First of its kind in Africa – A Holistic Health & Wellness Centre. Rejuvenate your body, mind and soul with Ayurveda, Yoga & Meditation.

Image Alt


  /  Ayurveda   /  Five Science-backed Ways to Lose Weight Fast

Although there are endless diets, supplements, and meal plans that promise rapid weight loss, almost none are scientifically accurate and most may not even be healthy for you. But some methods are very effective when it comes to losing weight and are also backed by science.

These include:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Being aware of what you eat
  • Fasting intermittently
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Including essential nutrients in your diet

We delve deeper into the five highly effective and scientifically proven methods that can help your weight loss efforts.

How to Lose Weight?

While weight loss is not the solution to every health problem, there’s no doubt that being aware of what you eat and keeping your weight in check prevents the onset of many metabolic conditions and lifestyle diseases {1} {2}.

Your body is made up of three different doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – that are in turn related to the five elements – air, water, fire, space, and earth. Every element comes with different qualities and attributes.

Your dosha is your most prominent energy. Although everybody is made up of all three doshas, there’s one that’s dominant. Ayurveda recommends eating foods that are beneficial for you based on your dosha.

It’s also important to be consistent in your weight loss efforts rather than looking for a quick fix. Although some of these tips may help you lose weight fast, keep in mind that quick weight loss is seldom sustainable.

The bottom line is that losing weight responsibly is the way forward. Medical experts opine that a safe rate of weight loss is losing roughly half a pound to two pounds a week. 

Keeping this goal in mind, you can try some of the tried, tested, and medically proven ways to lose weight.

Cut Down Your Refined Carbohydrates

A very effective way to lose weight fast is to reduce your intake of sugars and starches, commonly known as carbohydrates. You could do this by eating a low-carb diet or by replacing your refined carbs.

The modern-day diet in many regions of the world includes many accepted food sources such as white flour, white bread, white rice, snacks, pasta, sweets, pastries, sodas, and breakfast cereals that contain high amounts of refined carbs. These refined carbs are the main source of dietary carbohydrates.

Although carbohydrates are essential for your body, foods with refined carbs contain only carbohydrates and are stripped of all other nutrients like protein and fiber. These nutrients are lost in the process of refining.

To cite an example, rice typically consists of the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. The bran contains high amounts of fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, while the germ is rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds. The endosperm mainly only contains carbohydrates.

White rice is just the endosperm (that consists only of carbohydrates) whereas brown rice contains the bran as well as the germ, which has other essential nutrients and makes the grain a true whole grain.

This is why it’s a good idea to include whole grains in your diet rather than one that contains refined carbs. Since whole grains contain other nutrients such as fiber, they fulfill your hunger quickly and prevent you from eating more carbs, which reduces your calorie intake.

Another benefit of eating a low-carb diet is that your body burns or utilizes the stored energy in the form of fat instead of depending on carbs. This is a good way to unload the stored fat content in your body {3}.

A recent study found that a diet low in carbs helps in weight loss in elderly people {4}. Another study indicated that a low-carb diet reduces appetite which naturally lowers your calorie intake without making a conscious effort {5}.

Research also found that including whole grains instead of refined carbs helps lower your body mass index (BMI) {6}. You can check with an Ayurvedic specialist to know what’s the best way to lose weight based on your specific body type.

Include Nutrients in Your Daily Diet

While carbohydrates are important for your body to produce energy, it also needs many other macro and micronutrients to function efficiently. Some of the most important macronutrients are proteins, fiber, and fat that your body needs in large amounts to produce energy and to maintain its structure and systems.

Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals such as iron, manganese, magnesium, etc. Although your body needs micronutrients only in small quantities, their presence is critical and deficiency in these nutrients could lead to serious health conditions.

Research has shown that a healthy diet typically includes plant-based foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts. It contains very few animal-based foods (if any) and no fatty or processed meats. 

