People that successfully lose weight do two things very well:
First, they identify the weight loss tips that can actually get results.
Second, they put 100% of their energy into consistently putting those tips into action.
So, you’re probably wondering:
“How do I find weight loss tips that actually work?”
Well, today I’m going to make it easy for you.
All you need to do is carve out a few minutes of your day and implement any one of the super simple weight loss tips below.
Let’s do this.
Weight Loss Tip #1: Harness The Secret Power of Protein
Anybody who has ever gotten in shape knows how important protein is.
But whenever you hear it being talked about, it’s usually in the context of recovery and muscle building. Here’s the secret though:
Protein is also incredibly important if you want to lose weight.
A study carried out by Johns Hopkins University in 2005 found that when roughly a quarter of your calories come from protein, the instances of high blood pressure, LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, and triglycerides (fat found in the blood stream) are all reduced when compared to a traditional higher-carb diet.
Other research finds that diets rich in protein can help prevent obesity and osteoporosis.
So what’s going on?
High-protein foods are difficult to digest, metabolize, and use, which means your body has to burn additional calories just to digest them.
They also take longer to leave your stomach, so you feel full sooner and for a longer amount of time. In a study published in Nutrition Metabolism, dieters who increased their protein intake to 30 percent of their diet ate nearly 450 fewer calories a day and lost about 11 pounds without employing any other dietary measures.
And if, like most successful dieters, you’re burning calories as well as counting them, protein is doubly essential for making sure you lose fat, not muscle. Your body uses the amino acids in protein to build lean muscle, which not only makes you stronger, but also means that you’ll burn more calories even when you’re not active.
If losing weight while preserving muscle is your goal, use this table to know how much protein you should aim to eat each day:
|Bodyweight in LB
|Bodyweight in KG
|Target Protein Intake in Grams
#2: Eat Slowly To Stay Fuller For Longer
Eating too quickly is something that I am definitely guilty of.
Whenever I have a delicious meal in front of me it takes all of my willpower to slow down and chew.
But, as it turns out, mindful eating – paying attention to the food that’s going into your mouth – might be one of the best and most under-utilized weight loss tips out there.
Research suggests people who eat slowly tend to consume fewer calories and stay fuller longer than those who eat quickly. And according to another study, the quicker we eat, the less time we give our bodies to register fullness.
Eating quickly negatively affects a gut hormone responsible for signaling that you have had enough. As a result, we end up eating way more than we would have otherwise, which leads to excess body fat storage or weight gain.
On the flip side, eating at a slower pace increases the response of hormones that make you feel full, called peptide and glucagon-like peptide.
Next time you sit down for a meal, use these strategies to slow yourself down:
- Portion: With less food in front of you, the chances of over-eating are reduced, even if you race through the meal.
- Drink: Take sips of water throughout the meal to naturally help slow your fork action.
- Chew: Pace yourself by chewing until your food is a mush.
- Focus: Put down your phone and close your computer for just 20 minutes while eating. This may be all it takes for your body to recognize its hunger-fighting hormones are kicking in.
Weight Loss Tip #3: Don’t Drink Your Calories
Whenever somebody tells me that they want to lose weight, this is the first tip I give them.
Because it’s such a simple way of making a big difference.
There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that sugary drinks like soda increase the risk of obesity, while also increasing the risk of serious health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and gout.
On average, a can of regular cola contains about 135 calories. If you drink three cans a day, you’re getting roughly 405 daily calories from soft drinks. And even if you only have one can a day, it still adds up to additional weight gain over time.
Plus, soda is completely devoid of any essential vitamins or minerals – all it contributes to your diet is sugar, and those calories are much better spent on foods with higher nutritional value. You would much better off replacing soda and other sugary drinks with water, tea and coffee.
That said, if you’re having difficulty cutting soda out of your diet, there is evidence to suggest that diet soda could help.
One study that lasted 6 months found that diet soda is an effective substitution for regular soda and had no significant differences in health or weight loss relative to water. I’m not saying that diet soda is good for you, but there is surprisingly little evidence to suggest that it is detrimental to your health or causes weight gain.
Diet soda only becomes an issue when people under-estimate their overall intake of calories. When they think about saving on the calories from their soda, they end up over-eating, and thus gain weight. That’s something to be aware of if you’re going to include diet drinks in your diet.
#4: Do Metabolic Resistance Training to Burn Additional Calories for up to 38 Hours
‘Resistance training’ refers to any type of exercise that involves using muscular force against (you guessed it) some form of resistance.
