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If you’ve been struggling with your weight for a while, you’ll know that shedding those unwanted pounds and keeping them off can be challenging. There’s an abundance of weight loss advice, tips, and programs out there—but many are ineffective, unfounded, or potentially dangerous.
We share 15 of the best weight loss tips supported by science. You should see results from these medically reviewed tactics to lose weight and keep it off long term.
As you may already know, there’s no single quick-fix solution to dropping excess weight. We recommend incorporating all these tips into your weight loss strategy for best results:
For some of you, losing a couple of pounds may not be too hard—but it inevitably comes creeping back. Or, you might never see much in the way of changes, despite trying your hardest.
Bad habits, particularly where it concerns food and exercise, aren’t easy to break . Deciding to drop your candy habit or do an hour of cardio a day after a lifetime of inactivity is great, but you shouldn’t rush.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t challenge yourself, but start off small and set goals to work toward—for example, treating yourself to fast food twice a week instead of daily.
One study showed increasing your water intake can help you eat less and may reduce body fat, too . Drinking water fills you up, which means drinking before a meal can limit your chances of overeating. It can also ramp up your metabolism: one study revealed that 500ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30 percent.
Swapping out high-calorie beverages like sodas with water can also work to shrink your waistline. You can add lemon, mint, or low-calorie sweeteners if you must to make H20 more appealing.
You have options when it comes to overhauling your diet for the better. Before we discuss what foods to eat, let’s talk about how to avoid a major weight loss hurdle: overeating.
Whether your daily calories come from healthy foods like salmon or junk foods like ice cream, you need to consciously control how much you eat. There are two options to limit your calories per day to a healthy range:
Intermittent fasting (IF) involves eating food for a set number of hours every day and fasting for the rest of the time: at least 16 hours. Besides weight loss, fasting has proven benefits for the body, such as lowering blood sugar, reducing heart disease risk, and more .
Some IF advocates believe you can eat food during fasting hours as long as you keep your calorie intake under a certain level. Others only drink water while fasting to avoid spiking insulin at all. Make sure if you try IF, you clear it with your doctor if you have a condition that requires you to take medication, like high blood pressure.
Portion control is an established diet technique that may help you consume fewer calories. This method focuses more on food preparation; limiting your portions of certain items .
You can try eating using smaller plates to downsize your portions. Alternatively, use plates that are pre-sectioned to make it easier for you: they tell you how much of each food you should have for a satisfying meal.
Emotional eating and other disorders like binge-eating are associated with a greater risk of long-term complications, including weight gain .
If you deal with feelings of guilt, fear, or other negative emotions toward food, aim to change that—seek support from friends, relatives, communities, or a professional.
Practice good eating habits such as savoring your meals rather than rushing them. Avoid mindless snacking while at your laptop or in front of the television.
If the bulk of your diet involves eating this type of food, you should be aware of the higher risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity . Not only are they high in calories, they usually have low levels of nutrients compared to raw ingredients.
You shouldn’t be consuming more than 100 to 150 calories worth of sugar daily: about five to six teaspoons .
You may be surprised at hidden sugar in seemingly “safe” items such as fruit juice, which means you need to read labels carefully. If your favorite treats are sweet, try to reward yourself once per week rather than multiple times a day.
The average diet is usually concerningly high in refined carbs which can lead to weight gain. Much like sugar, eating these empty calories offers little benefit to your body . You’re also probably consuming far more calories than you need.
Instead, opt for good carbs from veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Unless you’re eating paleo or keto, whole grains aren’t off-limits. A whole grain diet may also keep your risk of diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and cancers low.
Standard diet advice is to stick to eating low fat options whenever possible. Not all fat is equal: trans fats increase bad cholesterol, but monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats don’t .
One trial demonstrated that eating walnuts and fatty fish—both good sources of unsaturated fats—may help lower your chances of heart disease .
Unless you’re following a keto lifestyle, you don’t need to aim to eat high fat foods in large quantities. Try to eat small quantities of good fats: avocados, olive oil, and whole eggs are all great choices. Bear in mind these foods are high in calories, so keep track of how much you eat.
Adding fiber to your diet can leave you feeling fuller for longer, which means you’re not as likely to fill up on snacks between meals or overeat. People who eat fiber on a regular basis tend benefit from increased weight loss. It’s also less likely you’ll abandon your new healthy eating habits if you aren’t suffering from hunger pangs.
A high protein diet isn’t only for bodybuilders, although it can increase muscle mass . Eating protein, whether plant based or from animals, can help you shed weight since it encourages fat burning and satiety .
If you want to keep fat intake low in your diet, start eating lean protein: chicken breast, lima beans, tofu, and quinoa all fall into this category.
There’s more than one reason that everyone from nutritionists to your parents encourages a diet high in fruits and veggies. If you don’t get enough of them, you’re missing out on vital health benefits such as lowering blood sugar, high blood pressure, good gut health, and more. Most vegetables and fruits also have fewer calories, which means they’re great to sustain weight loss.
If you’re trying to avoid spiking your insulin should pick non starchy vegetables such as brussels sprouts, asparagus, and broccoli. Moderate your consumption of sweeter such as dates and bananas so you don’t go overboard with calories.