Evidence suggests that these dietary patterns not only help you in weight loss but also lower the risk of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer {14}. Some of the essential components of a healthy diet are:


This is the primary source of energy that is abundantly found in grains, fruits, legumes, and vegetables. Dietary sources of carbohydrates also include whole grains (as against processed grains).


A secondary source of energy for your body and the building blocks for amino acids that play a critical role in many bodily functions. These also include amino acids that the human body needs but cannot produce on its own. 

Research shows that animal-based sources of protein, especially red meat and processed meat increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia (​​imbalance of lipids such as cholesterol), and certain cancers.

Animal proteins also increase the acidity levels in your body and could lead to insulin resistance, and the formation of urinary calcium stones.

Dietary Fiber

Promotes a sense of satisfaction after a meal and has a positive effect on your gastrointestinal function, cholesterol levels, and glycemic control.

Fats (Lipids)

Fats are the primary components of cellular membranes and are also the main source of energy for cells. Fats are grouped into four categories – monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, saturated fats, and trans fats. Saturated and polyunsaturated fats (like omega fatty acids) are healthy while others are better avoided or had in minimal quantities.


These are responsible for the normal growth, metabolism, physiological functioning, and cellular integrity of your body. The six essential micronutrients are:

  • Iron
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Iodine
  • Folate 
  • Zinc {15}

Get Moving

It’s important to include exercises in your weight loss efforts. Regular exercise keeps your body’s metabolism healthy and prevents it from slowing down, something that typically happens when you lose weight. This in turn makes sure that your body burns a good number of calories whenever you do any activity or while at rest {7}.

Regular workouts such as running, jogging, and swimming help you stay in shape and keep your body and mind active. Regular yoga also has several mental and physical health benefits. It tones your body, keeps your muscles fit, and also makes your body flexible.

What’s more interesting is that specific yoga asanas (postures) focus on certain muscle groups to strengthen them (such as calf muscles and quadriceps) and improve their activity (such as your abdominal muscles). These physical exercises are good for your overall health.

Research has shown that including exercises along with a healthy diet brings about changes in your body composition and biomarkers that are linked to metabolic issues {8}.

Another study found that physical exercise has several health benefits and more so for people who are overweight, obese, at risk of cardiovascular diseases, and those who already have cardiovascular diseases.

The study also found that physical activity not only helps with weight loss but also helps you prevent gaining the weight that you have already lost {9}.

Make sure whatever activity you choose is sustainable and is something you enjoy doing as consistency is the key to effective and long-lasting weight loss. The most effective way to do this is to track your weight loss journey.

You can do this by observing your calorie intake and being aware of what you eat and drink. You can do this either by logging them into a journal or using food tracking apps.

A trial found that consistently tracking physical activity led to more effective weight loss, while another study indicated a positive link between weight loss and the number of times the participants logged their food intake and exercise {10} {11}. You can use simple devices like a pedometer (a device that counts the number of steps you’ve taken) to help you.

Eat Mindfully

Mindful eating is derived from the broader practice of mindfulness, a technique that’s been practiced in the orient for millennia. It involves focusing on your thoughts, emotions, and physical reactions.

Mindful eating is eating with complete awareness to improve your overall eating experience and relish the choices you make. With the busy lives that people lead in today’s age, many meals are had on the run or while working without any kind of awareness.

Even when people are not working, there’s a tendency to look at devices such as TVs, mobile phones, and laptops while they eat. Eating with awareness and avoiding distractions is a healthy option. When you’re aware of your choices and eating habits, it allows you to make the necessary changes to improve what you eat and focus on what’s best for you.

An evolved way of practicing this method is to eat slowly, taking your time to chew the food and savor it. This is because the food you eat mainly involves two systems in your body – your brain and your gut.

The medical fraternity has known for some time that a full stomach is only one part of what makes you feel full after a meal. Your stomach sends signals to your brain to indicate that it has got the nourishment it needs through a series of signals from your digestive hormones that are released by the gastrointestinal tract.

There are stretch receptors in your stomach that are triggered when you drink water or eat food that fills your stomach. These receptors send signals to your brain directly through your vagus nerve (the nerve that connects your gut and brainstem).

