12 Evidence-Based Weight Loss Tips
Weight loss is easy!
Said no one ever.
Weight loss is a struggle, because naturally, the body wants to be in equilibrium. When you lose weight, you throw the body out of this comfortable equilibrium and in a state of uncertainty. This is where the body slows down its metabolism and craves more food. Our 12 evidence-based tips will help you fight back, reducing those hunger cravings and promoting that feeling of fullness.
Drink More Green Tea
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Researchers have recently revealed an antioxidant that enhances the metabolism (1). Naturally found in green tea, the antioxidant known as Catechins can increase your daily burn by 70 calories (2). That’s the same calories that could be burnt with a 10 – 15 minute walk and is a good weight loss alternative to snacking.
Drink More Water
Providing the body with enough water to metabolize fat is important for losing weight (3). It is recommended that for every pound of body weight, you should consume anywhere between half to a full ounce of water (4). For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should consume anywhere between 100 to 200 ounces a day. This figure may be more or less depending on the level of exercise and climate. Interestingly enough, research has shown that drinking a glass of water before a meal can help you lose more weight. In a study, participants preloaded a glass of water 30 minutes before each meal, resulting in a bigger loss in weight when compared to the control group (5).
Switch Over To Decaf
While this might sound like blasphemy to some, research has found that decaffeinated coffee works better than regular coffee at reducing hunger cravings (6). This effect seems to last for 3 hours and can be useful in settling down those food cravings during the day and night. For those regular coffee drinkers, be careful when switching to decaffeinated coffee, as giving coffee the cold shoulder could cause some unpleasant withdrawals. Instead, try adding decaf to your routine or slowly replace coffee over a longer period.
Avoid Liquid Calories
Research has demonstrated that liquid calories aren’t as filling as the calories that are eaten (7). So, instead of drinking orange juice, try to eat a whole orange. Not only will it make you feel fuller, but it will also slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream, comparatively reducing those future hunger cravings (8).
Avoid That White Bread and Pasta
Products made from white grain are full of simple carbohydrates (sugar), which digest quickly and lead to a spike in blood sugar levels (9). This can increase your appetite in the future, and too much of it can desensitize the brain to leptin (10). Consequently, this will inhibit leptin’s effectiveness in telling the brain to stop eating. While whole grain is the next best alternative, an even healthier method is to switch to vegetables. For example; instead of chicken and chips, try chicken mixed in a salad.
Swap Out The Low-Fat Products For The Full Fat
A study of over 100 low-fat products has reveal that products labelled ‘low in fat’ contain more sugar then their full fat alternatives (11). Some had as much as 5 times the amount of sugar. Consuming these products can significantly increase our daily sugar intake which can negatively impact a weight loss diet. In particular, sugar is known to increase and prolong the feeling of hunger, ultimately leading to a further consumption of food (12).
Reduce The Amount Of Processed Foods Eaten
Processed foods are often loaded with sodium (found in salt). It is used to extend a product's shelf life and also to enhance its flavor and taste. Scientists have found a link between a high sodium diet and an increased likelihood of obesity or becoming overweight (13). Sodium can cause bloating, puffiness, high blood pressure and an increased craving for liquid (14). This increased craving for liquid can result in consuming sugary drinks full of empty calories.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night is important not only to recover, tone and build muscle but also in feeling refreshed and active in the morning (15). More often than not, people deficient in sleep will eat more food, in an attempt to tip that balance from tired and lethargic to awake and energized. This extra craving for short term energy packs on the pounds. Scientists have found there is a 55% greater chance of becoming overweight when you lose more than an hour of sleep each night (16, 17).
Don’t Skip A Meal
While skipping meals might make you think you are losing weight faster, the body will eventually adjust and reduce its calorie output, naturally burning fewer calories. Furthermore, the progressive build up in hunger can often result in overeating (18, 19), consuming more calories than that skipped meal contained. Eating regularly will reduce the likelihood of overeating and by snacking on foods high in both fiber and protein, while low in sugar, will further help improve those hunger cravings and the feeling of fullness.
Fiber is a carbohydrate, but unlike many other carbohydrates, it isn’t easily absorbed by the body. The associated 4 calories that usually come with carbohydrates aren’t absorbed by the body when fiber is digested, and these calories don’t count towards your daily intake (20). Food high in fiber is bigger in size and contains fewer calories. Consuming foods that contain fiber can help reduce hunger and increase the feeling of fullness (21).
Protein is a natural appetite suppressant (22). It outperforms both fat and carbohydrate in increasing the feeling of fullness and reducing the level of hunger (23). Adding more protein to each meal can help reduce the urge to eat more and can assist in the recovery, toning, and growth of muscle (24).
Try 25 Minutes Of Exercise Each Day
Whether you are already exercising or just starting out, exercising can help increase your food allowance, meaning more calories can be consumed each day while still losing weight (25). Not only does this allowance help in reducing those hunger pangs, but the exercise alone will increase strength, tone muscle and improve overall fitness. Finding that extra 25 minutes a day could be as easy as taking the stairs rather than the elevator, walking to the station rather than driving or even going for an evening walk.