Losing weight isn’t easy, especially when you’re strapped for time or cash. In fact, the most common argument for why people can’t lose weight is “I don’t have enough time.”
There are lots of things that prevent us from getting to the gym – social commitments, kids at home, multiple jobs – but you don’t have to drive to the gym to lose weight. This article covers various exercises and diet plans you can follow at home, with tips for losing weight naturally and in short periods of time.
Lose Weight at Home Fast
It doesn’t matter where you go to work out, what matters is what you’re doing and how often you’re doing it.
You don’t necessarily have to purchase exercise equipment to lose weight. That being said, exercises that work the entire body are best. The following 3 workout patterns use lots of energy and incorporate several muscle groups:
The Plank Crawl: start in the traditional “push-up” position. Lower yourself onto your forearms (forming a plank). Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders.
From this position, push back up into the push-up position – one arm at a time. Alternate which arm you start with and keep your body straight throughout the exercise. Aim for 15-20 crawls per workout. If the exercise is too difficult, you can make it easier by lowering your knees to the floor.
Squats: start by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly sink down with your hips – like you’re sitting in an imaginary chair. Make sure to keep thighs parallel to the floor as you bend your knees, and do not allow the knees to go beyond the toes (this could result in injury).
Look straight ahead and keep your chest up during the exercise. Return to starting position and repeat.
Bridge: start by lying on your back (we encourage using a yoga mat) with your arms by your sides. With your feet flat on the floor, bend your knees. Keep your back straight, and raise your hips so that they form a straight line from shoulders to knees. Stay in this position for about 3 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat.
Tip: the exercises described above work best when combined with frequent cardio (biking, running, swimming, etc.) and a healthy diet.
You can amp up and vary your home workout with inexpensive equipment like a stability ball, light weights, and a resistance band.
Balance Push-Up (w/ stability ball): We all hate push-ups, but this version is a little easier. Start by lying on the ball (on your stomach) with your hands and feet touching the ground. Walk your hands forward until your shins are all that is touching the ball.
Your upper body will be in a push-up type of position. Lower your torso until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Push back up to the starting position and repeat. Aim for 8-10 repetitions.
Seated Row (w/ resistance band): Start by sitting on the ground. Extend your legs, with the center of the band at the soles of your feet. Grab the ends of the band in each hand (works best if you buy a band with handles at each end). Keep arms extended with palms facing each other. Slowly pull the band towards your torso, bending at the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Keep your back straight during the exercise. Return to starting position and repeat. Aim for 10-12 repetitions.
Wall Squat (w/ stability ball): stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, about 3 feet from a wall (your back should be to the wall). Place your stability ball between the wall and your lower back. Slowly squat until your legs form a 90-degree angle with your knees.
The ball will support your back as it rolls from your lower back up to your shoulder blades. Slowly return to starting position. Aim for 10-15 repetitions.
Tip: minimize distractions by turning of your cell phone.
Click here for more tips on losing weight at home.
Effective Diet Plans
With so many supplements, programs, and diet plans out there it’s hard to know what’s effective and what’s just hype. Here are 2 diet plans that we find to be actually effective – if you can stick to them:
The Mediterranean Diet
People in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea generally live longer and suffer from fewer chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes. This is a direct result of weight control, an active lifestyle, and a diet low in sugar, red meat, and saturated fat.
The Mediterranean diet is said to promote weight loss, brain function, and heart health. It has also been shown to help prevent and control diabetes.
This diet emphasizes the following foods:
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
- Flavorful spices
Cheese, poultry, eggs, and yogurt are to be eaten in moderation, and red meat and sweets are to be saved for special occasions. Keep in mind the Mediterranean Diet is not a structured diet. It will be up to you (or a dietician) to decide on recipes and to figure out your ideal caloric intake.
The DASH Diet
The DASH diet is great for preventing and lowering hypertension (high blood pressure). It works by incorporating high amounts of fiber, potassium, protein, and calcium. The DASH diet emphasizes whole grains, fruits, veggies, low-fat diary, and lean protein. You should avoid red meat, sweets, and salt. You can learn more about the DASH diet here.
Example meals and snacks:
- Breakfast: combine eggs, reduced fat cheese, chives, and asparagus
- Lunch: unsalted chicken salad with lettuce, tomato, and Dijon mustard on whole wheat bread
- Dinner: Asian pork tenderloin
- Snacks: apples with cottage cheese, plain Greek yogurt, minestrone soup
Tip: it’s important to remember that many of the healthy lifestyle changes you incorporate into an effective diet aren’t temporary. For example, minimizing soda and beer and refraining from snacking at night are great ways to lose weight. If they work for you, continue these habits after you have reached your weight loss goal.
Lose 10 Pounds Fast
Losing weight fast isn’t necessarily the healthiest approach to weight loss, but we get it. Like vacations, proms, and weddings, there are some situations where you need to shed a few pounds in less than a month.
Here’s one solution if you’re looking to lose 10 pounds in 2 weeks:
This plan combines exercise, diet, and logical thinking to help you shed excess fat in a short time period. The key factor here is that your metabolism and metabolic rate increase, because these processes are responsible for burning calories.
Kick start your metabolism by fueling your body with good proteins, leafy greens, and complex carbs. Eat smaller portions throughout the day instead of 3 large meals; aim to eat a snack or small meal every 3 hours.
Cutting out empty calories is one of the easiest ways to lose weight fast – this includes soda, alcohol, and most fruit juice. Replace butter with olive oil for cooking.
The next step is a solid exercise plan with a focus on cardiovascular activity. This includes swimming, running, and biking. Aim to complete 6 or more 30-minute cardio workouts per week.
Combine this with plyometrics, strength building, or other weight-bearing exercise 3 times per week and you have a plan that burns fat and maximizes muscle growth. Plus, the more you sweat, the more water weight you’ll get rid of.
Speaking of water weight, another easy way to detox and shed pounds is to use heat. Reward yourself with 30 minutes in a sauna once a week.
The scenario above outlines a natural weight loss plan, but you can add weight loss supplements to boost results. Always be careful when taking weight loss drugs. Read the labels, read peer reviews, and do a little research before consuming a weight loss supplement (there are a lot of fakes out there).
Weight loss supplements work in one or a combination of the following ways:
- They reduce fat absorption, meaning your body takes in fewer calories
- They reduce appetite, meaning you aren’t hungry so you eat less
- They increase fat burning, meaning you burn more calories when you work out
Some of the most popular supplements on today’s market are Garcinia Cambogia, Hydroxycut, caffeine (a common ingredient in many supplements), and Orlistat (Alli).
Tip: your results depend on your commitment to your plan. Don’t give up. Weigh yourself often and take progress pictures for motivation.
Click here to learn more about Garcinia Cambogia and other weight loss products.