40 Best Weight Loss Tips of All Time
There are many weight loss fads out there that are simply a waste of your time and money. But, no single supplement or exercise can make you lose weight—and keep it off— on its own. Healthy weight loss is a combination of diet, exercise and lifestyle choices. That’s why we’ve gathered 40 of the best weight loss tips that are proven by science to help you on your weight loss journey.
Let’s get started:
1. Avoid eating late
When you eat late, you’re not giving your body enough time to burn off the calories, so it stores the calories as fat. Some studies show that in terms of weight loss, the effect of exercise is lessened in people who eat later rather than earlier.
2. Weight train
When you lift weights, you build more muscle and more muscle means your body will burn more calories to maintain those muscles than it would to maintain fat. So, the more muscles you build, the more calories and pure fat you’ll lose—even while you rest.
3. Don’t skip meals
When you skip a meal, you’re not doing yourself any favors. A study using mice showed that those who skipped meals developed insulin resistance (pre-diabetes) and stored more fat. Part of the reason is that they tended to overeat when they did eat, resulting in large fluctuations in blood glucose.
4. Eat water-rich foods
Studies show eating water-rich foods such as watermelon, cucumbers and zucchini reduces your overall calorie consumption, leading to weight loss. This is because they don’t have many calories, yet leave you feeling full (more so than drinking liquids). Many water-rich foods also have a lot of fiber, which is good for weight loss.
5. Start with low-calorie soup
The next time you have lunch or dinner, start with a low-calorie veggie soup. It’ll leave you feeling satisfied, without the calories (as it’s also water-rich). So, you’ll eat less of your high-density meal (about 20% less, according to research).
6. Grill meats
Grilling is healthier than many other cooking methods because it allows the excess fat from meat to drip away, saving you from unwanted calories. You also won’t need to use extra oil or salt on your grilled foods. Some great grilled options are shrimp, salmon and lean chicken.
7. Plan your meals
When you don’t meal plan, it’s easy to fall into the trap of eating unhealthy foods. You’ll eat when you have cravings or if something is simply available (even if it’s unhealthy). Meal planning will prevent that—you’ll only have healthy ingredients stocked up.
8. Buy smaller plates
It’s a simple concept—the more food that’s available, the more you’ll eat (and more weight you’ll gain). So, eat less by putting less in front of you. A simple way to do this is by using smaller plates (up to nine inches wide).
9. Plan healthy food outings
It’s tempting to visit the new ice cream bar in town (or sports bar). But, you’ll probably consume more calories in a couple of hours at these places than you should consume in an entire day. So, next time your friends want to go out, suggest a vegan or seafood restaurant or an apple-picking date.
10. Consume more high fiber foods
Fiber is great for weight loss because it makes you feel full, but it passes through your body without causing a high rise in blood glucose. A study found that those who added more fiber (without changing anything else) lost as much weight as those following a low-fat diet.
11. Drink more water
Switch sugary and alcoholic beverages for water and you’ll notice a difference. These beverages are filled with things your body doesn’t need (including extra calories), yet we’ll drink them without realizing this sometimes. Water has no calories, but it’ll fill your stomach, leading to less calorie consumption.
12. Drink green tea
Some studies have shown that the flavonoids and caffeine in green tea may work together in overweight individuals to increase metabolic rate temporarily (which means more calories are burnt). The best type to drink is Matcha green tea.
13. Skip the diet sodas
A study found that the more diet soda a person drinks, the higher their risk of becoming overweight. The artificial sweeteners in these drinks cause a disruption in our body’s ability to regulate calories. The sweetness basically causes our brain to crave more food and drinks, leading to excess calories.
14. Stay positive
Positive thinking goes a long way—and there’s evidence to show for it. A study from Special K showed that 90% of women who thought positively about their weight management lost or maintained their weight over a year compared to only 50% of negative thinkers.
Stress is a contributor of weight gain—thanks to cortisol, which raises your blood sugar. If you’re stressed, you probably get insufficient sleep, eat for comfort and/or take medications with the side effect of weight gain. So find ways to relax, whether it’s yoga or music.
16. Replace your current cooking oils with coconut oil
Coconut oil is a healthier substitute than the oils many of us use to cook. It contains medium-chain triglycerides, which have fewer calories than long-chained triglycerides and are readily used as fuel instead of being stored as fat.
17. Replace high-calorie snacks with healthy snacks
If you forbid yourself from snacking, you’ll only want to snack more. So, have your snacks but instead of always eating candies, chips and cookies, try some fruits with a healthy dip, unsalted nuts or dark chocolate. You can even make healthy chips using kale.
18. Eat more leafy vegetables
There’s no doubt that all veggies are beneficial to us. But, leafy ones (lettuce, celery, kale etc.) are especially good for weight loss. These leafy veggies have low calorie density and high water content, so they’ll leave you feeling full.
19. Eat more fish
Fish contains less calories than most other meats and usually don’t require additional oil when cooking, especially if you grill it. The fats in fish are also the good type of fat (omega-3 fatty acids).
