1. Start Each Day with a Fast
Fasting is probably the easiest and most effortless way to lose weight and burn fat without actually counting calories and sticking to a particular diet.
It will literally save you time and money.
When fasting, you are temporarily restricted from eating for a set length of time, which automatically reduces your total calorie intake.
Fasting also allows your body to tap into the stored fat and use it for energy as opposed to glucose, increasing your fat burn and further fostering weight loss.
While there are many fasting patterns out there, one of the easiest ways is to fast for 16 hours a day and eat during the remaining 8 hours.
This intermittent fasting schedule is most common and popular for its simplicity.
2. Pair Apple Cider Vinegar With Fasting
Apple cider vinegar or ACV is a health drink that can help you lose weight by decreasing your appetite, increasing satiety, and boosting your metabolism.
Due to ACV's appetite suppressant quality, pairing it with a short-term fast like intermittent fasting can be a powerful way to enhance weight loss.
By taking apple cider vinegar when fasting can curve hunger especially during the first few days.
To make the apple cider vinegar diet drink, combine 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with a glass of warm water. Adding a squeeze of lime can refreshen the smell and taste.
This will help carry you until your lunch time.
3. Set a Clear Goal to Lose Weight
Setting a goal to lose 20 pounds is great, but if you can't adjust your lifestyle to support your goal, you'll never reach the goal weight.
Doesn't matter how committed you are to this goal, if you don't set up an environment to support your journey, no willpower or motivation will get you there.
4. Get a Journal
Get a journal to write things down. This will come handy in keeping yourself accountable.
Many people underestimate how much food they eat throughout the day.
A food journal will hopefully help you remember and keep track of what you ate. It can also help you eat better by making you more cautious about what you are eating.
In fact, according to a study from Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research, those who keep a food diary double their weight loss.
5. Track Your Daily Calorie Intake
While calories don't tell you everything, you need a calorie deficit to lose weight.
That's a fact.
A calorie deficit means more energy leaving the body than entering it.
And one simple way to make sure of that is to budget your calories and track the intake.
For that, you can use a calorie app like MyfitnessPal or other apps that count and track calories.
Even people who eat healthily often eat too many calories and have a hard time losing weight.
An easy fix like using a calorie counting app can help you manage your intake.
6. Clean Your Fridge
You eating can be as clean as your food supply.
This is what I mean when I say calories don't tell you everything. Some foods are more nutritious than others even though they contain the same amount of calories.
One way to set yourself for success is to get rid of all the items in the fridge that don't support your new weight loss goal.
That includes soda, fruit juice, cookies and frozen pizza, and almost anything and everything that's processed.
Replace them with fresh fruits, Greek yogurt, hummus, veggies, and all of the other good stuff!
This will make it easier for you to eat foods that support your health goal.
7. Do Your Weekly Meal Planning
Meal plannings help with your daily cooking whether its breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
It is the plan you make before you go grocery shopping.
For example, if you're planning on making salmon and kale on Monday and quinoa broccoli and chicken for dinner for Tuesday, your grocery shopping will include those foods.
This is especially helpful in keeping track of your calorie intakes.
It will help you stay organized in your eating and only eat foods or meals that are in your plan.
That way, you can be sure you're not only eating fewer calories, but also nutritious foods that nourish your body and health.
For example, highly proteinous foods such as eggs, fish, and lean meats can have a positive impact on your metabolism, hunger, and appetite.
Some studies have found that people who ate a high-protein breakfast had fewer cravings and consumed fewer calories throughout the day.
If you plan your meals ahead of time, you can ensure that those weight loss friendly foods are always included in your plan.
Small decisions like eating a high-protein breakfast each day can result in big-time weight loss.
8. Drink A Lot of Water
Breaking your fast with water in the morning is a great way to kick-start the day.
That's because drinking water can enhance your weight loss in a few ways.
One, water increases your calorie burn after an hour of drinking.
In one study, an average of 30% increase in the metabolic rate was seen after drinking 500ml of water .
In another study, overweight women lost extra 4.4 pounds by upping their water intake to 1 litter a day .
What's interesting is that there were no other changes made in their diet or exercise regimen.
Water can also help with weight loss by reducing hunger.
In one study, drinking two glasses of water half an hour before meals reduced calorie intake by 75 to 90 calories.
In a longer 12-week study, drinking water before every meal led to weight loss of 5 extra pounds than those who didn't.
Make a habit of drinking water every morning and before all your meals.
And if you find plain water boring, try squeezing a slice of lemon into a glass of water.
9. Squeeze in Some Cardio
Whether you're trying to lose weight or not, cardio exercise is good for your health.
But if you are trying to lose weight, cardio is the most effective exercise to burn calories, which naturally leads to a more significant weight loss.
Cardio exercises are anything from jogging, running, walking, biking and to swimming.
Here is how effective cardio really is for weight loss.
One study split 141 obese individuals into 3 groups to see how effective cardio can be at burning calories.
Here's the breakdown:
Group A: 5 days per week of burning 400 calories with cardio
Group B: 5 days per week of burning 600 calories with cardio
Group C: No cardio exercise
Participants in group A lost on average 4% of their body weight. Group B lost a little more at 5.7%. The last group, which didn't do any exercise, gained 5% weight. The study lasted 10 months.
For permanent, long-term weight loss, up your cardio.
Create a schedule for 30 minutes of extensive cardio 5 times a week or 150 minutes of cardio per week for a more significant weight loss as recommended by The American College of Sports Medicine .
It also helps you maintain your weight after you reach your weight goal.
10. Add Resistance Training to Your Workout
Just because cardio is the optimum form of exercise for weight loss doesn't mean you don't need resistance training.
You need that too. In fact, you need both cardio and resistance training.
Here's the workout schedule I gave to my friend, and I recommend it to you too
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 30-50 minutes of cardio
Tuesday and Thursday: resistance training
While cardio helps you burn calories, resistance training will help you build strength.
It helps build metabolism-boosting muscles, which will help you burn calories around the clock. It simply revs up your metabolism.
And one more thing, studies have found that people who exercise regularly are not only able to lose weight, but also keep the weight off permanently.
Take Home Message
I know this approach to weight loss is not a quick fix as some of the popular fad diets promise, but it's sustainable and healthy.
The bottom line is that you need to fundamentally change your lifestyle to support your health goal if losing 20 pounds is a must for you.
That's it! Now go out and lose that 20 pounds for good.