75 Science-Backed Weight-Loss Strategies

Lauren Krouse
by Lauren Krouse
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75 Science-Backed Weight-Loss Strategies

Losing weight takes hard work and dedication, which is why it’s important to create healthy habits that stick as part of a bigger picture lifestyle. Learning to make the process easier with research-backed tips helps you set the stage for long-term success.

As you go, keep in mind what works for someone else might not work for you, which is where being open to switching things up is essential.

Here, a roundup of 75 research-backed strategies to try on your health journey, from shifting your mindset to priming your environment for weight-loss success:

GET THE RIGHT MINDSET FOR WEIGHT LOSS

1

START WITH A REALISTIC GOAL

It’s easy to get inspired and set a not-so-realistic weight-loss goal (like losing 20+ pounds in one month). But when you don’t magically reach your goal, it can be a real motivational drain. The fix: Opt for slow and steady weight loss of 1–2 pounds per week or 4–8 pounds per month (or about 5–10% of your body weight).

2

VISUALIZE YOUR IDEAL OUTCOME

Mental imagery (like picturing your dream “after” picture) boosts positive feelings more than other types of thought (like comparing yourself to other people), and in turn, might give you a leg up on your weight-loss journey. What to do: Visualize the “why” behind your desire to lose weight, like having the stamina to keep up with your kids. Then, use these empowering visualizations to push through difficult workouts and give yourself a motivational boost when you feel tempted to give up on your eating plan.

3

CHOOSE TO BE POSITIVE

Research shows negativity makes it harder to make healthy choices, while a positive mindset can help keep you on track. Instead of getting down on yourself (or worse, punishing yourself) when you overindulge, focus on what you’ve been doing well (“I’ve been learning more about how to make healthy eating choices.”) and how you can make a better choice in the future (“I’ll deal with what’s causing my stress in a non-food way — instead of overeating.”)

4

FIND WAYS TO DE-STRESS

It’s not just in your head: Stress can tweak your hunger hormones, drive cravings for comfort foods and disrupt your sleep — all of which make weight-loss harder. For this reason, make sure you have a long list of ways to reduce stress before you get started on your weight-loss journey, even if it’s as simple as a cool-off walk around the block.

5

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU’RE ADDING TO NOT TAKING FROM YOUR LIFE

When you start eating less of your favorite not-so-healthy foods, it’s easy to feel deprived and, as a result, end up binge-eating later. Instead of thinking about the foods you’re eating in moderation (i.e., chips, cookies), focus on eating more of the healthy foods you enjoy. Give it some time, and you might find healthy-ish desserts like strawberry parfaits are crave-worthy, too.

6

BOUNCE BACK FROM SETBACKS

Whether you miss a few workouts or exceed your calorie limit, setbacks are to be expected on your weight-loss journey. Here, it’s important to stay focused and remind yourself consistency beats perfection for long-term success. Rather than getting down on yourself and veering farther off course, reflect on what went “wrong” and how you can make a healthier choice next time. Staying positive (instead of sinking into food guilt) can help keep you on track.

7

FIND WAYS TO ENJOY THE JOURNEY

It’s no surprise research shows you’re more likely to work toward a goal long-term if you actually enjoy the process. Make your weight-loss journey fun (or at least tolerable) with delicious and healthy recipes and a hobby that gets you moving, like walking, running or yoga.

GET SPECIFIC WITH YOUR HEALTHY HABITS

8

SET SMART GOALS

Research shows vague, lofty goals (like “lose weight”) are harder to work toward when they’re not paired with a ground-level plan to get there. To bring your weight-loss goals down to earth, set SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. For example, do you have a wedding or reunion coming up in six months? That makes for a great deadline to lose 10 pounds.

9

ADD MINI-GOALS…

Small, sustainable changes are key for transforming your lifestyle in order to lose weight and keep it off. What to do: Break your big-picture SMART goal into mini-SMART goals, like eating leafy greens with lunch five times a week or boosting your step count by 2,000 steps in two weeks with morning or evening walks.

10

…BUT TACKLE THEM ONE AT A TIME

When it comes to sustainable lifestyle changes, less is often more. Concentrate on making one small change at a time. For example, to stay hydrated throughout the day (and avoid mistaking thirst for hunger), aim to make drinking 2 cups of water first thing in the morning a habit for one week. Then, stack another healthy habit the following week.

11

MAKE TIME FOR MEDITATION

The health benefits of meditation are well-established, and they can help you lose weight as you become more mindful of how your emotions affect your eating habits. If you’re trying to quit emotional eating, guided meditation can help.

12

BRUSH YOUR TEETH IMMEDIATELY AFTER DINNER

Instead of winding down with a snack in front of the TV, brush (and floss) your pearly whites right after you finish dinner. This simple change can help you cut down on calories and prevent mindless snacking at bedtime.

