Truth-telling time. How many weight loss programs have you started in your entire life? One? Five? Twenty? So many you’ve actually lost count? Well, don’t worry, because when it comes to weight loss, there are literally millions of people who share the exact same problem.
I, for one, have tried so many diets, exercise regimens, and various gadgets that promise you the body of your dreams. Well, let me tell you right now that a whole lot of them do not work. There are times when I look in the mirror, let out a long sigh, and just ask myself, “What do I need to do to shed a couple of pounds?”
Honestly, one of the biggest reasons as to why your weight loss journey hasn’t been a smashing success is likely because we keep listening to weight loss advice with our hearts and not with our minds. For every quick weight loss scheme or enticing product that doesn’t work, there is a huge amount of scientific data out there that seems to get lost in the muck of the multi-billion-dollar weight loss industry. It’s just that the big companies don’t really want to highlight it.
Snake oil salesmen have been around since the dawn of commerce. Despite the crackdown by various regulatory boards, corporations today still embellish the truth to get you to buy one of their products. That is why you still see a lot of late-night infomercials peddling various weight loss products that get wackier and wackier by the day.
Like I said earlier, when it comes to getting fit and looking good, people will buy with their hearts instead of their minds. Most people would rather believe in a convenient and eye-popping lie than trust the humble truth.
Most corporations tend to hide real-life data about weight loss from consumers. Because the truth is, most of it just consists of simple yet effective weight loss tips.
Think about it: would you keep buying hundreds of dollars’ worth of meal replacement shakes if you knew that drinking a home-made fruit and vegetable shake is actually so much more effective?
The greatest way to achieve weight loss is to invest in knowledge rather than just believing hearsay.
In the next part of this article, I want to show you several simple yet scientifically proven weight loss tips to start you off on your journey to fitness.
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The Best Evidence-Based Weight Loss Tips
1. Unleash the amazing power of green tea
A lot of people spend hundreds upon hundreds of dollars on weight loss pills. A lot of these pills can cause worrying side effects including dehydration and liver and kidney damage. People tend to forget a more natural weight loss tonic: the humble green tea.Besides being invigorating—it does have small amounts of caffeine—green tea also contains fat-busting catechins. Drink a cup before a workout or during a meal to make the most of its fat-melting goodness.
2. Hydrate with water
Drinking water to lose weight is something that trainers will often tell you about. But is it something that really holds true? Well, the short answer is, yes, it absolutely does! Something as simple as drinking good old H20 is said to increase metabolism by 24–30 percent in half an hour. In "https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661958"a study on weight loss in older adults, it was found that pre-meal water consumption may increase weight loss by about 4.4 pounds in 3 months. And that is without much physical activity involved.
Water provides hydration and the feeling of fullness without the unwanted calories. The universal tip is to drink 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water. However, if you work out or move a lot throughout the day, then you might need to drink some more.
If you are having a hard time drinking all that water, then try adding some fruits. Watermelon and citrus fruits have a very high water content. Or you can add more broth-based soup to your diet. Just watch the sodium!
3. Get a cup of joe
Another great way to lose weight is to drink coffee. The key is the high caffeine content in coffee, which helps block a neurotransmitter called adenosine. To spare you any more scientific mumbo jumbo, this process is basically the very thing that makes coffee a great drink to keep you awake. Coffee gives you energy, and that extra energy can help you boost your exercise performance by a whopping 12 percent.
Caffeine is also an effective fat burner as it increases the blood levels of a hormone called epinephrine, which in turn tells your body to break down fat and send it down the bloodstream.
Keep in mind, though, that you should not consume too much coffee throughout the day. Plus, if you buy those calorie-laden Frappuccinos from a certain popular coffee chain, then you’re taking one step forward and two steps back. Drink your coffee black—your body will thank you for it.
4. Take away some of that sugar
Did you know that processed sugar is something our body doesn’t actually need? It's true!
According to studies, eating a lot of sugary food is one of the main culprits for millions of cases of heart disease and obesity from around the world. Cutting down on sugar is certainly one of the greatest ways to decrease your weight.
Of course, this is easier said than done. You’ll find sugar in nearly everything you pick up from the grocery shelves. Soda, sports drinks, pastries, microwave meals, just to name a few, are loaded with many grams of sugar. Even a lot of so-called health foods are packed with them. Keep it in mind to always read the nutrition labels to avoid the sugar pandemic.
5. Create a plate illusion
Want to trick your mind into feeling full? Try using a really small plate and pack that with food. Your mind can be tricked into thinking you have had a big meal when, in fact, you have just eaten half of what you normally consume.
Think about it: you know how those fancy restaurants use those huge plates and place the food portion right smack in the middle? It makes you think to yourself, “Hmm, that doesn’t seem like something that will keep me full.” Meanwhile, some people might be tricked into thinking those tiny packed airline meals are generous enough.
While this is certainly a huge hit or miss, it is still something that’s worth a try. Who knows? If you trick your mind, your stomach just might follow.
6. Throw away the junk and replace it with some healthy food
Temptation really is the devil in most weight loss journeys. Look around your house and see if you are setting yourself up to fail. Check all those nooks and crannies for chocolate bars, candies, chips, all of that junk food. You can choose not to throw those bags and bars away and give them to your friends instead—they’ll love you for it.
Now buy some healthy snacks like fruits and vegetables, some low-sugar and low-calorie health bars, and some bottled water to leave around the house. These will help you keep your hands off the phone to call Domino’s whenever you have a sudden craving. Just eat some fruit and fill up with water to curb that appetite.
