When it comes to losing weight, getting the body into shape, and keeping that slim figure for good, it can be difficult to find what works best. Weight loss has become a billion dollar industry and there are many products and diets promising quick and lasting results to increase one’s health and well-being. But what do experts say is actually effective? Here are 8 weight loss habits that work, according to studies.
1) Weight Loss Starts With Breakfast 🍳
Studies have shown that those who skip breakfast are more likely to be overweight, with a higher BMI than those who eat a balanced breakfast in the morning. According to a study published by the International Journal of Obesity, those who eat breakfast are more likely to have a lower BMI than those who skip the morning meal.
2) Amp up the protein 🍲
Protein is essential to weight loss because it increases metabolism, which helps burn calories more quickly. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition published findings that individuals who ate a higher proportion of protein lost almost twice as much weight (3.5 pounds) than those on a low-protein diet (1.7 pounds).
3) Limit your sugar intake 🍭
A study published in the journal Obesity found that those who limited their sugar intake had lower BMIs and a decreased risk of having high blood pressure, high LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and fasting blood glucose compared to those who did not limit their sugar intake. In fact, the study found reducing total sugar intake by just 100 calories a day can result in significant weight loss.
4) Focus on fiber 🍎
Those who focused on eating fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, lost 22% more weight than those who didn’t eat as much fiber. Studies have shown that a high-fiber diet helps individuals feel fuller longer and decreases cravings for junk food. Eating a healthy amount of fiber makes you less likely to overeat.
5) Eat real meals—not just snacks 🍽
Snacks tend to be higher in calories than people realize, but eating real meals (not just snacks) can help decrease this. A small meal will make you feel fuller faster and studies show that it takes about 20 minutes for your mind to tell your body that it’s full. You should always stop before you’re stuffed.
6) Weight loss doesn’t have to be a fad diet 🍗
Fad diets often don’t work because they restrict too many calories, which makes your metabolism less likely to burn them off. Weight Watchers found that those who lose weight slowly (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful in keeping the weight off. Weight loss shouldn’t be about starving yourself; it should be about making healthy changes to your lifestyle you can maintain.
7) Eat mindfully 🍽
When eating mindfully, you should focus on enjoying your meal rather than distractedly eating. Studies show that those who eat while watching television or working often eat up to 35% more than they would if they ate in a distraction-free environment. Distractions make it difficult to realize when you’re full, resulting in overeating and weight gain.
8) Weight Loss is a Long-Term Commitment 💪
While these habits will help you lose weight fast, they aren’t a one-time fix for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight long term. Studies have found that those who exercise regularly and continue to make smart food choices are more likely to maintain a healthy weight than those who only work out occasionally and don’t change their eating habits. Weight loss is a lifestyle change that needs to be practiced every day if one wants results that last.