There are countless reasons as to why someone would like to lose weight. Weight loss can help improve your overall physical and mental health, prevent numerous chronic diseases such as heart disease, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, etc., and even improve your self-confidence. So for whatever reason is it that you want to lose weight, we are bringing you 13 science-backed ways that will allow you to lose all of those extra body pounds in a fast and effective way.
13 Science-based methods for fast and effective weight loss
Start your day by eating protein
If you want to lose weight, then you better befriend one essential nutrient – protein. Protein has many vital functions in our body, but let’s focus on the ones that refer to the weight loss process. During the weight loss process, try to incorporate as much as protein as you can in each of your meals, paying special attention to your breakfast.
Aim for a high-protein breakfast such as Greek yogurt with some seeds and berries, eggs, oatmeal with fresh fruit and protein powder, protein pancakes, etc. Science suggests that by eating protein, we can boost our metabolism to burn more as much as 80-100 calories per day (1, 2). Protein is also able to reduce cravings by 60% and our desire for mindless snacking, often by relying on empty calories (3, 4).
Practice intermittent fasting
This is quite the popular weight-loss method that you probably have heard about already. Intermittent fasting represents a specific pattern of eating, one that instructs us to eat meals in shorter periods throughout the day. There are many intermittent fasting methods to choose from with all of them being backed up by science (5).
One method that we would recommend for anyone new to intermittent fasting is to skip breakfast in the morning, or to simply eat it later in the day. Try eating from 12 to 8 pm – this will allow you to eat during an 8-hour feeding period. You can skip breakfast or dinner, or have all of the three meals during this 8-hour feeding period, but in much smaller portions, that is.
Lift weights at least three times a week
If you have read anything about weight loss, then you probably know how important, regular physical activity is. There are many types of physical activity that you can choose from, but we would recommend lifting weights at least three times a week. Maybe this would seem difficult at the beginning, especially if you are new to weight lifting, but trust us – it will be worth it.
Weight lifting will help boost your metabolism, allowing you not only to burn more calories but also to fight against the normal slowing down of the metabolism that happens due to weight loss. Besides, weight lifting will help you to tone your body better, replacing the lost body fat with healthy, strong muscles (6, 7).
Start by lifting weights three times a week, doing some kind of other physical activity in between, and maybe you will love it so much so that you will end up going to the gym more often. Other great recommendations for physical activity are jogging, running, cycling, swimming, etc. all of which will help you to burn more calories than ever.
Cut back on your carb intake
Remember how we talked about eating more protein? Well, now, we will explain why it is important to eat fewer carbs. You see, our body uses carbs as a primary energy source. When there are no more carbs left, it turns to the fat storage inside your fat cells. The trick is to make our body dip into that fat storage by cutting down our carb intake.
Science has shown us that a low-carb diet is much more effective than a low-fat diet (8). Previous research also suggests that by cutting down our carb intake, we will feel more energized, be in a better mood, and sleep better, but most importantly, we will fell less hungry, eat fewer calories overall throughout the day, thus losing weight faster (9).
Drink your coffee black without sugar
Let’s say that you have been exercising hard and eating healthy, but you still fail to see a noticeable difference on the weight scale or in the mirror. You are probably wondering what you have been doing wrong. Well, let us ask you one single question – How much coffee do you drink? And how much sugar and other forms of artificial sweeteners have you been adding to it?
Did you know that one cup of coffee can contain up to 200 calories with all of the sugar and artificial sweeteners that you have been adding to it? Although there is no reason to stop drinking coffee, it is recommended since it has been scientifically proven to be able to boost your metabolism by 11%, you need to rethink your usual coffee order (10, 11). Aim to drink one to two cups of black coffee with no added sugars whatsoever, and you will start seeing that difference sooner than you would think.
Get a good night sleep
When was the last time that you got a good night’s sleep? And when we say good, we mean getting at least 7-8 hours of quality sleep. The reason why we are asking you this is because numerous researchers have explored the link between lack of sleep and obesity. It is true when they say that sleeping less than 5-6 hours of sleep increases the risk of obesity (12).
Apart from putting you in a bad mood and cause fatigue, the lack of sleep will also slow down your metabolism and cause a disbalance within some very important hormones. Leptin and ghrelin, both of which play a crucial part in the weight loss process, will suffer the consequences causing you to feel hungrier and increasing the risk of overeating, thus leading to weight gain and obesity.
