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The 15 Best Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work

Get motivated and reach your weight goals with this essential collection of weight loss tips that help you create a healthy lifestyle.

Updated: December 6, 2020
side view of young woman standing on digital scales in bathroom
By MBL Featured Blogger: Abby Heugel
Originally Posted: December 2, 2020

Losing weight isn’t easy for anyone and it can seem overwhelming.

Not only do you have to find the balance between eating healthy and still enjoying your meals while properly fueling your body, but you also have to adopt an exercise routine that works for you, make sure you’re getting good sleep, and make literally hundreds of different choices throughout the day that can either help you reach your goal or completely send you in the opposite direction. 

You’re probably wondering, “What are weight loss tips that actually work?”

That’s where MyBigLife comes in, as we’re not here to dish out quick fixes and crash diets that will leave you miserable and frustrated. Instead, the tips below will help you make necessary tweaks to your lifestyle that will help you lose weight in a safe way and build a healthy foundation for years to come. 

Drink Plenty of Water

It’s no secret that water is good for you, but do you know how good? It can boost metabolism by 24–30 percent over a period of 1–1.5 hours, helping you burn off a few more calories. Another study showed that drinking 17 ounces of water before meals — usually around 30 minutes — resulted in dieters eating fewer calories. As a result, they lost 44 percent more weight when compared to people who didn’t drink water. 

Eat Mindfully

There’s nothing wrong with Netflix and Chill with Snacks binge-watching your new favorite series, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you’re better off eating your meals sitting at your kitchen table — not parked with the television taking up all your attention. 

TV provides a distraction from the food, which can result in you mindless scarfing down more than you’re truly hungry for. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,“paying attention while eating can aid weight loss efforts while distracted eating can lead to a long-term increase in food consumption.” So take 30 minutes, sit at the table, and truly enjoy your distraction-free meal. 

Eat Eggs at Breakfast

The nutritional benefits of eggs are outstanding, and when you eat this protein-rich powerhouse in the morning, it can help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours — helping you to lose more weight as a result. Just be sure you’re not loading your eggs up with extra butter and smothered in cheese. One large egg contains only about 78 calories, so paired with some whole-grain toast and fruit, you have a winning beginning.

Learn to Love Green Tea

Green tea is packed with compounds called catechins, which have been found to aid in reducing belly fat by revving the metabolism, increasing the release of fat from fat cells, and increasing the liver’s fat-burning capacity. In an American Physiological Society study, participants who combined 4-5 cups of green a day increased their exercise endurance by up to 24 percent, helping to increase weight loss.

Eat Less Refined Carbs

Carbs are not bad. In fact, they’re kind of amazing and delicious. But it’s important that you eat the right kind of carbs. What you want to avoid are refined carbs, which are carbs and grains that have been stripped of their fibrous, nutritious parts. These include things like white bread, pasta, and sugars.

The body processes refined carbs quickly, so they do not provide lasting energy. Instead, they can cause a person’s blood sugar to spike, leading to hunger, cravings, and increased food consumption just a short time later. Instead opt for complex carbs that include things like fruits, vegetables, whole-grain bread and pasta, brown rice, beans, and pulses. 

Take a Glucomannan Supplement

A natural, water-soluble dietary fiber extracted from the roots of the elephant yam, also known as konjac, glucomannan has numerous weight loss benefits. It’s low in calories, delays stomach emptying to contribute to increased feelings of feeling full, and studies show that people who supplement with glucomannan can potentially lose more weight than those who don’t. It’s readily available at natural food shops, pharmacies, and online

Drink (Black) Coffee

There’s nothing better than that first cup of joe in the morning, and the good news is that when you don’t load it up with sugar and cream — or get those sugary drinks from Starbucks — it can be a great weight loss aid. 

First of all, it’s loaded with antioxidants and has been shown to have numerous health benefits. But even better, the caffeine can boost your metabolic rate by 3–11 percent, and studies have shown that caffeine can specifically increase fat burning by as much as 10 percent in obese individuals and 29 percent in lean individuals.

Cut Down On Sugar

One of the worst things you can do to your body is to consume too much sugar. It can have many negative effects on your health — everything from increasing your weight and tooth decay to increasing your odds of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. 

While sugar is naturally found in foods like fruits and vegetables, this type has little effect on your blood sugar and is a healthy form of sugar. What we’re talking about is the danger of sugars in processed foods. Even things like salad dressing and fruit juices add in unnecessary sugar and calories and can quickly add up the pounds, so be sure to check the label for “added sugars” and opt for natural when available. 

