8 proven methods to lose weight that are backed by science

Yep, even with the holiday season upon us, you don’t have to turn merrymaking into extra pounds.

Use your teeth more

Insert food. Chew a few times. Gulp food down. Repeat. This routine isn’t doing anything for your fullness level. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who chew each mouthful 40 times ate 12 percent less food than those who chewed just 15 times. Chew more and you’ll eat less. It really can be that simple.

Eat freely!

For eight hours that is. Intermittent fasting is so popular because it works. The plan is fairly simple. You choose the 8 hrs in which you will eat, say 10 am – 6 pm and eat freely. No calorie counting or specific diet. But the remaining 16 hours you fast. A pilot study published in Nutrition and Healthy Aging revealed intermittent fasters ate 350 fewer calories, lost about 3 percent of their body weight and lowered their systolic blood pressure.

Fast two days a week

Another fasting option is the 5:2 diet where you eat normally five days a week and two of the other days are limited to 500-600 calories. Research published in Nutrition Journal showed following the plan for about three months resulted in a weight loss of about 11 pounds and a fat mass reduction of 7.7 pounds without losing muscle mass.

Keep your eye on the clock

One more thing about fasting: Researchers from the University of Alabama revealed you can amp up your weight loss by eating the majority of your calories earlier in the day. So yes, skipping meals early in the day and binging all night doesn’t cut it. It’s like the old saying goes, “Eat like a king in the morning, a prince at noon and a pauper at night.”

Eat the bread 

It’s so hard to resist a hearty chunk of freshly baked bread before the main course but if you put off taking a bite until after you eat your veggies and protein, it could pay off. A report in Diabetes Care says that when you eat a carb first, your blood sugar rises and increases the production of insulin but if you reverse the order and eat the bread last it has a significant impact on blood sugar levels and suppresses ghrelin, that sneaky hormone that tells your body to eat. 

Bust binge eating

If you’re prone to regular binge eating, train yourself to be a mindful eater. It will be your best defense against future bingefests. According to the Journal of Health Psychology, people that practice mindful eating made more conscious food choices and developed an awareness of true hunger and fullness signals. Start practicing today by eating with no distractions (put away your phone), chew food thoroughly and take notice of the colors, smells and textures of the food (the avocado is a lovely shade of green and so creamy), and when you start to feel full, stop eating and drink some water.

Keep what you have

Muscle that is. Weight loss often comes with two unpleasant side effects, slower metabolism and muscle loss. A study published in Obesity showed that resistance training, while you are cutting calories, helps keep you toned while burning fat. Aim for three days a week for 30 minutes.

Stop dieting

Diets can be a jump start to help you get on the track but if you focus on dieting day after day, chances are you’ll eventually gain the weight back, according to Frontiers in Psychology, an academic review. And you know it’s true. You lose the weight and then something happens-—an illness or a personal crisis–—and the weight creeps back up. Focus on being healthier, happier and active instead of counting calories. Adopting healthy lifestyle changes are the real secrets to keeping the weight off!

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One thought on “8 proven methods to lose weight that are backed by science

  • October 17, 2018 at 1:13 pm
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    Hello. I’ve lost 40 pounds using Intermittent fasting (IF) over the last 6 months so I’m here to tell you it works. However, some of your information is incorrect. When you list that you can eat freely while fasting with a 8 hour feeding window (we call that the 16/8) that is slightly misleading. While you can eat what you want without having to count calories, you still want to be at a caloric deficit to lose that weight. Normally, just skipping a meal is enough to do that, but some people will eat extra during the two meals or try to cram 3 meals into that 8 hours. This defeats the purpose of the window. My suggestion is to try to eat two “normal” sized meals during the eating window for the best results. If you combine the eating with an actual diet diet, like a low carb or Keto diet, it will be even more effective than just IF alone.

    Second misleading bit is the fact you aren’t outlining what a “fast” is. Most people will assuming not eating at all. However, if they drink any calories or take any caloric supplements (protein shakes) this takes your body out of fast and will prevent that fat burning you desire. So any sugary drinks like soda pop or coffee with cream or sugar will knock you out of fast as it shoots up your insulin, which blocks the fat burning for energy that makes IF so efficient. My suggestion is to knock out sugar from your diet first if you really want to try to take this on, otherwise you’ll be spinning your wheels when you break the fast time and time again with one sip of pop.

    Finally, while the 5:2 method can be effective, it is much harder to sustain. This fights the natural rhythm of the body, and during those fast days you’ll be hungry all day as you are still used to eating three times a day. In addition, allowing yourself any calories (even as few as 500!) breaks you out of fast just like I outlined about sugar drinks above. Meaning if you try to fast that way you won’t see any benefit as your body never truly hits fast. On average, it takes about 8 to 12 hours of fasting before your body’s insulin will return to baseline which allows for fat burning. The longer your insulin remains at baseline the more fat you burn, thus why the 16/8 is popular. However I would avoid the 5:2, as you’ll struggle with hunger all day on the fast day. Instead, using the 16/8 teaches your body a new rhythm, meaning the longer you do it and stick to it successfully, you’ll find yourself getting less and less hungry during the meal that you are “skipping” until you no longer feel hunger at all.

    If you really want to ramp up from the 16/8 I would suggest the Warrior Diet which is also referred to as the 20/4. 20 hours fast, 4 hour eating window. Going further on that vein would be what we call OMAD, or One Meal A Day, which is pretty self-explanatory.

    I don’t mean to tear anything down, I liked the article, I just wanted to make sure that people who want to try it get the right information so they can have the greatest success. If you (the author or magazine) have any other questions about intermittent fasting, you can contact me and I would be happy to try and help.

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