13

SCHEDULE BEDTIME

Not getting enough sleep can really put a dent in your weight-loss efforts, as hormone shifts cause a surge in hunger and cravings. The fix: Set a regular bedtime to ensure you get 7–8 hours of quality shut-eye and keep your metabolism humming.

PRIME YOUR ENVIRONMENT FOR WEIGHT LOSS

14

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH MOTIVATION

Keep your motivation up with personal mantras like, “You’ve got this!” “Yes, I can!” and “Every day, I’m getting stronger.” Tape up inspirational posters and images (like a photo of your children) and place motivation-boosting sticky notes with quotes and reminders on your fridge and desk.

15

FILL YOUR FRIDGE WITH HEALTHY FOOD

Homemade meals are a great way to track your portion sizes and stick to your calorie and macronutrient goals (or enjoy a healthy balance of carbs, protein and fat). To ensure they’re easy to whip up, stock up on healthy produce and lean proteins as well as frozen fruits and veggies.

16

HIDE THE JUNK FOOD

Just seeing your favorite foods can make your mouth water. In this sense, the “out of sight, out of mind” method can help, so clear your counters and drawers of any kryptonite foods. Then, place not-so-healthy items on the highest shelf (or even in an out-of-reach cabinet reserved for special occasions).

17

KEEP HEALTHY FOODS FRONT AND CENTER

Store wholesome staples like whole grains, beans and nuts within reach on eye-level shelves or in glass jars on your countertop. For grab-and-go snacks, you can’t go wrong with a bowl of fresh fruit.

18

SERVE YOURSELF RESTAURANT-STYLE

Instead of having a family-style meal with your bread basket, casserole and salad bowl on the table, leave food on your kitchen counters (and out of reach). This way, you’ve got an extra beat between your first serving and potential seconds to make sure you’re actually hungry (and not just hankering for another taste).

19

OPT FOR SMALL PLATES

Sure, it might seem like such a small change, but shrink your plate size, and you may cut nearly 300 calories each day, finds a study in the Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews. Smaller plates make for smaller portions, and seeing a full plate (even if it’s the same amount of food you’d have on a larger plate) may trick you into feeling fuller, too.

20

FREEZE WHAT YOU DON’T EAT

Another “out of sight, out of mind” technique: To cut down on food waste, grazing and seconds, portion out a healthy serving for yourself and then freeze the rest for later. Again, this way, you’re less likely to overeat.

21

TURN AWAY FROM TREATS

If a candy bowl is situated in front of you, chances are you’re going to reach for it far more often than if sweets were stored in a cabinet in the office kitchen. Your fix: Keep temptation foods out of your line of vision.

22

PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY

When it comes to weight loss, your phone could do more harm than good at meals. Case in point: People who look at their phones while they’re eating take in 15% more calories than those who eat distraction-free, according to a study in the journal Physiology & Behavior.

23

SWITCH OFF THE TV

Again, chowing down while distracted is a surefire way to overeat. To avoid mindlessly eating to the bottom of a chip bag, keep food and TV separate.

24

LAY OUT YOUR WORKOUT GEAR AHEAD OF TIME

Here’s one way to make your workouts more of a habit: As you prep for bed, lay out your workout clothes and bag by the door. If you tend to skip your workout after a long day at the office, put on your workout clothes before you leave to make exercise a priority.

25

OPTIMIZE YOUR SLEEP SPACE

Now that you know quality sleep is key for weight loss, make sure you’re getting the best night’s sleep possible by cooling your bedroom (the ideal temperature is a chilly 60–67°F or about 16–19°C), blocking out light with blackout shades or a sleep mask and dimming your phone, laptop and any other sources of artificial light that might mess with your body’s natural clock.

EAT WELL FOR WEIGHT LOSS

26

SHOP THE PERIMETER

While it’s not a foolproof plan (and sometimes you need to peruse the aisles), circle the perimeter of your grocery store before hitting the aisles. This way, you’ll stock up on healthy, fresh foods first including produce, meat and fish before you head for packaged, more processed foods.

27

CONTROL YOUR PORTIONS

While portion-size mistakes are easy to make at first (especially when it comes to avocados and cooking oil), portion control is an indispensable weight-loss tool. The trick is to start with measuring tools and then learn how to eyeball healthy portions on your plate. A simple guide for lunch and dinner: Fill half of your plate with non-starchy veggies or leafy greens, a quarter with lean protein like chicken or tofu, and another quarter with starchy veggies like sweet potatoes or whole grains.

28

PORTION YOUR SNACKS

Rather than eating straight out of a large chips bag (and overeating in no time), pre-portion your snacks in snack-size bags or buy them pre-packaged in healthy portion sizes.

