Trying to lose a significant amount of weight is a lot like training for a marathon. You know the journey ahead is going to be difficult, and getting started can feel overwhelming.

But don’t let that deter or intimidate you. All you need to do is put one foot in front of the other and take small steps. There are a number of simple—but extremely effective—things you can do to ease into the weight loss process. And when you see those first few pounds start to fly off, you’re bound to motivated to push yourself further.

Here, weight loss experts outline the best ways to start losing weight when you want to shed 50 pounds or more. And to keep up your weight loss, blast fat fast with help from Insanity trainer Shaun T, Maria Menounos, Padma Lakshmi and more using these FREE 50 Best-Ever Weight Loss Secrets From Skinny People!


Get More Shut-Eye

When you imagine your weight loss journey, sleep likely isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But getting adequate shut-eye each night (about 7 or 8 hours) is one of the easiest and most effective ways to jump-start a weight-loss plan, says Dyan Tsiumis, founder of Get Fierce Training in New York. Tsiumis, who dropped more than 70 pounds before becoming a personal trainer, says that “when the body is sleep deprived, it releases hormones that increase hunger and make it more challenging to recognize when you’re satiated.” Skimping on sleep also increases levels of stress hormones that cause fat storage and interfere with workout recovery. Once you’ve adjusted to a regular sleep schedule, you can move on to tackle an additional weight loss tip from the list below.

Eat This! Tip

An hour before bed, turn off your electronics. Basking in their blue glow can make it difficult to fall asleep.



You’ve likely heard that you should drink eight cups of water daily, which is a whopping half-gallon. But Chris Powell, the trainer who has helped hundreds of overweight people lose major weight on ABC’s reality series Extreme Weight Loss, says contestants on the show down at least a gallon every day. But that’s not all: On days they hit the gym, they consume an extra 32 ounces for every hour they exercise. “Not only does this slightly increase their metabolism, but it also keeps them full between meals and wards off bouts of overeating. This strategy plays a key role in their extraordinary success!” he explains.

Eat This! Tip

When downing a gallon of H20 is the goal, there’s little time left to consume other beverages. But we get it, sticking to water all the time can fatigue your taste buds. If that happens, skip the soda, juice and fancy coffee drinks and whip up a pitcher of detox water or green tea instead. Make sure you reach for green tea over black, as this brew contains belly fat-burning compounds called catechins. We at Eat This, Not That! love tea so much, we made it part of our bestselling new diet plan, The 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test panelists lost 10 pounds in one week!


Skip The Gym

If working out at a gym or in front of others makes you anxious—don’t do it. The best workout is one you will stick to. If you value your privacy, start off doing a low-impact exercise video at home or going for walks in your neighborhood. If you don’t have much free time for physical activity, walk part of the way to and from work or during your lunch break—every bit of movement helps get you closer to your goal.

Eat This! Tip

Remember: Your workout routine doesn’t have to be extreme to be effective. If you’re new to fitness, start by working out just 10 minutes three or four times a week. Every week after that, increase your time by three minutes. Before you know it, you’ll be moving for a half-hour or more.


Clean Your Kitchen

“Whether you have ten pounds to lose or 100, the first thing you should do is create an environment for success,” says Powell. Collect all the cookies, frozen nuggets, cakes and chips and donate them to a local food bank. When junk food isn’t in your home, you’re less apt to eat it regularly, which can accelerate your weight loss. After you’ve cleaned house, it’s time to hit the grocery store. Powell suggests restocking your kitchen with natural whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, raw almonds and lean proteins like turkey, chicken, fish and eggs.

Eat This! Tip

Just because you tossed out the junk doesn’t mean you need to deprive your sweet tooth completely. If you want to indulge in ice cream or a cookie go out once a week for a treat and savor it. After you’ve finished eating, leave the restaurant. The longer you linger, the higher the chance you’ll go for seconds.


Break Up With Happy Hour

Like soda and sugary drinks, booze is packed with hundreds of empty calories — but that’s not the only reason it can slow your weight loss progress, says Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Jennifer Neily. “Drinking decreases inhibitions and increases appetite, causing people to eat far more than they otherwise would,” she says. In fact, a recently Dutch study found that consuming just half a drink resulted in study participants consuming 20 percent more than their sober counterparts. Yikes!

Eat This! Tip

Next time you go out, offer to be the DD so that you’re not tempted to drink. While staying sober may not be as fun, it will be well worth it once those pounds start flying off!


Throw Out Your Scale

Losing weight is a slow process and watching the number on a scale can be depressing. Top UK Trainer Dan Roberts suggests ditching the scale altogether focusing on your weight loss journey instead. “The fitness and diet industry bombards us with before and after transformations that reportedly happen overnight. However, these types of results aren’t typical. Mostly big changes take time, so be patient with yourself and focus on adhering to your diet and fitness routine and improving your overall health. Over time, the weight will naturally come off—don’t worry about what the scale says.”

Eat This! Tip

If you’re a numbers person and want to track your progress, focus on your waist-to-hip ratio. This measurement, which is calculated by taking the circumference around the hips in inches and dividing it by the circumference of the waist, is an important indicator of health because it hones in on belly fat. This type of fat negatively impacts wellness more than fat that’s housed anywhere else on the body. Check your ratio monthly to ensure that you’re still on track toward your goal.


Take Time to Reflect

Losing weight can be just as hard both emotionally and physically. Remembering why you started your weight loss journey can help lift your spirits when you’re down and motivate you to stick with it when you want to throw in the towel. “Take a moment each morning to remember what you’re working for—whether it be improved energy so you can play with your children or a longer happier life, says Tsiumis. “When you focus on all the good that will come from all of your hard work it’s easier to stay on track,” she adds.

Eat This! Tip

Tsiumis suggests setting an alarm on your cell phone as a “motivation reminder.” “I have an alarm that goes off three times per day to remind me what I’m working for— and I lost my weight over ten years ago! It keeps my mind focused on being my best,” explains Tsiumis.

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