20 Best Secrets for Losing Weight Fast, According to Experts

If you want to lose weight fast and melt excess belly fat without giving it much thought, the first step is making some simple tweaks to your daily routine. The habits you establish in the kitchen, at the gym, out with friends, and in your overall lifestyle can play a major role in your weight loss efforts, so it’s important to determine what you should and shouldn’t do to keep yourself on the right track. Eat This, Not That! spoke with the experts who reveal their best secrets if you’re looking to lose weight fast and slim down your waistline, so listen up and gear up to fight the flab.

You may think that you need to spend countless hours at the gym lifting weights and following a strict diet in order to achieve noticeable results, but that’s simply not the case. Of course, losing weight and melting belly fat does require time, hard work, and dedication, but you need to choose a sustainable approach you’ll actually stick with—and even enjoy! Keep in mind that you cannot spot reduce, but when you lose weight, you lose it all over your body—including your belly, aka the problem area you’re longing to work on.

So keep reading to learn what the experts have to say about how to lose weight fast and shrink your oversized belly. And when you’re finished, don’t miss out on these 9 Sneaky Ways to Lose Weight In Your Sleep.

woman happy yoga on beach

Dropping weight begins with your lifestyle choices—so take a hard look at them. Are you getting enough solid sleep and not sweating the small stuff? Are you feeding your body with the right nutrients and nixing late-night snacking or trips to fast food joints? Are you following trendy or fad diets?

One of the most necessary things you can do for your overall health and weight loss efforts is to be mindful of how you’re treating your body and what you’re putting into it. For instance, 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, explains, “In order to lose weight, you have to create a calorie deficit. A calorie deficit is providing your body with fewer calories than it needs to support calorie expenditure. This should not be done by starving or following fad diets. Instead, practice portion control and choose more fattening foods in moderation.”

RELATED: 5 Best Bodyweight Exercises for Faster Weight Loss After 50

woman drinking water bottle outside

Water is your best friend whether you’re working out or simply working at home, so fill up your bottle, and get hydrating! And if you’re terrible at refilling, consider investing in a water bottle that reminds you when you need to drink.

“Water is essential for working out, as it can dehydrate you, so it’s important to ensure an adequate amount of water, especially on the days you move your body,” Young explains. “Water can also help with weight loss, as it can help you feel full. Plus. When drinking water, you probably end up skipping the soda.”

Anthony Lenti, a certified strength, conditioning, and nutrition specialist (NASM CPT, PN-1, FMS-1, CFSC, ISSA Bodybuilding specialist) recommends drinking at least half your body weight in fluid ounces. “Water makes your organs run more efficiently and does wonders for your skin, hair, nails, and recovery overall,” he tells us.

lemon water

Not only should you stay hydrated—it’s also a great idea to add some freshly squeezed lemon to your water glass! It will make your sips much tastier without a high additional calorie count. Plus, research suggests that lemon polyphenols can suppress weight gain and help you avoid accumulating excess body fat.

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woman meditates by the lake

Stress is truly toxic to your health. As a matter of fact, research shows that chronic stress can not only be a killer, but it’s also directly linked to obesity.

“Lower your stress levels as best you can,” Lenti suggests. “Cortisol is the hormone that regulates our body’s stress response. It is a natural occurrence that helps your body regulate metabolism. If your levels are constantly elevated, it becomes extremely difficult to lose weight.” So carve out ample time in your schedule for the things you love most and activities that reduce stress, such as hiking, reading, yoga, meditating, or even relaxing in a bubble bath.

RELATED: You’ll Never Lose Weight if You Still Do These 5 Things, Expert Says

Nutritional Journal

This may sound a bit tedious, but tracking your food can be incredibly beneficial if you’re looking to lose weight fast. Your situation won’t change if you don’t know how many calories you’re consuming, so track them!