29

DON’T SKIP SNACKS

Avoiding snacktime for weight-loss doesn’t always pay off: Getting too few calories in can slow your metabolism and drive up your hunger for a feeding frenzy later in the day. Instead of skipping snacks and meals in the name of cutting calories, make sure you’re satiated and energized throughout the day with small, nutrient-dense snacks.

30

SLOW DOWN

Set a timer for 20 minutes and challenge yourself to savor your meal until the alarm sounds. Eating slowly has been tied to weight loss, a lower body mass index (BMI) and a smaller waist circumference, as your body has the chance to realize you’re full, per research published in the British Medical Journal.

31

FUEL WITH PROTEIN AND FIBER AT BREAKFAST

Skipping breakfast to “save your appetite” for later might lead to binge-eating, especially if you’re feeling super hungry and deprived for hours. Instead, opt for a breakfast high in protein and fiber (both help fill you up and keep your blood sugar steady). Think: Greek yogurt with berries or eggs and whole-grain toast.

32

PACK SOUP FOR LUNCH

Low-calorie soups (Read: broth-based soups, not creamy soups or chowders) might help you eat about 20% fewer calories than usual, research shows. This could give your weight-loss efforts a boost over time. The aroma and taste alone are satisfying, plus the volume of soup inside your stomach helps make you feel full by releasing satiety hormones.

33

HAVE A MINI-SNACK BEFORE YOU EAT OUT

Research shows an afternoon snack of Greek yogurt can quiet hunger bells, make you feel full, and set you up to eat less at dinner. Next time you’re dining out with friends or family, have a small cup of yogurt before you leave to avoid overdoing it on a sizable entrée.

34

ASK FOR A TO-GO BOX EARLY

Restaurant portions tend to be much bigger than what you prepare for yourself at home (and they’re often on larger plates, too). An easy strategy: Ask for a to-go box to pack up part of your meal before you even lift your fork. This way, you won’t be tempted to overeat — and you’ll have leftovers to look forward to later.

35

EAT MORE VEGGIES

You don’t have to make vegetables the main feature of your meal to boost your intake of vitamins, minerals and filling fiber. What to do: Mix them into omelets, pasta dishes, casseroles, smoothies, chili and more.

36

GET ENOUGH PROTEIN

High-protein diets help make you feel full and satisfied, so make sure to include healthy protein sources at every meal and snack. These can include sources like Greek yogurt, tofu, chicken breast, fish, quinoa, tempeh, black beans and lentils.

37

FILL UP WITH FIBER

Like protein, fiber helps keep you full longer, too, and in turn, slim down without feeling deprived. When you read labels, look for at least 5 grams or more of fiber per serving. Some good sources of fiber include oats, chia seeds, flaxseeds, chickpeas and edamame.

38

CUT BACK ON SIMPLE CARBS …

White bread, the majority of pastries and refined sugars found in candy and soda provide loads of energy but lack the nutrients you find in complex carbs (like vitamins, minerals and fiber). They also break down super fast in your body, cueing a blood sugar spike followed by an energy crash.

39

… AND CHOOSE WHOLE GRAINS INSTEAD

Whether you’re at the bagel shop or checking out the cereal and pasta aisles, when you can, opt for 100% whole-grain foods. Unlike simple carbs, they help fill you up and digest slowly, keeping your blood sugar in check.

40

AVOID ADDED SUGAR

Added sugar found in highly-processed food may be linked to an increased risk for obesity and cardiovascular disease alike. Instead, stick with naturally-occurring sugar found in fruits, veggies and whole grains.

41

FEED YOUR GUT

Emerging research shows probiotic supplementation might help lower body weight and fat percentage. To support healthy digestion and give your weight-loss efforts a potential boost, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian about supplementing or eating more probiotic-rich foods.

42

LEAN ON HEALTHY FATS

Cutting down on excess butter and oil in your diet makes sense when you’re trying to lose weight, as fats are highly calorie-dense. However, you do need some fat in your diet for energy and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Plus, fats help fill you up. Aim for healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats from olive oil, nuts, seeds and fatty fish.

43

MAKE SIMPLE SWAPS

Many substitutions cut calories and sugar without surrendering good taste. A few examples to test: Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, applesauce instead of butter in baked goods, or zucchini noodles instead of traditional white flour pasta.

44

FRY LESS

It’s OK to have fried foods from time to time, but they dial up the fat and calories in your diet, which isn’t so helpful for weight loss. Instead of dropping chicken or potatoes into a fryer, opt for pan-fried or oven-cooked foods instead.

45

CHOOSE WHOLE FRUIT OVER JUICE

While juices do contain vitamins, they lack the filling fiber and phytonutrients you’ll find in a piece of fruit with the skin still on. A simple fix: Have fresh fruit instead.

46

CHEW GUM

While it’s by no means a weight-loss fix, chewing gum might help you cut down on sugary snacks and mindless eating throughout the day. In fact, some research shows it may help lower cravings for sweet and salty snacks and reduce hunger between meals.