Eat plenty of soluble fiber
Dietary fiber, especially the soluble kind, can make you feel full for hours, thus helping the weight loss process. Replacing the usual carbs with some helpful soluble fiber is a great step that will help you to lose weight faster.
Rely on fiber-rich sources such as whole-wheat pasta and bread, oats, rye, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies. This will allow you to create fun and filling meals that will keep you far away from all those harmful empty calories (13).
Stay away from fruit juices and other sugary drinks
Changing your usual coffee order will not do the trick if you still have the habit to sip on sugary drinks such as store-bought fruit juices, sodas, energy drinks, etc. All of these drinks are filled with sugars that will only harm your effort to lose weight. Unsweetened coffee and tea are great replacements, as it is water as well.
Sip on the water before your meals
Water is the best weight-loss drink out there. It soothes your thirst, it hydrates your body, and does so much more for your overall health without introducing a single calorie to your body! One of the best weight-loss tricks is to sip on the water before your meals. Drinking two glasses of water before a meal can help you eat fewer calories and with that, helping you to slim down faster.
A 12-week study has investigated the effects of drinking two glasses of water before meals. The results demonstrated that drinking two glasses of water has helped the participants to increase their weight loss results by as much as 44% (14). So next time you are about to have your lunch or dinner, make sure that you drink a glass or two of water first.
Take a breath and relax
Too much stress, much like the lack of sleep, is one of the worst enemies of the weight loss process. Weight gain is only one of the many consequences that your body and mind suffer through because of the high cortisol, which is the stress hormone levels in our body (15).
You might find yourself binge-eating whenever you are dealing with gathered up stress from school, work, etc. But the next time that you fill overwhelmed and stressed out, instead of reaching for the bag of potato chips or a chocolate bar, try reaching out for your fitness mat instead. You can do a quick yoga or meditation session, or even do a quite workout to allow you to release that gathered up stress. Maybe you can head for a quick walk or do some cleaning – whatever takes your mind from the problem and relaxes you are welcomed.
Add more weight-loss friendly foods to your diet
The truth is that some foods are better for weight loss as compared to others. And we are not necessarily talking about junk food, which is bad for not only your weight loss process but your overall health as well.
Eggs, salmon, leafy greens, tuna, soups, beans, cottage cheese, and avocados are some great examples of the so-called weight loss-friendly foods (16). All of them are highly nutritious, filled with essential fats, carbs, protein, and fiber, along with vitamins and minerals that you can benefit from. We would highly recommend adding them more often to your weekly shopping list and planning your meals around them.
Practice mindful eating
One of the biggest mistakes that many of us are making every day is being distracted while eating. Watching your favorite TV show while you eat or staring at your phone will not do you any good. Think about it – how often do you stare at the TV while eating, only to discover that you have eaten way more than you intended to in the first place?
Mindful eating refers to the sole action of eating and paying attention to what and how much you are eating. Do not be amazed if you find yourself enjoying the taste of your food more now that you have put your phone down or turned off the TV to take a bite of your meal. While you pay attention to the food that you have been eating, make sure to also chew slowly. This will give your brain extra time to recognize when you are full and inform you to put your fork down before you fill too full to even speak (17).
Track your calorie intake
In order to lose weight, you need to start burning more calories – a goal that you will achieve by being physically active more often. But you will also need to intake fewer calories than normal, following a calorie deficit. To reduce your calorie intake efficiently, you need to be aware of your calorie intake at all times.
You can accomplish this by tracking your calorie intake throughout the day. From using a food journal to using a mobile app – the choice is yours. Just make sure that you are writing everything down as accurately as you can. You can also track your mood and sleep and see how these factors influence your eating habits, identifying any potential triggers, and learning how to eliminate them.
Are you thinking about losing a few pounds? Have you struggled with weight loss in the past? How many diet plans have you gone through, feeling disappointed when you could not see any results at the end? Well, today, we are not bringing you any ridiculous diet plans, and yet, we are hoping to help you to get the body of your dreams. The 13 tips and tricks that we brought you today are meant to help you lose weight faster and more efficiently than ever – all of which have been backed up by science and thousands of researchers who have been working hard to prove their efficiency. We hope that you, like many before, will take advantage of these tricks and finally manage to get rid of those extra pounds once and for all!