When it comes to weight loss, it’s difficult to know where to start. With everyone claiming to be an expert, there’s a lot of misinformation in the media.
Unsolicited advice from friends and family can further muddy the waters and weight loss supplements aren’t for you. So, what are the best ways to lose weight naturally?
We’ve compiled a list to help you with just that. Below are the top 3 science-backed ways to lose weight naturally according to experts.
3 Simple Science-Backed Steps to Lose Weight Fast
In this article, I’ll share some science-backed tips to help you lose weight fast and keep it off permanently. No crazy dieting, and endless hours of working out.
These 3 simple science-backed tips will help boost your metabolism and reduce hunger.
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1. Avoid Ultra-Processed Foods
Processed foods are everywhere and they are wreaking havoc on our health and our waistline.
Research shows a link between a high intake of processed foods and weight gain, specifically ultra-processed foods (1).
Processed foods can be graded on a spectrum from minimally processed to ultra-processed.
Ultra-processed foods contain hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and emulsifiers.
These foods are often cheaper and more convenient than whole foods. This makes them appealing to consumers.
They tend to be a lot higher in salt, fat, sugar, and calories than whole foods. Eating them frequently can result in weight gain (2).
To lose weight naturally, you want to eat more natural foods. Whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains are the best place to start.
If you already consume a high amount of ultra-processed foods, this may be a difficult task to start. Instead of jumping in with both feet first, start small. Choose a meal or a snack to adjust to include more whole foods versus processed.
Fast food is also categorized as processed food. If you eat out frequently, consider cutting down to just once per week.
Cutting down on these types of foods can significantly reduce your caloric intake which will help you shed pounds quickly.
2. Boost Your Protein Intake
Aside from cutting out the processed junk, you want to ensure your meals are satiating so you don’t overeat. The best way to guarantee a satisfying meal is to prioritize protein.
Protein is one of the most filling macronutrients. Protein helps to reduce ghrelin, the hunger hormone.
This allows you to feel full sooner and stay full for longer. This leads to a natural reduction in calories and eventually weight loss (3).
Studies have found protein can also help increase your metabolic rate. This allows your body to burn more calories at rest. This increase can be anywhere from 20-35% compared to roughly 5-10% when consuming carbohydrates.
A large review of 24 different research studies found that high protein diets were more effective than standard protein diets for weight loss.
A high protein diet meets 1.2-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. This is compared to the standard protein recommendations of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (4, 5, 6).
You can find protein in animal products, such as meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.
You can also find good sources of protein in some plant foods, such as tempeh, tofu, soybeans, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
To get the most out of your protein intake, aim to consume it throughout the day instead of all at once. Plan to have one source of protein at each meal and snack.
3. Get Into a Regular Exercise Routine
To get the weight off, you need to move your body. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.
They also recommend at least 2 days of strength exercises that focus on all the major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abs, chest, shoulders, arms).
Although this is the standard recommendation, the movement looks different for everyone (7).
If you are new to an exercise routine, consider starting with some light walking. An effective way to incorporate more movement and stay motivated is to track your steps.
You can track your steps throughout the day and while on designated walks. Knowing where you land as far as steps can help you set a step goal and keep you accountable for finding more movement.
Even if you don’t have time to go for a walk outside, you could move more by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away when going to the store, or even doing a couple of laps around the house.
As you work yourself up to moving more, be sure to be consistent. Once you are comfortable with walking, challenge yourself with a more vigorous exercise or incorporate some strength training workouts.
This type of exercise challenges your muscles to improve lean body mass. The more muscle you have the more calories you burn at rest. This can help you drop weight and feel more confident when looking in the mirror.
There are a lot of crazy diet plans out there, many of which were created by those without the credentials to back them up.
Instead of reaching for weight loss supplements or driving yourself crazy trying to keep up with the new trends on the market.
Lose weight naturally by cutting out the ultra-processed food, bumping up your protein intake, and getting in more movement.
It may seem simple but the most simple things are often the most effective.