Get Moving — Do Aerobic Exercise and Lift Weights

A healthy diet is the key to dropping weight, but exercise should also be included as part of a healthy lifestyle. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that individuals get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity.

When it comes to aerobic activity, that can include everything from brisk walking, running, swimming, or even mowing the lawn. Just as important is strength training, as studies show that weight lifting can help keep your metabolism high and prevent you from losing muscle mass. This can involve the use of weight machines, your own body weight, or resistance bands. 

A good goal to start out with is to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day. If you want to lose weight, maintain weight loss, or have ambitious fitness goals, you may want to increase your exercise to 300 minutes or more a week.

Eat on Smaller Plates

It sounds a little lame, but eating on smaller plates also makes sense. The smaller the plate, the less food you’re going to pile on that plate. (It’s even backed by science.) Consider swapping out dinner plates for salad plates to aid in portion control — try not to go back for seconds — and fill at least half of your lunch and dinner plate with vegetables. 

And to take it a step further, make it a red plate. According to a study published in the journal Appetite, it’s suggested that the color red reduces the amount we’re likely to eat by subtly instructing the mind to stop eating.

Get Adequate Sleep

The benefits of good sleep, in general, can’t be understated. Not only can it improve concentration and productivity, maximize athletic performance, and improve your immune function, but it also greatly affects your weight and can aid in weight loss. 

Studies have found that people who don’t get adequate sleep — aim for eight hours a night — tend to weigh significantly more than those who get more zzzs. In fact, in one extensive review study, those with short sleep duration “were 89 percent and 55 percent more likely to develop obesity,” and sleep deprivation can lead to increased calorie consumption, and as a result, increased weight gain. 

Weight aside, those who don’t get those seven to eight hours a night are also at a greater risk of heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and depression, with an estimated 90 percent of people with depression complaining about the quality of their sleep.

Eat Quality Protein

When it comes to losing weight, protein is arguably the most important thing that you can eat. Eating a high-protein diet has been shown to increase metabolism by 80–100 calories per day, and helps you feel full longer, maintain healthy skin, nails, and hair, build muscle and maintain lean body mass.

But again, make sure it’s quality protein. While some processed or lunch meats, for example, can be a good source of protein, most are loaded with salt and additives. This contributes to high blood pressure, and processed meats have also been linked with an increased risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The key to ensuring you eat sufficient high-quality protein is to include different types in your diet like lean, organic meats, eggs, fish, nuts, and beans.

Don’t Shop on an Empty Stomach 

We’ve all been there. You didn’t realize it was lunchtime and suddenly you’re in aisle seven of the grocery store, stomach growling, throwing everything in your cart because you’re so hungry. Not the best situation and science can back this one up. In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that even short-term fasts can lead people to make more unhealthy food choices, picking a higher quantity of high-calorie foods.

Bottom line? Eat something before you shop to avoid buying foods that won’t help you with your weight loss journey. 

Ditch the Fruit Juice

Fruit is extremely healthy for you, so let’s get that point out in the open. Don’t banish fruit from your diet. The problem comes in when you think that fruit juices are the same thing — they’re not. While whole fruit contains naturally occurring sugars and fiber, fruit juice is often loaded with added sugar (such as high-fructose corn syrup) and next to no fiber.

According to a study led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers, eating more whole fruits — particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples — was significantly associated with a lower risk of Type 2 diabetes. Conversely, a greater consumption of fruit juices was associated with a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes. 

If you want to still enjoy a fruity-flavored beverage, go for moderate amounts of 100 percent fruit juice, or even better, make a fruity detox water instead. 

Eat More Often

What? We’re telling you to actually eat more often? Yes, as there’s a difference between eating more often and eating more in general. In a Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics study of 2,385 adults, research participants who ate less than four times a day consumed more calories and had a higher BMI than those who sat down to eat at least six times. 

Also of note was that those who ate fewer meals consumed most of their calories at night and were more inclined to drink alcohol with their meals. Conversely, those who ate smaller meals and snacks throughout the day tended to eat healthier, less calorically dense foods.

Does your weight loss journey include weight loss surgery? To find a bariatric physician near you, visit the MyBigLife weight loss doctor directory. Search over 10,000 profiles of weight loss professionals and find the ideal match to get you started and guide you through your weight loss journey.

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Abby Heugel
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