5 Proven Weight Loss Strategies
It makes sense, right, to reduce calorie intake while boosting physical activity. After all, we've been told that over and over again…
The human body, however, defies any mathematical description. I'm not trying to downplay the significance of these actions. This adage, however, is oversimplified.
Paradoxically, being overly rigid might provoke physical resistance. If you've ever lost weight only to put it back on or hit a weight loss plateau, you probably already know this.
Stop riding the weight reduction roller coaster and start using methods proven by science. This article delves into five tried-and-true methods for losing weight that have been shown to work.
1. Increase your body's sensitivity to insulin.
Do you know anything about the hormone insulin?
Sugar is produced by the digestion of carbohydrates. Sugar is essential to our survival. But there's not a lot of room for error. Cellular damage happens when the amount becomes too high for too long, as it does in diabetes. Glucose (excess sugar) is directed into the protected cellular environment with the help of insulin. Similar to Goldilocks and the Three Bears, insulin maintains a blood sugar level that is “just right.”
Hyperinsulinemia, where insulin levels in the blood are consistently high, is, nevertheless, becoming increasingly common. Why do insulin levels suddenly increase? because glucose levels play a role. More insulin is produced with the goal of lowering blood sugar because keeping glucose levels too high is harmful. Insulin resistance is a condition in which our cells become "resistant" to the effects of insulin and less effective after prolonged exposure to hyperinsulinemia.
How can one's insulin sensitivity play a role in dropping extra pounds?
A lot! A high insulin blood level may cause weight gain and make it hard to lose weight. Scientists note that elevated insulin levels:
- blocks fat breakdown, or inhibits lipolysis.
- Increases in the risk of fat storage
- causes people to be more likely to put on weight after going on a low-calorie diet.
In what ways might insulin sensitivity be increased?
- Whole, low-glycemic foods should be eaten.
- Consume only nutritious fats.
- Make use of HIIT (explained in greater detail below).
- Prioritize digestive wellness.
- Handle your anxiety.
2. Learn to control your anxiety
Have you ever considered that stress might be a factor in your ever-growing waistline? Perhaps you've eaten your favorite food so quickly that you weren't even aware of how much you were eating. Or have you ever had a hard time saying no to chocolate after a particularly trying day?
According to a study that appeared in the Journal of Health Psychology in 2015, "Stress-related eating is associated with greater preference for calorie-dense and highly palatable foods." Stress increases the desire to eat unhealthy foods. It's a fat-gaining trigger.
How to calm down while stressed.
Numerous methods exist to help one unwind and turn off the stress reaction.
Seven of our top picks, supported by research:
- PMR (Progressive Muscle Relaxation) Meditation
- "Yoga EFT" refers to "Emotional Freedom Technique"
- B vitamin, zinc, and Omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods.
- Journaling Therapy
3. Prioritize your sleep.
How restful is your average night of sleep? Many people think they can get by on as little as five or six hours of sleep every night. The evidence suggests different, but it's disappointing.
The effects of short sleep duration on leptin and ghrelin, hormones that reduce or increase hunger, and on body mass index (BMI) were studied in a study published in the journal PLOS Medicine. Short sleepers were found to have higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that stimulates appetite and may lead to weight gain.
How do you get better quality sleep?
- Create a nighttime routine: Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule, set aside time for relaxation and stress reduction, and meditate or take a hot bath within the preceding 90 minutes to sleep better.
- Keep away from blue light for at least 90 minutes before nightfall.
- Reduce your caffeine intake. Even if you drink your last cup of coffee six hours before bed, it can still keep you up.
- Don't drink alcohol at night, or at least cut back.
- Exercise. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, exercising regularly may help.
- Training for stamina for only 30–40 minutes once a week is sufficient. If you need to exercise later in the evening, keep in mind whether or not this will be an issue for you; some people find that exercising too close to bedtime has the opposite impact.
- Get into the habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
4. Include HIIT (High-Intensity-Interval-Training) Sessions Regularly
Working out can be done in a variety of ways. One strategy, however, has been shown to effectively target abdominal fat, bring about a reduction in waist circumference, and deal with insulin resistance.
Short bursts of very intense exercise.
High-Intensity Interval Training: What Is It?
According to the author of a journal study titled "High-Intensity Interval Exercise and Fat Loss," HIIT entails "repeated brief sprinting at an all-out intensity immediately followed by low-intensity exercise or rest."
This kind of workout works well with running, elliptical training, skipping, rowing, and even walking, especially for beginners.
5. Strengthen Your Muscles
Building muscle raises your BMR because of the energy expenditure it requires to maintain itself. This improves your metabolism, making it easier to shed pounds.
This is supported by the finding that "resting metabolic rate increased as [muscle mass] increased" in research titled Effects of diets and exercise on resting metabolic rate and implications for weight management.
Nutrients published a study in 2018 that demonstrated the inverse to be true as well. A reduced basal metabolic rate is one consequence of losing muscle. The risk of weariness and injury was also raised. An important result for folks who are trying to reduce weight is that people who lost lean body mass also gained weight again because their metabolism slowed down.
Loss of muscle mass leads to a slower metabolism and an inability to maintain a healthy weight. Gains in muscle mass facilitate fat burning, allowing for the achievement and maintenance of a healthy weight.
Keep in mind that as your muscle mass grows, you'll require a higher caloric intake to keep this tissue healthy and strong. This means a greater total calorie intake is permitted. Consuming too few calories can have negative effects.
Note that the term "lean body mass" is commonly used in the scientific literature, while we prefer the more correct word "muscle mass." Read our article "Lean Body Mass and Muscle Mass - What's the Difference?" to find out.
How can I bulk up my muscles?
- Eat well - our article, What to Eat to Build Skeletal Muscle, discusses the 'how to' in detail.
- Perform some resistance exercises.
- You might want to try a protein powder.
The Key Point
The adage "eat less, exercise more" doesn't work for most individuals. However, long-term weight loss is feasible with the appropriate strategies.
Instead of restricting your food intake, try methods that have been shown to be effective by science, such as high-intensity interval exercise, muscle-building, stress management, and better sleep.
Don't forget: pick methods that excite you the most. They'll be far less of a struggle to maintain and will pave the way to a more joyful, healthy, and trim existence.