The resistance can be a heavy object, your own bodyweight, elastic resistance from bands, or resistance from machines that involve pulleys or hydraulics. The heavy object could be a kettlebell, dumbbell, barbell, log, rock, another person — anything that has mass!
The ‘metabolic’ part of the name refers to performing resistance training at a high intensity.
I’ve written extensively about the benefits of metabolic resistance training (MRT) over cardio for fat loss here but, to cut a long story short, this type of exercise is the best, most intense strategy for building muscle, torching fat, and improving overall physical fitness… all at the same time.
Here are 3 reasons that MRT is so effective:
- It burns a huge amount of calories at the time of doing it. As a percentage, we burn more calories from fat when we train in the ‘fat burning zone’, but when we train at high intensities (short rest periods, full-body exercises) we burn more calories overall. So, while the percentage of calories coming from fat is slightly lower, because the overall amount of calories is so much higher, we actually burn more calories from fat at high intensities.
- It creates an afterburn effect. The ‘afterburn’ effect, measured as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), is the amount of energy expended while your body returns to its normal, resting state after a workout. After a high intensity workout, you will burn additional calories for up to 38 hours afterwards.
- It builds muscle… which means you burn more calories day-to-day. Your body uses energy (calories) to constantly break down and remake all tissues in the body, including muscle. Muscle is special because you can make more of it, which means to some extent you can control the amount of calories you burn at rest. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when you’re not exercising.
It beats traditional, steady-state cardio (like jogging, or spending hours on the eliptical) hands down.
And that’s exactly why it’s the main type of workout we do in Bodyweight365.
To start a free-trial now and get a program tailored to you, click here.
#5: Hack Your Home To Beat Cravings
Ever find yourself sitting in front of the TV late at night craving a snack?
You’re not alone. Far from it.
In a study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston researchers found that regardless of the time subjects woke up or when they’d had their last meal, their desire for sweet, salty, and starchy foods peaked around 8pm, as did their feelings of hunger.
Instead of battling those cravings head-on, filling your kitchen with healthy snacks and keeping tempting treats hidden is a surprisingly effective way of avoiding cravings.
Simply seeing or smelling food has been shown to stimulate cravings, increase hunger, and boost our prospective portion size, which together can increase our motivation to consume snacks (especially junk food). Fighting our natural response to food is exhausting, especially if the snacks in question are within arm’s reach.
The solution, as one study has shown, is as simple as creating distance between us and tempting treats.
Filling your kitchen with healthy food makes it easier to control snack attacks while enabling you to satiate your hunger with a lighter option.
If you’re worried that stocking up on healthy food will be too expensive, here’s a guide I wrote to help you eat healthily on a budget.
Weight Loss Tip #6: Find A Friend To Double Your Chances of Successfully Losing Weight
I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
None of this is easy.
Exercising first thing in the morning, or late at night after a long day isn’t easy. Going out and buying the ingredients for a healthy meal when you’ve got ready meals in the fridge isn’t easy. Staying on a single path instead of switching to the latest fad isn’t easy.
Having someone there to pick you up when you fall or, better yet, keep you from falling is often the difference between succeeding or failing to lose weight.
Change happens in dedicated communities.
Think about it:
AA, the Marine Corps, book clubs, and training partners are all examples of people coming together in order to support and hold each other to a new, higher standard.
Support like this can come from almost anywhere. Some examples include:
- Social media: Researchers in London recently analyzed 12 studies involving nearly 1,900 people in the US, Europe, East Asia, and Australia, and found that social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can help bolster weight loss.
- A personal trainer: While they can’t be with you 24/7, they can be the voice in your head telling you to succeed.
- Your friends: Members of MyFitnessPal who share their food diary with friends lose twice as much weight as users who don’t share.
Change is a daily battle. But it’s not a battle you have to fight alone.
If you’d like to join hundreds of people just like you, who are getting fitter and stronger with daily bodyweight workouts, click here.
#7: Shed Water Weight
Everybody knows water is important.
It makes up close to 70% of our body, and our organs contain an even higher percentage. The liver, for example, is nearly 95% water.
Water shuttles nutrients throughout our body and helps rid us of toxins. It helps to assimilate water-soluble vitamins, and it regulates our body temperature. Water lubricates joints, helps with digestion, and promotes healthy skin. It plays a role in every chemical reaction within our cells.
There are countless health benefits to drinking water, and this includes weight loss.
During World War II, Dr Ancel Keys conducted an experiment that involved 36 men willingly submitting themselves to a semi-starvation diet of about 1,500 calories per day for 6 months.
