Proven Weight Loss Tips

The best weight loss tips I have heard in years

With two biology degrees, a fitness business and hundreds of clients that ask me about weight loss, I thought that I had heard it all.  I am skeptic about the "magic pills" that are often sold to help people lose weight quickly.  I started to watch a program on BBC last night called "Ten things you need to know about losing weight"  that was fantastic.  It reviewed all of the latest scientific research about weight loss, explained why it worked and gave simple tips.

1. Don't skip meals: You may have heard this one before but the reasoning behind it is amazing.  Brain scans show that if you skip breakfast your brain will subconsciously want fatty foods.  This means that even with all of the willpower in the world, your brain will push you to eat high calorie foods if you let your blood sugar drop too low. 

2. Get smaller plates: If you replace your standard dinner plate with a smaller one research shows you will eat 22% less food!

3. Count your calories: Small substitutions throughout your day will make a big difference.  If you want to treat yourself to a pizza night did you know that a small cheese pizza has 850 calories and a cheese pizza with peperoni has 1400 calories? Spend some time learning about which foods are high calorie even in small portions and what you can eat more of and still lose weight.

4. Don't blame it on your metabolism: If you are having a hard time losing weight it is easy to think that you have a slow metabolism and it is out of your control.  During the BBC show an overweight woman took extensive metabolic tests and they concluded that her metabolism was completely normal.  This woman felt that she was doing all of the right things--exercising and eating healthy foods and could not understand why she wasn't losing weight.  The program compared her written food logs with tests of her urine samples and analyzed the number of calories she was consuming in an average day.  The results showed that she under-reported what she ate by 43% because she forgot to write down certain foods. 

5. More protein in your diet makes you feel full longer: If you increase the amount of lean protein in your diet your body will produce more of an enzyme that tells the brain that you are full.  Think about including protein into your breakfast with eggs, lean meat or a protein shake.

6. Eat more soup: I always assumed that the reason that eating soup was a weight loss tip was because you increased your fluid intake.  A study comparing the exact same meal of chicken, potatoes and vegetables one served with a glass of water and the other blended into a thick soup show that the soup eaters still had soup in their stomachs after 2 hours and felt full where the non soup eaters were starting to feel hungry two hours after their meal.

7. More choice equals more calories: If you are given more choice of food your brain will instinctively consume more food.  If you are trying to lose weight avoid buffets and order off the menu instead.

8. Low fat dairy diets make you excrete more fat: This tip gets a bit graphic but studies show that a diet higher in low fat dairy products will cause double the amount of fat to be excreted in your feces than a  low dairy diet.  This could mean an extra 160g of fat in a month and 12kg of fat in a year!

9. Exercise is all about the after burn: It is disheartening to look at the treadmill display and see that you have only burnt 10 g of fat after all of your hard work.  Pay less attention to the immediate fat burn and realize that if you walk for 90 mins on the treadmill you will burn around 19g of fat but in the 22 hours following your walk you will burn another 49 g of fat.  The reason that the time after exercise is when you burn the most fat is that exercise depletes your carbohydrate stores and your body will burn fat until it can build its stores back up.

10. Small changes in activity add up: An average person who makes small changes in their activity such as walking the stairs at home more often or parking farther away from the store can easily burn an extra 240 calories a day which means a 12kg weight loss over a year!


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