Every year, a new diet trend comes out with endless claims and promises.
- “Lose 12 lbs in 7 days!”
- “Burn fat while you sleep!”
- “Top 5 foods to melt fat!”
Claims like these end up convincing people that the current hot diet is the answer to their weight loss prayers without knowing that 99% of them are physically impossible to work.
Not only do they not work, but they can also lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and a never-ending cycle of yoyo dieting.
So, we decided to write about the top 5 tips to lose weight backed by science.
Top weight-loss tips supported by science
1. Caloric deficit
A calorie deficit is an absolute must when it comes to weight loss. If you are consuming more energy than you are using, you will naturally store it for later. However, if you require more energy than you consume, you will draw from your stored energy.
This doesn’t mean you need to start calculating exactly how many calories you need to eat each day to lose weight. Simply choosing whole foods that are more filling and less calorie-dense than processed foods, which are hypercaloric and less filling, can naturally lead to fewer calories consumed throughout the day.
Most of the trendy diets that pop up do make you lose weight. But the reasons they make you lose weight aren’t why they claim. Instead, they work because they restrict you to only eating a few foods.
Think liquid diets that give you daily shakes to drink.
You lose weight quickly, not because of anything in the shake, but because you consume very few calories.
What factors make up a calorie deficit?
Calorie intake is exactly what it sounds like, the number of calories you consume throughout the day. This number comes from the combination of macronutrients you eat.
Each macronutrient has a different number of calories, which boils down to:
Carbohydrates – 1 gram has four calories
Protein – 1 gram has four calories
Fat – 1 gram has nine calories
Energy expenditure is dependent on several factors, including basal metabolic rate (BMR), how much you move throughout the day, the foods you eat, and exercise.
For this reason, it may be quite challenging to precisely measure your energy expenditure per day; however, an approximate number would suffice.
Now, you might be wondering, “how many calories should I be eating to lose weight?” Luckily, you can use this online calorie calculator to estimate the number of calories you burn per day.
Generally, the number of calories you burn ranges between 1500–3000, depending on the factors listed above.
Now that you’re familiar with what controls the two main elements of our equation, it’s pretty straightforward to apply:
Burn more calories than you consume, and weight loss is inevitable.
A 25-year-old male with these physical characteristics:
- Bodyweight – 90 kg (200 lb.)
- Height – 1.85 cm (6 ft)
When measuring the energy expenditure of our example using an online calculator, we will find that this person burns around 2,324 calories per day.
2. Increased protein intake
Number 2 on our list of weight loss tips is to increase protein intake.
Two primary reasons focusing on protein intake can help with your weight loss goals.
Consuming an adequate amount of protein with each meal can profoundly affect how satisfied you are after the meal.
This is helpful when you’re watching calories but have trouble managing hunger throughout the day.
Another benefit to protein is it has a high thermic effect.
The thermic effect of food, or TEF, is the number of calories you burn to digest and metabolize food.
The thermic effect of protein is about 25%, meaning that 25% of the calories you consume from protein are burned from digesting and metabolizing that protein.
This is a nice little bonus when it comes to achieving and maintaining a calorie deficit.
3. Increase fiber intake
You’ve probably heard plenty when it comes to the importance of getting fiber in your diet, but have you ever wondered how fiber can help you lose weight?
While fiber offers a myriad of health benefits, most of its action is seen in the digestive tract.
Fiber helps to encourage gut bacteria diversity. Having a greater variety of gut bacteria is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
This link could be from the fact that a high fiber diet generally consists of a large variety of whole foods that are lower in calories and more satiating vs. highly processed foods that are hypercaloric and less satiating.
Fiber is also satiating, meaning it can help keep you feeling full while you’re in a calorie deficit.
4. Limit refined carbs
Highly processed foods and carbohydrates are often what you call hypercaloric and hyper-palatable. This is a fancy way of saying that they are very easy to overconsume, usually have a lot of calories in a small volume, and aren’t very good at keeping you full because of a lack of fiber.
These foods are generally lower in protein, so you also miss out on protein’s satiating and thermic effects.
When looking for on-the-go snacks, try to opt for whole foods or snacks that are minimally processed and contain adequate fiber. MCT Collagen bars by NuSkool Snacks are one option for on-the-go snacks that contain 7 grams of fiber per serving.
5. Increase NEAT
A sedentary lifestyle is your number one enemy when it comes to weight loss.
To lose weight more efficiently, you need to take advantage of Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), which helps increase energy expenditure by increasing normal daily activity.
For instance, when getting groceries at your local grocery store, walk there instead of drive. Additionally, opt for taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
Getting more overall activity like this will burn extra calories throughout the day without you even realizing it. You may think simple things like walking more and taking the stairs burn an insignificant amount of calories, but it can add up when spread throughout the day.
Losing weight is a challenging task, especially if you lack credible information.
Hopefully, this article managed to shed some light on the top 5 weight loss tips to help you shed a few pounds.