Most weight loss plans fail because many can leave you feeling hungry and miserable and that’s when many people fall off the wagon.
Healthline resident nutrition researcher Kris Gunnars has developed a three-step plan that will help you lose weight quickly and improve your metabolism.
STEP 1: Cut sugar and carbs
These are probably two of the hardest things to give up, but the benefits are well worth it. Gunnars says reducing the amount of sugar and carbs or starch that you intake will shrink your appetite and as a result, you end up consuming far fewer calories.
“Now instead of burning carbs for energy, your body starts feeding off stored fat,” he said in an article penned for Healthline.
“Another benefit of cutting carbs is that it lowers insulin levels causing your kidneys to shed excess sodium and water out of your body. This reduces bloat and unnecessary water weight.”
He says it’s not unusual to lose up to 4,5kg in the first week of cutting out sugar and carbs.
STEP 2: Eat protein, low-carb veggies and fat
Here it’s important to have one protein and fat source in every meal you eat as well as low-carb vegetables.
“Constructing your meals in this way will automatically bring your carb intake into the recommended range of 20g-50g per day,” Gunnars said.
Good sources of protein include beef, chicken, pork, salmon, trout, prawns and whole eggs with the yolk.
“High-protein diets can also reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, reduce the desire for late night snacking by half and make you feel so full that you automatically eat 441 fewer calories per day, just by adding protein to your diet,” he said.
Low-carb vegetables you can try eating are broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, kale, tomatoes, lettuce, cucumber, cabbage and brussels sprouts. Great sources of fat include olive, coconut and avocado oil as well as butter.
“Don’t be afraid of eating fat as trying to do both low-carb and low-fat at the same time is a recipe for failure. It will make you feel miserable and abandon the plan,” Gunnars warns.
STEP 3: Regular weight lifting
While exercise isn’t prescribed for this plan, it is encouraged.
What is non-negotiable, however, is lifting weights at least three times per week.
“Lifting weights you will burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight. Studies on low-carb diets show that you can even gain a bit of muscle while losing significant amounts of body fat,” he says.
As an alternative, you can also do cardio workouts like walking, running, cycling or swimming if lifting weights aren’t your cup of tea.