“Most people either severely under or overestimate how much food they eat in a given day,” Lenti says. “Your nutrition is going to be crucial to hitting your fitness goals. If you eat more or less the same thing every day, track for a week just to see what can be adjusted. Don’t forget liquid calories as well!”

mature couple taking stairs, the walking habits that slow aging

Find little ways outside of your daily exercise where you can torch more calories during the day. For instance, opt for the stairs instead of taking the elevator whenever possible, park your car further away from your errands, or take your work calls while walking around the neighborhood.

“All of these little things will add up to help move along your weight loss journey while not impacting [your] lifestyle that much,” Lenti says. “Most people think they have to do the big gestures to lose weight while totally ignoring the little steps. Every bit helps!”

fitness class using toning balls, exercises to lose arm fat fast

When it comes to group fitness, the possibilities are endless. From barre to Zumba to hula hoop to aerial yoga, find one—or a couple!—that will get you up and moving and burning additional calories in an exciting way.

“Not only will you feel great after, but you will be a part of a community that will help hold you accountable,” Lenti explains. “I know a ton of people who have made close friends from these classes.”

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proteins and healthy fats, healthy diet

Your current diet may be high in fats and carbs and slim on protein. Bumping up your protein is a solid way to help get you back on track in the kitchen. Consider working some of the best high-protein foods for belly fat into your meals, such as Greek yogurt, eggs, pea protein powder, salmon, and sprouted tofu.

“A higher protein diet will help you build muscle while helping you lose weight—it is much harder to overeat protein than carbs or fat,” says Lenti. “You want to aim for one gram of protein per pound of body weight (or the goal weight you want to hit whether that is gaining or losing weight).”

woman sleeping peacefully, concept of ways to lose weight in your sleep

You’re probably wondering, “What the heck does sleep have to do with losing weight?” If you’re not getting sufficient restful sleep every night, “you are doing your body a lot of disservice,” Lenti stresses. “You could be getting in all of your workouts and mostly be on top of your nutrition, but if you are not getting enough sleep, you will not see much change.”

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Science backs this up. According to research, 245 women who took part in a six-month weight loss program revealed that better quality of sleep increased their chances of successfully shedding weight by 33%. Getting more than seven hours of sleep each night also yielded these results.

fit senior woman at home demonstrates body parts to exercise after 60 with dumbbells

Whenever you’re trying to lose weight, don’t forget that you’ll lose muscle mass (in addition to fat) if you don’t perform muscle-strengthening activities.

“Putting on a little bit of muscle will help you burn more fat and help you lose weight,” Lenti tells us. “Aim for two to three times per week focusing on big compound lifts. The number on the scale might not change or even go up, which can mess with some people’s minds, but body composition is way more important than that number.”

woman cooking healthy meal at home to lose weight after 40

If you want to make big changes, you may need to tweak your mindset a bit. After all, “Transformation starts from the neck up,” says Imogen Van Haagen, health coach, nutrition expert, and founder of MUD Organics.

For example, if you tell yourself you’re always way too busy and don’t have time to prep meals, you likely won’t carve out the time to work out and make healthy, home-cooked meals. “I always say we are always winning at the game we are playing,” Van Haagen adds. “Language can be extremely disempowering and leave you stuck. But if you change what you tell yourself, some miraculous things can happen.”

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concept of fad diets

Van Haagen stresses the importance of eating foods that fuel your body with energy rather than stripping it away. Think about the foods that make you feel sluggish, fatigued, and poorly digested versus foods that make you feel rejuvenated, light, and full of energy.

“Most dieting plans focus on what NOT to eat, which can feel like deprivation,” Van Haagan says. “Let’s change the paradigm, instead of focusing on what you don’t get to eat, focus on what you DO get to eat.”

alarm clock, planned eating concept easy ways to lose weight when you're just starting out

Implementing an eating schedule where you have meals at the same time every day is an excellent way to ensure you don’t veer off track.