Your intestines release a hormone called cholecystokinin when you eat food, while your fat cells produce a hormone called leptin that signals your brain when you’ve had enough to eat. 

Leptin magnifies the cholecystokinin signals that indicate a sense of fullness and also communicates with dopamine (a neurotransmitter) that gives you a feeling of satisfaction after a good meal {12}.

Although some research suggests that it takes around 20 minutes for the signals to reach the brain from the gut, this needs more study {13}.

But scientists generally believe that by eating very fast, you may not be giving enough time for this elaborate hormonal communication system to work effectively. And by the time the communication happens, you would’ve eaten too much {12}.

Get Good Sleep

Research has shown that regularly sleeping for less than five to six hours is linked to obesity {16}. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body’s natural mechanisms slow down and this also affects your metabolism which converts food to energy. Active metabolism burns the excess fat in your body to energy {17}.

Other studies found that lack of sleep could also lead to increased production of insulin and cortisol, which is the hormone that your body releases when it’s under stress.

Your sleep patterns also impact the regulation of leptin and ghrelin, two hormones that control your appetite by sending signals to your brain when you’re hungry and have eaten enough {18}.

The Bottomline

While weight loss does have its benefits, it’s not advisable to lose weight fast. The best way to achieve and maintain healthy weight loss is to have a balanced diet that is rich in nutrients.

The specifics of a balanced diet depend on your body type. Book an appointment with our Ayurvedic consultant to know which foods are suitable for your body and get a personalized diet chart and lifestyle recommendations.

This typically includes exercising more, reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates, getting adequate sleep, slowing the pace at which you eat, and including micro and macronutrients in your diet.

Losing weight quickly may be your goal, but you should consider the long-term effects of this approach. Although you can lose water weight in a short span, losing fat takes longer. Making sure that your weight loss is sustainable may need more effort.



Venkat - AuthorAbout the Author:

Venkat is a freelance writer and an SEO buff. He writes about health & wellness, technology, and finance. He’s also a certified yoga and meditation instructor.



American Journal of Epidemiology: “A Large Prospective Investigation of Sleep Duration, Weight Change, and Obesity in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study Cohort.”

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity: “Influence of Sleep Deprivation and Circadian Misalignment on Cortisol, Inflammatory Markers, and Cytokine Balance.”

Cell Metabolism: “Gut microbes signal to the brain when they’re full.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Micronutrient Facts.”

Disease Control Priorities in Developing Countries: “Prevention of Chronic Disease by Means of Diet and Lifestyle Changes.”

Harvard Medical School: “Why eating slowly may help you feel full faster.“

Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders: “Diet, exercise or diet with exercise: comparing the effectiveness of treatment options for weight-loss and changes in fitness for adults (18–65 years old) who are overfat, or obese; systematic review and meta-analysis.”

Journal of the American Dietetic Association: “Self-Monitoring in Weight Loss: A Systematic Review of the Literature.”

JRSM Cardiovascular Disease: “A clinical perspective of obesity, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.

Nutrients: “The Relationship between Whole Grain Intake and Body Weight: Results of Meta-Analyses of Observational Studies and Randomized Controlled Trials.”

Nutrients: “Defining a Healthy Diet: Evidence for the Role of Contemporary Dietary Patterns in Health and Disease.”

Nutrition & Metabolism: “Effects of weight loss during a very low carbohydrate diet on specific adipose tissue depots and insulin sensitivity in older adults with obesity: a randomized clinical trial.”

Obesity: “The Effects of a Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet and a Low-Fat Diet on Mood, Hunger, and Other Self-Reported Symptoms.”

Obesity Reviews: “Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis.”

PLOS One: “Adherent Use of Digital Health Trackers Is Associated with Weight Loss.”

Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases: “The Role of Exercise and Physical Activity in Weight Loss and Maintenance.”The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism: “Implications of Sleep Restriction and Recovery on Metabolic Outcomes.”