Want to Lose Weight Fast? These 3 Science-Backed Tips Can Help You Lose Weight Sustainably

Focusing on long-term health and habits that you can stick with over time will help improve your health and are more likely to result in lasting weight loss.

Here are some science-backed tips to help you lose weight.

How to lose weight in 6 simple steps

1. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables

Aim to include a variety of foods at each meal. To balance your plate, your meals should include protein, fat, vegetables, and complex carbohydrates.

The following are the recommended amounts you should eat by age according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025:Trusted Source

Food type Adults Children 2-8 Children 9-13 Adolescents 14-18
Protein 5-7 ounces (oz) 2-5.5 oz 4-6.5 oz 5-7 oz
Vegetables 2-5 cups 1-2.5 cups 1.5-3.5 cups 2.5-4 cups
Healthy oils 22-44 grams (g) 15-24 g 17-34 g 24-51 g
Grains 5-10 oz 3-6 oz 5-9 oz 6-10 oz

Eating a recommended amount of protein is essential to help preserve muscle mass while losing weight.

Diets with adequate protein may also reduceTrusted Source cravings and snacks by helping you feel full and satisfied.

The following are examples of foods that contain protein with amounts and servings from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Data CentralTrusted Source database.

Food Amount of protein/100 grams Daily serving
lean ground beef 20.8 g 3.7 ozTrusted Source
skinless chicken breast 23.2 g 3.7 oz
black beans 21.6 g 0.7 oz
lentils 9.02 g 0.7 oz



All vegetables can be nutrient-rich additions to your diet. Aim to eat about 2.5 cupsTrusted Source of vegetables daily.

Examples of vegetables include:

  • leafy greens
  • tomatoes
  • bell peppers
  • green beans
  • squash

If you are deciding what foods you should eat, note that certain vegetables — like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn — are considered carbs or grains when on the plate because they’re higher in carbs and calories. Be mindful of your portion sizes when adding these vegetables to your plate.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats like olive oilavocado, nuts, and seeds are great choices for your eating plan.

Note that oils are composed of 100% healthy fats. Although some, like olive oil, are considered healthy, they also provide 9 calories per gram, compared to protein and carbs, which provide only 4 calories per gram.

For this reason, it’s important to eat healthy fats in moderation and limit saturated and trans-saturated fats.

The following are examples of other foods that contain healthy fats:

Food Healthy fat content
almonds 49.9 gTrusted Source (3.8 g saturated fat)
sunflower seeds 51.5 g (4.5 g saturated fat)
green olives 15.32 g (2 g saturated fat)
avocados 14.7 g (2.1 saturated fat)
butter 81.1 g (51.4 g saturated fat)
coconut oil 99.1 g (82.5 g saturated fat)

Butter and coconut oil should be enjoyed only in moderationTrusted Source due to their high saturated fat content.

SUMMARYTry to assemble each meal with a protein source, healthy fat source, complex carb, and vegetables.

2. Move your body

The Physical Activity Guidelines for AmericansTrusted Source recommend combining cardio workouts with weight training for optimal health.

Cardio workouts include things such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, or swimming. Learn more about types of weight training exercises.

Be sure to talk with a doctor before starting a new exercise plan.

SUMMARYA combination of aerobic and weight training are good for your health. While each type of exercise is good on its own, together they are better at helping you lose weight.

3. Eat more fiber

Fiber moves slowly through the digestive tract and can help you feel fullerTrusted Source for longer to support weight loss.

It might also stabilize blood sugar levels, promote regularity, and protect against certain chronic conditions.

Food groups like grains and fruit that contain a lot of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, breads, and legumes. Aim to eat 2 cups of fruit and 6 ozTrusted Source of grains daily. Many vegetables and legumes also contain fiber.

The following are examples of foods that contain fiber with their recommended daily servings:

Food Fiber/100 g
oats 10.1 gTrusted Source
chickpeas 7.6 g
bananas 2.6 g
brussels sprouts 3.8 g
beets 2.8 g
apples 2.4 g
quinoa 2.8 g

SUMMARYIncreasing your intake of fiber-rich foods could promote weight loss and support overall health.

4. Eat mindfully

Having a good understanding of how your body responds to food and eating can help you make sure you’re not overeating. This is known as mindful eating. It can involve the following:

  • eating more slowly
  • learning to recognize when you’re hungry vs. when you’re craving food for emotional reasons
  • cooking colorful foods with a variety of textures to prolong and enjoy your meals

The reason eating quickly can be problematic is that it doesn’t allow your brain to register consciously when you’re full.

