How to Lose Weight Fast: 3 Simple Steps, Based on Science

There are many ways to lose a lot of weight fast.

However, most of them will make you hungry and unsatisfied.

If you don’t have iron willpower, then hunger will cause you to give up on these plans quickly.

The plan outlined here will:

  • Reduce your appetite significantly.
  • Make you lose weight quickly, without hunger.
  • Improve your metabolic health at the same time.

Here is a simple 3-step plan to lose weight fast.

1. Cut Back on Sugars and Starches

The most important part is to cut back on sugars and starches (carbs).

When you do that, your hunger levels go down and you end up eating much fewer calories (1Trusted Source).

Now instead of burning carbs for energy, your body starts feeding off of stored fat.

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 (23Trusted Source).

It is not uncommon to lose up to 10 pounds (sometimes more) in the first week of eating this way, both body fat and water weight.

This is a graph from a study comparing low-carb and low-fat diets in overweight or obese women (4Trusted Source).

The low-carb group is eating until fullness, while the low-fat group is calorie-restricted and hungry.

Cut the carbs and you will start to eat fewer calories automatically and without hunger (5).

Put simply, cutting carbs puts fat loss on autopilot.

SUMMARYRemoving sugars and starches (carbs) from your diet will reduce your appetite, lower your insulin levels and make you lose weight without hunger.

2. Eat Protein, Fat and Vegetables

Each one of your meals should include a protein source, a fat source and low-carb vegetables.

Constructing your meals in this way will automatically bring your carb intake into the recommended range of 20–50 grams per day.

Protein Sources

  • Meat: Beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc.
  • Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, shrimp, etc.
  • Eggs: Whole eggs with the yolk are best.

The importance of eating plenty of protein cannot be overstated.

This has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day (6Trusted Source7Trusted Source8Trusted Source).

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 so full that you automatically eat 441 fewer calories per day — just by adding protein to your diet (9Trusted Source10Trusted Source).

When it comes to losing weight, protein is the king of nutrients. Period.

Low-Carb Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss chard
  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Full list here.

Don’t be afraid to load your plate with these low-carb vegetables. You can eat massive amounts of them without going over 20–50 net carbs per day.

A diet based mostly on meat and vegetables contains all the fiber, vitamins and minerals you need to be healthy.

Fat Sources

  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Avocado oil
  • Butter

Eat 2–3 meals per day. If you find yourself hungry in the afternoon, add a 4th meal.

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.

To see how you can assemble your meals, check out this low-carb meal plan and this list of 101 healthy low-carb recipes.

SUMMARYAssemble each meal out of a protein source, a fat source and low-carb vegetables. This will put you in the 20–50 gram carb range and significantly lower your hunger levels.

3. Lift Weights 3 Times Per Week

You don’t need to exercise to lose weight on this plan, but it is recommended.

The best option is to go to the gym 3–4 times a week. Do a warm-up and lift some weights.

If you’re new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice.

By lifting weights, you will burn lots of calories and prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight (11Trusted Source12Trusted Source).

Studies on low-carb diets show that you can even gain a bit of muscle while losing significant amounts of body fat (13).

If lifting weights is not an option for you, then doing some cardio workouts like walking, jogging, running, cycling or swimming will suffice.

SUMMARYIt is best to do some sort of resistance training like weight lifting. If that is not an option, cardio workouts are also effective.

Optional — Do a “Carb Refeed” Once Per Week

You can take one day off per week where you eat more carbs. Many people prefer Saturday.

It is important to stick to healthy carb sources like oats, rice, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, fruit, etc.

But only this one higher carb day — if you start doing it more often than once per week you’re not going to see much success on this plan.

If you must have a cheat meal and eat something unhealthy, then do it on this day.

Be aware that cheat meals or carb refeeds are NOT necessary, but they can boost some fat-burning hormones like leptin and thyroid hormones (14Trusted Source15Trusted Source).

You will gain some weight during your refeed day, but most of it will be water weight and you will lose it again in the next 1–2 days.

SUMMARYHaving one day each week where you eat more carbs is perfectly acceptable, although not necessary.

What About Calories and Portion Control?

It is NOT necessary to count calories as long as you keep the carbs very low and stick to protein, fat and low-carb vegetables.

However, if you really want to count them, use this calculator.

Enter your details, and then pick the number from either the “Lose Weight” or the “Lose Weight Fast” section — depending on how fast you want to lose weight.

There are many great tools you can use to track the number of calories you are eating. Here is a list of 5 calorie counters that are free and easy to use.

The main goal of this plan is to keep carbs under 20–50 grams per day and get the rest of your calories from protein and fat.

SUMMARYIt is not necessary to count calories to lose weight on this plan. It is most important to strictly keep your carbs in the 20–50 gram range.

