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21 Weight Loss Strategies That Actually Work

Registered dietician dietitians provide weight-loss advice, including how to enjoy your meal and the necessity of protein.

By NizolePublished 7 months ago 12 min read
21 Weight Loss Strategies That Actually Work
Photo by Fuu J on Unsplash

You've certainly heard your fair share of bizarre weight reduction advice over the years, such as to drink celery juice every day or substitute weight loss "cookies" for meals. And often, such suggestions are spread by non-health professionals. Proceed with extreme care.

But for those that are in the correct mental health place and have weight reduction as a personal goal, there are many reliable, research-supported, and expert-approved recommendations available that should be disregarded.

Pick a time to exercise, and stick to it, is one of these suggestions. According to a July 2019 research in the journal Obesity, exercising regularly at the same time every day may aid in the maintenance of weight reduction.

Choose nuts over highly processed foods, which is further sound advise. According to a December 2019 publication in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, increasing the amount of nuts you consume daily by half a serving (for example, from half an ounce to 1 ounce) is associated with a decreased risk of weight gain and obesity.

There is proof that a weight loss counselor may reduce your waistline as well. According to a study that was published in November 2019 in JAMA Internal Medicine, people with type 2 diabetes who combined such counseling sessions (in this case, weight loss through low-carb dieting) with group medical visits were more likely to lose weight and use fewer medications than those in the control group. A win-win situation!

When it comes to losing weight, your thinking might also be important. According to research that was published in February 2022 in the journal Obesity, those who successfully lost weight and kept it off accepted their setbacks and saw them as brief breaks in their strategy rather than failures.

1. Eat slowly

"I teach my customers how to choose meals they like, taste each bite carefully before putting it in their mouths, and chew slowly. I tell them to chew food thoroughly before swallowing, then to repeat the process. Knowing when we are full takes time. Eating slowly improves our satiety signals and helps us to appreciate our meal more. — Janet Zinn, a psychotherapist and certified clinical social worker with a private practice in New York City.

2. Enjoy Your Meal

"We are often instructed what to eat, but when we don't enjoy that particular food, we are less likely to develop long-lasting good habits. Try out some fresh produce. Learn how to make new recipes that are flavorful and diverse. To improve taste, add herbs and spices. Or, if you'd like, enjoy the depth of raw and steaming veggies and the sweetness of fruit. There is no reason why you can't enjoy your connection with food. — Zinn

3. Write in a gratitude journal each day.

"Whether we are aware of it or not, sometimes our eating behaviors are linked to our emotions. When we're under stress, we can turn to food for comfort. I advise my clients to maintain a gratitude diary every day, or even simply a journal to write in when they're feeling overwhelmed, so they'll be better equipped to deal with stress by recognizing it and using other coping mechanisms rather than turning to food. — Lauren Manganiello, RDN, a Long Island, New York, yoga teacher

4. Batch Prep and Cook

"I batch cook enough chicken every Sunday to last the whole week. I trim the fat off the meat, bake it with seasoning, weigh out 3.5 ounces, and then put that amount, along with some mustard and frozen vegetables, into a container so I can take one piece of meat to work every day. I also spend the effort to divide everything up into separate containers. 1/4 cup of rolled oats, 1 tablespoons of ground flax and natural peanut butter, and a sprinkling of protein powder and cinnamon for sweetness. So all I have to do is add water and microwave when I wake up a zombie! — Kyra Williams, a Boston-based personal trainer

5. Remember to Use Weights

Be careful to lift weights twice or three times each week. Your muscle mass may be increased by using moderate to heavy weights, three or four sets of 10 to 15 repetitions using weights that are challenging for you. The likelihood that the food you consume will be used as fuel rather than stored as fat increases as your body mass increases. — Williams

6. Acquire Enough Zs

"Getting too little sleep may cause your contentment hormone, leptin, to drop and your hunger hormone, ghrelin, to rise, which can lead to weight gain. We have stronger cravings for salty and sweet foods when we are sleep deprived. Why? Because your appetites for meals with more energy, or calories, increase whenever you experience more hunger. It's simple to draw a connection between lack of sleep and a diminished capacity to make wise decisions about a variety of aspects of life, including eating, given that we also know that sleep deprivation has an impact on how we think and process our emotions. We may confidently infer, on the other hand, that when we are well rested, we will make better decisions. That would imply that when it comes to eating, we will only eat until we are fully satiated. Because our bodies had the opportunity to rest, mend, and rejuvenate, our hormones would likewise be more in balance. — Angela Lemond, a Texas-based registered dietitian nutritionist who works for herself.

7. Avoid skipping meals

"Remember, the main objective of our body is to maintain life. When our bodies are denied the calories that are essentially their source of life energy, they will act in order to live. The meals that are greater in energy density are known to our bodies, and we will want them more. Respect your hunger and don't let your body believe it is starving. This goes against a lot of diet strategies, yet such strategies don't really help individuals in the long run. Generally speaking, I advise eating every four hours. The Lemond

8. Keep hydrated.

According to research, those who drank two glasses of water before meals lost more weight than those who didn't, and they kept it off. This little trick has two benefits. You may eat more as a result of thirst, which might pass for hungry. Additionally, water helps you feel fuller so you eat less at meals. — Megan Casper, RDN, a nutritionist who also serves as the company's CEO and founder.

