30 Science-Backed Ways to Lose Weight
Losing weight is hard work. It takes dedication, changing unhealthy habits, and involves changing your relationship with food.
Making small changes every day may seem insignificant, but they lead to easily sustainable healthy habits in the end.
Related - 9 Weight Loss Tips That Deliver Results
While there are countless ways to lose weight, let's go over this huge list of science-backed ways to lose weight.
30 Simple Tips for Weight Loss
#1 - Snack More
Get your grub on with small healthy snacks throughout the day.
With proper planning, eating five or more small meals a day will keep you satisfied, full of energy, and keeps your sugar crashes to a minimum.
Try snacking on some cashews, fresh vegetables, or responsibly indulge in your favorite chips.
#2 - Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store
If you are having a hard time finding healthier choices to eat, shopping the perimeter of the grocery store will keep you away from the belly busters.
Fresh produce and proteins are going to be your best bet.
The inner isles have your pre-packaged, highly-processed foods that pack too many calories and provide little nutritional value.
#3 - Stock the Kitchen
Keep your kitchen full of colorful ingredients, fresh proteins, and healthy grains. Stock your freezer with frozen veggies and fruit.
These are easy to sprinkle into every meal and can turn a boring dish into a unique experience.
Having an abundance of food choices will keep your food anxieties down. Look into meal prepping for more control over what you eat.
#4 - Use Smaller Plates
One way that works well for me is opting to use a smaller plate.
When you start portioning your food, your brain will freak out when it sees that food isn't in heaps all over the plate.
If you're having troubles with portion control, using smaller plates makes it much harder to fit much food on the plate. Use this to your advantage and start enjoying smaller portions while feeling like you're eating a lot.
#5 - Eat a Snack Before Going Out
When I say eat a snack before eating out, I don't mean have your pre-game hot fudge sundae or that candy bar. What I do mean is eat an apple and a glass of water before going out.
You'll not be starving for food, so you will be able to make a more sensible choice without feeling like you are missing out. It's kind of like going to the grocery store when you are hungry.
Keeping your hunger controlled in situations where you normally would give in will help with overall calorie intake.
#6 - Put Away or Freeze What You Aren't Eating
Keep yourself from getting a second helping, or at least make it take more effort, by putting away or freeing what you aren't immediately eating.
If you are like me and like to pull out a spoon and eat what you've cooked while standing over the stove at night, start putting away your food when you are done cooking.
Adding a few extra steps to get into the leftovers should help with going back for more when you don't need it.
#7 - Enjoy Your Food
You just spent an hour cooking and cleaning up your mess from cooking; start enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Start taking time to eat your food, putting down your utensil before bites, and creating a good atmosphere to eat in.
Eating slower will allow your body to send a signal that it no longer needs food before you overeat.
Next time you're eating one of your trigger foods, take time eating it and I bet you won't eat as much as you usually would.
#8 - Turn off Distractions
In this age of smartphones and thousands of TV channels and online entertainment, we distract ourselves while we eat.
One of the main reasons I believe the myth of "you can't eat past 6 pm if you want to lose weight" is because this is when you are at home relaxing, watching movies, or otherwise distracted from how much you are eating.
Unplug for a little and take time to enjoy your food.
#9 - Eat More Protein
Protein builds and repairs your body, keeps you full, and tastes great.
Who doesn't want to have a nice steak?
#10 - Get More Fiber in Your Diet
Upping your fiber intake helps you feel fuller for longer, keeps the poop chute healthy, and keeps our sugar levels maintained.
Eating a hearty bowl of oatmeal with some of those frozen veggies you have in your freezer will keep you fuller than if you went to your fast food restaurant.
#11 - Healthy Fats Are Your Friend
Butter and oil don't make you fat - eating too much of it will.
Fats are calorie (and nutrient) dense, so using them sparingly will allow you to enjoy great flavor while improving your health. Fats help us absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
Along with feeling full, getting plenty of healthy fats helps our body regulate hormones and did I mention they taste good?
Quit opting for sugar-filled "fat-free" versions of foods and start eating the real deal.
#12 - Simple Carbohydrates Are Your Enemy
Simple carbs are basically any white carbohydrate. White bread, refined sugar, and pastries are a few examples.
Carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy, and these foods provide the energy without the nutrients.
Our bodies break down simple carbohydrates very rapidly which spikes your blood sugar, causes those "3-o'clock crashes," and you'll feel hungry much faster than if you used a whole-grain.
Try whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, and even grains like brown rice and quinoa instead.
#13 - So is Sugar
Any refined sugar is going to increase your risk for a cardiovascular disease and put you well on your way to obesity.
Sugar in its natural form like in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are okay to eat; it's the added highly-processed sugar that you want to steer clear of.
Next time you overhear someone telling you how they gained weight from eating oranges, know that it was the pizza and booze that really did it.
#14 - Eat Fruit Instead of Drinking Juice
Juice tastes great, most of them are full of extra sugars, and they don't give you the same amount of fiber. Eating fruits will give the vitamins and minerals that their juice counterpart will.
