Many diets, meal replacements, and supplements claim to help you lose weight quickly, but they lack scientific proof. However, some scientifically-backed strategies have a positive impact on weight loss.
Exercise, tracking calorie intake, fasting intermittently, and reducing carbohydrates are all strategies that can be used.
This article will discuss nine weight loss methods that are effective.
Lose weight with scientifically-backed methods
Scientific research has supported the following methods of weight loss:
1. Try intermittent fasting
The intermittent fasting pattern (IF) involves eating within a short time frame during the day and fasting for a regular period.
Trusted Source has reported that weight loss occurs in overweight people who follow a short-term, intermittent fasting regimen. This can last up to 24 weeks.
Some of the most popular methods for intermittent fasting include:
- Alternate Day Fasting (ADF): Eat a normal diet every other day. In the modified version of Trusted Source, you only consume 25-30% of your body’s daily energy requirements on fasting day.
- The 5:2 diet: Fast 2 days out of 7 per week. On fasting days, eat 500-600 calories.
- The 16/8 method is to fast for 16 hours, and then eat within 8 hours. The 8-hour period for most people would be between noon and 8 p.m.
On non-fasting days, it is best to avoid overeating and adopt a healthy diet.
2. Tracking your diet, exercise and sleep
To lose weight, it is important to know what you eat and drink every day. This can be done by logging these items into a food journal or online tracker.
Researchers predicted that by the end of 2017, there would be over 3.7 billion downloads of health apps. ResearchTrusted Source says that weight management can be achieved by tracking weight, diet, and physical activity on the move.
According to a study by Trusted Source, tracking physical activity consistently helped in weight loss. A review study by Trusted Source also found that weight loss was positively correlated with the frequency at which food intake and physical activity were monitored. A pedometer, for example, can be an effective tool to help you lose weight.
3. Mindful eating
This practice involves paying attention to where and how you eat your food. This practice allows people to enjoy their food and maintain a healthy body weightTrusted source.
Most people are busy and tend to eat on the go while driving, at work, or watching TV. Many people are unaware of what they are eating.
Mindful eating techniques include:
- If you are seated at a table, pay attention to your food.
- Avoid distractions when eating: Turn off the TV or laptop, and turn off your phone.
- Slowly eating: Enjoy the food and chew it well. This technique can help with weight loss because it allows the brain to detect when a person is full.
- Make informed food choices. Choose foods with nourishing nutrients that satisfy you for several hours, not just minutes.
4. Eating protein for breakfast
This is because protein can help regulate appetite hormones and make people feel satisfied. This is mostly due to a decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a rise in the satiety hormones peptide YY, GLP-1, and cholecystokininTrusted Source.
ResearchTrusted Source has shown that young adults can experience hormonal effects for up to several hours after eating a breakfast high in protein.
Eggs, oats, and nut butter are all good choices for breakfast. Sardines, quinoa, and chia pudding also make a great high-protein option.
5. Sugar and refined carbohydrates: Cut back
Even when sugar is added to beveragesTrustedSource rather than foods, the Western diet has an increasing amount of sugar.
Refined carbohydrate is a term used to describe foods that have been heavily processed and no longer contain fiber or other nutrients. This includes white rice, pasta, and bread.
They are also quick to digest and quickly convert to glucose.
- The excess glucose in the blood stimulates insulin to be released, which then promotes fat storage. Weight gain is a result.
- When possible, swap out processed and sugary food for healthier alternatives. Some good food swaps are:
- Whole-grain pasta, rice, and bread instead of white versions
- Fruit, nuts, and seeds are healthier alternatives to sugary snacks
- Instead of sodas with high sugar content, try herbal teas or fruit-infused water.
- Smoothies made with milk or water instead of fruit juice
6. Eat plenty of fiber
In contrast to sugar and starch, dietary fiber is a plant-based carbohydrate that cannot be digested in the small intestine. Fiber can help you feel fuller, which could lead to weight loss.
Fiber-rich foods include:
Whole-grain cereals and bread are made from whole grains, including rye, barley, oats, and whole-wheat pasta.
- Fruit and vegetables
- Peas, beans, and pulses
- Nuts and seeds
7. Balancing gut bacteria
A new area of research focuses on the impact of gut bacteria on weight loss.
The human gut is home to a wide variety of microorganisms including 37 trillion bacteria.
Each individual has a different variety and amount of bacteria in their gut. Some can increase the energy a person gets from food and lead to weight gain.
Some foods, such as:
Plants of all kinds: A diverse range of plants will increase fiber absorption and diversity of gut bacteria. Vegetables and other plant-based food should make up 75 percent of a person’s meal.
Fermented foods enhance the growth of good bacteria and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. Sauerkrauts, kimchis, kefirs, yogurts, tempehs, and misos all contain probiotics that help increase the good bacteria. Kimchi has been extensively studied by researchers, and the results of their studies suggest that it may have anti-obesity properties. Kefir has also been shown to help promote weight loss among overweight women.
Prebiotics: They stimulate the growth of good bacteria and help with weight loss. Many fruits and vegetables contain prebiotic fiber, including chicory, artichoke, and asparagus. Also, it is found in grains such as barley and oats.
8. Sleeping well
Many studies have shown that fewer than five to six hours of sleep each night is associated with an increase in obesity. This is due to several factors.
According to research, insufficient sleep or poor quality of sleep can slow down metabolism (the process by which the body converts energy into calories). If metabolism is not as effective, the body can store excess energy in fat. Poor sleep can also increase insulin and cortisolTrustedSource, which are both fat-storing hormones.
Leptin and Ghrelin, which regulate appetite, are also affected by the length of sleep. Leptin signals fullness in the brain.
9. Managing your stress levels
Stress causes the release of adrenaline and cortisol hormones, which at first decrease appetite. This is part of the body’s fight or flee response.
When people are constantly stressed, cortisol stays in their bloodstream longer and can increase appetiteTrustedSource.
Cortisol is a signal that the body needs to replenish its nutritional stores with carbohydrates, the preferred fuel source.
Insulin transports sugar from the blood into the muscles and the brain. The body stores sugar if the person does not use it in fight or flight.
Researchers discovered that an 8-week program of stress management resulted in significant reductions in body mass indexes (BMIs) for children and adolescents with obesity or who are overweight.
Stress management techniques include:
- Yoga, meditation, or Tai Chi
- Breathing and relaxation techniques
- Spending time outdoors can include gardening or walking.
Weight loss is not a quick fix.
Eating a balanced, nutritious diet is the best way to control weight.
Include 10 portions of fruits and vegetables, a good protein source, and whole grains. Exercise for 30 minutes a day is beneficial.