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How To Lose Weight Fast And Safely

17 Jul 2021
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According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) article in August 2018, Malaysia is Asia's fattest nation with nearly half the adult population now overweight or obese.

Obesity is strongly linked to serious health problems such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke. Losing weight is crucial in order to reduce the risk of these diseases. However, many people in Malaysia and around the world find losing weight challenging.

It is generally recommended to lose weight gradually (0.5 - 1kg a week) as it is more likely to stay off in the long run. Losing weight too fast can cause you to lose muscle, bone and water instead of fat.

For fast and safe weight loss, it’s best to work with a doctor or nutritionist to ensure that you stay healthy and get the nutrients you need. But there are some things you can do to get started on your weight loss journey. 

Go low-carb

Cutting down on refined carbs and getting more whole grains is one of the fastest ways to lose weight, as this helps curb your appetite and you will generally consume fewer calories. 

With a low-carb meal plan, your body burns stored fat for energy instead of carbs. A low-carb diet should only be taken with consideration that it does come with potential long-term health risks.  

Focus on nutrient-dense foods

Whole foods are healthier, more filling and much less likely to cause overeating than processed foods. They also reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Make sure you get enough protein, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats in your diet. Drink more water, and cut down on alcohol and sugary drinks like teh tarik, fruit juice and carbonated soft drinks. If you’re a coffee or tea lover, go for the sugar-free variety. 

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Get moving

Exercise can help to speed things up and make your weight loss plan more efficient.

Strength training helps build lean muscle tissue and burn more calories even when you are at rest. The more lean muscle you have, the faster you will slim down. 

Cardio workouts such as walking, jogging, running, cycling or swimming are also beneficial. For walking, you’ll want to gradually work your way up to at least 10,000 steps a day

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Watch your calories

Counting calories isn’t really necessary if you are already on a good diet and getting enough exercise. But if you find that you are not losing enough weight, you may want to attempt this. 

According to the Ministry of Health, the recommended dietary intake for normal adults is 2,000 kcal for men and 1,800 kcal for women. But everyone is different, so your calorie needs will have to be customised. You can try out this calorie calculator to roughly estimate your daily caloric needs.  

But take note that while the “calories in, calories out” model (eat less than you burn and you will lose weight) matters, it really isn’t that simple and straightforward. Different foods impact your hormones, hunger, feelings of fullness and metabolism differently, regardless of the number of calories they contain.

You also have to ensure you don’t cut out too many calories - your metabolism will slow down and you will deprive yourself of vital nutrients, which can be dangerous to your health.

We highly suggest getting professional advice from a doctor or nutritionist to ensure that this method is right for you.

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Eat slowly

Research has shown that taking the time to properly chew and making your mealtime last longer can result in your body burning more calories to digest the food. 

So stop rushing and slow down, take the time to savour your meal!

Don’t skip meals

Skipping meals is harmful and won’t make you lose weight faster as you will be more prone to binge eating. It also lowers your metabolism and thus burns fewer calories. Skipping meals causes the body to look for new sources of energy. Your metabolism starts converting fat into energy which can lead to illnesses such as kidney stress, low blood pressure, and constipation.

Stick to three meals and two snacks daily, and don't go longer than three to four hours without eating.

Get good, quality sleep

Are you aware that poor sleep is among the reasons for weight gain? Not getting enough shut-eye or having inconsistent sleeping patterns is associated with a higher body mass index (BMI).

Sleep is the ultimate form of self-care and should be prioritised. Ideally, you should be getting at least 7.5 hours of sleep regularly. Practising healthy sleep habits will greatly help boost your sleep quality and duration. 

The right changes to your diet and lifestyle is the key to healthy weight loss and maintenance, as well as long-term health. Always consult a professional if you have any doubts about how to lose weight safely.

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