At the start of the experiment, weight loss steadily progressed. Men lost about 2 lbs per week, every week. Eventually, however, it became erratic. Weight would remain stagnant for weeks with a dramatic increase in water retention, and then a “burst” of weight loss would occur as water was rapidly expelled.
Water retention isn’t just some trivial issue of vanity unique to the fitness crowd. It’s a well documented phenomenon that occurs during calorie restriction.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix:
To get rid of retained water, you need to… wait for it… drink more water! And that’s not all, there is also evidence to suggest that water boosts fat metabolism.
So how much water should you drink?
Surprisingly, there isn’t a scientific consensus about how much water you should drink.
The only thing everyone can agree on is that you should drink when you are thirsty, and the majority or your urinations should be clear.
#8: Track How Many Calories You Eat
This is the most important tip on this list…
…because, the fact is, if you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight.
And the only way of finding out how many calories your body needs is to track your food intake, and make adjustments from there.
Calorie calculators only give you a very rough estimate of how many calories you should be eating. They cannot account for individual differences that affect the amount of calories your body needs.
But, without a diary, you can only make a guess at how many calories you are consuming. And, in case you were wondering, people tend to underestimate the amount of calories in their food by 20-34%.
So, if you sign up with MyFitnessPal (my favorite way of keeping a food diary), plug in your stats, and are told to eat 2000 calories a day, this is your baseline. Yes, it’s a rough estimate, but a starting point nonetheless. From there, you shoot for 2000 calories each day. If, after a week, you have gained weight then you know 2000 calories is too much. If you’ve lost weight you know you’re on the right track.
The act of tracking food intake also serves as a reminder of what you are trying to achieve.
It’s through regular and deliberate efforts that new habits are formed, and any behavior that helps you to keep your goals and intentions at the forefront of your mind is a good one.
#9: You Don’t Have To Stop Drinking Alcohol
Yep, you read that correctly.
Let’s be clear: alcohol isn’t healthy. That’s not what I’m saying.
But if you’re smart about it, you can still lose weight while consuming alcohol.
That’s great news for our social lives. I always say that there is absolutely no point in having an amazing physique if you’re missing out on parties, meals out, vacations or any other social events.
Being smart with your drinking at these events can often be the difference between losing weight and undoing a week of hard work.
Next time you find yourself on the sauce, here are the steps you need to take to minimize weight gain:
- Minimize fat intake on the day you go drinking. Drinking alcohol triggers a series of processes that inhibits fat burning throughout the body. As a result, most of the fatty acids in your blood are stored. To minimize fat storage we need to avoid fatty foods when we drink.
- Consume lots of (lean) protein and vegetables before you start drinking. These foods decrease the absorption rate and increases the elimination rate of alcohol. The percentage of bioavailable alcohol that actually reaches your blood drops to around 70% for most meals.
- Try sticking to spirits and wine. Spirits have about a 100 calories per drink, wine has 125 and beer has 150. If you have 6 bottles of beer on a night out, that’s almost 1000 additional calories that day. Drink your spirits neat or with a mixer like diet soda or soda water – not as a cocktail (high in sugar and calories).
- Beware of the alcohol munchies! Alcohol isn’t filling. In fact, it can even increase your appetite. Consume fewer calories in the day so you have some left in your budget for a post-session meal, or prepare a high-protein meal to eat when you get home.
Weight Loss Tip #10: Use Carb Cycling to Stay on Track Without Cutting out the Foods you Love
Carb cycling is typically seen as a more ‘advanced’ fat loss technique.
That’s because, physiologically, it becomes more advantageous when you are leaner.
But, from a psychological standpoint, I think it’s one of most useful tricks out there – no matter where you are on your weight loss journey.
The reality is that most people love carbs.
Cutting them out of your diet is difficult, and it’s where people often come unstuck when they’re trying to lose weight. Carbs are everywhere, and constantly trying to avoid them can be not only exhausting, but downright miserable.
Carb cycling allows you to keep carbs in your diet while ensuring that you are still on track to reach your goals, and it couldn’t be easier. There are only two simple rules you need to follow:
- Rule 1: On the days that you do a bodyweight workout or lift weights, eat starchy carbs (see tip #14) and fruit along with protein, vegetables, and healthy fats.
- Rule 2: On the days that you’re either off from the gym or are doing some kind of cardio, don’t eat any starchy carbs, but continue to eat protein, vegetables, healthy fats and a limited amount of fruit.
Here’s an example of how your week might look: