When it comes to weight loss, everyone you speak to seems to offer different advice – and some of it is much better than the rest. But you don’t need to worry! A lot of in-depth scientific studies have gone into weight loss. We’ve compiled the ultimate guide to losing weight with one hundred simple weight loss tips.
1. The start of your weight loss journey is vital
A study from the Journal of Medical Internet Research shows that the start of your weight loss journey is vital, and has an impact on your final weight loss outcome. Getting into good habits early – such as monitoring your weight and eating smaller portions – makes it much easier to form good long-term habits.
2. Avoid processed foods
If you have a busy life, it’s easy for processed foods to become a big part of your diet. The New England Journal of Medicine published an article showing how bad junk food can be. For example, potato chips account for an average of 1.69lb of weight gain every year. So next time you’re feeling peckish, try snacking on some veggie sticks and dip instead.
3. But pre-packaged isn’t always bad
Cooking healthy, low-calorie meals every night is a great idea, but it’s not always achievable. There’s a great variety of nutritious ready meals that are low in calories and quick to whip up after work. In fact, a study in the Obesity Journal found that volunteers who ate two low-calorie ready meals a day lost more weight than those who stuck to their own diet.
4. Get your beauty sleep
How much you sleep can make a big difference to your weight. The Goldilocks “just right” amount of sleep is between 6 and 8 hours. Anything less and even your body’s fat cells get tired, reducing their ability to respond to insulin by 30%, which can result in weight gain. You’ll also feel less motivated to do those daily squats!
5. But don’t sleep too much
Excessive sleeping can cause weight gain, too. Canadian researchers showed that if you are a long-duration sleeper, you are 21% more likely to become obese. However, this increases to 27% if you’re a short-duration sleeper. Try to relax before bed, and manage your sleep pattern so that you’re not under- or over-sleeping.
6. Try reading a book before bed
It all comes down to keeping calm. Stress can result in disturbed sleep, which can result in exhaustion and weight gain. If you’re someone who struggles to shut off, try reading a book before bed. No murders or mysteries, though! Keep it light, relaxing, and enjoyable.
7. Drink plenty of water
Not only does drinking water improve your performance during exercise, it also naturally boosts your weight loss. Drinking lots of water triggers water-induced thermogenesis, which means that your body expends energy heating the cool water that enters your body. So drink up!
8. Veg out
Some food groups are more calorie-dense than others. Filling your plate with fruit and vegetables will help you feel full without consuming an astronomical number of calories. The Choose My Plate government website can help you learn more about this common weight loss technique.
9. Keep a food journal (and stop lying to yourself!)
Being aware of what you eat is your biggest ally in weight loss. It’s easy to snack mindlessly without considering your calorie intake, and keeping track improves your chances of losing weight. It also helps change your relationship with food, meaning that over time you’ll learn to carefully consider what you’re eating.
10. Eat from a smaller plate
Even the most savvy dieters forget that weight loss is not just about what you eat, it’s about how you eat. Environmental factors like eating from a smaller plate can have a positive impact on weight loss. It also helps you adjust to a smaller portion size, and it’s a simple tip that can be incorporated into your everyday life.
11. Invest money into your diet
Do you have a gym membership that you never use? Why not invest that money into what you eat instead? Eating healthily can cost $1.54 more per day if you’re consuming 2,000 calories. That’s over $560 every year! Cut down on expensive gym memberships and expensive coffees, and invest that money into filling your kitchen with fruit and vegetables.
12. Invest in your workout clothing, too
You might not need a gym membership, but you still need to exercise regularly to stay healthy and maintain your weight loss. A good way to motivate yourself is to invest in some good quality workout clothes. Try to buy ones that make you feel good when you’re wearing them; it’ll make that morning run that much easier.
13. Put in the effort before hunger hits
The less effort something takes to prepare, the more of it we’re going to eat. This is pretty clear if you look at all the ready meals available in supermarkets. Make your weight loss journey easier by preparing healthy meals and snacks upfront so that when the cravings hit, you can satisfy them without opening the cookie jar or microwaving that ready meal.
14. Don’t rely on calorie counting
How many diets tell us to start counting calories? The truth is that calories are not created equal. Your body takes on more energy from processed foods than it does from whole foods. Being aware of your calorie consumption is important, but simply cutting your calories is not enough. Try to incorporate more whole foods into your diet as well.
15. Processed foods are highly addictive
Research from 2015 shows that highly processed foods are more likely to be addictive than other, healthier foods. In fact, there are several characteristics that are common between narcotics and processed foods, including the high dose and rapid rate of absorption. So think about what you’re putting into your body!
16. Watch your weight if you quit smoking
Losing weight is even trickier when you’ve just quit smoking. One study showed that, on average, people who had just quit smoking gained 5.17lb in the first year. Before you quit smoking, start a food journal and monitor your eating habits to ensure you aren’t replacing the cigarettes with potato chips.
17. Slow down and enjoy your food
When you’re short of time, it’s far too easy to wolf down your food. Eating too quickly doesn’t allow your body to respond; slow down and give your body a chance to tell you when you’re full. This will prevent you from eating to excess by giving your body the opportunity to say, “Hold up, I don’t need more food.”
18. Breakfast isn’t optional
Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. One study showed that those who skipped breakfast were more likely to eat fast food throughout the rest of the day, leading to an overall weight gain. Try investing some time into having a healthy breakfast to start your day.
19. Stock up on soup
Eating slowly has been proven to aid weight loss, and soup is a great option if you want to slow down meal time. It’s also a great way to sneak some extra veg into your diet! Have a root around your fridge and make a load of soup in bulk. You can freeze any extra portions for a later date.
20. Skipping meals won’t help
One of the negative effects of skipping meals is the development of insulin resistance, which can cause diabetes and weight gain. Eating small portions on a regular basis helps to increase your metabolism and prevent insulin resistance. A higher metabolism and better body chemistry will mean that your body uses more calories, even when you aren’t active.