The weight loss “industry” is full of myths. People are being advised to do all sorts of crazy things, most of which have no evidence behind them.Over the years, however, scientists have found a number of strategies that seem to be effective. Here are 20 weight loss tips that are actually evidence-based and have proven to work again and again.
1. Drink Water, Especially Before Meals
It is often claimed that drinking water can help with weight loss, and this is true. Drinking water can boost metabolism by 24-30% over a period of 1-1.5 hours, helping you burn off a few more calories.
One study showed that drinking a half liter (17 oz) of water about a half an hour before meals helped dieters eat fewer calories and lose 44% more weight.
2. Eat Eggs (or Protein) For Breakfast
Eating whole eggs can have all sorts of benefits, including helping you lose weight. Studies show that replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs can help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours, and lose more weight and more body fat. If you can’t eat eggs for some reason, then that’s fine. Any source of quality protein for breakfast should do the trick.
3. Drink Coffee (Preferably Black)
Coffee has been unfairly demonized. Quality coffee is loaded with antioxidants, and can have numerous health benefits. Studies show that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3-11%, and increase fat burning by up to 10-29%.
Just make sure NOT to add a bunch of sugar or other high-calorie ingredients to it. That will completely negate any benefit you get from the coffee.
4. Drink Green Tea
Like coffee, green tea also has many benefits, one of them being weight loss. Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine, but it is also loaded with powerful antioxidants called catechins, which are also believed to work synergistically with the caffeine to enhance fat burning.
Although the evidence is mixed, there are many studies showing that green tea (either as a beverage or a green tea extract supplement) can help you lose weight.
5. Cook With Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is very healthy. It is high in special fats called medium chain triglycerides, which are metabolized differently than other fats. These fats have been shown to boost metabolism by 120 calories per day, and also reduce your appetite so that you eat up to 256 fewer calories per day.
Keep in mind that this is not about adding coconut oil on top of what you’re already eating, it is about replacing some of your current cooking fats with coconut oil.
6. Take a Glucomannan Supplement
A fiber called glucomannan has been shown to cause weight loss in several studies. This is a type of fiber that absorbs water and “sits” in your gut for a while, making you feel more full and helping you eat fewer calories.
Studies have shown that people who supplement with glucomannan lose a bit more weight than those who don’t.
7. Cut Back on Added Sugar
Added sugar is the single worst ingredient in the modern diet, and most people are eating way too much of it. Studies show that sugar (and high fructose corn syrup) consumption is strongly associated with the risk of obesity, as well as diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and others.
If you want to lose weight, you should be cutting back on added sugars. Just make sure to read labels, because even so-called health foods can be loaded with sugar.
8. Eat Less Refined Carbs
Refined carbohydrates are usually sugar, or grains that have been stripped of their fibrous, nutritious parts (includes white bread and pasta). Studies show that refined carbs can spike blood sugar rapidly, leading to hunger, cravings and increased food intake a few hours later. Eating refined carbs is strongly linked to obesity.
9. Go on a Low Carb Diet
If you want to get all the benefits of carb restriction, then consider taking this all the way and going on a low carb diet.
Numerous studies show that such a diet (or “way of eating”) can help you lose 2-3 times as much weight as a standard low-fat diet, while improving your health at the same time.
10. Use Smaller Plates
Using smaller plates has been shown to help people automatically eat fewer calories in some studies. Weird trick, but it seems to work.
11. Exercise Portion Control or Count Calories
Portion control (eating less) or counting calories can be very useful, for obvious reasons. There are also studies showing that keeping a food diary and writing down what you eat, or taking pictures of all your meals, can help you lose weight. Anything that increases your awareness of what you are eating is likely to be useful.
12. Keep Healthy Food Around in Case You Get Hungry
Keeping healthy food close by can help prevent you from eating something unhealthy if you become excessively hungry. A few snacks that are easily portable and simple to prepare include whole fruits, a handful of nuts, baby carrots, yogurt and a hardboiled egg (or two).
13. Brush Your Teeth After Dinner
Although I’m not aware of any studies on this, many people recommend brushing your teeth and/or flossing right after dinner. Then you won’t be as tempted to have a late-night snack.
14. Eat Spicy Foods
Spicy foods like Cayenne pepper contain Capsaicin, a compound that can boost metabolism and reduce your appetite slightly.
15. Do Aerobic Exercise
Doing aerobic exercise (cardio) is an excellent way to burn calories and improve your physical and mental health. It appears to be particularly effective to lose belly fat, the unhealthy fat that tends to build up around your organs and cause metabolic disease.