While there are endless diets, supplements, and meal replacement plans claiming to guarantee rapid weight loss, most lack any scientific evidence. There are, however, some strategies backed by science which do have an impact on weight management.
These strategies include exercising, keeping track of calorie consumption, intermittent fasting, and decreasing the number of carbohydrates in the diet.
In this guide, we consider nine techniques of weight loss.Ways to lose weight
Methods of weight loss that research supports include the following:
1. Trying intermittent fasting
Several research-backed strategies can assist weight loss, among which can be intermittent fasting (IF).
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that entails regular short-term fasts and consuming meals within a shorter time period during the day.
Several studies have suggested that short-term intermittent fasting, which can be up to 24 weeks in length, leads to weight loss in obese individuals.
The most intermittent fasting methods that are common include the following:
- Alternate day fasting (ADF): Fast every other day and eat normally on non-fasting days. The modified version entails eating only 25–30 percent of their body’s energy needs on fasting days.
- The 5:2 Diet: Fast on two out of every 7 days. On fasting days eat 500–600 calories.
- The 16/8 method: Quick for 16 hours and consume only during an 8-hour window. For most people, the 8-hour window would be around noon to 8 p.m.. A research on this method found that eating during a restricted period led to the participants consuming fewer calories and losing weight.
It is ideal to adopt a healthful eating routine on non-fasting days and also to avoid over-eating.
2. Tracking your diet and exercise
If someone wants to shed weight, they should be aware of everything they eat and drink every day. The most effective way to do this is to log every item that they consume, in either a journal or an internet food tracker.
Researchers estimated in 2017 there would be 3.7 billion health program downloads from the end of the year. Of these, programs for diet, physical activity, and weight loss were one of the most popular. This is not without reason, as monitoring physical activity and weight loss progress on-the-go can be an effective way of managing weight.
1 study found that consistent monitoring of physical activity helped with weight loss. Meanwhile, a review study found a positive correlation between weight loss and the frequency of monitoring food intake and exercise. A device as simple as a pedometer can be a helpful weight-loss tool.
3. Eating mindfully
Mindful eating is a practice where people listen to how and where they consume food. This practice can enable people to enjoy the foods that they consume and maintain a healthy weight.
As most individuals lead busy lives, they often tend to consume quickly on the run, in the car, working at their desks, and watching TV. Because of this, many individuals are barely aware of the food they are eating.
Techniques for eating include:
- Sitting down to eat, rather in a table: Pay attention to the food and revel in the experience.
- Avoiding distractions while eating: Do not turn on the TV, or a laptop or telephone.
- Eating slowly: Take time to chew and enjoy the food. This technique helps with weight reduction, as it gives a individual’s mind enough time to recognize the signals they are complete, which can help to prevent over-eating.
- Making considered food choices: Choose foods that are full of nourishing nutrients and the ones that will meet for hours rather than minutes.
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4. Eating protein for breakfast
Protein can regulate appetite hormones to help people feel full. This is mostly because of decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a rise in the satiety hormones peptide YY, GLP-1, and cholecystokinin.
Research on young adults has also demonstrated that the hormonal effects of eating a high-protein breakfast can last for several hours.
Excellent choices for a high-protein breakfast include eggs, oats, nut and seed butters, quinoaporridge, sardines, and chia seed pudding.powered by Rubicon Project
5. Cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates
It can help to swap high-sugar snacks for nuts and fruits.
The Western diet is high in added sugars, and this has certain links to obesity, even when the sugar happens in beveragesrather than food.
Refined carbohydrates are heavily processed foods that no longer contain fiber and other nutrients. These include white rice, bread, and pasta.
These foods are quick to digest, and they convert to glucose rapidly.
Excess glucose enters the blood and provokes the hormone insulin, which promotes fat storage in the adipose tissue. This contributes to weight reduction.
Where possible, individuals should swap processed and sugary foods for more healthful alternatives. Food swaps that are good include:
- Whole-grain pasta, bread, and pasta rather than the white variations
- fruit, nuts, and seeds rather than high-sugar snacks
- herb teas and fruit-infused water rather than high-sugar sodas
- smoothies with water or milk rather than fruit juice
6. Eating plenty of fiber
Dietary fiber explains plant-based carbohydrates it is not possible to digest in the small intestine, unlike starch and sugar. Including loads of fiber in the diet can increase the feeling of fullness, possibly leading to weight loss.
Fiber-rich foods include:
- Whole-grain breakfast cereals, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, oats, barley, and rye
- fruit and veggies
- peas, beans, and legumes
- nuts and seeds
7. Balancing gut bacteria
One emerging area of study is focusing on the role of bacteria in the gut on weight control.
The human gut hosts a vast number and wide range of germs, including around 37 trillion bacteria.
Every individual has different varieties and quantities of bacteria in their gut. Some forms can increase the amount of energy which the person harvests from meals , leading to fat deposition and weight reduction.
Some foods can increase the number of good bacteria in the gut, including:
- A vast array of plants: Increasing the number of fruits, vegetables, and grains in the diet will lead to an increased fiber uptake and a more varied set of gut bacteria. People should try to make certain that vegetables and other foods that are fermented comprise 75 percent of the meal.
- Fermented foods: All these improve the function of good bacteria while inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria. The sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, and miso all contain good amounts of probiotics, which help to raise good bacteria. Scientists have analyzed kimchi widely, and research results suggest that it has anti-obesity consequences. Similarly, studies have shown that kefir might help to promote weight loss in obese women.
- Prebiotic foods: These stimulate the growth and activity of some of the good bacteria which help weight control. Prebiotic fiber happens in many fruits and vegetables, especially chicory root, artichoke, onion, garlic, asparagus, leeks, banana, and avocado. It is in grains, like oats and barley.
8. Getting a good night’s sleep
Numerous studies have shown that getting less than 5–6 hours of sleep per night is associated with increased incidence of obesity. There are numerous reasons behind this.
Research indicates that insufficient or poor-quality sleep slows down the process in which the body converts calories to energy, called metabolism. When metabolism is less effective, the body may store unused energy as fat. Additionally, poor sleep can increase the production of insulin and cortisol, which also prompt fat storage.
How long someone sleeps also affects the regulation of the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin sends signals of fullness to the brain.
9. Managing your stress levels
Outdoor activities can help with stress management.
Anxiety activates the release of hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which initially reduce the appetite as part of the body’s fight or flight response.
However, when individuals are under continuous stress, cortisol can remain in the blood for longer, which will raise their desire and possibly cause them eating more.
Cortisol signals the need to replenish the body’s nutritional stores in the preferred source of fuel, which is carbohydrate.
Insulin then transports the sugar from carbohydrates in the blood to the muscles and mind. If the individual doesn’t use this sugar in flight or fight, the body will store it as fat.
Researchers found that implementing an 8-week stress-management intervention program resulted in significant reduction in the body mass index (BMI) of overweight and obese children and adolescents.
Some methods of stress include:
- Yoga, meditation, or tai chi
- breathing and relaxation techniques
- spending time outdoors, for example walking or gardening
It is important to not forget there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight reduction.
The best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is to eat a healthy, balanced diet.
This should include 10 portions of fruit and veggies, good-quality protein, and whole-grains. Additionally it is beneficial to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.