Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Weight Loss & Diet Plans

Font Size

Lose Weight Fast: How to Do It Safely

Sick of crash diets and fad diets? Follow these healthy tips.

Exercising for Fast Weight Loss

It's time to move more! Losing weight requires close to an hour a day of moderate exercise, one study shows.

Plan to do cardio and strength training.

"Cardio burns the most calories, so it is ideal for fast weight loss, but afterward you need to include a few hours a week of strength training," Dansinger says. To burn the most fat, try to break a sweat after your warm-up and keep sweating for the entire hour, Dansinger says.

If you're not exercising now, and you have a chronic condition or a lot of weight to lose, it's wise to check in with your health care provider first. They'll be rooting for you! And they'll make sure that you're ready to work out.

Pace yourself. Don't do too much, too soon -- work your way up to help prevent injury.  

One way to step up the intensity is to do interval training -- brief bursts of high-intensity, followed by a more mellow pace, and repeating that pattern throughout your workout.

"Interval training allows people to work harder without having to spend the entire time at the higher level, and over time, the more you do it, the easier it becomes to burn more calories," Blatner says.

Fad Diets and Crash Diets

I know how tempting diet crazes can sound, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. You hear about stars who did it and look incredible.

But remember,  if a diet plan sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Also, please skip any programs that promote detoxification pills, laxatives, fasting, or potions, and any that promise weight loss faster than 2-3 pounds per week.

The truth is that cutting calories below 1,050-1,200 per day is counterproductive, because you need strong muscles to be able to exercise effectively.

"When you eat too few calories, you lose fat but also precious muscle, which is the worst thing you could do because it slows your metabolism and makes it more difficult to increase exercise intensity or duration," Dansinger says.

Fad diets also set you up for failure by depriving you of what you want. You can't eat like that for long, and it's too likely that you'll rebel and end up back where you started. You deserve better than that!

So by all means, attack your weight loss goal. Put it on the fast track. But please, do it right so you set yourself up for lasting success.

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, is WebMD's director of nutrition. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

 

1|2

Today on WebMD

vegetables
Video
Woman trying clothes / dress
Assessment
 
Woman looking at reflection in mirror
Article
Hot cup of coffee
Quiz
 
woman shopping fresh produce
Video
butter curl on knife
Quiz
 
eating out healthy
Article
Smiling woman, red hair
Article
 
6-Week Challenges
Want to know more?
Chill Out and Charge Up Challenge – How to help your tribe de-stress and energize.
Spark Change Challenge - Ready for a healthy change? Get some major motivation.
I have read and agreed to WebMD's Privacy Policy.
Enter cell phone number
- -
Entering your cell phone number and pressing submit indicates you agree to receive text messages from WebMD related to this challenge. WebMD is utilizing a 3rd party vendor, CellTrust, to provide the messages. You can opt out at any time.
Standard text rates apply
thumbnail_woman_tossing_spinach
Video
lunchbox
Article
 
What Girls Need To Know About Eating Disorders
Article
teen squeezing into jeans
fitfor Teens
 

Special Sections