How Can I Lose Weight Fast?

Reviewed on 7/1/2021

Many diets may claim they can help you lose weight fast, but one to two pounds of weight loss per week can have a better long-term result. The best diet for you is one you can stick to. Popular diets include Nutrisystem, Noom, Weight Watchers Reimagined (WW), Diet-to-Go, South Beach Diet, Vegetarian/Vegan/Whole Food Plant-Based, Low-Carb, Mediterranean, Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and Intermittent Fasting.
Many diets may claim they can help you lose weight fast, but one to two pounds of weight loss per week can have a better long-term result. The best diet for you is one you can stick to. Popular diets include Nutrisystem, Noom, Weight Watchers Reimagined (WW), Diet-to-Go, South Beach Diet, Vegetarian/Vegan/Whole Food Plant-Based, Low-Carb, Mediterranean, Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH), and Intermittent Fasting.

There are a lot of diets that claim you can lose weight fast. However, people who lose weight more gradually, about 1 to 2 pounds per week, tend to have more success over the long term than people who try fad diets for quick weight loss.

Prolonged dieting with too few calories can slow metabolism, lead to inadequate nutrition, preoccupation with food, anxiety, fatigue, dizziness, and fertility problems in women. Low-calories diets must be carefully planned in order to ensure dieters get the necessary nutrients their bodies need. 

Recommended daily caloric requirements for adults range from: 

  • 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for women
  • 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day for men

Sedentary adults would require the lower end of the range of calories, while people who are active can consume calories in the high end of the range. Calorie requirements also tend to decrease for adults as they age. 

To lose about 1 pound per week, adults should aim to eat 500 fewer calories per day, or burn those calories from exercise. Consuming below 1,200 calories per day without a doctor’s recommendation or medical supervision is not advised. 

If you need to lose weight, talk to your doctor or a dietitian to determine the right caloric intake for your age, height, activity level, sex, weight, and desired weight loss

There is not necessarily a single “best” weight loss diet that works for everyone. The diet that works best for you is the one you are able to stick to. Some popular diet plans include: 

1. Nutrisystem

  • Pre-packaged meals and portion-controlled menus
  • Average daily caloric intake is 1,500 calories for men and 1,200 for women
  • Offers a several different plans, including ones for men, diabetics, and vegetarians, and plans can be customized

2. Noom

  • App-based plan based on caloric density and focused on behavioral psychology to help people lose weight by changing their habits 
  • Creates a personalized diet plan based on a person’s age, current weight and weight goals, motivations, lifestyle, eating habits, triggers, and health issues

3. Weight Watchers Reimagined (WW)

  • Based on “Smart Points,” which assigns point values to foods based on calories, fat, protein, and sugar
  • Includes “Zero-Point Foods” that don’t need to be counted since they are unlikely to be overeaten 
  • Good plan for long-term weight loss 

4. Diet-to-Go 

  • Meal delivery service that helps dieters change eating habits to lose weight over time
  • Daily caloric intake ranges from 1,200 to 1,600 calories, consisting of 50% carbs, 25% protein, and 25% fat (except for the low-carb plan) 
  • Offers several plans, including vegetarian, low carb, and diabetic

5. South Beach Diet

  • A type of low carbohydrate (“low carb”) diet for weight loss that focuses on eating more protein and healthy fats and limiting carbohydrates to help the body burn fat
  • South Beach Diet differs from other low carb diets in that it distinguishes between “good” fats (such as that found in avocado) versus “bad” fats (such as in butter)
  • Can result in quick weight loss in the early phases

6. Vegetarian/Vegan/Whole Food Plant-Based

  • A vegetarian diet avoids all meat, poultry, and fish
  • A vegan diet avoids all animal products, so in addition to shunning meat, poultry, and fish, vegans do not consume any eggs, dairy (which includes whey and casein), gelatin, honey, or anything that comes from an animal 
  • A whole food plant-based diet is a type of vegan diet, but it involves avoiding processed foods and many sugars 

7. Low-Carb

  • Low carb diets such as the Atkins Diet and the Keto Diet focus on foods high in protein and fat, and limiting carbohydrates
  • Grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables are not permitted 
  • Weight often comes back once the diet is stopped

8. Mediterranean

  • Based on diets typically eaten by people in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea
  • Not a specific diet plan, but a way of eating that is high in plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds
  • Allows for low to moderate consumption of fish, poultry, and dairy products, but minimal red meat

9. Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH)

  • Endorsed by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Association, the American Heart Association, and the 2015 Dietary Guide for Americans
  • Developed to help people reduce blood pressure, prioritize the consumption of calcium, potassium, and magnesium, and to abstain from sodium
  • DASH may help prevent osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes

10. Intermittent Fasting

  • Based on the concept that humans were designed to eat for short periods of time followed by hours (and sometimes days) of fasting
  • There are no food or caloric restrictions, but restrictions on WHEN to eat
    • Popular methods include 16/8 (8 hours of eating followed by 16 hours of fasting), the “Eat-Stop-Eat” method (two 24-hour fasts per week on non-consecutive days); and the 5/2 method (only 500 calories for 2 non-consecutive days, and 5 days of normal eating per week)

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Reviewed on 7/1/2021
References
https://www.consumersadvocate.org/diet-plans

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/dash-diet/

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/vegetarian-diet-the-basics?search=diet&source=search_result&selectedTitle=7~150&usage_type=default&display_rank=7

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/obesity-in-adults-dietary-therapy?search=low%20carbohydrate%20diet&source=search_result&selectedTitle=1~133&usage_type=default&display_rank=1

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/losing-weight-beyond-the-basics?search=low%20carbohydrate%20diet&source=search_result&selectedTitle=4~133&usage_type=default&display_rank=4

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/intermittent-fasting-what-is-it-and-how-does-it-work

https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/weight-management/adult-overweight-obesity

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/it-safe-eat-1-200-calories-day-a7346656.html