47

ADD SPICE

Spices are a great way to add flavor to foods without upping the salt, sugar and fat content. In particular, cayenne pepper could boost your metabolism and cut cravings for high-fat, sugary and salty foods.

48

GIVE INTO YOUR CRAVINGS (SOMETIMES)

Cravings are sure to come when you start cutting calories. Rather than depriving yourself (and overeating when you give in at last), it’s OK to let yourself enjoy less-than-healthy foods from time to time. Just enjoy your favorite foods in moderation (an easy rule to remember: Eat healthier foods 80% of the time, and less-healthy foods 20% of the time).

SIP SMART FOR WEIGHT LOSS

49

SAY HELLO TO MORE H2O

Staying hydrated can help boost your energy and make you feel full and, in turn, stick with your calorie deficit to lose weight. For this reason, a quality water bottle makes for a smart purchase when you’re first getting started.

50

DRINK BEFORE YOU EAT

It’s simple: Starting your meal with a glass of water can help fill you up so you don’t confuse thirst with hunger.

51

SIP ON GREEN TEA

Green tea has many health benefits. When it comes to weight-loss efforts, green tea is rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant believed to promote healthy digestion.

52

WATCH OUT FOR LIQUID CALORIES

Watching what you drink is just as important as logging what you eat. Juice, soda, fancy coffee drinks and even milk can add up, and sugar-sweetened drinks are linked to higher body fat and blood pressure.

53

JUST ADD WATER

While it might seem less tasty than usual at first, watering down super sweet drinks like lemonade and juice can help you address a hankering while still sticking with your daily calorie goal. Better yet, swapping some sugary drinks for water altogether can help you keep the weight off for good, too.

54

CUT BACK ON ALCOHOL

Calories from alcohol (and even light beers) can add up fast. Not to mention, the more you drink, the more you might want to eat not-so-healthy takeout and fast food, too. Practice drinking in moderation with these smart drinking hacks to help you cut back without feeling deprived.

55

GIVE YOUR WATER A TWIST

If you find regular water boring, try jazzing it up with fresh fruit or bubbles. You can even make your own healthy mocktails.

BOOST YOUR MOTIVATION FOR WEIGHT LOSS

56

JOIN A VIRTUAL COMMUNITY

Research finds having access to a support group beats an informative pamphlet when you’re trying to lose weight. Find people who share your goals via online groups and forums (such as on MyFitnessPal) and help keep one another motivated and accountable.

57

FIND A MENTOR

One of the best ways to keep yourself accountable is to find someone you look up to and share your goals with them. If you value someone else’s opinion, you might work harder to live up to your aspirations. They can also help guide you forward with advice based on their own struggles and successes.

58

KEEP A JOURNAL

Not only does monitoring what you eat and drink with an app like MyFitnessPal help you lose and maintain weight according to numerous studies, but it also allows you to see (and celebrate) your progress over time. Writing out how you feel might also help you work on your relationship with food and your weight alike.

59

TRACK YOUR STEPS

Tracking your daily step count could encourage you to walk more, and, as a result, burn more calories. Walking is one of the easiest and best exercises you can do to lose weight.

60

BE COMPASSIONATE WITH YOURSELF

Emerging research shows that you’re better off supporting yourself than beating yourself up when you make mistakes along the way. As you go, find ways to prioritize your health and well-being with self-care, even if that’s as simple as a few slow, deep breaths or a hot bath at the end of the day.

61

DITCH PERFECTIONISM

An all-or-nothing mindset sets you up for failure, as the moment you go over your calorie limit or eat something less healthy, you might spiral out of control. Instead, rather than viewing foods as good or bad, focus more on the big picture and your overall diet.

EXERCISE FOR WEIGHT LOSS

62

MAKE IT FUN

You’ll never stick with a workout routine if you dread it every single time. Your fix: Find something that makes you want to move more (a new hobby or team sport) or pair your workouts with something you look forward to (like podcasts and TV series with multiple seasons).

63

SPEED UP YOUR SOUNDTRACK

Upbeat songs can make pressing through a tough workout easier. What’s more, upbeat music can help you walk faster, which is better for burning more calories and boosting longevity.

64

AVOID INJURIES

Before you lace up, read up on how to not hurt yourself — many running, walking, HIIT, yoga and lifting injuries are preventable if you’re careful and slowly increase your workouts.

65

PICK UP WEIGHTS

Strength training can be a great way to boost your metabolism, fuel weight loss, and maintain your new weight, research shows.

66

GO FOR NO-GEAR WORKOUTS, TOO

No access to a gym or track? Only got a few minutes? Guess what: That’s no problem. Use your own body weight, a set of dumbbells or even a playground down the street to get creative with your workouts.

