There are many weight loss tips out there, some of which seem a bit absurd (and a few are). But over the years, scientists have found a number of effective strategies that are successful in helping to lose weight.
So, here are 18 weight loss tips that are backed by science, courtesy of Authority Nutrition.
Drink Water, Especially Before Meals
Drinking water can boost metabolism by 24-30% over a period of 1-1.5 hours, helping you burn off a few more calories.
One study showed that drinking a half liter (17 oz) of water about a half an hour before meals helped dieters eat fewer calories and lose 44% more weight.
Eat Eggs for Breakfast
Eating whole eggs can have all sorts of benefits, including helping you lose weight.
Studies show that replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs can help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours, and lose more weight and more body fat.
If you can’t eat eggs for some reason, then that’s fine. Any source of quality protein for breakfast should do the trick.
Cook With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is very healthy and effective for weight loss. It is high in special fats called medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently than other fats.
These fats have been shown to boost metabolism by 120 calories per day, and also reduce your appetite so that you eat up to 256 fewer calories per day.
Get Good Sleep
Sleep is highly underrated, but it may be just as important as eating healthy and exercising.
Studies show that poor sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity, being linked to an 89% increased risk of obesity in children, and 55% in adults.
Exercise Portion Control or Count Calories
Portion control (eating less) or counting calories can be very useful, for obvious reasons.
There are also studies showing that keeping a food diary and writing down what you eat, or taking pictures of all your meals, can help you lose weight.
Anything that increases your awareness of what you are eating is likely to be useful.
Cut Back on Added Sugar
Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet, and most people are eating way too much of it.
Studies show that sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) consumption is strongly associated with the risk of obesity, as well as diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and others.
If you want to lose weight, you should be cutting back on added sugars. Just make sure to read labels, because even so-called health foods can be loaded with sugar.
Eat Less Refined Carbs
Refined carbohydrates are usually sugar, or grains that have been stripped of their fibrous, nutritious parts (i.e. white bread and pasta).
Studies show that refined carbs can spike blood sugar rapidly, leading to hunger, cravings and increased food intake a few hours later. Eating refined carbs is strongly linked to obesity.
If you’re going to eat carbs, make sure to eat them with their natural fiber.
Keep Healthy Food Around in Case You Get Hungry
Keeping healthy food close by can help prevent you from eating something unhealthy if you become excessively hungry.
A few snacks that are easily portable and simple to prepare include whole fruits, a handful of nuts, baby carrots, yogurt and a hardboiled egg (or two) can be quite beneficial to a successful weight loss.
Use Smaller Plates
History shows plate sizes have increased over the past millennium. Here’s a little weight loss trick, when it’s time to sit down for dinner, choose a size-appropriate plate or bowl. Using a smaller plate (8-10 inches) instead of a tray-like plate (12 inches or more) can make us feel fuller with the same amount of food. How does this magic trick work? The brain may associate the white space with less food, plus smaller plates generally lead to smaller portions.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber is often recommended for the purpose of weight loss. Although the evidence is mixed, some studies show that fiber (especially viscous fiber) can increase satiety and help you control your weight over the long term.
Eat More Vegetables and Fruits
Vegetables and fruits have several properties that make them effective for weight loss.
They contain few calories, but a lot of fiber. They are also rich in water, which gives them a low energy density. They also take a while to chew, and are very filling.
Studies show that people who eat vegetables and fruits tend to weigh less. These foods are also super healthy and nutritious, so eating them is important for all sorts of reasons.
Don’t Drink Calories
Sugar is bad, but sugar in liquid form is even worse. Studies show that liquid sugar calories may be the single most fattening aspect of the modern diet.
For example, one study showed that sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to a 60% increased risk of obesity in children, for each daily serving.
Keep in mind that this applies to fruit juice as well, which contains a similar amount of sugar as a soft drink like coke. And eat whole fruit, but use fruit juice with caution (or avoid it altogether) if weight loss is your primary goal.
Eat More Protein
Protein is the single most important nutrient when it comes to losing weight.
Eating a high protein diet has been shown to boost metabolism by 80 to 100 calories per day, while helping you feel so satiated that you eat up to 441 fewer calories per day.
With regards to weight loss, one study also showed that protein at 25% of calories reduced obsessive thoughts about food by 60%, while cutting the desire for late night snacking in half.
Skipping out on snack time won’t necessarily lead to weight loss, since low calorie consumption can actually slow metabolism. Eating less than three times a day may benefit those who are obese, but research shows skipping meals throughout the day and eating one large meal at night can lead to some undesirable outcomes (like delayed insulin response) which may increase the risk of diabetes. Instead of forgoing breakfast or lunch, stick to a few meals a day with healthy snacks in between.
Emotional eating – essentially eating to make ourselves feel better (often when we’re sad or anxious) – can interfere with weight loss goals. But meditation – using techniques like muscle relaxation and achieving self-focus – can help binge eaters become aware of how they turn to food to deal with emotions.
Steer Clear of Simple Carbs
Simple carbs are the white stuff – white bread, most pastries, refined sugars (like in soda). What makes it so simple? These foods provide energy, but lack the same nutrients (vitamins, minerals, and fiber) as complex carbohydrates. The body also breaks simple carbs down quickly, spikes blood sugar (insulin), and leaves your tummy might rumbling sooner than you imagined.
Choose whole grains instead, which may reduce potentially dangerous excess abdominal fat buildup (which can lead to diabetes). Switch to whole-wheat pasta or whole grain bread, or try grains like brown rice, quinoa, or millet.
Turn Off the Tube
Eating while watching television is linked to poor food choices and overeating. Getting sucked into the latest reality show can bring on mindless eating and it can be easy to lose track of just how many chips we’ve just thrown down the hatch. It’s not just the mindlessness of watching television that’ll get us. Commercials for unhealthy foods and drinks may increase our desire for low-nutrient junk, fast food, and sugary beverages.
Don’t “Diet,” Eat Healthy Instead
One of the biggest problems with “diets,” is that they almost never work in the long term.
If anything, people who “diet” tend to gain more weight over time, and studies show that dieting is a consistent predictor of future weight gain.
Instead of going on a diet, make it your goal to become a healthier, happier and fitter person. Focus on nourishing your body, instead of depriving it.