You Can Lose Weight Permanently With These Science-Backed Strategies
If your doctor suggests it, there are ways to lose weight safely even though it is not always the best solution for health issues. For the best long-term weight management, it is advised to lose 1 to 2 pounds consistently per week.
Having said that, many diets intended to aid in weight loss are unsustainable and can leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied or cut out important food groups. These are the main factors that may make it difficult for you to maintain a healthier eating regimen.
Everyone has various demands, therefore you might respond better to certain dietary habits and advice than someone else. You may find you are able to lose weight by following a low-carb diet or a diet that has a focus on whole foods, but there are some general principles that apply when you’re trying to lose weight.
Here are several weight-loss strategies supported by science that emphasize sensible carbohydrate selection and healthy eating.
Decrease your appetite and hunger levels while keeping you full
Result in sustained weight loss
Simultaneously boost your metabolic health
Some of these suggestions may be useful if you want to lose weight rapidly, but rapid weight loss is rarely long-lasting. It will help you improve your health and increase the likelihood that you will lose weight permanently if you concentrate on long-term health and behaviors you can maintain.
How to Lose Weight in 3 Simple Steps
1. Reducing refined carbs
Reducing your intake of carbs, such as sweets and starches, can help you lose weight quickly. This could be accomplished by following a low-carb diet or by consuming less processed carbohydrates and more whole grains.
When you do that, your hunger levels decrease, and you typically eat fewer calories as a result (1Trusted Source).
With a low-carb diet, you’ll use your body’s fat reserves as energy instead of carbohydrates.
You’ll benefit from increased fiber and slower digestion if you decide to eat more complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, coupled with a calorie deficit. They become more filled as a result, satisfying you longer.
A 2020 study found that elderly folks could lose weight by following an extremely low-carb diet. (2Trusted Source).
Additionally, research indicates that a low-carb diet may decrease appetite, which may cause one to automatically consume less calories without consciously doing so or feeling hungry (3Trusted Source).
Note that more study is currently being done on the long-term implications of a low carb diet. A low-carb diet might be challenging to follow, which could result in yo-yo dieting and less success in maintaining a healthy weight.
A low-carb diet could have drawbacks that make you want to try another approach. Reduced calorie diets are simpler to follow for longer periods of time and can also result in weight loss.
A 2019 study found a correlation between high whole grain intake and lower body mass index (BMI) if you choose a diet that priorities whole grains over refined carbs (4Trusted Source).
Consult your doctor for advice on how to reduce weight in the best way possible for you.
Reducing refined carbohydrates may help curb your appetite, lower your insulin levels, and help you lose weight.
But the long-term effects of a low-carb diet are not yet known. A reduced-calorie diet could be more sustainable.
2. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables
Make an effort to eat a variety of foods at each meal. Your meals should contain a protein supply, a fat source, and veggies to help you eat more healthfully and balance your plate.
- a protein source
- fat source
- a small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains
To see how you can assemble your meals, check out:
- this low carb meal plan
- this lower calorie meal plan
- these lists of 101 healthy low carb recipes and low calorie foods
- When trying to lose weight, it’s crucial to consume the recommended quantity of protein to maintain your health and muscle mass (5Trusted Source).
- There is proof that eating enough protein may reduce hunger, body weight, and cardiometabolic risk factors (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
- Although numerous factors affect protein requirements, the average male needs 56–91 grammes per day, and the average female needs 46–75 grammes. Here are some recommendations to help you choose the right amount of protein to consume (9 Trusted Source, 10 Trusted Source):
- 0.8g/kg of body weight
- 1-1.2g/kg of body weight for people 65 and older
- 1.4-2g/kg of body weight for athletes
Diets with adequate protein may also help you reduce cravings and snacking by helping you feel full and satisfied (11).
Healthy protein sources include:
- meat: beef, chicken, pork, and lamb
- fish and seafood: salmon, trout, sardines, and shrimp
- plant-based proteins: beans, legumes, quinoa, tempeh, and tofu
Don’t be reluctant to pile lush green vegetables on your plate. They are nutrient-dense, and you can consume a lot of them without significantly raising your calorie and carb intake.