67

ADD A LITTLE CAFFEINE

A little caffeine before your workout could help boost your endurance. Just don’t overdo it (since everyone has a different caffeine tolerance, start with a few sips of coffee or tea and listen to your body).

68

FIND A WORKOUT BUDDY

When you workout with a friend (especially in team sports and fitness classes), you get a greater mood boost than you would if you were sweating it out alone — and that might help you keep showing up to your workouts even when you’d rather skip.

69

DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE

Sometimes, workout monitors on cardio equipment like treadmills or ellipticals would have you believe you scorched a load of calories in one workout. And while you may very well have, these displays are (sometimes) misleading or outright incorrect. Pay attention to how you feel and your own metrics (like how far or how long you’ve gone), as these are more reliable ways to track your progress anyway.

70

TRY HIIT

High-intensity interval training (aka HIIT) alternates brief bouts of intense effort (Think: sprinting, jumping or running) with periods of moderate to low effort (like jogging or walking slowly). Research shows this is a great way to burn calories and increase your metabolism, especially if you’re short on time for workouts.

71

TURN UP THE HEAT

Another way to burn some extra calories: have sex. Research shows it helps lower your blood pressure and stress levels (which are linked to weight gain).

72

GET UP, GET UP, GET UP

A sedentary lifestyle has been linked to obesity, poor posture and chronic pain. Good news: A quick 5-minute walking break every hour can help counteract the negative effects of sitting.

73

SPLIT UP YOUR LUNCH BREAK

One simple way to move more during the day: Use half of your lunch break to eat, and half to walk. Taking it outside can give you some much-needed fresh air and a boost in mood to push through a long workday and counter cravings.

74

WALK MORE

Time and again, research shows walking is one of the best exercises for weight loss. It’s easy to stick with, and your chances of injuring yourself are low. Whether you’re a beginner or a novice, we’ve got a walking plan that can help you increase your step count.

75

REMEMBER: EVERY STEP COUNTS

NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis) activities include everything you’re doing beyond eating, sleeping or working out. And moving more (by taking the stairs, playing with your kids, doing chores and even fidgeting) can help support your weight-loss success.

About the Author

Lauren Krouse
Lauren Krouse

Lauren Krouse is a freelance writer who covers health, domestic violence, and self-advocacy. Her work appears in Women’s Health, Men’s Health, Prevention, Self, HuffPost, and elsewhere. When she’s not writing, you can find her trying to meditate more, weightlifting, or walking in the woods with her partner and black lab.

Related

49 responses to “75 Science-Backed Weight-Loss Strategies”

  1. Avatar Blackdawn_70631 says:

    When my doctor asked me what diet I was on to have lost all my weight. I said I wasn’t, still ate cheeseburgers and pizza. I just didn’t binge and stopped eating three hours before bed. Then I was asked where I went to for exercise. I didn’t. I exercise at home. I have free weights, a treadmill and dogs.
    There’s no real secret. And it’s not a diet.
    It’s just moving more and paying attention to what you put in your mouth.

    I mean, you have plans to eat out tonight. Don’t have fast food for breakfast or lunch. Have a whole some breakfast you made. Not something out a box. For lunch, a big salad with protein in it, 1 ounce of cheese, 1 tbsp of croutons and 2 tbsp of dressing. Snacks? Dry cereal or granola bars or veggies or fruit. Have water through out the day, then soda with dinner.

    It’s not the end of the world. You’re just setting up a game plan.

    • Avatar arthong says:

      While most of what you said is very true, I just want to point out that stopping eating hours before bed has very little relevance.

      Bodybuilders, such as myself, actually prefer to eat right before bed, particularly a high protein content meal. The purpose is to keep a good flow of Protein while in the fasted state, to mitigate potential muscle breakdown. Those are extreme cases and doesn’t need to apply to the average person, but it’s just to point out that there’s no indicator that stopping food intake before certain hours of sleep is directly related to weight loss. I still intake my protein before bed, while doing a cutting phase. Still getting shredded.

      It still comes down to eating less calories than you use. If giving yourself a time to stop eating helps with that, then great. But that’s about it.

      • Avatar bill says:

        You bring up a great point, but there are several levels to it. Any plan must be customized to fit your own personal needs. For you, eating late makes sense. But for many overweight people, their biggest issue is binge eating late at night while watching TV. I weigh myself every morning when I first get up. If I ate late at night, it will show up on the scale in the morning, especially if I had starches or salt causing me to retain more water weight. Late night eating for many is often simply a lot of added calories that were not required, because you were NOT eating for fuel, but for some emotional reason. I know I get cravings when I watch TV. I think it’s partly because my mind is bored, and partly because of all the food commercials. For me, reading or doing something on the computer engages my mind a lot more, and I don’t think about eating. There is no ‘one size fits all’-you have to sift through all the different strategies out there and pick the ones that work for you.

