If you ask ten people how they dropped a few pounds you will likely get ten different answers. Though there are a myriad of ways to slim down, there are a handful of tried and true methods that are the most effective, statistically-proven weight loss tricks and tips. To get to these prized pointers, we examined data from The National Weight Control Registry, (NWCR) which tracks upwards of 10,000 individuals who have lost significant amounts of weight and kept it off for long periods of time.
The data yielded some obvious results, including that 98 percent of Registry participants reported that they modified their food intake in some way to lose weight, but it also shed some light on weight loss methods you might not think of right off the bat. For example, did you know that 62 percent of people enrolled in the NWCR reported that watching less than ten hours of TV per week helps them keep the weight off? Read on for additional weight loss tips that have proven to be ridiculously effective, and stay slim and trim with help from this list of The 27 Best Low Carb Snacks!
Eat A Balanced Breakfast
There’s some truth to the old adage that breakfast is the “most important meal of the day,” and that’s why we’re not surprised a whopping 78 percent of people enrolled in the NWCR reported they eat breakfast every day. What’s more? if you’re looking to lose weight, exactly what you eat at the start of each day can make all the difference. According to a study from the University of Missouri in Columbia, a high-fiber, high-protein breakfast may be the most important investment you can make in your waistline because the study showed that eating breakfast triggered women’s brains to release dopamine, a feel-good chemical that helps to control impulses. In other words, eating a balanced breakfast decreases your chances of reaching for that 3 p.m. candy bar, and keeps your belly slim.
Furthermore, additional research has shown that forgoing the morning meal is harmful to your metabolism and can actually lead to unwanted weight gain. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who cut out the breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to be obese, and scientists suspect that’s because skipping meals slows your metabolism and boosts your hunger. That harmful dynamic puts your body in prime fat-storage mode and increases your odds of overeating at the next meal.
Get A Good Night’s Sleep
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most grown adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night in order to function at their best. As it turns out, that amount of sleep is also ideal for preventing the pile on of excess pounds. In fact, a study published in the journal Sleep found that people who didn’t get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep a night were more at risk for weight gain. If you fear you aren’t catching enough Zzzs but still want to slim down, shed pounds promptly with these 100 Best Weight Loss Tips!
Watch Less Television
62 percent of people enrolled in the NWCR reported they watch less than ten hours of TV per week, and there’s research to support the fact that cutting the amount of time you spend in front of the small screen can be beneficial for your waistline. In fact, a University of Vermont study found that overweight participants who reduced their TV time by just 50 percent burned an additional 119 calories a day on average. Though that might not sound like much, it adds up to an impressive twelve-pound annual loss! Maximize those results by multitasking while you watch. Even light household tasks will further bump up your caloric burn, and it’s better to keep your hands busy with dishes or laundry as opposed to calorie-packed snacks.
Exercise By Walking And Changing Up Your Pace
Working out plays a crucial role in weight loss and can help you maintain a slim figure for years to come, so it’s no surprise that 90 percent of people enrolled in the NWCR reported they exercise, on average, about one hour per day. And even though people tend to find one workout routine and stick to it, research has shown it’s important to switch things up every now and again, especially in terms of cardio. Instead of simply running or walking, try to vary your speeds as you go. Scientists at Ohio State University found that walking at varying speeds can burn up to 20 percent more calories compared to maintaining a steady pace. In fact, 94 percent of people enrolled in the NWCR reported they increased their physical activity, with the most frequently reported form of activity being walking, so get moving!
While having a scale in the house isn’t right for everyone, research has shown that it can help encourage weight loss by providing a level of accountability. In fact, an impressive 75 percent of people enrolled in the NWCR revealed they weigh themselves at least once a week. Need more proof it’s worth getting a scale? When Cornell University researchers observed dieters who weighed themselves daily, they discovered that the routine of stepping on a scale helped those people lose more weight than those who weighed themselves less frequently. To avoid being thrown off by natural fluctuations in body weight, try stepping onto the scale the same time every day.
Put Your Fork Down Between Bites
It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that it’s had enough, so if you eat slowly chances are you will consume less and see your belly shrink. A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found slow eaters took in 66 fewer calories per meal, but compared to their fast-eating peers, they felt like they had eaten more. Though 66 calories might not sound like much, cutting that amount out of every meal adds up to a weight loss of more than twenty pounds a year! A simple trick to slow your pace: Place your fork down on the plate after each bite.
Stick To Your Favorite Foods
Believe it or not, there’s something to be said for being a creature of habit and eating the same foods day in and day out, especially if you’re on a mission to shed some weight. According to a study that appeared in the journal PLOS One, researchers looked at the diets of 6,814 people and found that the more diverse one’s diet, the more likely one was to experience weight gain. In fact, those who ate the widest range of foods showed a 120 percent greater increase in waist circumference compared with those who had the least diversity.
Reduce Your Added Sugar Intake
Nearly all Registry participants reported that they modified their food intake in some way to lose weight, and a great place to start is by cutting your added sugar intake. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories per day from added sugars, or six teaspoons, for women, and 150 calories (nine teaspoons) for men, but most Americans are ingesting much more than that and it’s contributing to the rapid expansion of waistlines. The good news is, if you want to slim down and keep the weight off, all you need to do is reduce the amount of added sugar you eat and the pounds will disappear rapidly. Reducing your intake of calorie-dense sugar carbs automatically reduces the amount of calories you’re consuming on a daily basis, which forces your body to burn fat stored around your midsection for energy, rather than the sugars it takes from carbohydrates. Bye-bye excess weight!
And Replace Simple Carbs With High-Fiber Foods
Reducing your intake of added sugar is one of the most effective weight loss tricks, and you’ll increase your chances of obtaining that bikini body you’ve always wanted if you swap simple carbs for foods that are rich in satiating fiber. The best part? Your fiber can come from any natural foods and yield the same results. In a study at the University of South Carolina, subjects who ate an average of 16.6 g of fiber per day were put on one of two diets that increased their fiber intake to an average of 28.4 g a day. One group got their additional fiber primarily from beans, while the second got their fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. After four weeks, both groups had lost the same amount of weight—an average of three pounds each— and both groups reported less hunger and more satiety. This despite the fact that the subjects didn’t exercise or take any other steps toward weight loss other than to boost their fiber.
Pack On The Protein
In addition to fiber, protein is another important player in the weight loss game because it requires more energy to burn than carbs or fats and thus keeps you fuller longer. In fact, in a study in the journal Appetite, researchers from the University of Missouri compared the satiety effects of high-, moderate-, and low-protein yogurts on 24-28-year-old women, and found Greek yogurt, with the highest protein content, to have the greatest effect. For an added boost of protein and flavor, consider topping your Greek yogurt with some fresh berries. For more helpful eating tips, take a look at The 25 Best High-Protein Snacks!