If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ve probably already wondered: are there some not-so-obvious measures I could be taking to make this process more efficient?
Turns out, there are all kinds of steps and tips you can follow to perfect your weight loss regimen. Some are more basic health tips that everyone should follow, and others are really surprising!
Here are 20 fat burning tips that are supported by scientific research.
1. Drink More Water
Not only does staying hydrated make you healthier overall, it can also help you lose weight.
One study demonstrated that drinking water could boost your metabolism by 24 to 30% over a period of more than an hour, which could help you burn more calories, especially before exercise.
Another important time to drink water is right before your meals. While you may think this is because you’ll feel fuller, making you eat less food during the meal, that’s not the whole story.
A study showed that drinking water actually reduced the total number of calories the body absorbed during a meal, helping to lessen the load of caloric intake and encourage weight loss.
2. Don’t Drink Your Calories
If you’re watching your weight, don’t just watch what you eat, watch what you drink as well.
You might think that fruit juice is better for you than a sugary snack, but think again. A study showed that sugar in liquid form is actually worse for the body than in solid form.
Another study showed that sugary beverages were linked to a 60% increased risk of childhood obesity for each daily serving.
3. Smaller Portions
If you’re calculating how many calories are in a food you’re about to eat, be mindful of what an average serving size should be.
Keeping track of your portions won’t only help you keep track of your total calorie intake, it can also help you lose weight by making you more aware of what you’re eating.
Another way to do this is by using smaller plates when you eat. I know it sounds crazy, but no matter what size the plate, if your eyes see it’s full it tricks your brain into feeling more satisfied, despite the fact you’ve eaten a smaller portion.
4. Do Lots of Cardio
Cardio (aerobic exercise) is key to burning calories and improving your overall health. It’s probably the best method of exercise for getting rid of those annoying love handles and tummy fat that just doesn’t seem to leave.
Visceral fat is some of the worst fat because of the way it wraps around your organs. A lot of the time, we look at belly fat as though it’s just part of what happens when you age, but it’s now been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
So seriously, do more cardio.
5. Do You Even Lift?
If you’re dieting, you may not realize that you’re actually losing muscle mass and slowing your metabolism. This is known as starvation mode, or adaptive thermogenesis.
The surest way of stopping this in its tracks is to perform resistance exercises like weight lifting. Studies demonstrate that lifting weights keeps your metabolism running at full strength, and prevents you from losing your muscle mass.
On top of this, once you actually lose the weight by putting all of these tips into your routine, you’ll be a far better physical specimen than you were before.
6. Eat Fewer Simple Carbs
Sugars, as well as grains that have been stripped of their fibers – pastries, white bread, etc – are called simple carbs. They provide you with energy, but aren’t packaged with the same nutrients found in complex carbohydrates.
The body also processes simple carbs more quickly than it does complex carbs, meaning you’ll be heading to the bathroom sooner and absorbing fewer of those nutrients.
And thanks to their effect on spiking blood sugar, eating lots of simple carbs is strongly linked to obesity and diabetes.
7. Chew More Thoroughly
I can still hear my mother’s voice telling me to take more time and better chew my food. I figured it was all ending up in the same place, so what did it matter?
Turns out, it was seriously important.
Studies are now showing that chewing your food more slowly and deliberately can lead to more efficient stimulation of hormones associated with weight loss in the body.
8. Don’t Jump Up for Seconds
In addition to chewing more slowly, which adds extra time to your meal, you should also take time after you’ve eaten to simply relax.
It takes around 20 minutes for your brain to register that you’ve eaten a meal. So, before you evaluate your hunger levels and decide you could eat seconds immediately after taking the last bite on your plate, take a break. Go for a walk, talk to your dinner companions or, who am I kidding, stare at your phone for a while.
Then, when you get up, you can save the rest of the meal for later. Leftovers are awesome.
9. Eat Eggs for Breakfast
If you’re looking to lose weight and be more effective in your daily exercise, eating eggs for breakfast instead of the grains you normally find in breakfast cuisine is a good choice.
Studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast helps you feel less hungry for the next 36 hours, making you less inclined to consume as many calories as you would have. Doing this often will make you much more effective in losing weight and body fat.
If you aren’t an egg person, you should still find something high in protein that will have similar effects.
