According To Science
Losing weight and keeping it off is a constant uphill battle that many women struggle with. From starving yourself to buying interesting-tasting green smoothies, you’ve tried anything to shed that bulging waistline and lose weight fast.
And let’s be honest—the internet is crawling with well-intentioned but bogus weight loss advice. While they’re usually harmless in the short term, they create long-term health consequences that you won’t be happy about in the future.
Thankfully, scientists are invested in figuring out the safest but most effective ways to shed some pounds. Don’t rely on the shady Insta fitness gurus for weight loss tips. Instead, let’s look at ten weight loss methods, backed hard facts and science.
1. Try Intermittent Fasting
Most people resort to creating a caloric deficit when they want to shed pounds quickly. This is why fad diets and fasting are some of the most popular methods for weight loss.
Intermittent fasting is a pattern of eating that involves regular short-term fasts and eating within a shorter period during the day. Compared to regular fasting, short-term intermittent fasting routines between 3 and 24 weeks can lead to up to 3 to 8% weight loss.
There are several ways to practice intermittent fasting. The easiest and most common method is to fast for 16 hours and only eat during an 8-hour eating window during the day. Some people have their windows from noon to 8, while others start earlier or later depending on their day. Ultimately, you should pick a period that you’re the most active at and stick to it for the duration of your fast.
That said, there are some downfalls to intermittent fasting. Many beginners end up binging unhealthy foods during their eating window, which is counterproductive to their weight loss goals. For the best results, you should avoid overeating by practicing a healthy eating pattern during your eating window alongside adequate exercise.
2. Try A Probiotic
If you’re having difficulties shedding pounds, you should take a closer look at your digestive system. A high-sugar and fat diet alters the balance of bacteria in your gut. This reduces the number of good bacteria, causing your digestive system to lag.
A healthy amount of probiotics in your system can help break down your food better. Not only does it influence your fat mass and weight, but it also improves your mood in general. One study pointed out that women who took probiotics lost 50% more weight over three months. And they continued to lose weight during the weight maintenance part of the study. You can get probiotics from a variety of fermented foods, like yogurt, kimchi, and kefir. Alternatively, you can try over-the-counter (OTC) probiotics in pharmacies or online. Natural Health Sources’ Maximum Digestion Probiotic keeps your bacteria balance in your gut in check. This is done by boosting the ‘good’ gut bacteria and reducing the ‘bad’ bacteria. Because of this, your body absorbs nutrients better, subsequently offering all the benefits of a healthy gut.
3. Get More Sleep
Have you ever wondered why the longer you stay awake, the more food cravings you have? The main culprits for this are ghrelin (your hunger hormone) and leptin (your satisfaction hormone). When you stay up late at night, ghrelin increases while leptin decreases in your system. This leads to a craving for sweet treats and midnight snacks.
Not only that but not having enough sleep might cause your body to go on autopilot mode. Causing you to make decisions like eating a whole tub of ice cream while watching your favorite TV show. When you’re well-rested, your body and mind work together to help you steer clear of bad eating habits and unhealthy food. Your body would also have enough time to rest and repair itself.
4. Keep Your Stress Levels Low
Stress eating isn’t just an emotional thing—hormonal imbalances in your body might also cause it. When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol, which stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism. Too much cortisol in your system triggers you to eat more since it thinks you need more resources to deal with your stressors.
Although stress triggers are subjective, there are a few things that you can do to keep your stress levels down. You can curb emotional eating by getting regular exercise, practicing meditation, and reducing your caffeine intake. Besides that, you can also keep your emotional health by saying no to non-essential commitments and being mindful of what you need.
5. Get More Vitamin D
Some research shows that those with vitamin D deficiency lead a more sedentary lifestyle with minimal exercise, contributing to obesity and weight gain.
Besides lifestyle, there could be a few other reasons why vitamin D is vital for weight loss. For one, vitamin D acts as your body’s environmental sensor. Without enough vitamin D exposure, your body thinks you’re living in harsh conditions and starts storing fat for energy instead.
Besides, vitamin D is also thought to suppress the parathyroid hormone that triggers fat accumulation in your adipose tissue. If your parathyroid hormone levels are too high, you might also experience health problems like bone thinning and kidney issues down the road. Thankfully, vitamin D is easy to get if you know what kinds of food to eat. When possible, you can include egg yolks and fatty fish like salmon into your diet. You can also make a habit of taking vitamin D supplements with your breakfast to give you a bright start to your day.
6. Proper Portion Control
Practicing reasonable portion control is essential to losing weight. Research shows that dividing single meals into smaller portions makes you feel fuller, effectively reducing the amount of food and calories you consume.
That doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself with tiny portions, though. There are multiple ways to make portion control work for you. Sometimes, thirst triggers hunger, so drink a tall glass of water before you eat to fill your belly with some aqua. Besides that, you can also use portion control dinnerware to limit the amount of food you can fit on a plate. Participants of a study showed those who use a smaller bowl take 31% less ice cream than those with a bigger bowl.
7. Say No To Sugary Drinks
Many people resort to cutting out carbs and fats when they are trying to lose weight. While that’s a great start towards your weight loss goal, the devil might be in the fruit juices you drink.
That’s because added sugar raises your blood sugar levels, which significantly impacts your hormones. Insulin plays a role in controlling your body’s energy-storing mechanism. It tells your body to store fat for energy and turns it off when enough glucose is stored.
Prolonged elevated blood glucose levels, or hyperglycemia, impairs your normal cell function and causes insulin resistance. What happens then is that your cells ignore your insulin’s calls to stop storing glucose and continue to do so. The result? A nice thick padding around your waist.
Instead, try sipping on a glass of freshly squeezed juice to satisfy your soda cravings. They have natural fructose that doesn’t contribute to weight gain. They also have fibers and other vitamins that are healthy for you. Alternatively, you can try using plain and sparkling water with your berry of choice or fresh mint.