Eating slowly gives your stomach more time to tell your brain you’re full, which helps you learn to distinguish the feeling of genuine hunger vs. fullness. This can resultTrusted Source in you eating less.

Try minimizing distractions while you eat and follow these strategies for mindful eating to slow down during your meals. Learn more about mindful eating and weight loss.

SUMMARYPracticing mindful eating can help you feel more full and avoid overeating.

5. Stay hydrated

Drinking plenty of water can help promote weight loss by reducingTrusted Source your food intake, especially if you drink water before a meal.

It might also work by increasingTrusted Source fat burning, which can help enhance long-term weight loss.

Be sure to choose water or other low-calorie drinks rather than sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, which are high in sugar and calories and could contributeTrusted Source to weight gain.

Other benefits from drinking water related to weight loss include helping you stay hydrated while you exercise and helping remove waste from the body. In general, drinking water helps your body run more efficiently.

SUMMARYDrinking water or other low-calorie beverages can reduce food intake and boost fat burning.

6. Get plenty of sleep

In addition to changing your diet and exercise routine, getting enough sleep each night may be beneficial for weight loss.

One study found that people who regularly sleep less than 7 hours per night are more likelyTrusted Source to have a higher body mass index and develop obesity than those who sleep more.

Plus, sleep deprivation might also alter levels of hormones that control hunger and appetite.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to aim for at least 7 hoursTrusted Source of high-quality sleep each night.

SUMMARYNot getting enough sleep may be linked to a higher risk of obesity and might negatively affect hormone levels.




What about calories and portion control?

It’s not always necessary to count calories as long as you follow a balanced diet rich in protein, fat, and vegetables.

If you are not losing weight, you may want to keep track of your calories to see if that’s a contributing factor.

Try using a free online calculator like this one to estimate your calorie needs.

Eating too few calories can be dangerous and less effective for losing weight. Aim to reduce your calories by a sustainable and healthy amount based on a doctor’s recommendation.

A note on calorie counting

Counting calories may be a helpful tool for some, but it may not be the best choice for everyone.

If you are preoccupied with food or weight, feel guilt surrounding your food choices, or routinely engage in restrictive diets, consider reaching out for support. These behaviors may indicate a disordered relationship with food or an eating disorder.

Talk with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, if you’re struggling.

You can also chat, call, or text anonymously with trained volunteers at the National Eating Disorders Association helpline for free or explore the organization’s free and low-cost resources.

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SUMMARYCounting calories isn’t always necessary, but may be beneficial if you’re not losing weight.

Sample meal ideas for fast weight loss

Here are a few nutritious meal ideas that can support weight loss and include a mix of proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs:

  • poached egg with sliced avocado and a side of berries
  • salmon baked with gingersesame oil, and roasted zucchini
  • spinach, mushroom, and feta crustless quiche

For some nutritious snack ideas, check out this article.

How fast will you lose weight?

You may lose weight more quickly in the first week of a diet plan and then lose weight at a slower but more consistent rate after that. In the first week, you typically lose a mix of both body fat and water weight.

If this is the first time you are changing your diet and exercise habits, weight loss may happen more quickly. Losing 0.5-2 pounds (lbs) per week is a safe amount to aim for.

SUMMARYLosing 1-2 pounds per week is a safe and sustainable amount that can help maintain long-term results.

Frequently asked questions

What is the fastest way to lose weight?

Reducing your calorie intake and adding more physical activity to your routine can help you lose weight quickly and sustainably. That said, each person is different, and there may be other factors that need to be considered, such as your diet, what medications you’re taking, your hormones, your mood, and genetics.

How to lose weight in 7 days?

Decreasing your intake of processed foods and added sugar can help you lose weight in 7 days. Drinking plenty of water and adding fiber to your diet might also help. That said, many factors influence your ability to lose weight, and it’s better to aim for slower and more sustainable weight loss of 0.5-2 lbs per week.

How to lose belly fat fast?

Exercising, staying hydrated, and enjoying a balanced diet rich in nutrient-dense foods can help reduce belly fat. For more tips, check out this article.

How can I drop 10 pounds in 10 days?

Losing 10 pounds in 10 days is not realistic or sustainable. For safe and healthy weight loss, aim for 0.5-2 pounds of weight loss per week by changing your diet and lifestyle.

Bottom line

Following a balanced diet and staying active can help support long-term weight loss.

However, while losing weight quickly may be your goal, it’s important to think about the long run.

While you may lose water weight quickly, fat loss takes longer, and developing sustainable weight loss may take longer than you’d like.

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