with and overcome them. This exercise was how I encountered terms like “diet culture” and first wrestled with the question of addiction. Months of healing have shown me the astonishing power of words, both mine and others’. That I felt inspired to express this journey in words at all is thanks to the work of Roxane Gay in Hunger and Kiese Laymon in Heavy. Their clear-eyed reflections gave me the tools I need to start unpacking my emotions.

I started tracking my meals again in May, but I’m committed to doing things differently this time. I’m choosing to take things slower. I’m choosing not to weigh myself everyday. I’m choosing to practice kindness toward myself, especially when I don’t meet my calorie goal. And I’m dedicating time to reflect on my state of mind and put my feelings into words.

I used to think about my goal weight as a finish line, but as I approach it I realize it barely deserves to be a milestone. I’m on a far more important journey to rewrite my relationship with my body, and that one’s just beginning. I have so much to unlearn and so many new things to discover. How to be comfortable taking up space. How to make exercise part of my life. How to eat healthily, sustainably, and enjoyably without succumbing to toxic thoughts. How to support my body, and how it can support me.

This essay is a postcard from the road. I’m eager to find out where it leads.

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Letter of Advice How to Lose Weight

how to lose weight essay pt3

Let’s write a letter of advice

Have practice in writing a letter of advice how to lose weight.

I’ve just got your e-mail and I was sorry to hear you’re worried about your weight. I bet the problem isn’t as bad as it seems, though! In any case, there are lots of things you can do to lose weight. What you should do is eat a healthy diet , with lots of fish, fruit, and fresh vegetables instead of junk food and sweets. If you do this, you’ll soon lose weight and you’ll look and feel much healthier, too.

You could also exercise more and walk whenever possible rather than going by car or bus. That way you’ll burn calories and get your body back in shape at the same time. I know it’s hard to do at first, but believe me, it will work!

Good luck, and don’t forget to let me know how you’re getting on.

All the best,

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can you do one with 5 paragraphs

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