Studies found that people consuming high levels of caffeine reduced fat mass, weight, and BMI . Both coffee and green tea are excellent natural sources of caffeine and can help fight obesity, cancer, diabetes, and other common illnesses.
One other important advantage is that both green tea and coffee are low in calories. The exception is people who doctor these drinks with sugar and milk: take it plain.
Keep your caffeine intake low if you’re sensitive to it, pregnant, or have other conditions that caffeine could aggravate, like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
It’s no secret that physical activity can help you lose weight. You should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day to start seeing changes.
There are two styles of exercise at your disposal: aerobic and anaerobic. Both can benefit your waistline, fitness, and overall well being, although aerobic exercise is the winner when it comes to losing weight .
Anaerobic activities don’t require your muscles to rely on extra oxygen to work. Examples include lifting heavy weights, practicing calisthenics, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Aerobic activities demand more oxygen than anaerobic exercises, meaning your heart rate and breathing must increase. These include running, swimming, biking, and cardio like jumping jacks or burpees.
They’re excellent for burning fat fast: people who practice aerobic exercise alone regularly enjoy significant weight loss .
If you feel you’re doing everything right where it concerns diet and exercise but still struggling, sleep deprivation could be the culprit.
Studies show that people who don’t get sufficient quality sleep can lead to weight gain, raising cortisol, and increasing hunger. Fatigue isn’t conducive to keeping up with your exercise, either .
Counting calories obsessively on a crash diet or avoiding rest days when sore might achieve noticeable results, but they’re less likely to be long term ones . It’s important to set realistic expectations and understand that extreme measures are more likely to hurt than help.
Choosing interventions that best suit your needs and abilities will be easier to keep up with. If you can’t live without carbs, keto probably won’t work for you. Similarly, yoga might be a more appealing option to you than high-intensity cardio.
You should also set realistic expectations for your target goals: one to two pounds weekly. Positive outcomes are more likely versus expecting to shed 30 pounds in a month . If you don’t hit unrealistic targets, you’re more likely to revert to bad habits that may result in weight gain.
Managing body weight is no easy feat, and if you want to see a low number on the scale, reaching out for support could help.
Social support is one of the factors that improve dietary adherence, which is how well you maintain your new healthy choices . Similarly, programs that include supervision in any form tend to promote success.
Your gut is a thriving environment for bacteria, most of which are crucial to support digestion and good gut health overall. If the population of good organisms drops too low, you may find that shedding fat is a challenge and suffer from other symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, and more .
Many people follow a diet that includes one or more foods that don’t agree with them and can hurt your gut. For instance, 65 percent of individuals worldwide are lactose intolerant .
You might want to try cutting out inflammatory foods such as peanuts, dairy, alcohol, and sugar for a while to see how you respond when you reintroduce them. You can also invest in a quality probiotic to help heal your gut.
Women and men are physiologically different, which means weight loss poses a separate set of challenges for women. If you have persistent weight gain or feel that you make changes to no avail, consider these tips:
Men are also more likely to exercise because they enjoy it, or for social reasons—whereas women tend to work out to lose weight. Weight loss motivation plays an important role in predicting success when it comes to achieving your goals.
People who have never attempted to lose weight before might find the mere idea somewhat overwhelming. Don’t worry, everyone has to start somewhere—consider these tips:
If you’ve never tried any specific diet plan (e.g., keto, portion control, etc.) before, do your research to see which choice sounds feasible for you. Look into activities or sports that you think you’ll enjoy rather than picking something you know you’ll dislike for the sake of losing weight.
It’s normal to feel challenged or a sense of loss for your old lifestyle. However, bear in mind that you’re making these changes to achieve better health overall. If you’re making extreme changes with diets and exercise regimens that you hate, you won’t stick with it.
Yes, certain supplements can bring you closer to your weight loss goals. Still, you should aim to get your exercise in and eat well: no supplement can serve as a substitute for that.
Most diet pills aim to combat common foils such as irrepressible hunger, low mood, and fatigue. Some can also assist with burning fat by promoting thermogenesis or revving up your metabolism.
You should be critical, though: look for products with medically proven ingredients from quality manufacturers. Here are two supplements that meet these criteria:
Trimtone contains five potent ingredients to help you achieve a slimmer physique by suppressing appetite, increasing metabolism, and limit fat absorption. It’s free of additives, fillers, and the formula is non-GMO. If you want to learn more, check out our in-depth Trimtone review.
PhenQ alters how your body burns fat, encourages you to reduce food intake, and enhances your mood and energy levels. The supplement includes seven natural ingredients, and it’s suitable for vegans and vegetarians. If you want to know how it can work for you, read our detailed PhenQ review.
If you’re thinking to eat less or power into overdrive at the gym, we don’t recommend it—a healthy approach and respecting your physical limits is the way to go. Unfortunately, transformation takes time and it’s important that you stay consistent.
You can ramp up your new lifestyle changes if you feel comfortable. For instance, aim to eat your favorite treats once a month rather than once a week, or try an extra 10 minutes of exercise per day.
The best weight loss tips are integrative to tackle your health and wellness from all angles.
Addressing your diet, mental wellbeing, and being more active can help you achieve and sustain long term weight loss.
You can look into weight loss aids to support you as well, although remember that they’re not standalone solutions—you must improve your eating habits and exercise levels too.