        • Avatar arthong says:

          Yes, I agree, hence I mentioned “if giving yourself a time to stop eating helps with that [meeting caloric deficit goals], then great”.

          I was merely pointing out that stopping eating at certain times does not necessarily attribute to weight loss by itself, like some metabolic increase, or decrease.

          In some parts of Asia, there’s a craze about “Stop eating at 7pm to lose weight”. Their reasoning was pretty obscure and made no nutritional, nor health sense. If you missed your dinner, that’s it, stop eating at 7pm. Even if you’re absolutely starving, don’t eat (and starvation diets are detrimental). That’s misinformation, and I wanted to clarify that in case it has some relation.

          If you’re worried about morning water retention from specific foods, then that’s an issue with those specific foods that causes water retention. It still isn’t related to losing fat, which is the ultimate goal.

          If you’re concerned about binge eating, then yes that’s a valid concern, but again, it doesn’t have any direct relation to weight/fat loss with eating at specific times. Binge and emotional eating is related to the calories you intake, regardless of time.

          Again, if stopping eating at specific times helps you mentally reach your goals, then that’s great. Just stating that there’s no major metabolic change in the body just because you ate prior to sleeping.

      • Avatar Dottie Earwood says:

        I’m not good at this whole diet thing. My husband says I need to gain weight. I weigh anywhere between 118 – 123 but I think I have to much fat around my hip area and I workout but not good at knowing exactly what to do in my workouts so I just do the best as I can which isn’t the greatest at times. Can someone give me some good advice PLEASE?? thank you!

    • Avatar bill says:

      I love what you said there- THERE IS NO SECRET! Just be honest with yourself. The above tips are wonderful, and pretty much common sense. Identify your own personal pitfalls and then it’s pretty easy to come up with strategies that help you avoid them.

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      • Avatar vap says:

        Yeah, you’re right. I liked that too “there is no secret”

  2. Thanks for great tips! these tips are full enough for all diet people.

  3. Avatar Danielle Tideberg says:

    for me it is about doing enough of things I should and are healthier to, and less of what was the fallback on conventional diet. it isn’t a diet, its a new, better lifestyle. my binge control is waay better now but if my urge is strong and one time is slipped up, next day go back to beginning. supps and peroxide tabs for my water in morning helps me through the plateaus. over 40 gone, joining yoga soon! 😉

  4. Avatar patstar5 says:

    Stop eating grains and eat a low carb high fat diet. I only eat twice a day now. I usually don’t eat until around noon. Fasting has alot of benefits.

    • Avatar arthong says:

      While fasting has its benefits, it’s a bad idea to tell people to eat Low Carb and High Fats. Carbs is the energy your body, and Brain, needs to function. You should be eating a balance of carbs, protein and fats. For those incorporating an exercise regime, carbs will help fuel your workouts, therefore allowing you to burn more calories. It’s very simple, expend more calories than you intake. The “Atkins” type diets are a very horrible, long term solution.

      • Avatar patstar5 says:

        Our ancestors would of ate low carb high fat diets. Plenty of athletes est LCHF diets and out perform high carb athletes who rely on glycogen.
        Our brains run better off of ketones. A ketogenic diet is being used to help alzheimer’s. It makes sense since some people are calling alzheimer’s type 3 diabetes.
        I’ll continue eating low carb. It improves mitochondria function and helps slow down aging because you have less Advanced glycation end products.
        This low fat high grain advice the government pushed was terrible and has led to the obesity and diabetes epidemic in this country.

        • Avatar arthong says:

          If we’re talking about the Athlete version, then you need to be specific about how they’re doing it, because that’s entirely different then the Atkins version, which is absolutely horrible.

          Athletes who do LCHF still eat carbs and proteins, it’s just relative to about 25/25/50 (percentage breakdown), carbs/proteins/fats. But, they are healthy fats. You don’t just tell people to eat low carb and High fats without specifics on how to do it right.

          Also depending upon the goal, if someone is doing bodybuilding for muscle mass, that equation changes to higher carbs, proteins and balanced fats.

          So if you’re going to throw around such general information, then be specific about it. The average person has no idea how to properly take in the idea of Low Carb, High fat content. If they did a search on that, Atkins pops up and that’s something to stay clear of, given their absolute high saturated fat content. At least I hope you’re not associating higher fat content to Bacon, as opposed to Avocados and olive oil.

      • Avatar Jimmy NoChit says:

        I would term you poorly informed and leave it at that. Having been on a high fat (65-70%), low carb (5-15%) and moderate protein(20-25%) diet for quite awhile, I am far healthier, with far more energy than when I ate a whole grain diet.

        • Avatar arthong says:

          All that says is that your previous diet and lifestyle was so poor that this particular change of yours benefited you, in a relative sense. Congratulations that you’re healthier, but if you were not successful with a conventional diet, that just means you were “poorly informed” on how to do so, as there is nothing wrong with whole grains, unless you’re allergic to some of those ingredients.

