While there are a plethora of diets, pills, and meal replacement plans claiming to help you lose weight quickly, the majority of them lack scientific backing. There are, however, some scientifically validated weight-loss strategies.
Exercising, keeping track of calorie consumption, intermittent fasting, and lowering carbohydrate intake are some of these measures.
In this post, we’ll look at nine weight-loss strategies.
Weight-loss methods backed by science
The following are some weight-loss methods backed by scientific evidence:
1. Trying intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a type of eating that involves taking regular short-term fasts and eating smaller meals throughout the day.
Several studies have been conducted.
Short-term intermittent fasting, which can last up to 24 weeks, has been shown to help overweight people lose weight, according to Trusted Source.
The following are the most common intermittent fasting methods:
- Alternate day fasting (ADF): On days when you aren’t fasting, you should eat normally. On fasting days, the modified form requires only 25–30% of the body’s energy requirements.
- The 5:2 Diet: Every seven days, fast on two of them. Consume 500–600 calories on fasting days.
- The 16/8 method: Fast for 16 hours and eat only during an 8-hour window. For most people, the 8-hour window would be around noon to 8 p.m. A study on this method found that eating during a restricted period resulted in the participants consuming fewer calories and losing weight.
On non-fasting days, it is essential to maintain a balanced eating pattern and avoid overeating.
2. Tracking your diet and exercise
If someone wants to reduce weight, they should keep track of what they eat and drink on a daily basis. The most efficient method to accomplish this is to keep note of everything they eat in a journal or an online meal tracker.
In 2017, researchers predicted that by the end of the year, there will be 3.7 billion health app downloads. Diet, physical activity, and weight reduction applications were among the most popular of these. This isn’t without cause, since keeping track of physical activity and weight reduction progress while on the road may be a useful tool for weight management.
According to one research, keeping track of physical activity helped people lose weight. Meanwhile, a review research discovered a link between weight reduction and the regularity with which people track their food consumption and activity. A pedometer, for example, can be an effective weight-loss tool.
3. Eating mindfully
People who practise mindful eating pay attention to how and where they eat their meals. This method can help people enjoy their food while still maintaining a healthy weight.
Because most individuals have busy lifestyles, they frequently eat on the go, in the car, at their offices, or while watching TV. As a result, many individuals are oblivious to the food they consume.
Techniques for mindful eating include:
- Sitting down to eat, preferably at a table: Pay attention to the food and enjoy the experience.
- Avoiding distractions while eating: Do not turn on the TV, or a laptop or phone.
- Eating slowly: Take time to chew and savor the food. This technique helps with weight loss, as it gives a person’s brain enough time to recognize the signals that they are full, which can help to prevent over-eating.
- Making considered food choices: Choose foods that are full of nourishing nutrients and those that will satisfy for hours rather than minutes.
4. Eating protein for breakfast
Protein can help individuals feel full by regulating appetite hormones. This is mostly due to a decrease in ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and an increase in peptide YY, GLP-1, and cholecystokinin, the satiety hormones.
The hormonal consequences of having a high-protein breakfast can also linger for several hours, according to research on young people.
Eggs, oats, nut and seed butters, quinoa porridge, sardines, and chia seed pudding are all good high-protein breakfast options.
5. Cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates
Even when the sugar is found in beverages rather than food, the Western diet is becoming increasingly rich in added sugars, which has definite ties to obesity.
Refined carbs are foods that have been highly processed and stripped of fibre and other nutrients. White rice, bread, and pasta are examples.
These meals are easy to digest and convert quickly to glucose.
Excess glucose in the blood causes the hormone insulin to be released, which encourages fat accumulation in the adipose tissue. Weight growth is a result of this.
People should replace processed and sugary meals with more nutritious choices whenever feasible. Good meal substitutions include:
- whole-grain rice, bread, and pasta instead of white varieties
- Instead of high-sugar snacks, eat fruit, nuts, and seeds.
- Herbal teas and fruit-infused water instead of high-sugar drinks
- Smoothies with water or milk instead of fruit juice
6. Eating plenty of fiber
Unlike sugar and starch, dietary fibre is a kind of plant-based carbohydrate that cannot be digested in the small intestine. Incorporating a high-fiber diet into one’s diet might enhance one’s sense of fullness, perhaps contributing to weight reduction.
Foods high in fibre include:
1. Oats, barley, and rye, as well as whole-grain morning cereals, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, and whole-grain spaghetti
2. vegetables and fruits
3. pulses, peas, and beans
4. seeds and nuts
7. Balancing gut bacteria
The impact of bacteria in the gut on weight control is an emerging field of research.
The human gut is home to a diverse range of microorganisms, including around 37 trillion bacteria.
The types and quantities of bacteria in one’s stomach varies from person to person. Some kinds can cause fat deposition and weight gain by increasing the amount of energy a person extracts from meals.
Good bacteria in the stomach may be increased by eating certain foods, such as:
1. A varied collection of gut bacteria: Increasing the amount of fruits, vegetables, and grains in one’s diet increases fibre absorption and diversity of gut bacteria. Vegetables and other plant-based foods should account for at least 75% of a person’s daily calories.
2. Fermented foods: Fermented foods enhance the growth of beneficial bacteria while limiting the formation of harmful bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yoghurt, tempeh, and miso are all high in probiotics, which aid in the growth of beneficial bacteria. Researchers have conducted extensive research on kimchi, and the findings show that it has anti-obesity properties. Kefir has also been found in trials to aid in the weight reduction of overweight women.
3. Prebiotic foods: These foods promote the growth and activity of certain beneficial bacteria that help with weight loss. Many fruits and vegetables, including chicory root, artichoke, onion, garlic, asparagus, leeks, banana, and avocado, contain prebiotic fibre. It’s also found in cereals like oats and barley.
8. Getting a good night’s sleep
Getting fewer than 5–6 hours of sleep each night has been linked to an increased risk of obesity in several studies. This is due to a number of factors.
According to research, inadequate or poor-quality sleep decreases metabolism, the process through which the body transforms calories into energy. When your metabolism slows down, your body may retain excess energy as fat. Furthermore, lack of sleep can lead to an increase in the synthesis of insulin and cortisol, both of which promote fat accumulation.
The appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin are also affected by how much sleep someone gets. Leptin transmits fullness signals to the brain.
9. Managing your stress levels
As part of the body’s fight or flight reaction, stress causes the production of chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol, which suppress hunger at first.
When people are constantly stressed, though, cortisol can stay in the circulation for longer, increasing their hunger and potentially leading to overeating.
Cortisol indicates the need to replace the body’s nutritional reserves with glucose, which is the preferred fuel source.
Insulin then transfers sugar from the bloodstream to the muscles and the brain. If this sugar is not used in a fight or flight situation, the body will store it as fat.
The body mass index (BMI) of overweight and obese children and adolescents was significantly reduced when an 8-week stress-management intervention programme was implemented, according to researchers.
Managing stress may be done in a variety of ways, including:
1. tai chi, yoga, or meditation
2. Relaxation and breathing methods
3. Spending time in nature, such as walking or gardening