How do I lose weight fast? I get this question all the time. Here are my thoughts and surprisingly, losing weight is easier than you might think.
It comes down to one thing; consistency. The consistency is two-fold though. One, you need to be consistent with your workouts (obvious). Two, you need to be consistent with eating well (also obvious).
Now, I'm sure you're saying "Josh, this is nothing that I haven't heard before and I've tried working out 5 days a week and eating perfectly but it lasted 3 weeks and then I fell off the "wagon"...again.
Well, let me tell you why it's easier than you think.
Of course working out perfectly and eating perfectly didn't work. Mentally, we're not designed to be outside of our comfort zone for too long. "Perfection is very tough to obtain, and nearly impossible to maintain".
Let's start by discussing why eating perfectly will not work.
In an ideal world, eating perfectly would work. Actually, it would work very well. But, unfortunately, I have to bring you back to reality. Your mind is a very powerful thing. If you take away all of your comfort foods and limit yourself to strictly healthy foods your mind will eventually overrule your good intentions and you will end up splurging. When you splurge, you feel bad about it. Maybe the first couple of times it happens you get right back on track. After a few times, you will start to feel as though you're failing. Too many failures and you will start to think that this is something you can't do. A few days of feeling like you can't achieve your goal, and you will quit...and fall off the "wagon". Falling off the wagon will eventually lead you right back to where you started. Net gain: Nothing.
Here is the key: Attack the situation in moderation. Don't try to be perfect with your diet. Give your body (and mind) some of the foods that it craves but do it in moderation.
Take one day every week and make that day your "cheat" day. On this day, there are no rules. You can eat anything and everything you want. If you've had six good days and then splurge on the seventh day it will have no bearing on your weight loss progress. By adopting this style of eating, you will set your mind at ease and the cravings will be much easier to manage. Don't get me wrong, this will not completely do away with your cravings, but at least when you get the urge to cram pizza or ice cream down your throat you know that it is only a matter of a few days before you can do it without feeling bad while continuing to make progress towards your goals.
Now, on to consistency with your workouts.
5-6 days of shorter workouts far, far outweighs 3 days of longer workouts. Let me repeat that; 5-6 days of shorter workouts far, far outweighs 3 days of longer workouts. Why did I repeat that? Because it is of utmost importance when it comes to your fitness level and your weight loss goals.
Every time you work out you are raising your metabolism (the rate at which your body burns calories). What is one of the keys to weight loss? It's keeping your metabolism high on a consistent (there's that word again) basis.
Here is the key to making this style of working out effective. 3-4 of your workouts need to be extremely hard. You need to push the pace. You need to take yourself out of your comfort zone. You need to work as hard as you can for 25-35 minutes.
The advantages are two-fold: 1-You will spend less time working out. 2-You will drastically raise your metabolism.
The other 1-2 workouts should be longer in nature and consist of 35-45 minutes of cardio. These workouts are to be done at a moderate intensity allowing your body to actively rest.
Here's a look at an ideal cardio week:
Day One: Hard intensity-25 minutes
Day Two: Hard intensity-35 minutes
Day Three: Off
Day Four: Moderate intensity-40 minutes
Day Five: Hard intensity-25 minutes
Day Six: Moderate intensity-45 minutes
Day Seven: Off