1- Cut out extra calories. If you want to lose weight, especially somewhat quickly, you’ll need to cut out some calories from your diet. Cutting calories is one of the main methods for weight loss.

  • If you cut out about 500 calories daily, you’ll lose about one to two pounds per week. With this weight loss rate, you could reach your goal in about two-and-a-half to three months.[1]
  • You could cut out more calories, but following a very low-calorie diet is not recommended. If you do not eat enough throughout the day, you’re at risk of losing lean muscle mass and having nutrient deficiencies. In addition, your weight loss may eventually slow down and may not be sustainable long-term.[2]
  • Use an online food journal or smartphone app to help you count calories throughout the day and keep track of your intake.

2- Decrease your carbohydrate intake. Many studies show that if you want to see quicker weight loss results from a diet, that you should follow a low-carb diet.

  • Low-carb diets are eating plans that focus on minimizing your total carbohydrate intake throughout the day. These result in quicker weight loss and have been shown to help specifically lose more fat tissue.[3]
  • Carbohydrates are found in a large variety of foods including fruits, starchy vegetables, legumes, dairy products, and grains.
  • Since they are so widespread it’s typically not recommended to follow a no or very low carb diet as you’ll be missing out on a wide range of nutrients.
  • Instead of limiting each of those food groups, minimize the most carb-rich groups and those whose nutrients you can get from other foods. Limit: grains (like bread, rice, pasta, crackers or tortillas), high sugar fruits and starchy vegetables.[4]
  • If you do choose to have a serving of these carbohydrate-rich foods, stick to appropriate serving sizes: 1/2 cup or 1 oz of grains,[5] 1 cup of starchy vegetables,[6] and a 1/2 cup of fruit.[7]

3- Fill up on lean protein and produce. Both protein and produce (fruits and vegetables) are low in calories and high in many nutrients. Together, they make a great combination for weight loss.

  • Protein is essential for your diet and for weight loss. It helps your body function, maintain lean muscle mass and helps keep you feeling satisfied longer throughout the day.[8]
  • Include a 3 – 4-oz serving of protein at each meal and snack.[9] Try items like eggs, poultry, lean beef, pork, seafood, tofu or low-fat dairy products.
  • Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and other nutrients while being low in calories. In addition to protein, they can help bulk up your meals and help you feel satisfied with fewer calories.[10][11]
  • Include one to two servings of a low-sugar fruit (apples, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or cranberries) or vegetable at each meal. Stick to 1/2 cup of fruit and 1 cup of vegetables or 2 cups of leafy greens.

4- Limit snacking. Having an occasional snack can be a part of a nutritious weight loss diet. However, too much snacking can lead to weight gain. Be careful of how much you snack as you try to lose weight.

  • If you want to lose weight quickly, try to limit snacking as much as you can. These extra calories can slow your weight loss.
  • If you do include a snack, keep the calories under 100 per snack.[12]
  • In addition, only snack if you’re truly hungry and need a snack, or need an energy boost before or after an intense workout.
  • Examples of low calorie, nutritious snacks include a small piece of fruit, an individual low-fat greek yogurt, 1 oz of mixed nuts or a hard boiled egg.

5- Fill up on water. Water is a great drink to help you lose weight. Contrary to popular belief, retaining water and water bloat comes from not drinking enough water — not drinking too much. So load up on this calorie-free beverage to prevent additional water weight gain.

  • Aim for at least 8-13 glasses of water or other sugar-free beverages daily. You can also try flavored water and unsweetened decaf coffee or tea.[13]
  • If you’re dehydrated, even slightly, you may feel hunger when in all reality you’re only thirsty.[14] To avoid this mistake, stick to the 8-13 glass rule.
  • In addition, drinking a big glass of water before a meal or when you’re feeling a twinge of hunger can you help your stomach feel full and decrease your overall hunger feeling.
  • Limit or give up sugary beverages, alcohol or drinks with any calories. Liquid calories can easily sabotage your weight loss efforts.