Eat this. Stay away from that.
We hear it a lot in the weight loss industry, as each idea turns into a program that turns into a trend. But let’s be honest: How often do we think about diet fads that have come and gone and shake our heads that they were EVER a real thing? This industry is full of ridiculous myths. Based on profit, many aren’t out to help you slim down the healthy, correct way, but rather to take your money by any means possible.
If you’re trying to lose weight, you might find these science-backed strategies to be more truthful, and in turn, more effective, than anything you’ve succumbed to before.
1. Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking water works to increase metabolic rate by 24-30 percent over a period of 1-1.5 hours. This can, in turn, allow you to burn more calories (1, 2).
2. Fill Up On Eggs In The Morning
Eating whole eggs over a grain-based breakfast has been linked to consuming fewer calories, more weight loss, and a lower body fat percentage (4, 5).
3. Enjoy A (Black) Cup Of Coffee
There has been a lot of controversy surrounding coffee, but it should be noted that it comes with plenty of antioxidants and a plethora of health benefits. Research has even shown that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3-11 percent, while also increasing fat burning by 10-29 percent (6, 7, 8).
4. Drink Green Tea
Green tea is loaded with catechins, which are powerful antioxidants that are thought to work in unison with caffeine to increase fat burning (9, 10).
5. Replace Your Cooking Fats With Coconut Oil
Rich in medium chain triglycerides, coconut oil has been shown to increase metabolic rate by 120 calories per day, all the while reducing your calorie intake by 256 calories per day (13, 14).
6. Get Rid Of Added Sugar
It’s become common knowledge that added sugar is the main culprit behind weight gain in the modern diet. Along with high fructose corn syrup, added sugar is associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more (17, 18, 19).
7. Minimize Your Refined Carbs Intake
Unlike good-for-you complex carbs, which are full of natural fiber, refined carbs are typically sugar, or grains that have been stripped of their nutritious attributes. Research links refined carbs to obesity, as they cause a rapid spike in blood sugar, which can cause hunger and cravings for more refined carbs (20, 21, 22).
8. Keep A Food Diary
Along with portion control and counting calories, studies have concluded that keeping a food diary, in which you record exactly what you eat, leads to weight loss success (28, 29).
9. Keep Healthy Food On Hand When Hunger Strikes
When you become hungry, you may typically become desperate for the first thing that will satisfy you. Often times that can be an unhealthy choice like processed snacks. Try keeping only healthy foods on hand in order to prevent yourself from eating empty calories. Whole fruits, a handful of nuts, raw veggies, and yogurt are all great options to consider.
10. Eat Foods With Capsaicin
Capsaicin — often found in spicy foods like cayenne pepper — is a compound that can increase metabolic rate and decrease your appetite (30, 31).
11. Do Some Cardio
Doing aerobic exercise is a surefire way to burn calories while improving both your physical and mental wellbeing. Research has found it to be an effective tool for losing belly fat, too (32, 33).
12. Do Resistance Exercises
A big downside to dieting is the loss of muscle and the reduction of metabolism. To prevent this, try lifting weights, which studies link to a higher metabolism, and the prevention of loss of muscle mass (36, 37).
13. Eat Plenty Of Fiber
Fiber, specifically viscous fiber, has been found by research to increase satiety and aid in weight control (38, 39).
14. Load Up On Veggies and Fruits
Many vegetables and fruits are full of water, and are lower energy density foods, which means they provide less energy per gram of food, allowing you to eat more without consuming too many calories. Studies show that people who eat them regularly tend to weigh less as well (40).
15. Slow Down Your Chewing
Ever felt like you scarf down so much food, but still feel hungry? You may find yourself overeating, only to be met with an uncomfortable feeling of fullness soon after. That’s because it takes time for the brain to register that your body no longer needs any more nourishment. Research has found that chewing slower can help you to consume fewer calories, as well as increase the production of hormones that are linked to weight loss (41, 42).
16. Get Quality Sleep
Whoever said sleep is for the weak didn’t take one’s health into consideration (something you need to live at your best). Research shows that poor sleep is among the biggest factors for falling victim to obesity. It is linked to an 89 percent increase of obesity among children, and 55 percent among adults (43).
17. Beat Your Food Addiction
Addiction seems to be a heavy word in our society for obvious reasons, but don’t underestimate your health issues in this regard. If you have food cravings that overtake your mind, causing you to spiral out of control and eat far too much food beyond nourishment and enjoyment, then you might be a food addict. A 2014 study found that 19.9 percent of people meet the food addiction criteria (44).
18. Eat More Protein
Consuming a diet high in protein has been found to increase metabolic rate by 80 to 100 calories per day, while improving satiety, resulting in you eating up to 441 fewer calories per day (45, 46, 47).
19. Don’t Drink Your Calories
While we’ve come to the conclusion that eating sugar is bad, drinking it has proven to be even worse. Studies show that liquid sugar calories may be the most fattening part of the modern diet (50). This means steer clear of sugar soda and fruit juices.
20. Eat Whole Foods
Diets often forget one very important factor: overall health.
Many offer quick fixes to slim down, without allowing a regimen for people to change their overall lifestyle to a healthier one. If you want to be leaner and healthier, eat whole, single ingredient foods, which are naturally filling.