10 Weight Loss Tips to Make Things Easier (and Faster)

Here are 10 more tips to lose weight even faster:

  1. Eat a high-protein breakfast. Eating a high-protein breakfast has been shown to reduce cravings and calorie intake throughout the day (16Trusted Source17Trusted Source).
  2. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice. These are the most fattening things you can put into your body, and avoiding them can help you lose weight (18Trusted Source19).
  3. Drink water a half hour before meals. One study showed that drinking water a half hour before meals increased weight loss by 44% over 3 months (20Trusted Source).
  4. Choose weight loss-friendly foods (see list). Certain foods are very useful for losing fat. Here is a list of the 20 most weight loss-friendly foods on earth.
  5. Eat soluble fiber. Studies show that soluble fibers may reduce fat, especially in the belly area. Fiber supplements like glucomannan can also help (21Trusted Source22Trusted Source).
  6. Drink coffee or tea. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, then drink as much as you want as the caffeine can in them boost your metabolism by 3–11% (23Trusted Source24Trusted Source25Trusted Source).
  7. Eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods. Base most of your diet on whole foods. They are healthier, more filling and much less likely to cause overeating.
  8. Eat your food slowly. Fast eaters gain more weight over time. Eating slowly makes you feel more full and boosts weight-reducing hormones (2627Trusted Source).
  9. Weigh yourself every day. Studies show that people who weigh themselves every day are much more likely to lose weight and keep it off for a long time (28Trusted Source29Trusted Source).
  10. Get a good night’s sleep, every night. Poor sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for weight gain, so taking care of your sleep is important (30).

Even more tips here: 30 Easy Ways to Lose Weight Naturally (Backed by Science).

SUMMARYIt is most important to stick to the three rules, but there are a few other things you can do to speed things up.

How Fast You Will Lose (and Other Benefits)

Obese vs thin woman

You can expect to lose 5–10 pounds of weight (sometimes more) in the first week, then consistent weight loss after that.

I can personally lose 3–4 pounds per week for a few weeks when I do this strictly.

If you’re new to dieting, then things will probably happen quickly. The more weight you have to lose, the faster you will lose it.

For the first few days, you might feel a bit strange. Your body has been burning carbs for all these years, so it can take time for it to get used to burning fat instead.

This is called the “low-carb flu” or “keto flu” and is usually over within a few days. For me it takes three. Adding some extra salt to your diet can help with this.

After the first few days, most people report feeling very good, with even more energy than before.

Despite many decades of anti-fat hysteria, the low-carb diet also improves your health in many other ways:

  • Blood sugar tends to go way down on low-carb diets (31).
  • Triglycerides tend to go down (32Trusted Source).
  • Small, dense LDL (the bad) cholesterol goes down (33Trusted Source34).
  • HDL (the good) cholesterol goes up (35Trusted Source).
  • Blood pressure improves significantly (36Trusted Source37).
  • To top it all off, low-carb diets appear to be just as easy to follow as low-fat diets.

SUMMARYYou can expect to lose a lot of weight, but it depends on the person how quickly it will happen. Low-carb diets also improve your health in many other ways.

You Don’t Need to Starve Yourself to Lose Weight

If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before making changes because this plan can reduce your need for medication.

By reducing carbs and lowering insulin levels, you change the hormonal environment and make your body and brain “want” to lose weight.

This leads to drastically reduced appetite and hunger, eliminating the main reason that most people fail with conventional weight loss methods.

This is proven to make you lose up to 2–3 times as much weight as a typical low-fat, calorie-restricted diet (383940Trusted Source).

Another great benefit for the impatient folks is that the initial drop in water weight can lead to a big difference on the scale as early as the next morning.

Here are a few examples of low-carb meals that are simple, delicious and can be prepared in under 10 minutes: 7 Healthy Low-Carb Meals in 10 Minutes or Less.

On this plan, you can eat good food until you’re full and still lose a ton of fat. Welcome to paradise.

Fundamental style tips for plus-size women

In terms of sizing, fashion is a lot more inclusive than it used to be. That means there are plenty of plus-size clothing options for more full-figured women. Now, ladies like you have your pick of flattering dresses, skinny jeans and plus-size tops to choose from. Here’s how to find outfits that celebrate your beautiful figure:

Fashion tips for plus-size women

Good fashion starts with a few basic rules. It’s kind of like grammar that way; the rules provide guidance that always steers you right. You can break them on occasion, but if you’re ever at a loss for what to do, they’re good to have in your back pocket.

Here are some basic plus-sized fashion tips that will always keep you looking great:

  • Show off your best features. What are you most proud of? Your face? Your curves? Don’t be afraid to flaunt these attributes!
  • Know your body type. Certain styles look gorgeous on women with oval-shaped bodies, while others are just perfect for pear-figured ladies. Learn what looks good on your body type and choose outfits to match. If you don’t know that your figure is, our handy guide and infographic can help!
  • Wear fitting undergarments. The best lingerie positions your breasts, hips and backside so that clothes fall on your body more comfortably. Oversize pieces bunch up under your outfits, while ones that are too small pinch into your body. Use our measuring guide to find what size undergarments fit you best.
  • Take it to a tailor. Sometimes you fall in love with an outfit and just can’t find it in your size. That’s OK! Just buy the size that completely fits around your body – even if its a bit big in some areas – and head to a tailor. He or she will adjust the seams so your new clothes fit everywhere.