9. Reduce Calories But Not Flavor

You may use less while still getting a lot of taste without feeling like you're on a diet by selecting alternatives like strong cheddar versus mild cheddar. The Casper

10. Do Yourself a Weekly Weigh-In

"Same day, same hour, same number of garments. Keep in mind that your weight is a five-pound range rather than a single figure. Work to reduce the range rather than the precise number. — Lainey Younkin, RD, a Boston-based nutritionist and consultant

11. Rearrange your dinner plate

"Half of your plate should be veggies, quarters should be whole grains, and quarters should have lean protein. You'll notice a change when you alternate the grains and veggies on your plate. The lone exception is that since potatoes, maize, and peas are starchy vegetables, they belong in the category of grains. The Younkin

12. Do your best to start where you are.

"Don't think you have to change everything about your life right now. Analyze your present situation, then decide where you want to be in the future. Get a step counter and check how much you walk on an average day as a wonderful place to start for folks who spend most of their time sitting down. Then, aim for a step target that is a little higher than average and gradually increase it to 10,000 steps each day. — Esther Avant, a Kapolei, Hawaii-based online sports nutritionist with a focus on weight reduction

13. Think large, not little.

Focus on the "big rocks" of weight reduction since there are a few things that will help you lose weight the most effectively. Reaching your objectives will seem simpler and more sustainable if you give them the priority they deserve and let go of all the little details that add to overwhelm. Pay attention to calories, protein, and fiber when it comes to nutrition. Prioritize strength training, everyday movement, and recuperation while exercising. — Avant

14. Consider More Than Scale

The scale isn't worthless, but it's not the only thing that counts either. Take routine measures and images, as well as maintaining a running record of achievements that aren't measured by the scale, to assist you track improvement that may not be visible on the scale. This can help you maintain perspective about the scale and highlight all the beneficial adjustments you've made to your lifestyle and general health. — Avant

15. Add more protein to your morning meal.

"When eating breakfast, aim for 15 to 25 grams of protein. Protein helps you feel full because it digests slowly and blocks hunger hormones. A high-protein breakfast also aids in reducing hunger throughout the day. Like two eggs with whole-wheat bread and avocado or high-protein frozen waffles with almonds, berries, and a little maple syrup, combine protein sources with fiber and healthy fats. The Younkin

16. In actuality, include protein in each meal.

"Eating meals high in protein at every meal, particularly breakfast, may assist lose additional weight. Protein slows down digestion and has a favorable effect on your hunger hormones. Protein may stave off hunger more effectively than carbs. Quinoa, edamame, beans, seeds, almonds, eggs, yogurt, cheese, tofu, lentil pasta, chicken, fish, and meat are examples of foods high in protein. — Christine M. Palumbo, RDN, a Naperville, Illinois-based nutritionist

17. Minimize Your Consumption of High-Glycemic Foods

The pace at which blood sugar increases after consuming a carbohydrate item is ranked by the glycemic index. When consumed alone, high-glycemic carbs like white potatoes and refined bread will trigger a spike in blood sugar followed by a sharp decrease. You experience hunger and a desire for more food as a result. Although further long-term study is required, recent short-term studies like this one show a correlation exists. However, high-glycemic meals are not completely off-limits. Working with a licensed dietitian nutritionist may help you balance your diet so that you don't have blood sugar spikes, which can help you lose weight. — Boston-based Sue-Ellen Anderson Haynes, RDN, is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' national media representative.

18. Play Around with Fruits When It's Dessert Time

"Fruits are low in calories and packed with nutrients like fiber and antioxidants. Only 10% of Americans are consuming the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, according to the CDC. In addition to helping you fulfill your daily needs, using fruits as dessert will add flavor to your day. A variety of fruits may be grilled, sautéed, or baked. For instance, grilled peach with shaved almonds and vanilla yogurt is fantastic! Anders Haynes

19. "Eat Dinner Like a Pauper, Lunch Like a Prince, and Breakfast Like a King"

Although there are different interpretations of this adage, you should consume more calories early in the day. In a study that was published in the journal Nutrients in November 2019, researchers discovered that individuals who were given small breakfasts and big dinners lost weight much less than those who were given large breakfasts and smaller meals. Thus, we can see how eating smaller meals later in the day may be beneficial for those who wish to reduce their weight and enhance their general health. The time the supper was consumed was an intriguing aspect of this research. They discovered that having the main meal (bigger meal) later than recommended (after 3 p.m.) made it more difficult to lose weight. It's vital to understand that this research does not advocate for a 3 p.m. eating cutoff for everyone. Individual demands, such as those of people who are pregnant, nursing, have diabetes, or take medications that call for certain foods, might necessitate the need for extra snacks and meals. It is crucial that you visit a qualified dietitian nutritionist for advice because of this. Anders Haynes

Get Started With Meal Planning 20.

One of my best suggestions for eating well and keeping healthy is to organize your meals. I created a book on the idea since I love it so much! You'll save time, money, and extra calories if you plan your food for the next week over the weekend in 5 to 10 minutes. Unsure about the menu for tonight's dinner? It's already in your food plan, so don't worry. A balanced plate may be achieved by menu planning, which is a fantastic method to keep organized, know what goods you need to purchase and what you already have on hand. Remember that it's perfectly okay to take a night break from cooking and order takeout or prepare a freezer dish as part of the menu. Knowing in advance that you'll be doing that prevents you from scrimping when hunger strikes. Also, be sure to put the plan in writing since having it in front of you will help you remember to follow it. — Author of 52-Week Meal Planner: The Complete Guide to Planning Menus, Groceries, Recipes, and More, Westchester, New York-based gourmet nutritionist Jessica Levinson, RDN

21. Create a Grocery List and Follow It

"Once you've planned your food for the week, create a shopping list on paper or on your phone. I use Notes, but there are several apps for this. You'll save time, cut down on food waste, and avoid buying things you don't truly need by planning out what you need to buy before you go to the store. Avoid shopping while you are hungry or fatigued in order to keep to your list. According to research, impulsive conduct rises at certain periods. — Levinson


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