Advice on how to slim down is everywhere, but the weight-loss industry is laced with myths that won’t help you reach your goals.
Check out these tips, all of which have been proven by research to be effective in dropping that extra weight.
- Add More Protein to Your Diet
Protein triggers the body to burn 80 to 100 more calories over 24 hours, and test subjects consumed up to 441 fewer calories daily because protein has such a high satiation level. (1)
When 25% of calories are taken from protein sources, people experience 60% fewer obsessive thoughts about food, and the desire to indulge in late-night snacking drops by half. (2)
- Eat More Fruits, Vegetables and Fiber
People who eat more fruits and vegetables run lighter. (3)
These foods are low in calories, packed with the nutrients you need for good health, as well as being rich in fiber. Eating plenty of fiber, especially viscous fiber, also contributes to feeling satiated, which can play an important role in long-term weight control. (4)
- Drink Your Water
It’s true that drinking water helps with weight loss, especially when you pay attention to timing.
In one study, dieters who drank 17 ounces of water 30 minutes before meals ate fewer calories and lost up to 44% weight on average. (5)
Over the next hour or so after drinking water, metabolism increases from 24% to 30%, so you burn more calories. (6)
- Slow Down on Chewing
The brain needs time to receive and respond to chemical messages that the body is taking in food in order to send the “stop” signal.
Chewing slowly helps you take in less overall calories while stimulating production of hormones associated with weight loss. (7)
- Cut Refined Carb Consumption
This category includes sugar as well as grains like white flour that have lost fiber and other nutritious parts of the food during processing.
Refined carbs spike blood sugar, stimulate cravings, and usually result in eating more food before much time has passed. Making a habit of eating refined carbs raises the risk of obesity. (8)
- Cut Added Sugar and Avoid Sweet Drinks
Most people eat too much sugar and high fructose corn syrup, which is linked with obesity and other chronic modern diseases. (9)
Studies show drinking liquid sugar (including fruit juice) is even worse, since the body doesn’t perceive liquid calories in the same way it does solid food, leading to more overall calories consumed. (10)
- Lift Weights
Weight training can prevent muscle loss as you’re dropping pounds, as well as speeding up the metabolism so you’ll burn more calories. (11)
When you’ve lost the extra weight, you’ll also have a stronger, better-looking physique if you’ve been lifting weights.
- Exercise Aerobically
Getting regular cardio workouts while you’re trimming down improves brain function and mood as well as helping your burn more calories. It’s also a great way to target belly fat associated with a higher risk of metabolic disorders. (12)
- Get Plenty of Sleep
Many people sacrifice sleep in order to fit everything into the day. Yet short sleep duration, along with poor quality sleep, is among the strongest risk factors for obesity.
Adults who don’t get enough sleep are 55% more likely to become obese, and the rate is even higher among sleep-deprived children at 89%. (13)
- Watch Those Portions
Obviously, eating less food is going to help you lose weight. (14)
Some people do well with a food journal, while others may prefer taking a picture of meals; a greater level of awareness when it comes to the amount you’re eating can make a huge difference.
- Follow a Low-Carb Diet
Restricting carbohydrates has been proven more effective for weight loss than low-calorie diets, as well as contributing to the improvement of other important health markers. (15)
Cut the carbs to enjoy twice to three times the weight loss you can expect with other diets. (16)
- Get Help if You Have Food Addiction Issues
A study done in 2014 with nearly 20,000 people indicates nearly 20% of the respondents could be classified as food addicts. (17)
Trying to lose weight when you’re dealing with addiction can be discouraging, if not impossible. If you are plagued with cravings and can’t control how much you eat, get help before embarking on a weight loss program.
- Skip Dieting and Eat Whole Foods
Research shows diets don’t work for most people over the long term. Dieting is the best predictor of future weight gain, because dieters tend to gain back the weight they lost when they get off the diet. (18)
Focus on real, whole foods that don’t have an ingredient list; you’re more likely to achieve and stay at a healthy weight if you adopt the habit of eating real, nutritious food.
- Have Eggs for Breakfast
Eating eggs can result in a number of benefits, including weight loss.
Studies show people who eat eggs for breakfast consume fewer calories over the next 36 hours, dropping more body fat that those who don’t. (19)
If you can’t handle eggs, choose another quality protein to eat in the morning.
- Stock Up on Healthy Foods
When hunger strikes, instinct takes over; if you have weight-loss friendly foods on hand, you’re more likely to make a choice that supports your goals.
Try keeping foods around that don’t require preparation, so you can grab something when you absolutely must eat, like boiled eggs, nuts, unsweetened yogurt, baby carrots, or whole fruit.
- Eat from Smaller Plates
It may sound silly, but some studies verify that people who use smaller plates at mealtime actually consume fewer calories on average than those who use full-sized plates. (20)
- Supplement with Glucomannan
This is one of the few diet aids with evidence to back up the results; people who take this fiber supplement lose more weight than those who don’t. (21)
An extremely rich source of viscous fiber, glucomannan takes longer to pass out of the gut than most foods, making you feel full and eat less calories. (22)
- Eat Spicy Foods
The capsaicin in foods like cayenne pepper has been shown to reduce appetite and boost metabolism so you can burn more calories. (23)
- Use Coconut Oil for Cooking
The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently by the body than other oils.
Replacing the cooking oil you usually use with coconut oil can help you burn up to 120 more calories daily, as well as decreasing your appetite so you eat less. (24)
- Drink Coffee and/or Green Tea
The consumption of caffeine is another way to boost metabolism (25) , and drinking coffee or tea can help you lose weight.
Stick with black coffee for optimum results, and get the benefit of rich antioxidant content at the same time. Green tea doesn’t have as much caffeine as coffee, but the catechins in tea are believed to work in a synergistic manner with the caffeine to rev up metabolism and burn more fat. (26)
- Add Whey Protein to Your Diet
Many people have a difficult time getting adequate amounts of protein, and adding a supplement can make all the difference for weight loss.
Test subjects who used whey protein to replace some of their calories lost up to 8 pounds more than those who didn’t. (27)
- Brush Your Teeth When You Finish Eating
Even if you can only manage it after dinner, instituting this habit will help you resist the urge to snack during the evening. (28)
Summary: Losing weight and keeping it off depends on your willingness to make a number of permanent lifestyle changes. Selecting weight loss strategies that have proven effective for others can be the key to success.