All vegetables are nutrient-dense and beneficial additions to your diet, but some, such as corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, have greater carbohydrate contents.
Due to their fiber content, these veggies are regarded as complex carbohydrates; yet, when adding them to your plate, you may want to be careful about serving quantity.
Vegetables to include more of:
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
Don’t be hesitant to eat fats.
No matter which eating strategy you adopt, your body still needs healthy fats. You should definitely include olive oil and avocado oil in your diet. Avocados, nuts, seeds, olives, and olive oil are all delectable and nutritious additions.
Due to their greater saturated fat contents, other fats like butter and coconut oil should only be used seldom (12Trusted Source).
Try to assemble each meal with a protein source, healthy fat source, complex carb, and vegetables.
Leafy green vegetables are a great way to bulk up a meal with low calories and lots of nutrients.
3. Move your body
While it’s not necessary to exercise in order to lose weight, it can speed up the process. Weightlifting in particular has many advantages.
You will burn calories and help prevent the usual side effect of weight loss, which is your metabolism slowing down, by lifting weights (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
Aim for three to four times a week of strength training. A trainer might be able to assist you in getting started if you’ve never lifted weights before. Make sure any new fitness regimens are communicated to your doctor as well.
Cardio exercises like walking, jogging, running, cycling, or swimming are excellent for weight loss and general health if lifting weights is not an option for you.
Exercises like aerobics and weightlifting can both promote health and aid in weight loss.
Resistance training, such as weightlifting, is a great option for losing weight. If that’s not possible, cardio workouts are also effective.
Choose what’s sustainable for you.
What about calories and portion control?
As long as you stick to a low-carb diet and priorities eating plenty of protein, fat, and low-carb vegetables, you can avoid counting calories.
Keep track of your calories to discover if they’re a contributing issue if you’re having trouble losing weight.
Use a free online calculator like this one to determine your estimated daily caloric needs if you’re following a calorie deficit diet to lose weight.
Additionally, websites and app shops offer free, simple-to-use calorie trackers for download. Here are 5 calorie counters you can use.
Keep in mind that eating too little calories might be harmful and less conducive to weight loss. Depending on your doctor’s advice, try to cut your calorie intake by a manageable and healthy amount.
A note on calorie counting
Counting calories may be a helpful tool for some, but it may not be the best choice for everyone.
If you are preoccupied with food or your weight, feel guilt surrounding your food choices, or routinely engage in restrictive diets, consider reaching out for support. These behaviors may indicate a disordered relationship with food or an eating disorder.
Talk with a qualified healthcare professional, such as a registered dietitian, if you’re struggling.
You can also chat, call, or text anonymously with trained volunteers at the National Eating Disorders Association helpline for free or explore the organization’s free and low cost resources.
Counting calories isn’t usually needed to lose weight on a low carb eating plan. But if you’re not losing weight or on a reduced-calorie eating plan, calorie counting may help.
9 weight loss tips
Here are 9 more tips to help you lose weight:
- Eat a high protein breakfast. Eating a high protein breakfast could help reduce cravings and calorie intake throughout the day (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
- Limit sugary drinks and fruit juice. Empty calories from sugar aren’t useful to your body and can hinder weight loss (18Trusted Source, 19).
- Stay hydrated. Drink water throughout the day and aim for half your body weight in ounces (20Trusted Source).
- Choose weight-loss-friendly foods. Some foods are better for weight loss than others. Here is a list of healthy weight-loss-friendly foods.
- Eat more fiber. Studies show that eating fiber may promote weight loss. Find fiber in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and these other high-fiber foods. (21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).
- Drink coffee or tea. Caffeine consumption may help boost your metabolism. No need to go overboard on caffeine though and be mindful of adding sugar to these drinks (24Trusted Source, 25).
