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15 Weight Loss Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based

The weight loss industry is full of myths.

People are often advised to do all sorts of crazy things, most of which have no evidence behind them.

However, over the years, scientists have found a number of strategies that seem to be effective.

Here are 26 weight loss tips that are actually evidence-based.

1. Drink Water, Especially Before Meals

Weight Loss Tips

It is often claimed that drinking water can help with weight loss — and that’s true.

Drinking water can boost metabolism by 24–30% over a period of 1–1.5 hours, helping you burn off a few more calories (1Trusted Sourcetarget=”_blank”2Trusted Source).

One study showed that drinking a half-liter (17 ounces) of water about half an hour before meals helped dieters eat fewer calories and lose 44% more weight, compared to those who didn’t drink the water (3Trusted Source).

2. Eat Eggs For Breakfast

Eating whole eggs can have all sorts of benefits, including helping you lose weight.

Studies show that replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs can help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours as well as lose more weight and body fat (4Trusted Source5Trusted Source).

If you don’t eat eggs, that’s fine. Any source of quality protein for breakfast should do the trick.

3. Drink Coffee (Preferably Black)

Coffee has been unfairly demonized. Quality coffee is loaded with antioxidants and can have numerous health benefits.

Studies show that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3–11% and increase fat burning by up to 10–29% (6Trusted Source7Trusted Source8Trusted Source).

Just make sure not to add a bunch of sugar or other high-calorie ingredients to your coffee. That will completely negate any benefits.

Shop for coffee online.

4. Drink Green Tea

Like coffee, green tea also has many benefits, one of them being weight loss.

Though green tea contains small amounts of caffeine, it is loaded with powerful antioxidants called catechins, which are believed to work synergistically with caffeine to enhance fat burning (910Trusted Source).

Although the evidence is mixed, many studies show that green tea (either as a beverage or a green tea extract supplement) can help you lose weight (11Trusted Source12Trusted Source).

Purchase green tea online.

5. Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a popular eating pattern in which people cycle between periods of fasting and eating.

Short-term studies suggest intermittent fasting is as effective for weight loss as continuous calorie restriction (13Trusted Source).

Additionally, it may reduce the loss of muscle mass typically associated with low-calorie diets. However, higher-quality studies are needed before any stronger claims can be made (14Trusted Source).

6. Take a Glucomannan Supplement

A fiber called glucomannan has been linked to weight loss in several studies.

This type of fiber absorbs water and sits in your gut for a while, making you feel more full and helping you eat fewer calories (15).

Studies show that people who supplement with glucomannan lose a bit more weight than those who don’t (16Trusted Source).

Find glucomannan supplements online.

7. Cut Back on Added Sugar

Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet. Most people consume way too much.

Studies show that sugar (and high-fructose corn syrup) consumption is strongly associated with an increased risk of obesity, as well as conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart disease (17Trusted Source18Trusted Source19Trusted Source).

If you want to lose weight, cut back on added sugar. Just make sure to read labels, because even so-called health foods can be loaded with sugar.

8. Eat Less Refined Carbs

Refined carbohydrates include sugar and grains that have been stripped of their fibrous, nutritious parts. These include white bread and pasta.

Studies show that refined carbs can spike blood sugar rapidly, leading to hunger, cravings and increased food intake a few hours later. Eating refined carbs is strongly linked to obesity (20Trusted Source21Trusted Source22).

If you’re going to eat carbs, make sure to eat them with their natural fiber.

9. Go on a Low-Carb Diet

If you want to get all the benefits of carb restriction, then consider going all the way and committing to a low-carb diet.

Numerous studies show that such a regimen can help you lose 2–3 times as much weight as a standard low-fat diet while also improving your health (2324Trusted Source25Trusted Source).

10. Use Smaller Plates

Using smaller plates has been shown to help some people automatically eat fewer calories (26Trusted Source).

However, the plate-size effect doesn’t appear to affect everyone. Those who are overweight seem to be more affected (27Trusted Source28Trusted Source).

11. Exercise Portion Control or Count Calories

Portion control — simply eating less — or counting calories can be very useful, for obvious reasons (29Trusted Source).

Some studies show that keeping a food diary or taking pictures of your meals can help you lose weight (30Trusted Source31).

Anything that increases your awareness of what you are eating is likely to be beneficial.

12. Keep Healthy Food Around in Case You Get Hungry

Keeping healthy food nearby can help prevent you from eating something unhealthy if you become excessively hungry.

Snacks that are easily portable and simple to prepare include whole fruits, nuts, baby carrots, yogurt and hard-boiled eggs.

13. Take Probiotic Supplements

Taking probiotic supplements containing bacteria of the Lactobacillus subfamily have been shown to reduce fat mass (32Trusted Source33Trusted Source).

However, the same doesn’t apply to all Lactobacillus species. Some studies have linked L. acidophilus with weight gain (34).

Shop for probiotic supplements online.

14. Eat Spicy Foods

Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a spicy compound that can boost metabolism and reduce your appetite slightly (35Trusted Source36Trusted Source).

However, people may develop tolerance to the effects of capsaicin over time, which may limit its long-term effectiveness (37Trusted Source).

15. Do Aerobic Exercise

Doing aerobic exercise (cardio) is an excellent way to burn calories and improve your physical and mental health.

It appears to be particularly effective for losing belly fat, the unhealthy fat that tends to build up around your organs and cause metabolic disease (38Trusted Source39Trusted Source).



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