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7. Take some probiotic supplements
Probiotic supplements have been trending on the health circuit from some time now. But unlike the pretenders, probiotics can actually be beneficial when it comes to weight loss. According to Reader’s Digest, an imbalance in your gut can lead to bloating, cramping, diarrhea, and constipation. How do you solve this? The answer is by taking probiotics and introducing some good bacteria to your gut.
According to the same source, obese people have more bad bacteria (part of the Firmicutes family) in their digestive tracts compared to leaner and fitter people. These bad bacteria make our body prone to absorbing the stuff we don't want in our food, like what you’d find in fat and sugar, because their function is to extract them.
If you are not too fond of taking pills, then you can introduce some Greek yogurt into your diet instead. Be careful not to lace it with too much sugar or other undesirable fattening ingredients.
8. Try intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting is quickly becoming a buzzword in the weight loss community. Basically, this diet involves a cycle of eating and fasting. It doesn’t mean that you’ll be forced to starve yourself, though. The logic behind it is actually pretty interesting and makes a lot of sense.
The idea is quite simple. A huge chunk of human evolution was the hunter-gatherer phase, where humans who needed to hunt had to eat big meals and then go hours or even days without eating. Simply put, as humans have become more and more comfortable, we’ve also formed the habit of eating a bit too much. I mean, we literally invented the concept of brunches and midnight snacks just to keep being fed throughout the day.
There are three popular types of intermittent fasting diets. The easiest one to start with is the 16/8 method where you eat within eight hours (usually between 12 noon to 8 in the evening) and then fast for 16 hours. Other methods include the alternate day fasting, where you eat throughout the day and fast the next, and the warrior method, where you just eat a huge meal at night and nothing else throughout the day.
Think this is just a crazy diet fad? Well, according to the Harvard Health Blog ("https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/intermittent-fasting-surprising-update-2018062914156") , intermittent fasting using a healthy diet and some exercise could lead to good weight loss results. Plus, some studies are also claiming that this type of diet can help improve your mood and mental focus.
9. Get your early morning eggs
You can say that eggs are a nutritional dynamo. High in protein and nutrients, eggs can help you build those muscles while giving you a feeling of fullness. Don’t trust me? Studies actually state that eating eggs can help you lose weight as they rank high in the satiety index. They even beat high-carb foods like bread.
Eggs may also have the capability to boost your metabolism. So, if you are thinking that you’re doing your body a favor by eating those bagels in the morning, then you might need to rethink that strategy. Go with some delicious eggs and keep your weight journey on track.
10. Eat ’em spicy
There is a pretty widely-held belief that spicy food is great for weight loss. Well, there might actually be a bit of science to back up that claim. The reason behind this is that spicy food typically contains capsaicin, which raises our internal temperature and kicks our metabolism into high gear.
According to the ("https://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/28/health/nutrition/28real.html") New York Times, a study revealed that people who eat spicy foods will also more likely eat less throughout the day. In the experiment, the men who ate spicy food were inclined to eat about 200 calories fewer than the group who ate non-spicy food. Not bad for something that a lot of people like to eat to begin with! So keep that bottle of sriracha handy—it might just be your best friend when it comes to losing some weight.
11. Learn about viscous fiber
Fiber is important to keep our colons in good running order. However, when it comes to weight loss, viscous fiber is what you really want.
To those unfamiliar with the term, fibers like pectin and psyllium are of the viscous variety, which means that they thicken more when mixed in with some water. So how does this help with weight loss? Well, viscous fibers tend to sit around our guts and stall the emptying of the stomach. This means that our guts will have more time to digest the nutrients in our food.
Plus, this process is also known to keep us feeling full. So viscous fiber wins all around.
12. Let’s get physical
Keep in mind that dieting is always half the battle. You still need to keep fit and active if you really want to achieve fast and safe weight loss. One surefire way to keep looking fit and lose pounds is by doing some cardio. For those who aren’t used to working out, you can start with some light walking and gradually ramp up the intensity as your body adjusts. For those who are relatively active, you can try running, swimming, HIIT exercises, boxing, etc.
Sometimes, losing fat means that you will also lose some muscle mass. In order to avoid looking like a deflated balloon, try lifting some weights. Replace those fats with muscles and you will be looking fit and trim in no time. Just remember to take baby steps before trying to hulk it out at the gym on your first day!
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Start Off Your Weight Loss Journey on the Right Foot!
Weight loss is one of the toughest challenges that we can encounter in life. I mean, have you noticed all the tempting food options that we have around us 24/7? Go for a jog and you will probably pass by three McDonald’s branches and a couple of Starbucks tempting you with sugary drinks and greasy burgers. Turn on your TV and there is probably an ad for some fast food. Eat at a restaurant and the menu is littered with amazing-looking food. Open your Instagram and you will see one of your friends eating a huge banana split. It’s really a tough world to live in for those who seriously want to lose weight.
Add to that the fact that there is a huge abundance of conflicting data out there about weight loss. Nearly every month a trendy new diet pops up and an old one fizzles out. Plus, your local grocery store is most likely filled with products claiming to be healthy.
The good news is that there are still some weight loss tips that are backed by good old science. Underneath all that muck is useful information that can truly aid you on your weight loss journey. We’ve already discussed some of it above, and I hope this knowledge gets you started on the right foot.
So go out there, grind it out, and become the fit, healthy person you want to be. The journey is not going to be an easy one; never believe anyone who says otherwise. But with the right tools and mindset, I know that you can do it.