Listen up, and drop a few! There are a lot of tricks to losing weight that you may not even know about. For example, did you know that using smaller plates and bowls can actually help you shed excess pounds, as it encourages smaller portion sizes? When you’re on a time crunch to lose weight—whether you have a special event or beach getaway coming up—fast results are always ideal. That’s why we spoke with the experts who break down their favorite tips to lose five pounds quickly.
If you want the number on the scale to move down, two key factors are diet and exercise. It’s crucial to kick up your strength training and consume a healthy, well-balanced diet that’s full of fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains. It’s also essential to limit the amount of processed foods and extra sugar you consume, along with establishing a calorie deficit, which equates to torching more calories than you eat, says Tyler Read, the founder of PTPioneer.com and a personal trainer who has been involved in health and fitness world for the past 15 years. And let’s get one thing straight: Don’t let all of your hard work go to waste by following healthy habits for a few days and then overindulging because you think you’ve earned it. Consistency and patience will be crucial to reaching your end game!
Now, let’s get into some specific tips to lose five pounds quickly that will be incredibly helpful. Keep reading to learn what the experts have to say, and next up, be sure to check out People Who Lost 10 Pounds in a Month Reveal Their Best Tips.
If you want to lose five pounds quickly, Lisa Young, Ph.D., RDN, the author of Finally Full, Finally Slim, a nutritionist in private practice, and a member of our Medical Expert Board, encourages you to start using smaller bowls and plates. Being mindful of your portion sizes is important, because eating more food than you should can negatively impact your weight.
Pay attention to the food you’re eating, but also how much of it you’re consuming. Young tells us, “A great way to do this is by using smaller plates and bowls when eating meals. This plays a role in the amount of food you eat when you use smaller plates, as it looks like you’re eating more food, essentially tricking your brain. Moreover, using a smaller plate means filling it with less food than if you were to use a large plate, which cuts down the calories of the meal.”
Meal prepping isn’t simply a time-saver; it’s a smart way to lose weight! Young says, “Research has shown that there is a positive effect on cooking more at home and shedding those extra pounds. Furthermore, controlling the ingredients that go into your meal and knowing what you are eating can help with weight loss, as it is the best tip to eating clean.”
This makes perfect sense, considering when you’re hungry, you likely gravitate toward unhealthy, yet incredibly convenient fast food options. Having snacks and meals that are ready to eat or take on the go eliminates the stress that comes with cooking daily meals—especially when you’re busy. “Meal prepping is a great habit to incorporate into your lifestyle as it can help create that shift into a more nourishing diet,” Young adds.
This is a no-brainer, but something worth mentioning. Processed foods contain many unhealthy and unnecessary ingredients, including hydrogenated and trans-fat, extra sugar, and artificial sweeteners, to name a few. These ingredients have been directly linked to weight gain. In contrast, a diet of fresh produce, legumes, and lean protein is a proven way to lower your weight, Young says.
The term “beauty rest” was given its name for good reason. Sleep is essential for losing weight. You need a restful night’s sleep to avoid sleep deprivation and fatigue. When you are overtired, your body’s response time is delayed when it comes to getting rid of waste from your lymphatic system and restoring nutrients. “Therefore, this delay can cause weight gain by leading to hormone malfunctioning,” Young says.
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A combination of cardio and strength training will really kick your weight loss into high gear. “Cardio can help you burn calories and improve your cardiovascular health, while strength training can build muscle mass and increase your metabolism,” Read explains. Young agrees that strength training is key, noting, “When you lift weights, you are building lean muscle. This muscle-building activity helps to increase our metabolism, which burns more calories.”
You may not like what Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, Nutrition Writer and Owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition, has to say, but “Alcohol is not your friend if you’re trying to lose weight.” Not only is your favorite alcoholic beverage filled with both calories and sugar, but it also makes you retain water, which in turn slows down weight loss. And that’s not all—drinking can impact how well you sleep, which can cause food cravings. Last but not least, you are much more likely to make poor food choices that you may not ordinarily choose.
Good old H2O before each meal and during the day is an essential habit to get into if you want to lose five pounds quickly. There are actually times you may feel hungry, but your body just needs some water. “Drinking water first can significantly cut down on the amount of unnecessary calories you may be taking in,” Mitri explains. “Plus, research shows that drinking a glass of water before meals can lower your calorie intake at the next meal.”
Ditching the salt shaker can support your weight loss goals. “Too much salt from processed foods and the salt shaker causes bloat and water retention, making it hard to lose weight,” Mitri explains. “Limit processed foods like chips, pretzels, frozen dinners, canned foods, and fast food as much as possible, and minimize the amount of salt you add to your foods. Especially if your body is used to taking in a lot of salt, cutting back on it can make a huge difference.”
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) consists of short bursts of exercise at a high-intensity, followed by short recovery periods. Mitri says this form of training is an excellent way to melt fat fast. “These workouts keep your heart rate up and effectively burn fat in a short amount of time,” Mitri adds. “Examples of HIIT exercises include a combination of jump squats, mountain climbers, planks, and burpees followed by short recovery sessions.”
Consuming more veggies is always a smart idea, but it’s extra crucial when the goal is to lose weight. “Veggies are naturally low in calories and high in water and fiber content, making them a high-volume, weight-loss-friendly food,” Mitri says. “This means you can have a large amount of them to fill you up, they are naturally filling, but will make it easier to stay in a calorie deficit. Add a cup of non-starchy veggies like leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, or bell peppers to each meal to support faster weight loss.”