Losing weight can be a frustrating and overwhelming journey. If you’ve ever struggled with it, you know it takes patience, knowledge, and consistency. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! With the right approach and dedication. You can achieve your weight loss goals in a healthy and sustainable manner. One word of advice: don’t fall for fad diets and quick fixes. Instead, try these 10 scientifically backed tips for weight loss that are based on science, not fads.
Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fiber and protein
If you want to lose weight and stay healthy, a balanced diet is key. Eating various fruits, vegetables, and whole grains supplies your body with fiber, a dietary component that can help you feel fuller longer. Non-starchy fruits and veggies are also low in glycemic load, which can promote weight loss.
Plus, adding protein-rich options like lean meats, nuts, and legumes can help you build muscle (if you strength train) and boost your metabolism. Achieving your weight loss goals is about balance. Try to include a good mix of all the food groups in your meals and focus on nutrition rather than strictly on calories. Count nutrients rather than calories!
Drinking enough water is a must for reaching your weight loss goals and for your health. Keeping your body hydrated can have a huge impact on your health, energy levels and mental clarity. Not to mention, it can boost your weight loss efforts.
How does hydration work its magic? Drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal can help you feel fuller and reduce cravings. Some studies show it’s hard to tell the difference between hunger and thirst, and people eat when they need more fluid. As a 2010 study showed, “Associations between hunger and eating and between thirst and drinking are generally weak.”
The take-home message? If you’re feeling hungry, try drinking a glass of water and waiting a few minutes. You may find that you’re not actually hungry, but just thirsty.
Control your portion sizes
If you’re looking to lose weight, portion control is a must. Switch that oversized plate for a smaller one. Using smaller plates is a scientifically proven way to trick your brain into thinking you’re eating more. Eating slowly and taking regular breaks between bites to slow the pace of a meal can also help you recognize when you’re full and ready to stop eating.
You can also make it easier to control your portion sizes by pre-packaging your food ahead of time and carrying snacks with you. These strategies will make it much easier to keep your portion sizes in check, while still allowing you to enjoy what you eat.
Get enough sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is a simple strategy to support your health and weight loss journey. Why is sleep so important for weight control? Lack of sleep can drastically disrupt hormones that regulate appetite and lead to weight gain.
Studies show that people who don’t get enough sleep tend to eat more throughout the day and have more cravings. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, ensure you’re getting enough rest each night. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to help support weight loss and overall health. Plus, getting enough sleep can also help you better deal with stress, stay more alert and focused, and have more energy throughout the day.
Increase your physical activity
Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is essential for weight loss, and it’s easy to get started! Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as brisk walking, five days a week. If you’re feeling energized and motivated, increase the intensity and intensity of your workouts.
And don’t forget about strength training. Resistance training, such as weightlifting, is the most effective way to build muscle and boost your metabolism. Start small, and you’ll soon find yourself making exercise part of your daily routine. Be sure to stretch and cool down after each workout. This will help prevent injury, reduce soreness, and improve your flexibility.
Limit processed foods and added sugars
Processed foods and added sugars contribute to weight gain. Unfortunately, these types of foods are often high in calories and low in nutrients, making them a tempting choice when you’re busy. To limit these types of foods, cook, and prepare meals at home using whole, unprocessed ingredients. Prepare enough food for the week, so you aren’t tempted to hit the drive-thru. This way, you can be sure that you’re getting the most nutrition out of your meals.
Ingredients like lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains are all excellent choices that help provide a more nutritious and balanced diet. Plus, by cooking your own meals, you can control the amount of salt, fat, and sugar that goes into your meals.
For example, make a delicious salad with fresh spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocado. Or you can make a quick and tasty stir fry with veggies and brown rice. Getting creative in the kitchen can help you stay away from processed foods, while also providing you with a nutritious and satisfying meal.
Try a healthy carbohydrate diet
If you’re looking for a healthy way to lose weight, switch the quality of the carbs you eat. Carbohydrates are an essential part of a healthy diet and provide your body with the energy it needs to get through the day. When you cut down on unhealthy carbohydrates, like sugar and processed grains, and focus on healthier options, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, your body will burn more fat and you’ll see the pounds drop off. Add in a good mix of proteins, healthy fats, and fiber to keep your energy levels up and maintain a healthy metabolism.
Don’t be afraid of fat
Incorporating healthy fats, such as those found in avocado, olive oil, and nuts, can help you feel full and satisfied. Some excellent sources of healthy fats include avocado, olive oil, and nuts. These types of fats are packed with important vitamins and minerals, and full of flavor. Plus, they’re ideal for a healthy metabolism, which is key for weight loss.
Avocado, for example, is rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and high in fiber. It’s a healthy addition to salads, smoothies, and sandwiches. Olive oil is also a tasty way to add healthy fats to your meals — drizzle it on your favorite vegetables or use it to make a delicious dipping sauce.
Track your progress
Tracking your progress is key to achieving your goals and staying motivated. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or just eat healthier, keeping track of your progress can be a great way to stay on track and see the results of all your hard work. Whether it’s through a food diary, a weight loss app, or simply writing down your meals and workouts, tracking your progress can be a great way to stay focused and motivated.
Tracking your journey and progress will help identify where you need to make changes to your diet or exercise routine to reach your goals. According to a study conducted by Harvard Health, keeping a journal can be a very effective tool to help change behavior. In one weight loss study of nearly 1,700 participants, subjects who documented what they ate lost double the weight of those who kept no records.
Embarking on a weight loss journey can be a difficult undertaking, but getting assistance from loved ones, acquaintances, or support organizations makes it easier. Having a support system can help you stay motivated and on track and provide encouragement and accountability. So, seek out people who are supportive of your journey!
You can achieve your weight loss objectives and enhance your general well-being by adhering to these ten strategies for effective weight loss. Keep in mind that weight loss is a gradual process, and you have to be persistent and patient in your endeavors.
- “Healthy Weight | Diabetes | CDC.” cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/healthy-weight.html.
- “10 behaviors for healthy weight loss – Harvard Health.” 24 Oct. 2018, health.harvard.edu/blog/10-behaviors-for-healthy-weight-loss-2018102415074.
- “The Mayo Clinic Diet: A weight-loss program for life.” 21 Dec. 2021, mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/mayo-clinic-diet/art-20045460.
- Mattes RD. Hunger and thirst: issues in measurement and prediction of eating and drinking. Physiol Behav. 2010 Apr 26;100(1):22-32. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2009.12.026. Epub 2010 Jan 11. PMID: 20060847; PMCID: PMC2849909.
- Why keep a food diary? (2023). Available at: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/why-keep-a-food-diary-2019013115855 (Accessed: 12 May 2023).