The average apple juice box has nearly double the sugars and 7 times less fiber than eating an apple.
#15 - Spice It Up
Adding a dash of cayenne pepper has been shown to boost metabolism and curb cravings for calorie-dense fatty, sweet, or salty foods.
Studies suggest that eating spicy foods increases fat oxidation. This means your body will be able to use fat as energy much easier.
Spice up your favorite meal, try some hot sauce on scrambled eggs, or try some red pepper flakes in your stir-fry.
#16 - Get a Doggy Bag
Next time you go to your favorite restaurant, ask the staff to bring you a to-go container with your meal.
Putting away half of your meal before you even start will help with portion control and gives you something to look forward to later.
You really don't need all 16 ounces of that steak, the whole baked potato, and corn to meet your needs.
#17 - Try Green Tea
It is well-known that green tea helps shed a few pounds.
Green tea is known for its ability to metabolize fat and having a healthy dose of antioxidants.
#18 - Drink More Water
Drinking plenty of water keeps you from getting dehydrated, helps you feel fuller, and raises your resting energy expenditure.
Water is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Many doctors associate a lower water intake with obesity.
So put down the sugar-filled or diet drinks and grab a bottle of water.
#19 - Stop Drinking Calories
Drinking calories is the quickest way to blow through your daily calorie allowance.
Cutting down or planning out the calories you drink will keep your waistline in check.
#20 - Portion It Out
Don't look at losing weight as restriction and denial.
Instead, look at losing weight as being more mindful of how much of your favorite foods that you eat.
#21 - Meditate and De-Stress
Emotional eating is what caused me to gain a significant amount of weight back... Twice.
Find better ways to deal with stress like a nice brisk walk or meditate.
Changing your patterns and dealing with stress in a healthier way will keep you from secretly eating fast food at night.
#22 - Strive to Change One Habit at a Time
Changing everything in your life overnight is not a great way to sustain any weight loss that you've had.
Working to change one unhealthy habit into a healthy habit allows you to make slow and steady changes that will last.
Instead of being hard on yourself for the five reasons you know made you fat, work on changing one while being mindful of the others.
You're going to have slip ups and there will be days when you ask yourself "whoa, what happened?" The people who succeed with their weight loss don't let that one bad day ruin the months or years they've been working their tails off.
Small changes lead to enormous weight loss. Stick with it and don't be too hard on yourself.
#23 - Sleep More
Not getting enough sleep robs your body the time it needs to repair itself.
Skimping on your sleep affects your mood, throws your hormones out of whack, and has been linked to changes in appetite and glucose metabolism.
Start decompressing and unplugging earlier in the evening and start getting the sleep you deserve.
#24 - Log Everything
Every piece of food you eat, every sip you take, and every time you workout should be logged.
Logging everything is important, but that doesn't mean you need to develop OCD tendencies to lose weight.
Many people who monitor their food intake with a food diary are more likely to lose weight than those who don't.
Tracking everything you eat will provide you with the facts; numbers don't lie.
#25 - Use Music to Your Advantage
Music is great and can impact your mental and physical health.
Jamming out to music is a sure-fire way to get amped up, increase your focus, or help with a bad mood.
Next time you go for a run, turn on some upbeat fast-paced music and watch how your stride starts to match the beat.
#26 - Lift Weights
Getting stronger, learning how to use your body more effectively, and improving your quality of life are all benefits of lifting weights.
Choosing free weights over their machine counterpart will work more muscles, improve your coordination, and simply are more effective for weight loss.
#27 - Use Caffeine as a Tool
Sipping some coffee or smashing your favorite pre-workout will give you a boost of endurance when working out.
Caffeine slows glycogen depletion and encourages our bodies to use fat for fuel first.
Talk to your doctor first before adopting any regimen that includes any nervous system stimulants.
#28 - Try High-Intensity Interval Training
HIIT training combines periods of moderate-to-low effort exercise with short bursts of intense exercise.
Interval training will burn more calories and keep burning calories much longer than a long and steady workout.
#29 - Stand More
Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to wrecking our posture, obesity (go figure), and chronic pain.
Get up and walk around the office frequently or invest in a sit-stand workstation to burn more calories and stay pain-free.
#30 - Move More
Move more, eat less is the name of the weight-loss game.
Moving more doesn't mean going to the gym, hopping on a treadmill, or running a marathon. It means you are making a conscious effort to put more steps into your day.
Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking at the back of the parking lot, or walking laps around the store you are shopping in are all easy ways to move more.
Need some more ideas? Check out these 35 creative ways to get more exercise.
Wrapping It Up
There's no reason why you cannot implement some or all of these tips - eventually.
Start small, be goal oriented, and put the work you know that needs to go into you losing weight.
Some easy things that have helped me relatively "effortlessly" lose weight are to walk around the house more, take more trips when carrying things, standing more, and random spurts of physical activity.
It doesn't take much to get started in the right direction; you just have to start.