10 Weight-loss tips according to science
10 WEIGHT-LOSS TIPS THAT ACTUALLY WORK (ACCORDING TO SCIENCE)
Most people who try to lose weight have good intentions. They start strong, but end up losing steam and any weight they may have lost comes creeping back. We looked into the latest science to find out how people can actually lose weight the right way and keep it off.
Instead of crash dieting, here are ten steps that really work:
- Take baby steps
You may have convinced yourself that you can overhaul your diet and start exercising every single day. I recommend doing a brain dump of all the changes you want to make, then starting with one tiny, doable alteration. Once that’s a comfortable part of your routine, then add another small change. Sure, baby steps take longer, but they work.
- Keep your meals simple
The fewer complicated restrictions you have around your eating and exercising, the better. You need to find a plan or style of eating that works for you.
Everyone has a different tolerance, so the diet that works for your best friend might feel challenging to you. When my clients are feeling overwhelmed by a diet, switch to a simpler approach. That’s far better than quitting altogether.
- Set two goals
If you have a big long-term goal, it can be helpful to celebrate the smaller steps along the way.
Having an easier-to-reach goal can help keep you motivated. And when you hit that first milestone, it gives you a chance to celebrate, re-evaluate your strategy and re-up your enthusiasm for the next stage.”
- Eat your vegetables first
Why does this trick work? Because when any food is put in front of us, we generally go for it-and the veggies aren’t competing with other foods on our plate (which we tend to go for first, if given the option). So start with a salad or crudités.
- Comfort food won’t really comfort you
Not long ago, researchers did a study and showed subjects a sad movie, then allowed some of them to eat their favourite feel-better food-such as brownies, cookies and ice cream. Others were given a granola bar, while a third group ate nothing at all. When the researchers assessed their subjects’ moods afterward, there was no difference among the three groups. In other words, brownies aren’t the pick-me-up we think they are. The takeaway: “When you feel bad, you’re far better off calling a friend or going for a walk-both of which are proven to lift mood.” These options also have zero calories.
- Make peace with the scale
If the bathroom scale is an instrument of torture to you, it’s time to make peace! Studies show that people who successfully lose weight and keep it off long-term weigh themselves regularly. Otherwise you’re at risk of mindlessly regaining. In one study, a third of women didn’t realize they’d put on five kilograms over the course of six months-and a quarter had no clue they’d gained nine.
- Shorten your eating window with intermittent fasting
A series of new studies suggests that when you eat may be as important as what you eat. In one study, participants who usually ate within a 15-hour window were told to confine it to 10 or 11 hours-and they dropped an average of 4 kilograms over the 16-week study, without changing anything else about their eating. The timing of food intake affects the body’s internal clock. In other words, our bodies may burn calories more efficiently when we eat during a shorter window of the day.
- Watch food that you put into your grocery cart
Your purchases may not be as virtuous as you think. Researchers found that 61 percent of the calories in the food we buy are from highly processed items like refined breads, cookies, crackers, soda and chips. These foods also provide higher-than-optimal levels of saturated fat, sugar and sodium. To healthy-up your cart and help with weight loss, the study authors suggest buying mostly single-ingredient foods and shopping the perimeter of the store, where the fresher, healthier stuff like fresh produce and fish tends to live.
- Stop the negative self talk
Ugh, I’m so fat! For many of us, that’s what passes for a weight-loss pep talk. There’s this common misconception that being hard on yourself is the only way to achieve your goals. But treating yourself with kindness, research shows, is a better way to bolster your commitment to healthy behaviors. Coach yourself through your ups and downs the way you’d coach a friend-with words of encouragement and support. For instance, if you overeat or gain a few kilograms, tell yourself, ‘Losing weight is hard for everyone-I’m not the only one struggling. I’m going to take it slowly and keep at it. Think of every day-even every meal-as an opportunity to start over.
- Don’t expect weight-loss to be easy
Studies of successful dieters reveal a hard truth: “They remain fairly strict about their eating forever. Sound depressing? Think of it this way, you just need to find a nutritional strategy you can live with long-term-like allowing yourself to have dessert or a cocktail or two every so often. It’s like moving to a new city. For the first year or so it’s difficult, but once you establish a routine you get comfortable. You might still miss things about your old life, but you’re happy with your new one too.”