“I always say, ‘The mind loves freedom, but the body loves stability.’ Our bodies crave consistency around meal times because this keeps our BS balanced, keeps our energy levels consistent, and also stops us from overeating,” Van Haagan explains. “Overeating can occur when you are so ravished you could eat a horse and all the rules go out the window.”

hearty bowl of oatmeal, eggs, and avocado for breakfast

Consider savoring your largest meals (which contain the majority of your carbs for the day) for breakfast or lunch. Enjoy your smallest meal for dinner, with far fewer carbs, unless you work out immediately before or after dinnertime.

“Culturally, we eat our biggest meal at the end of the day, but there is no way our bodies can burn off the excess energy we create while we are sleeping,” says Van Haagan. “This will make a big difference to your weight loss results.”

RELATED: 6 Tips for Women To Lose Belly Fat & Keep It Off

middle-aged woman running by beach, exercises you shouldn't skip after 50

Get your body up and moving. In addition to supporting your weight loss efforts, moving your body gets the endorphins flowing. And if you’re not a gym person, that’s perfectly okay—because exercise shouldn’t feel like a total chore. There are plenty of amazing ways you can implement movement in your regular routine.

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“Choose a movement style that feels fun for you, dancing, jogging, nature walks, pilates, yoga,” Van Haagan suggests. “Moving your body helps to keep your blood sugar levels balanced and boost your overall health.”

Young agrees that finding a form of exercise you really enjoy is the name of the game. “Exercise can be dreadful to some people, so it’s essential to find a workout routine that works for you. It should be something you look forward to every day, not dread,” she says. “Committing to an exercise routine can not only help you to lose weight, but it can also improve brain health, reduce the risk of chronic disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do your daily tasks.”

bowl of Greek yogurt with berries

A happy gut is a healthy gut, so make sure you’re consuming foods that support your gut health. Gut-healthy foods help your body to efficiently soak up dietary minerals, aid with digestion, and ensure your system stays regular and moving. Some of the best foods for your gut include sauerkraut, asparagus, kimchi, yogurt, berries, almonds, bananas, edamame, broccoli, and ginger.

“Take care of your gut health to keep a healthy mind and body,” Van Haagan says. “Your happy hormones are created in your gut (serotonin and dopamine). If you take care of your gut, you take care of your mental health.”

happy woman outdoors in the sunshine

Not only can soaking up warm rays of sunshine when you rise in the AM give you a major mood boost, but research shows it can also help with your weight loss efforts. A study from Northwestern Medicine revealed that individuals who had the majority of their exposure to sunlight first thing in the morning had a substantially lower body mass index compared to individuals who experienced exposure to sunlight later on in the day.

frozen banana slices

Staying on top of your blood sugar levels should not be overlooked. Van Haagan stresses the importance, telling us, “When you have inconsistencies in your blood sugar levels, this impacts your energy, mood, cognitive function, and also increases your risk of lifestyle-related diseases.”

For example, high blood sugar is typically linked to type 2 diabetes, and research associates diabetes with obesity. An important eating habit to lower your high blood sugar is working sufficient soluble fiber into your diet.

RELATED: You’ll Never Lose Your Belly Fat if You’re Still Eating These 10 Things

smoothie bowl with strawberries, raspberries, mango, dragon fruit, peanut butter, sunflower seeds, and granola

Whether you add some fresh berries to the top of your Greek yogurt, whip up a fruit smoothie, or enjoy them with your morning oats, eating more fruit is key if you want to shed belly fat and lose weight fast. Plus, fruit is an excellent source of natural fiber, which will keep you full for a longer period of time. “[Fruit is] rich in nutrients, low in calories, and high in fiber,” Young says. “Fiber helps you feel full, a winner for weight loss.”

older woman eating healthy outside

Okay, this tip may sound like a total given, but you may be surprised to hear from Van Haagan that most of us chew our food just three to five times when we should be savoring each bite and chewing 20 to 30 times. “Your saliva has important enzymes in it to help break down the food and assist your gut to assimilate more nutrients,” she notes.

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