Cupid's Pulse Article: Fitness Tips: 7 Ways to Speed Up Weight LossCupid's Pulse Article: Fitness Tips: 7 Ways to Speed Up Weight Loss

By Mara Miller

Do you need to shed a few pounds, but you aren’t sure where to start? Weight loss can be rewarding; both in the “yes!” moment when you fit into your old college jeans and for the health benefits, including more mobility and a decreased risk in health issues.

Losing weight isn’t something that will happen overnight, but it can be kick-started under the right conditions. Here are seven fitness tips that can help speed up weight loss:

1. Get enough sleep: Proper rest does a lot for your body. If you’re lacking sleep, it can cause your metabolism and cortisol levels to drop, resulting in weight gain, even if you’re trying to work out and eat healthy. While you won’t automatically drop twenty pounds, getting enough sleep at night will ensure that you won’t eat more during the day.

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2. Never skip breakfast: Skipping breakfast, or any meals, is a big no-no when it comes to losing weight. Your metabolism will slow down, you’ll get hungrier later in the day, and you’ll possibly get a migraine. Instead of eating a huge plate of bacon, eggs, and toast, try a smaller breakfast with a plate of fruit and a side of Greek vanilla yogurt. Or, if you’re really pressed for time, grabbing a handful of grapes or another fruit for your morning commute is better than not eating at all.

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3. Stay away from sugar: Sugar addiction is real–especially common with refined sugars–and it’s a serious problem that can pack on the pounds. Staying away from sugary drinks, cookies, and other sweet treats can help speed up weight loss since you aren’t taking in the empty calories that your body doesn’t know what to do with before it stores it as fat. Aspartame and other fake sugar alternatives can make you hungrier, working counter-productively to help you shed the pounds. Instead, try a natural alternative, Stevia, which comes from a plant and is 200 times sweeter than sugar. This means you need less. And the best part? It acts as a zero-calorie sweetener that you can use in coffee or bake with the next time you want cookies.

Related Link: Fitness Tips: Incorporate Superfoods in Your Diet

4. Choose healthy snacks: It’s easy to default to a bag of chips, a big old jar of french onion dip, and snack like crazy while you’re binge-watching the latest season of Grey’s Anatomy or The BachelorInstead, try a handful of peanuts, almonds, or an apple. Hummus and high-fiber crackers are a healthy option for those heavy series-binging nights.

5. Take care of your gut: Did you know that the bacteria in your gut can influence your weight? Studies show that if the gut isn’t healthy, then it can be hard for you to digest the foods you need to eat in order to be healthier. It can even influence when your stomach tells you if you are hungry or not, the vitamins your body absorbs, and how food is digested. Introducing probiotics to your body can have a positive effect on the bacteria in your gut. Consider consuming more fermented foods like sauerkraut or Kombucha. You can also purchase probiotics online or in your local pharmacy.

6. Drink lots of water: Our bodies are dependent on water. It can suppress appetite, help aid in waste removal, and helps after you’ve had a really intense workout, among several other benefits. The regular recommendation is to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. That isn’t always easy. Here’s an extra tip: you can drink tea too, and it will count as your water intake. It can also ease the dread of trying to drink so much water when you may not like to drink it plain.

7. Keep a food journal: Knowing exactly how much you’re eating and when you’re eating it can be helpful when you’re trying to lose weight. While all of your fat isn’t going to speed up overnight, you can track how much water and tea you’re drinking, write down your favorite recipes, yoga poses, and thoughts about your weight loss journey. You can do this in a blank notebook or in a book that is specifically geared toward weight loss if you need more structure.

What are some other tips you have to help speed up weight loss? Share your thoughts below.