- Base your diet on whole foods. They tend to be nutrient rich, more filling, and less likely to cause overeating than processed foods.
- Eat slowly. Eating quickly can lead to weight gain over time, while eating slowly makes you feel more full and boosts weight-reducing hormones (26Trusted Source).
- Get good quality sleep. Sleep is important for many reasons, and poor sleep is one of the biggest risk factors for weight gain (27Trusted Source, 28Trusted Source, 29).
While these 9 tips are a good starting point, they’re not the only things that impact weight loss. Try to reduce stress, and move your body. Read more about natural tips for losing weight here.
Eating whole foods, higher protein, fiber, and less sugar can help you lose more weight. Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep, too.
Sample meal ideas for fast weight loss
These low-carb meal plan examples keep daily carbohydrate intake to 20–50 grammes. Protein, healthy fats, and vegetables should be included in every meal. Everyone has varied demands and culinary preferences, therefore these meal options should only be considered as ideas.
Add some nutritious whole grains to your meals, such as: if you want to reduce weight while continuing to consume complex carbohydrates.
- whole wheat flour, bread, or pasta
- brown rice
- poached egg with sliced avocado and a side of berries
- spinach, mushroom, and feta crust less quiche
- green smoothie with spinach, avocado, and nut milk and a side of cottage cheese
- unsweetened Greek yogurt with berries and almonds
- smoked salmon with avocado and a side of asparagus
- lettuce wrap with grilled chicken, black beans, red pepper, and salsa
- kale and spinach salad with grilled tofu, chickpeas, and guacamole
- BLT wrap with celery sticks and peanut butter
- enchilada salad with chicken, peppers, mango, avocado, and spices
- ground turkey bake with mushrooms, onions, peppers, and cheese
- antipasto salad with white beans, asparagus, cucumbers, olive oil, and Parmesan
- roasted cauliflower with tempeh, Brussels sprouts, and pine nuts
- salmon baked with ginger, sesame oil, and roasted zucchini
- cauliflower hummus and veggies
- healthy homemade trail mix with nuts and dried fruit
- kale chips
- cottage cheese with cinnamon and flaxseeds
- spicy roasted chickpeas
- roasted pumpkin seeds
- tuna pouches
- steamed edamame
- strawberries and brie
How fast will you lose weight?
A diet plan may cause you to lose weight more fast the first week and then more gradually yet consistently after that. Body fat and water weight are normally lost in equal measure during the first week. Weight reduction may occur more quickly if you are changing your food and exercise routine for the first time. A safe quantity to lose is typically 1-2 pounds per week, unless your doctor advises different. Consult your doctor about a safe degree of calorie restriction if you want to lose weight more quickly than that. Though the long-term benefits are not yet established, a low-carb diet can enhance your health in a number of areas other than helping you lose weight:
- blood sugar levels tend to significantly decrease on low carb diets (30)
- triglycerides tend to go down (31)
- LDL (bad) cholesterol goes down (32Trusted Source)
- blood pressure improves significantly (33Trusted Source)
Improved metabolic indicators and slower ageing are also linked to other diets that cut calories while increasing whole foods (34, 35Trusted Source, 36Trusted Source). In the end, you could discover that a more well-rounded diet that contains complex carbs is more resilient.
You can reach your weight loss goals by incorporating a low carb or low calorie diet into your life, but the speed of weight loss depends on the individual. General weight loss can sometimes improve certain markers of health, such as blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
The bottom line
You’ll probably feel less hungry if you consume fewer carbohydrates or complex carbohydrates in place of refined carbohydrates. Finding a method of eating that makes you feel fulfilled is crucial because feeling hungry is frequently the reason it’s challenging to stick with a weight loss plan. You can consume wholesome food until you feel full and yet lose weight by implementing a sustained low carb or reduced calorie eating plan.
You may want to lose weight rapidly, but you need also consider the long term. Even while you might lose water weight quickly, fat takes longer to drop, and it might take longer than you’d like to create consistent weight reduction.