20. Eat more blueberries
Blueberries contain compounds called flavonoids, which activate fat-burning genes in abdominal cells—meaning they can help you lose your belly fat! Blueberries also have fiber, lower cholesterol and improve glucose sensitivity.
21. Get more sleep
Getting enough sleep is so important for your body and mind. Studies show that those who have short sleep duration have up to an 80% increased risk of obesity! This may be due to activation of inflammatory pathways and activation of our “hunger” hormones.
22. Switch white bread for whole grain
Whole-wheat bread contains double the fiber found in white bread, allowing you to stay fuller longer (so you’ll eat less). Research shows it may help you lose more abdominal fat, too.
23. Eat more cayenne
Cayenne (aka red hot chili pepper) can actually help you lose weight by decreasing your cravings for junk food (i.e. sweet, salty and fatty) and increasing feelings of fullness, studies show. It also raises your body temperature, which may increase the calories you burn.
24. Chew your food slowly
It can take a while for your brain to realize just how much you’ve eaten. So, chew your food slowly to allow your brain to recognize when enough is enough. Studies have shown that this leads to lower caloric intake and an increased feeling of fullness at the end of a meal.
25. Find ways to move naturally
Sometimes working out can seem like a chore, especially if you don’t enjoy physical activities. But, there are ways to sneak in extra steps and movements during your day so that it doesn’t feel so forced. For example, park your car far away from entrances, take stairs, walk to the store and clean your house the old-school way.
26. Find exercises or sports you like
Find exercises and sports that you enjoy is the easiest way to lose weight when it comes to working out. If you love dancing, swimming or running, you’ll do them more often and consequently lose more weight.
27. Find what pushes you through a workout
We all know working out can lead to weight loss, but what about those days that you’re just not in the mood (or if you’re never in the mood)? Find what motivates you to power through, whether it’s a workout partner, music or mantras.
28. Make a grocery list
When you make a grocery list filled with healthy choices like veggies and lean meat, you’re less likely to buy food based on your cravings. If you want a surefire way to avoid buying junk food, only bring enough cash for the items on your list.
29. Keep a food journal
Keeping a food journal is one way of being more aware of what you’re eating and holding yourself accountable. Studies have shown that those who use it at least six days a week lose twice as much weight as those who only use it one day per week or less.
30. Make healthy foods easier to access
Don’t just buy more fruits, veggies and nuts. Make them easily accessible to you! We’re more likely to grab what’s right in front of us, so put them at eye-level in your cupboards and refrigerator. And put the chips and cookies out of reach!
31. Dine out with caution
Since restaurant portions are often much bigger than they need to be, consider getting an appetizer, splitting the meal, or taking half home to eat later instead. Also, don’t be tempted by that bread basket!
32. Eat whole fruits and veggies
Apples, kiwi and potatoes are foods we usually peel. But that’s where all the fiber is! You’ll find many other nutrients in the skin of fruits and veggies, too. So next time, don’t peel them!
33. Get equipment to keep yourself active at your desk
No time to work out? We have a solution. If you sit most of the day at work, get a mini stationary cycle to put under your desk. If you work from home, consider getting a treadmill desk. You can also do exercises at your desk without any equipment.
34. Eat more tamarind
Tamarind is a tangy fruit that grows in the tropics. Research has shown that taking a certain amount of a specific type of tamarind (Malabar tamarind) can help you to lose weight because it contains hydroxycitric acid (HCA), which blocks an enzyme that turns starches into fat.
35. Eat chia seeds
Chia seeds are really nutritious—they’re filled with healthy omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, which will make you feel full and want to eat less. The great thing about chia seeds is that they don’t have a taste, so you can add them to any dish (or even to smoothies), to help you lose weight.
36. Don’t eat in front of the TV
Eating while distracted can lead to over-eating, which contributes to weight gain. This is because you don’t realize how much you’re actually eating at the time and later in the day, can’t recall how much you ate while distracted, so you eat more. So, turn your screens off during mealtime!
37. Pay attention to the color of your plates
It sounds weird, but the color of your plate affects how much you eat. A study showed that eating on a plate that contrasts the color of your food (rather than one that’s the same color) will result in eating less. So, eat salads on green plates and chocolate cake on red plates!
38. Don’t be tricked by labels
We often think it’s safe to indulge in foods with labels like “fat-free,” “diet” or “light.” But, you should always pay attention to the nutritional information anyway. Some foods may be trans-fat free but still have a lot of sugar or saturated fat.
39. Chew sugarless gum
Chewing gum can help you lose weight! A study showed that people who chew gum consumed 68 fewer calories at lunch than those who didn’t. Chewing gum also reduces snack cravings. So, next time you wanna eat those cookies, reach for gum instead!
40. Get a pedometer
You may not realize just how sedentary you are until you get a device to track your movement. It can motivate you to be more active. Aiming for 2,500 steps a day is a good start of you’d like to lose weight (you’d lose about a quarter of a pound per week).