Over the years, you’ve probably heard some strange weight loss tips, like drinking celery juice or eating special “weight loss cookies.” But be wary of advice from people who aren’t experts. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. However, there are legitimate and proven ways to lose weight if you are in the right mindset and have personal weight loss goals.
A good tip is to improve the quality of your diet. A February 2023 study looked at data from more than 15,000 people and found that people who ate less processed food had a lower risk of obesity, while people who ate more processed food had a higher risk of obesity. Plant-based diets have also shown great promise in research. In a study of more than 200 people, those who followed a fat-free plant-based diet for 16 weeks lost more weight than a control group, according to an October 2022 study.
Having a strong support system can also help with weight loss. This support can come from family, friends, coaches, or even through apps and online communities. For example, joining an online support group may increase your motivation, as July 2022 research showed. And a June 2022 study found that being part of online communities focused on obesity and health can improve your adherence to weight loss behaviors.
Best Tips For Weight Loss
Your mindset is also important. Research from February 2022 showed that people who successfully lost weight and maintained it were more accepting of setbacks. He viewed setbacks as temporary bumps in the road rather than major obstacles.
Here are some tips for weight loss from professionals that are supported by research and can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight.
1. Eat Slow
I tell my clients to choose foods they enjoy, savor every bite, and chew slowly. I recommend that they chew their food thoroughly, swallowing only when it has been thoroughly chewed. This helps them realize when they are full. Eating slowly not only makes our meals more enjoyable but also helps us recognize when we are no longer hungry.
2. Batch Cook and Prep
Every Sunday I do some cooking to make my workdays easier. I prepare a bunch of chicken by trimming off the excess fat, adding some seasoning, and cooking it. Then, I measure out 3.5 ounces of chicken and place it in a container with some mustard and frozen vegetables. This way, I have lunch ready for each workday.
I also take the time to whisk together ¼ cup rolled oats, 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed, a pinch of protein powder, and a pinch of cinnamon for some added flavor. This makes my morning so much easier. When I’m feeling half-sleepy in the morning, all I have to do is add water to those oats and pop them in the microwave for a quick and easy breakfast!
3. Maintain a Daily Gratitude Journal
Sometimes, our emotions and feelings are linked to the way we eat, even if we don’t realize it. For example, when we are feeling stressed, we may turn to food to comfort ourselves. I work with clients to help them cope by encouraging them to keep a journal. In this journal, they can write down things they are grateful for or express their thoughts when they are stressed. This helps them accept their stress and find better ways to deal with it instead of using food as a way to feel better.
4. Enjoy the Food You Eat
We often hear advice about what foods we should eat, but sometimes those recommendations include foods we don’t enjoy. This can make it difficult to stick to healthy habits over the long term. Instead, consider trying new fruits and vegetables. Explore different ways of cooking and preparing them to add variety and delicious taste to your meals. You can also use herbs and spices to make your food more exciting. And if you want, enjoy the natural sweetness of fruits and the rich flavor of raw and boiled vegetables. The main thing is to make your relationship with food pleasant and enjoyable.
5. Lift Weights
It’s a good idea to incorporate weight lifting into your routine at least two or three times a week. When you lift moderate to heavy weights and do three or four sets of 10 to 15 repetitions with a weight that is challenging for you, it can help you build more muscle. Having more muscle in your body makes it more likely that the food you eat will be used as energy rather than stored as fat. Therefore, lifting weights can be a great way to support your weight loss and fitness goals.
6. Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep has adverse effects on your body in many ways which can cause your weight to increase. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body produces more of a hormone called ghrelin, which makes you feel hungry. Plus, it produces less of a hormone called leptin, which tells your brain when you’re full and satisfied. So, you feel more hungry and feel less satisfied.
When you are tired, you tend to crave unhealthy foods that are salty and sweet. This is because when you’re really hungry, you’re more likely to eat foods that give you lots of energy, even if they contain a lot of calories.
Additionally, not getting enough sleep can impair your thinking and emotions. So, it’s easy to make non-great choices in what you eat.
On the other hand, when you get enough good sleep, your body functions better. You eat when you’re really hungry, and stop when you’re satisfied. Your hormones also remain balanced because when you’re sleeping your body has time to rest and repair itself.
7. Don’t Skip Meals
Keep in mind that our bodies are designed to survive and be healthy. When we reduce our calorie intake, which is basically the energy our body needs to function, our body reacts to ensure survival. They make us crave foods that provide more energy. Therefore, it is important to listen to your hunger and not make your body feel like it is starving. This approach is different from many dieting strategies, which often do not work well in the long term. I generally suggest eating something every four hours to help maintain a balanced and healthy approach to eating.
8. Stay Hydrated
Drinking two glasses of water before meals can help you lose weight and keep it under control. This trick works because it does two things:
- Helps with appetite: Sometimes, when you are thirsty, your body may mistake it for hunger, causing you to overeat. Drinking water before meals helps quench your thirst, making you less likely to overeat.
- Feeling full: Water can also make you feel full, so you won’t eat as much during meals.
Therefore, drinking two glasses of water before eating can be a helpful tool in your weight loss journey.
9. Cut Calories, Not Tastes
“When you choose sharp cheddar cheese instead of mild cheddar, you can use less of it, but you’ll still enjoy a rich flavor without feeling like you’re restricting yourself on a diet.”
10. Do Want You Can, Start where you Are
You don’t have to completely change your life all at once. Instead, start by taking a good look at where you are now and think about where you want to be in the future. Here’s a simple way to get started if you’re not very active: Get yourself a step counter, such as a pedometer, and see how much you typically walk on a typical day. Then, set a goal to walk a little more than your usual amount, gradually increasing it. Your ultimate goal might be to walk about 10,000 steps every day.
