It’s that time of year where everyone starts feeling guilty about overdoing it over the holidays, and visualising their bikini body.
But the weight loss industry is full of myths, and a lot of contrary information, some of it downright dangerous. So how do you know what will help you reach your goals without making you miserable or harming your health?
Check out these 7 scientifically backed weight loss tips to help you smash your goals.
Drinking water throughout the day has been consistently proven to make a big difference when trying to lose weight.
By drinking water throughout the day, you prevent your body from sending you false hunger signals when you’re dehydrated.
On top of that, by having a glass of water before eating you feel fuller quicker, and it prevents you from eating thoughtlessly when you are bored.
No TV When Eating
When you are trying to lose weight, watching tv, reading a book, or playing on your phone while eating can all scupper your efforts.
By eating whilst distracted, you are far more likely to over eat. It takes 20 minutes for the stomach to tell your brain “I’m full.”
By slowing down, and paying attention to what you are eating, you’re more likely to lose weight because you are paying attention to your body, and less likely to take in extra calories in those 20 minutes.
On top of that, by being mindful about what you are eating, you are less likely to start snacking later.
The fact that your food tastes better when you are paying attention is also a bonus.
I know you’ve probably heard this one before, but that’s because it’s true. I’m not saying eat a saucer full of food, but children’s sized plates can do the job well.
Your brain can be easily tricked a lot of the time, and that’s the thing that tells you you’re hungry or full. By using small plates you let your brain believe you’ve eaten more have, even if you’re eating exactly the same amount as before.
Blue plates can also be used to suppress your appetite. Research has shown that the colour blue is not associated with cravings, and the high contrast between a blue plate and lighter coloured food makes the portion look larger, meaning you eat less!
Green tea is often recommended for weight loss, and it’s not hard to see why. The benefits of drinking green tea everyday are numerous.
Green tea has been shown to boost metabolism and increase fat burning. It increases the levels of antioxidants in your blood, and increases fat oxidation leading to fat loss. Additionally, green tea can act as an appetite suppressant.
Great for weight loss, clearly.
But on top of that, green tea has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, reduce inflammation, and can protect against neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
Increase Your Fibre
Fibre is a type of food that cannot be digested, and by adding foods that are rich in fibre to your diet, you can dramatically improve weight loss.
Fibre comes in two types: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fibre can be dissolved in water, and passes through your digestive tract, eventually reaching your gut. When it finds its way here, it can be used by the friendly gut bacteria as a source of energy.
These gut bacteria then release nutrients into the colon, and help reduce long term inflammation, which not only can increase weight gain, but also can lead to inflammatory disorders.
Insoluble fibre is mainly a bulking agent, which by eating larger amounts, can help you feel fuller for longer.
By eating foods such as lentils, chickpeas, berries and switching to wholemeal, you can increase your fibre intake easily, and this can help increase your weight loss. Bring on the hummus and veggies!
I get into constant arguments with my aunt over the fact that I don’t eat breakfast. She spouts the oft heard advice “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” She’s convinced I’ll starve without. But the fact is when I do eat breakfast, I feel hungrier throughout the day.
Fasting as numerous proven benefits, the most obvious being decreased calorie intake, which leads to weight loss.
But fasting also affects hormone levels. It decreases insulin, and increases human growth hormone and noradrenaline (norepinephrine) which all leads to increased fat burning.
On top of that, it increases your brain activity and reduces inflammation, which can reduce risk of neurodegenerative diseases.
If you are trying to lose weight, intermittent fasting is worth trying to see if it works for you.
Losing weight is generally a difficult task. But there’s no reason you can’t try and take some of the struggle out of it.
As is the case with most goals, people who take the time to plan how they will achieve their goals are far more likely to succeed.
Studies have shown that if a person follows a structured plan to lose weight, they can lose up to twice as much as those who don’t. And this isn’t just short term, but over a long period of time as well.
Obviously, following a plan may help anyone who wants to lose some weight, so it’s definitely worth looking for a plan that works for you.