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3 easy ways to lose weight quickly

Stopped losing weight as quickly as you’d like? Or worse, has your fat-loss journey ground to a complete halt? If your fat-loss efforts are failing then you don’t need to make sweeping changes to every single area of your life. In fact, some small but significant habit tweaks can provide the catalyst to get your better-body mission back on track, says New Body Plan fitness director Joe Warner

The road towards the leaner, stronger and fitter body you want never runs smooth. If only!

Losing the same amount of stubborn body fat each and every week would be ideal. It would keep us motivated and focused and ensure we reach our target weight as quickly as we’d like.

But the reality is that once you start following a smart training programme and a sensible nutrition plan you’re going to have some good weeks in which the weight just melts off.

But you’re also going to have some not-so-good weeks. When you don’t notice any real positive changes to your physique, either in body fat lost or new muscle gained. You just seem to stay the same.

This is common and can happen for a week or two before the weight once again starts to drop off.

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But if you’ve not seen any signs of progress for a while yet are still training hard and eating well, then you might need to make some changes to reignite the fat-loss process.

The good news is that you don’t need to make sweeping or substantial changes to what you’re doing. In fact, you may only need to make some very minor tweaks to break through your current weight-loss plateau. So, if you want to resume getting the results you want, here’s what you can do!

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How to lose weight quickly: weigh yourself regularly

The research is unequivocal: people who record their results and track their weight-loss progress always lose more body fat than people who don’t.

Never weigh yourself? Starting to do so could be the catalyst you need to start burning fat faster. It’s also extremely helpful to take weekly progress photos and take body-part measurements with a tape measure.

Why? So you can track exactly which bits of you are growing (bigger arms, a more defined chest, and broader shoulders) and which are shrinking (man boobs, lower back fat and the dreaded beer belly). That’s a better approach that only relying on your weight on the scales to determine your success.

Are daily weigh ins better than weekly weigh ins?

Once you’ve decided to invest in a set of bathroom smart scales, which is the best weigh-in strategy for you? Will jumping on the scales every morning help you lose fat faster than only doing weekly weigh ins?

If you’re quite overweight then research suggests you’ll lose more weight if you weigh yourself daily.

But this comes with a massive caveat. Do you have a tendency to obsess over your number of the scales? Or get demotivated or down without seeing even the slightest daily drop in weight? Then you’re far better to stick to weekly weigh-ins.

If you need more help deciding the best approach for you, check out our pros and cons guide to daily versus weekly weigh ins.

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How to lose weight quickly: train on an empty stomach (or on a full tank)

When you’re not seeing the results you want it’s tempting to want to overhaul everything.

But something as simple as tweaking your pre-workout nutrition approach might be all that’s needed to kick-start the fat-loss process. And all that means is considering whether you want to try exercising on an empty stomach or with a full tank of fuel.

Is fasted or fed cardio best for fat loss?

It’s a question we get asked a lot. What’s better for faster fat loss: fasted or fed cardio?

The top line is that whether you exercise on an empty stomach or a full one has almost zero impact on your weight-loss progress. You can find out why in our dedicated article on fasted versus fed cardio.

What does matter is whether you’re in a daily calorie deficit consistently for a decent length of time. That’s how you chip away at stubborn body fat and build the body you’ve always wanted.

So why I am even mentioning fasted versus fed cardio for faster fat loss if one approach isn’t better than the other?

Is fasted or fed cardio worth trying?

Because sometimes a simple change is all that’s needed to smash through a body-composition blockade when results have stalled. This is especially true for fat loss. Remember, your body is extremely well adapted to holding on to body fat. It’s an evolutionary survival mechanism to get you through periods of famine.

But a simple change of strategy can often be enough to convince your body to resume giving up some of its surplus energy stores.

So, if you only ever workout on an empty stomach, try training with some quality fuel in the tank. A light meal or snack containing quality protein and carbs with some fats is a good place to start. If you train mid-morning try our protein pancake recipe or our twist on protein porridge.

You may find a pre-workout meal allows you to train harder or train for longer, or both, which will burn far more calories, both during the session and for hours afterwards during recovery.

On the flip side, if you only ever exercise after a decent meal, try training in a fasted state. A morning workout before breakfast is a great starting point, with a well-timed black coffee (if you drink caffeine) providing some calorie-free energy and focus.

You may even find you make better food choices the rest of the day after a fasted early morning session. And taking on fewer calories might be the weight-loss breakthrough you need!

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How to lose weight quickly: switch up your cardio workouts

As mentioned above, your body constantly strives for efficiency. That’s good news if you’re primarily interested in achieving a performance goal, such as getting stronger or running faster.

The more you train for these goals, the more efficient your body becomes at performing the task. And this is why when when we lift weights we get stronger, or when we run we get fitter and faster.

But when wanting to achieve a physique goal, such as reducing body-fat levels, rather than the performance goal examples mentioned, efficiently is our enemy. Why? Because we want to burn as many calories as possible as quickly as we can.

Burn calories faster with clever cardio

And that’s where your approach to cardio may be letting you down. If you do the same type of cardio, at the same pace, for the same distance or time, every single session, your body has probably become very efficient at completing that task. That means it now burns far fewer calories doing the activity that it did the first few times you did it.

And this is where some changes to the types of cardio you do can pay a huge dividend. It’s obviously very important to still do training you enjoy. Exercise enjoyment is one of the biggest influences behind compliance. And you’re more likely to find the time to train if you’re looking forward to the workout, or know you’ll get a buzz afterwards from doing it.

So, if you usually do long distance running, add some short and faster sprint distances into your workout plan. You’ll burn more calories, free up more time, and will find you run faster when going back to the longer distances. It’s win-win-win.

Switch up your HIIT to burn fat faster

Maybe you’re already doing some high-intensity interval training drills. HIIT is fantastic for faster fat loss, because it works your heart, lungs and muscles very intensively for a short amount of time, with periods of rest between efforts.

But if you only ever do kettlebell swings, add in some rowing or cycling intervals to shake things up. Or try some farmer’s walks or other type of loaded carries. Try some sled pushes instead of bodyweight burpees. Or instead of doing straight sets of dumbbell moves, combine multiple moves into a fast and calorie-torching dumbbell HIIT circuit.

There are hundreds of different forms of HIIT you can – you’re only limited by your imagination! Not only will you ramp up your fat-loss results, you may also discover some new types of training you like even better, and then there’ll be no stopping you!

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