Losing weight isn’t the answer to every health problem, but if your doctor recommends it, there are some tips to help you lose weight safely. Steady weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week is recommended for the most effective long-term weight management.
However, many eating plans designed to help you lose weight leave you hungry or dissatisfied, or eliminate major food groups and are not sustainable. These are the main reasons why you find it difficult to follow a healthy eating plan.
Everyone has unique needs and different eating patterns and tips that may work better for you than anyone else.
You may find that you can lose weight by following a low-carb diet or a diet focused on whole foods, but there are some general principles that apply when you’re trying to lose weight.
Here are some scientifically backed tips to help you lose weight, including eating healthy and choosing carbohydrates carefully, with the goal of:
- Reduce appetite and hunger levels while keeping you satisfied
- Lead to consistent weight loss over time
- Helps improve metabolic health at the same time
If you want to lose weight fast, some of these tips may help, but rapid weight loss is rarely sustainable. Focusing on long-term healthy habits that you can maintain over time will help improve your health and likely lead to permanent weight loss.
How To Lose Weight In 3 Easy Steps
Reduce Refined Carbohydrates
One way to help you lose weight quickly is to reduce your intake of sugars and starches or carbohydrates. This can be by following a low-carb diet or by reducing refined carbohydrates and replacing them with whole grains.
When you do this, your hunger levels decrease and you generally end up eating fewer calories.
With a low-carb diet, you’ll use the burning of stored fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.
If you choose to eat more complex carbohydrates like whole grains along with a calorie deficit, you’ll benefit from higher fiber and slower digestion. This makes them more satiating to keep you satisfied.
A 2020 study confirmed that a low-carb diet was beneficial for weight loss in older adults.
Research also suggests that a low-carb diet can reduce your appetite, which can lead to eating fewer calories naturally without thinking about it or feeling hungry.
Keep in mind that the long-term effects of a low-carb diet are still being researched. It can also be difficult to follow a low-carb diet, which can lead to yo-yo dieting and less success in maintaining a healthy weight.
There are potential drawbacks to a low-carb diet that may lead you to a different approach. Low-calorie diets can also lead to weight loss and are easier to maintain for longer periods of time.
If you choose a diet that focuses instead on whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates, a 2019 study linked whole grain intake to a lower body mass index (BMI).
To determine the best way to lose weight, consult your doctor for recommendations.
Eat proteins, fats and vegetables.
Try to include a variety of foods at each meal. To balance your plate and help you lose weight, your meals should include:
- protein source
- fat source
- A small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains
To see how you can prepare your meals, check out:
- Low carb eating plan
- Low calorie eating plan.
- These lists of 101 healthy low carb recipes and low calorie foods
Eating a recommended amount of protein is essential to help maintain health and muscle mass while losing weight.
Evidence suggests that adequate protein intake can improve heart risk factors, appetite, and body weight.
In general, the average man needs between 56 and 91 grams per day, and the average woman needs between 46 and 75 grams per day, but many factors influence protein needs. Here are guidelines to help you know how much protein to eat without eating too much:
- 0.8g/kg body weight
- 1-1.2 g/kg of body weight for adults 65 years and older
- 1.4-2 g/kg body weight for athletes
Diets that contain adequate protein can also help reduce snack cravings by helping you feel full and satisfied.
Healthy sources of protein include:
- Meat: Beef, Chicken, Pork and Lamb
- Fish and seafood: salmon, trout, sardines, prawns
- Vegetable proteins: beans, legumes, quinoa, tempeh and tofu
Don’t be afraid to fill your plate with leafy greens. It is packed with nutrients and you can eat very large amounts without significantly increasing your calories and carbohydrates.
All vegetables are nutrient-dense and healthy foods to add to your diet, but some vegetables, such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, and corn, are high in carbohydrates.
These vegetables are considered complex carbohydrates because they contain fiber, but you may want to consider portion size when adding these vegetables to your plate.
Vegetables include more of the following:
Don’t be afraid to eat fat.
Your body still needs healthy fats no matter what eating plan you choose. Olive oil and avocado oil are great options to include in your meal plan. Nuts, seeds, olives, and avocados are also tasty and healthy additions.
Other fats, such as butter and coconut oil, should be used sparingly due to their high saturated fat content.
Move your body
Exercise, while not necessary for weight loss, can help you lose weight more quickly. Weight lifting 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 weight loss.
Try strength training three to four times a week. If you’re new to weightlifting, a trainer can help you get started. Make sure your doctor is aware of any new exercise plans as well.
If lifting weights isn’t an option for you, doing some cardio such as walking, jogging, running, biking, or swimming is highly beneficial for weight loss and overall health.
Cardio and weight training can help with weight loss and offer many other health benefits.