10. Drink Your Coffee Black
Coffee and medical science have an on-again off-again relationship, that’s for sure. It seems like every other year there’s a new study coming out declaring once and for all that coffee is either the best or the worst thing for your health.
But good coffee is without a doubt full of antioxidants that provide all sorts of health benefits.
If you aren’t drinking your coffee black, it’s time to start cutting back on the sugar and cream for good. You need to appreciate the drink for what it is. Dumping all that creamer into your coffee is like putting ketchup on a steak – unnecessary. And it makes it far less effective for weight loss.
11. Drink Green Tea
Green tea has certainly been a more popular beverage as of late, and for great reason. While green tea only has small amounts of caffeine that won’t make it as effective as coffee for getting you energized in the morning, its overall health benefits are definitely worth it.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants called catchins, which are thought to work together with caffeine to make the body more effective at burning fat.
12. Avoid Added Sugar
Take every opportunity you can to cut excess sugar from your diet. If something isn’t sweet enough for you, get over it! You should never reach for the sugar to pour more of it into, or on top of your food, especially when there’s probably already plenty inside it.
Studies have linked added sugars to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and there’s only one place excess sugar goes…into fat storage!
13. Get More Sleep
People seriously underestimate the benefits of a good night’s rest, especially when it comes to losing weight.
Studies have shown that poor sleep strongly increases the risk of obesity in both adults and children. Better sleep is associated with less weight gain, largely because of how it controls the metabolism of glucose.
As if you really needed another reason to get better rest. It’s undeniably better for your energy and mood and now you know it’s proven to be better for your weight.
14. Use More Spice in Your Food
This is a curry-ous one indeed. Okay, that pun hurt me.
Purdue University researchers found that people who consumed a half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in their soup ate 60 fewer calories the next time they ate than those who ate their soup plain.
Capsaicin, the compound found in cayenne and other spicy foods, has been linked to a better metabolism. This means when you get that crazy burn in your mouth, you’re helping your body.
15. Don’t Switch Between Fad Diets
If you keep moving from diet to diet, looking for the next trend or get-slim-quick scheme, you’re putting yourself on a course for metabolic disaster.
A lot of diets are really only for short term use anyway. That’s why the best long term strategy is to simply make sure you live an active lifestyle, and most importantly maintain a well-balanced diet.
Make sure your body gets everything it needs, while avoiding giving it everything your brain or eyes want.
16. Eat a Light Snack Before a Huge Meal
If you know you’re about to go over to someone’s house and be welcomed with a three-course meal, eat a healthy snack before you leave. Try an apple or some yogurt, or one of these awesome, quick recipes.
Not only will you consume a more reasonable amount of food, you’ll get energized and make it through the wait period without developing unreasonable cravings.
17. Eat More Fiber
While the science is still not completely certain about the effects of fiber on the gastrointestinal system, studies have shown its effects in helping to increase satiety and help to control weight over the long term.
18. Chew Gum
No longer relegated to merely freshening the breath, chewing gum may be helpful for people trying not to eat so much.
Some studies suggest that chewing gum to regulate your appetite may be effective in moderately restrained eaters. So, unless you’re starving yourself, chewing gum might be effective in distracting you from your hunger.
It could also lower your likelihood of reaching for a snack. And, if you have something in your mouth, you’re less likely to want to busy yourself with mindlessly munching on foods.
19. Use a Whey Protein Supplement
As was mentioned before, protein is a seriously important part of your diet. If you aren’t getting enough protein, it might be wise to start taking a protein supplement like whey protein.
One study has shown that using whey protein while in concert with resistance exercise or as part of a weight loss or weight maintenance diet could lead to eight pounds of weight loss while boosting lean muscle mass.
20. Sleep in a Cooler Environment
The National Institute of Health Clinical Center found in a study that sleeping in a cooler environment was not only an effective means of helping you burn calories, but also increased your likelihood of getting a good night’s sleep.
Researchers found that sleeping in colder temperatures “…could be a new strategy in the combat against obesity, diabetes, and related disorders.”
So if you aren’t already a person who likes to sleep when it’s cooler, join the rest of us. You may just lose some weight.
It’s pretty obvious now – scientific research is being done on all sorts of methods for helping people to lose weight.
And truth be told, that’s probably because losing weight is rarely the simplest of processes. After reading this you hopefully have a better idea of steps you can take in your daily life that will make burning that body fat easier for you.
What science-backed tips and tricks do you know that can help people lose weight?
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