This advice comes from Esther Avant, an online sports nutritionist in San Diego who specializes in helping people lose weight. It’s a practical and achievable way to be more active without feeling overwhelmed.
11. Always Think Big
“Here’s a simple way to lose weight: Focus on the most important factors that give you the best results. Don’t get caught up in all the little things that can confuse things. By focusing on a few key areas , you can make your weight loss journey easier and more possible.
When it comes to what you eat, keep track of three things: calories, protein, and fiber. Pay attention to these elements in your diet.
As for exercise, here are the main things to think about: build your strength through resistance training, aim to increase your daily steps, and don’t forget to leave time for recovery. These big-picture strategies can go a long way in helping you reach your weight loss goals.”
12. Reorganize the plate
Here’s a simple and practical way to think about your meals: Fill half of your plate with vegetables, a quarter with whole grains, and the remaining quarter with lean protein. When you adjust the amount of grains and vegetables in this way, it can make a noticeable difference in the healthiness of your diet. Just keep in mind that potatoes, corn and peas are starchy vegetables, so you should count them as your grain portion rather than the vegetable portion.
This advice comes from Lanny Younkin, a nutrition consultant and consultant in Boston.
13. Boost the protein content of your breakfast.
Try to consume about 15 to 25 grams of protein when you have breakfast. Protein takes time to digest and helps reduce hunger hormones, which means you’ll feel full for longer. Plus, a protein-rich breakfast can help you avoid afternoon snack cravings.
For a balanced breakfast, combine protein-rich foods with fiber and healthy fats. For example, you might have two eggs with whole-wheat toast and some avocado. Another delicious option is to enjoy high-protein frozen waffles with nuts, berries and a touch of maple syrup. This way, you’re getting the benefits of protein, fiber, and healthy fats to start your day off right.
14. Go Beyond the Scale
The bathroom scale isn’t a bad tool, but it’s important to remember that it doesn’t tell you everything about your progress. To get a more complete picture of how you’re doing on your health journey, try these three things: Take your regular photos. Measure different parts of your body (such as your waist, hips, or arms) over time. Keep a list of all the small wins that don’t measure up.
Doing these things will help you see all the positive changes you’re making to your health and lifestyle, even if the number on the scale doesn’t show it all.
15. Eat Protein in Every Meal
Eating protein-rich foods like eggs, curd, nuts and meat can be helpful in losing weight. Protein has a special way of making you feel full and satisfied, which can reduce your overall appetite. When you eat protein, it also helps regulate your hunger hormones, making it easier to control your cravings.
It’s a good idea to include protein at every meal, especially breakfast. Some protein-rich foods you can enjoy include quinoa, edamame, beans, seeds, cheese, tofu, lentil pasta, poultry and fish. Therefore, by including these protein-packed foods in your diet, you may find it easier to control your weight.
16. Eat Mainly Whole, Avoid Processed Foods
Processed foods taste delicious because they go through several steps and have additional ingredients added to them. These added substances often include lots of sugar, fat, and salt. Studies show that when people are given as much ultra-processed food as they want, they can consume up to 500 extra calories a day compared to eating unprocessed foods.
17. Read Food Label
Making it a habit to check food labels on the back of packages can be really helpful. It can save you time, money, and even help you make healthier choices. You see, these labels tell you exactly what’s in the food you’re buying. And if you’re trying to lose weight in a healthy way, it’s not just about how many calories are in the food; it’s also about what kind of calories they are.
To make sure your meals are good for you, it’s important to get a balance of nutrients without going overboard on things like salt (sodium), sugar, and unhealthy fats (saturated fat). That way, you can make sure you’re eating foods that are not only low in calories but also nutritious.
18. Eat Plenty of Fruits
Fruits are not only delicious but also very good for you. They are low in calories and rich in important ingredients like antioxidants and fiber. Surprisingly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people in America don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables.
But here’s a fun idea: you can use fruits to make your desserts more exciting and still meet your daily fruit needs! You can get creative by cooking fruits in different ways, such as roasting, grilling, or baking. For example, try grilling peaches and serving them with vanilla yogurt and shaved almonds. It’s a wonderful treat!
So, don’t forget to enjoy some fruits in your desserts – they will make your day delicious and healthy!
19. Do Meal Planning
“Planning your meals is one of my top tips for staying healthy and eating delicious food. I’m such a fan of the idea that I even wrote a book about it! Spend just 5 to 10 minutes on the weekend doing this Figuring out what you’re doing with your meals can really be a game-changer during the upcoming week. It saves you time, money and keeps extra, unwanted calories at bay.
Have there ever been those evenings when you’re not sure what to cook for dinner? Well, with meal planning, this won’t be a problem. Your dinner plans will already be decided. Meal planning helps you stay organized, keeps track of which groceries you need to buy, and keeps you from overbuying stuff you already have. Plus, it helps you have a balanced diet.
Remember, it’s totally okay to take a night off from cooking and treat yourself to a take-out or frozen meal once in a while. The beauty of meal planning is that you can be intentional about including those nights so you don’t have to worry about feeling hungry. And here’s a pro tip: Write down your meal plan. You’re more likely to stick with it if it’s in front of you as an easy reminder.”
—Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, a culinary nutrition and communication dietitian based in Westchester County, New York
20. Make a Groccery List, Stick To It
Once you’ve decided what you want to eat for the week, make a shopping list. You can write it down on a piece of paper or use your phone, like I do with the Notes app. Keeping a list before going to the store helps you save time, prevent wasting food, and avoid buying things that catch your eye but aren’t really necessary. To stick to your list, try not to shop when you’re hungry or tired. Studies have shown that you’re more likely to make impulse purchases during those times.
About the Author
LifeFitness.com’s authors consist of accredited coaches, doctors, dietitians and athletes across the world.