These plus-size fashion tips will leave you feeling stylish and confident.

Now the basics are out of the way, but what about shopping for individual pieces like tops and pants? Let’s look at some specific fashion tips for plus-size women that will make shopping a breeze.

blonde model wearing a tan jacket and black pants

Fantastic dress options

“Women of any size can pull off an A-line white dress.”

Dresses are a favorite of all ladies, and women of any size can pull them off. When it comes to finding the best dresses for plus-size women, the sky’s the limit! A plus-size white dress with an A-line cut is great for breezy summer, while the LBD is the quintessential slimming dress.

If you’ve got an hourglass shape, you can really rock a retro-style dress with a fit-and-flare shape. On the other hand, a body-hugging dress shows off your figure the same way celebrities love them.

Apple-shaped women may often struggle with dresses that fit their chest or shoulders but hang shapeless and loose along the rest of their bodies. If this sounds like you, go for one that cinches at the waist or add a wide belt around your midsection. This way, you get the shapely figure without squeezing your upper body.

Curvy model wearing blue striped dress

Finding your favorite top

Peplum shapes make the best tops for plus-size women. It will enhance your bust and emphasize the proportion between your waist and hips without going overboard on either.

If your chest measurement is wider than your hips and waist, try V-neck tops. Depending on the depth of the cut, these shirts can enhance your bust or elongate your neck, making your upper half look slimmer.

That said, a tunic top is always a great choice for women of any shape! This flowing shirt is always comfortable and won’t squeeze your body in annoying ways.

Boho Top with Jean Skirt

Jeans that are to die for

Full-figured women may think they only have one option when it comes to jeans and bottoms, but in reality, they have a number of choices. The best jeans for plus-size women fit on both the waist and the hips, which can be difficult. In fact, this may require some expert tailoring from someone who knows what they’re doing.

lola control jean

Developing your own plus-size fashion ideas

As said earlier, everything here is a nice guideline, but what’s most important is buying clothes you feel great in. This means it’s perfectly OK to break one of these rules if doing so makes you feel fabulous!

When developing your own fashion style, seek inspiration anywhere and everywhere. Look at your favorite plus-size fashionista blogs for inspiration, or keep track of celebrities to see what’s on trend. When it comes to feeling amazing, nothing can hold you back.

8 Tips This Stylist Learned From 20 Years of Dressing Curves

Susan Moses has styled everyone from Britney Spears to Queen Latifah over her two-decade-plus career—and she’s learned a few things in the process. OK, more like a book’s worth of things. Which happens to be fitting (pardon the pun): In 2016, Moses released her debut title, The Art of Dressing CurvesGlamour spoke with Moses about the style advice women with curves—plus size or not—need to know about getting dressed.

Read on for her top eight style tips for curvy women:

PlusSize Stylist Susan Moses' 8 Tips for Curvy Women
Courtesy of Harper Collins

1. Strike the right balance between fitted and too tight. “There’s a difference between being squeezed up in a dress and a dress fitting your body nicely,” she says. “You shouldn’t see lines of any undergarments through the dress—that’s when you know it’s too tight!”

2. Everybody should have a shapewear arsenal. “This is universal!” says Moses. “Every woman needs a little bit of cinching, smoothing, and support sometimes. Generally, smoothing in the tummy and hips can make us look more refined and polished in our clothes. The number one piece that women should have is a body briefer.”

3. Don’t wear leggings as pants. “There is way too much personal information on the streets of many cities because of this trend. Leggings are not pants. They are meant to be worn underneath clothing. That’s why they are sold with hosiery and accessories in department stores.” (Hint: Get a pair of skinny jeggings instead!)

4. When in doubt, reach for a pencil skirt. “To-the-knee is the most flattering hemline on everyone,” she says. “It elongates your curves and gives your body good balance.”

5. No outfit is complete without the right shoes. “Pay attention to the line of your shoes,” says Moses. “Avoid straps around the ankles—they can make legs look shorter. A classic pump in a neutral will give you the cleanest line and make your legs look longest.”

6. Shop through any weight changes. “Do go shopping and invest in the essential pieces, even if you gain [or lose] a few pounds. The most important thing is to wear clothes that fit and to feel you look your very best at every size.”

7. Carry the right size of bag. “You should have a bag that is proportioned to your body,” she says. “Too small is not good! For day I like a medium-size structured tote. At night, if you can’t see the bag behind your hand, that bag is too small.”

8. Tailor your clothing. “A good tailor is every woman’s secret weapon. There’s no substitute! Most department stores and boutiques offer tailoring services too. Wearing clothes that fit and hang properly on your body can make the difference between terrible and terrific.”

PlusSize Stylist Susan Moses' 8 Tips for Curvy Women
Courtesy of Harper Collins

Points 3, 6, and 8 are excerpts from The Art of Dressing Curves: The Best-Kept Secrets of a Fashion Stylist by Susan Moses, published by Harper Design, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.