If you have ever hit a plateau on your weight loss journey, then you know the most patient person can be tested! Losing fat is a long process. It can be frustrating, but the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to go slowly. Unfortunately, most of us are impatient and would like results more quickly. If you want to speed up the process or jump-start a stall, then here are seven tips to speed up fat loss.

1. Increase the intensity of your workouts.

Your body has an amazing ability to adapt. If you have been doing the same workouts with the same intensity for too long, your body will no longer respond to them. Try pushing yourself even farther out of your comfort zone. This will rev up your metabolism, helping your body to burn more fat. You can make your workouts more intense by taking less rest time between weight lifting sets or doing more intense intervals during your cardio session.

2. Cut out (more) processed foods.

Processed foods are everywhere. They are convenient and helpful. However, your body functions best on unprocessed foods. If you cut back on processed foods, your body will respond by burning more fat because it will be more efficient. It can be difficult to live your life with no processed foods. Some of them are even good for you, like protein powder and bars. However, I encourage you to limit these and focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods.

3. Increase non-gym activity.

Get creative with ways to be active in small, everyday moments. Small active sessions add up to big calorie burns. You can begin by doing something simple, like parking in the back of the parking lot when shopping or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Try walking to work or the store instead of driving. Or take your dog for a longer walk. Both of you will benefit from the exercise.

4. Manipulate your macros.

Take a look at your diet. If you do not already food journal, then begin. You might find that you are eating too many carbs or proteins. After you see your normal eating pattern, mix it up. Try increasing fat and decreasing carbs. Or you may need to increase your protein and decrease carbs. In general, cutting carbs will help you lose weight. But be careful! Do not cut carbs too much.

5. Try fasting.

You can do intermittent fasting or a longer fast. I have talked about intermittent fasting before. This is a relatively easy to way to limit your food consumption and see results. If you like the way you feel when you fast, you can try a 24 or 48 hour fast once or twice a month. Ease slowly into this lifestyle. The great part about fasting is that you will find yourself less hungry all the time. However, if you feel hungry, then eat. That is your body telling you it needs fuel. Do not ignore it.

6. Start lifting (heavier) weights.

If you are only doing cardio for exercise, then you need to build muscle. Begin with light weights and take your time. You will see a difference in your body composition almost immediately. If you already lift, then it is time to move on to heavier weights. However, make sure that you are doing this safely. Do not try super heavy weights if you do not have your form down or feel uncomfortable. Find someone to help you at the gym. Once you feel confident, go hard.

7. Get more sleep.

Sleep is often overlooked as a weight loss tactic. However, if you are not sleeping, you are not losing fat. Sleep benefits your body by regulating hormones, increasing energy levels, and helping your body regenerate. If you feel like your body is holding onto fat and your diet and exercise are on point, then it is time to work on your sleep schedule. Shoot for 7-9 hours of sleep a night. This might seem like a lot, but your body must properly rest in order to lose fat.

Remember to not abuse the “fast forward” button. Losing weight quickly is not sustainable. You will inevitably gain back the weight you lost if you try to crash diet or over exercise. Stay patient and consistent and you will see lasting results.