Weight loss is not the answer to every health problem, but if your doctor recommends it, there are tips to help you lose weight safely. A steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended for the most effective long-term weight management.
That said, many eating plans designed to help you lose weight leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied, or they cut out major food groups and are not sustainable. These are major reasons why you might find it hard to stick to a healthier eating plan.
Everyone has unique needs and different eating styles and tips may work better for you than someone else.
You may find you are able to lose weight by following a low carb diet or a diet that has a focus on whole foods, but there are some general principles that apply when you’re trying to lose weight.
Here are some science-backed tips to help you lose weight that include healthy eating, choosing carbs carefully, and that aim to:
- reduce your appetite and hunger levels while keeping you satisfied
- produce consistent weight loss over time
- help improve your metabolic health at the same time
If you want to lose weight quickly, some of these tips may help, but quick weight loss is rarely sustainable. Focusing on long-term health and habits that you can stick with over time will help improve your health and are more likely to result in lasting weight loss.
How to Lose Weight in 3 Simple Steps
1. Cut back on refined carbs
One way to help lose weight quickly is to cut back on sugars and starches, or carbohydrates. This could be with a low carb eating plan or by reducing refined carbs and replacing them with whole grains.
When you do that, your hunger levels go down, and you generally end up eating fewer calories. With a low carb eating plan, you’ll utilize burning stored fat for energy instead of carbs.
If you choose to eat more complex carbs like whole grains along with a calorie deficit, you’ll benefit from higher fiber and digest them more slowly. This makes them more filling to keep you satisfied.
2. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables
Aim to include a variety of foods at each meal. To balance your plate and help you lose weight your meals should include:
- A protein source
- Fat source
- A small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains.
Eating a recommended amount of protein is essential to help preserve your health and muscle mass while losing weight. Evidence suggests that eating adequate protein may improve cardiometabolic risk factors, appetite, and body weight.
Don’t be afraid to load your plate with leafy green vegetables. They’re packed with nutrients, and you can eat very large amounts without greatly increasing calories and carbs.
All vegetables are nutrient-rich and healthy foods to add to your diet, but some vegetables, like potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and corn, are higher in carbs.
These vegetables are considered complex carbs because they contain fiber, but you may want to be mindful of serving size when adding these vegetables to your plate.
Don’t be afraid of eating fats. Your body still requires healthy fats no matter what eating plan you choose. Olive oil and avocado oil are great choices for including in your eating plan. Nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados are delicious and healthy additions, as well.
Other fats such as butter and coconut oil should be used only in moderation due to their higher saturated fat content.
3. Move your body
Exercise, while not required to lose weight, can help you lose weight more quickly. Lifting weights has particularly good benefits.
By lifting weights, you’ll burn calories and help prevent your metabolism from slowing down, which is a common side effect of losing weight.
Try strength training three to four times a week. If you’re new to lifting weights, a trainer may be able to help you get started. Make sure your doctor is also aware of any new exercise plans.
If lifting weights is not an option for you, doing some cardio workouts such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, or swimming is very beneficial for weight loss and general health. Both cardio and weightlifting may help with weight loss and offer lots of other health benefits.
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