          If you want to call me out, then back it up. I train in body building while training others, and have helped others lose 30lbs+ of fat while helping them gain muscle. If you’re not incorporating muscle gains in your lifestyle, you’re really not as healthy as you think you are. So what have you done, to qualify making judgments of my knowledge?

          • Avatar Jimmy NoChit says:

            Apparently you aren’t smart enough to grasp the meaning of the phrase “leave it at that” . If you’d like to pay my hourly rate, I would consider giving you the same education on human physiology others pay for. Until then, I’ll leave it at that.

          • Avatar arthong says:

            How convenient that you basically said nothing. “Leaving it at that”, means nothing, other than what your ego perceives it to be. You’ve elected to not give any indication of your knowledge, which means nothing to people who don’t know you… and clearly you’re not known. If you believe that people should automagically know who you are and what you do, you’re quite delusional. I’ll leave it at that.

          • Avatar Greg says:

            There is new science that countervails everything you are saying here, and you seem unwilling to investigate it, probably because your so invested in the status quo. Yes, many people do thrive on a low fat, high carb diet, but everyone’s results are different and there are many people (millions?), including myself who tried taking your advice for 30 years and only found lasting success when finally realizing that conventional wisdom doesn’t fully understand human physiology and that there is a better way.

            There are far more studies, using people, that have shown LCHF is more beneficial for people that HCLF, then the other way around (look up women’s health study). I take real issue with the technique used in this article, namely stating a thing and then linking it to a study that purportedly proves it. If you actually follow the link, the study has nothing to do with the assertion. In this case, the study is about teens that skip breakfast and eat fast food, not about whether eating breakfast or not in an otherwise healthy regimen is beneficial. There are studies that looked at that and they show the opposite of what was said. There is also s recent study that eating breakfast and lunch is better than just eating lunch and dinner, but just eating lunch and dinner is better than a three meal regimen.

            Bottom line: do what works for you. Individual physiology is different and people react differently to different diets, but for many people the LFHC way does not work, so let’s stop criticizing them for being healthier, and maybe take a few minutes to understand why they might have a point.

      • Avatar Kathy Alexander says:

        I agree!

  5. Avatar robinbishop34 says:

    The only way to drop pounds is to eat fewer calories than needed to maintain your current weight. Once you have that down, you can fit all the “speed metabolism” gimmicks you want into your routine because you’ll already be doing exactly what you need to do.

  6. Avatar bill says:

    this is a GREAT list of tips. I keep a journal of my weight loss journey, and can now pretty accurately predict if I’m going to gain or lose weight. Incorporating these tips and avoiding the pitfalls is a terrific formula for success. It helps clearly identify what you did wrong or right every day. Feeling like you are in control and know what to do helps you stay disciplined.

  7. Avatar Bekkie Sanchez says:

    This is the most thorough article I’ve ever read on weight loss! Bravo! You didn’t leave anything out and I should know. I’ve lost 40 pounds since last Oct. using most of these things! I still have 10 to go and I’m losing it slower but the closer you get to your goal the more your body will resist. I am being patient.

    Water is my “go to” drink now. It’s all I drink and when I get tired of it I add fruit. I bought a water container that has a ball in it that crushes the fruit when I shake it and it works well! I put raspberries, blueberries, any fruit I want in it and take it with me. Just make sure to empty the old fruit/seeds out if you don’t use them all before you refill.

    I quit most sugary snacks and soda. At first I wondered how I’d do this but now I don’t even notice it’s gone! My biggest problem is fat but it makes things taste good and I use the better fats versus the bad.

    I bought a Jawbone UP3 health band I’ve been wearing since Oct. My sleep has improved and I make sure and get 7.5 or more hours a night. Sleep is something we all take for granted but if you get enough for a period of time you will notice the difference.

    I’ve been on a 1,200 calorie diet since Oct. and eat more healthy foods. At first I walked (I’m disabled can’t do much other) and watched steps to lose weight. In February I started riding my bicycle (one thing I can do) every other day and what a difference! It’s changed my whole body! One thing about regular exercise, you will gain a little weight in muscle but muscle burns fat so in no time you will start losing again.

    Another thing about exercise your weight will plateau but it’s nothing to worry about just continue on the right track and you will lose. It may seem like some of these things are hard but once you try you will see it makes sense.

    The last thing about having balance in your life is it will be hard to get depressed. Especially if you exercise or move regularly. I also had terrible hot flashes that totally went away! I am in my early 60’s and can’t believe how much better and stronger I feel.

    Just do it-you’ll see! Bekkie

    • Avatar Toni Kassman says:

      Wonderful testimony Bekkie picked up some great tips from you. I must move more that must be why my hot flushes are back haven’t been to the gym this week. Also about the plateaus is encouraging have been wondering whether to go back to gym cause didn’t want the plateau

  8. Avatar April says:

    I recommend Metabolic Aftershock to jumpstart your metabolism and following the nutrition part to drastically lose fat. The program is rest based, high intensity interval training and I got better results from it than P90x.

  9. Avatar Stace says:

    Being consistent with eating healthy and exercise is my downfall. I’ll do great one week and the next I’m back to sitting on the couch eating fast food. I know what I takes to lose weight, my problem is sticking with it. Drinking alcohol probably doesn’t help either. I don’t recover as well as I used to….

  10. Avatar Johnny Lew says:

    You have some good ideas and some real clunkers on this list

  11. Avatar Siegfried Emme says:

    you nailed it. bacon is fine, vegetable oils are not. You have to eat healthy fats. The athletes who are going keto are winning all the ultra endurance events these days. If you are into power sports though you will have to up the carbs. That is very individual how much you need though. I train in a fasted state and do extremely well. When I was first switching over I did have a decrease in performance for about a month though.

  12. Avatar NickITF says:

    Disagree with 2 and 5. Intermittent fasting has en the best thing for me. I havent been this lean in 20+ years

  13. Avatar Michael says:

    One tidbit for positive thought and of beneficial outcome– stated in the article of course, but now with a FLA (Four letter acronym 🙂 ) is RAEX.

    Reminding oneself to get their RAEX in, at every opportunity.

    RAEX of course is simply Random Acts of EXercise– parking well away from anywhere you go is one of the easiest and mindful manners of instituting RAEX. The convenience of parking close is akin to eating sugar. LOL

  14. Avatar Terri says:

    I like the photographic journal idea because you can easily figure it out.

  15. Avatar Brian Lucy says:

    I struggle with nutrition. I know that it is important. Is there a way for me to design a meal program through an app? Also i am vegetarian…

  16. Avatar Vince says:

    I love the tips and I particularly love the disclaimer at the start. Weight loss is an extremely individual process. What works well for one person can be ineffective for someone else. In some cases, that is because of physical differences, while in other cases it may be behavioral.

    Either way, one of the most powerful approaches is for people to find tips and tricks that suit the, and that they respond well to.

  17. Avatar Veggie Space says:

    Thanks for great tips! these tips are full enough for all diet people.

  18. Avatar Joe says:

    Eat more snacks plus your regular meals? Really? You must not believe in intermittent fasting, tons of research has been done on the subject and it seems that you are not in favor of it, what research do you have to prove otherwise?

  19. Avatar Merovech says:

    Not enough studies to prove this is scientific…and likely an insufficient sample to be more than anecdotal…so not science but myth.

  20. Avatar manthony says:

    I really don’t need 67 strategies – I need the top three, or at most top 10!

    • Avatar Stephanie Diemer says:

      Tl;dr: Calories in < calories out. Eat/drink less calories and make sure you move around at least a little. You will lose weight so long as your caloric intake is less than your caloric output.

  21. Avatar Marie says:

    Thanks for the many great ideas all in one spot! Motivating and surely something to inspire everyone. I find it ironic that, on my mobile device at least, the list is frequently interrupted with advertisements for the “new bacon egg and cheese brioche”!

  22. Avatar CoolHappyGuy says:

    #54 Can you photograph your meals here on MyFitnessPal? I’ve ALWAYS thought that this could supplement (or replace) food diaries. For one thing, it’s faster and easier. If you want to add nutrition info, you can do it later. You can also XREF with the scale to see the consequences of your food choices.

    Please tell me how this can be done on MyFitnessPal! If I can do it, I will use the app WAAAAAAY more!

  23. I have gone through your blog. It is quite nicely written and contain various information about healthy lifestyle. The post briefly describes the science backed wight loss tips that help many of the people who trying to loose their extra pounds.

  24. Avatar Grayson Walker says:

    Please clarify “swap prunes for butter”.

  25. Hey the “research” on step 2 was a study on “Fast food consumption and breakfast skipping: predictors of weight gain from adolescence to adulthood in a nationally representative sample” which didn’t really have to do with snacking throughout the day. I believe there are bunch of studies showing how effective intermittent fasting actually helps your body with insulin issues.

  26. Avatar usa anon says:

    smaller plates and bowls is a GREAT simple way to establish portion control.

    tracking food is more work but a great way to make you think — you can see right away what happens to your carb and calorie numbers if you have only one slice of toast instead of two or half an English muffin — DON’T make sandwiches a go to meal

    I did an 8 week challenge at my gym — the winner lost 60 lbs. I lost 8 — you know what, losing a pound a week for 6 months would be awesome

    My problem is TV and sleep and sweet junk when my wife is not looking – need to bite the bullet and grow up

    Think – do I really want this — in 20 minutes will I feel better if I eat this or if I do not eat this

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