Many diets, supplements, and meal replacement plans claim to ensure rapid weight loss, but lack any scientific evidence. However, there are some strategies backed by science that have an impact on weight management.
These strategies include exercising, keeping track of calorie intake, intermittent fasting, and reducing the number of carbohydrates in the diet.
In this article, we consider nine effective methods of weight loss.
Methods of weight loss that scientific research supports include the following:
Intermittent fasting (IF) is a pattern of eating that involves regular short-term fasts and consuming meals within a shorter time period during the day.
The most common intermittent fasting methods include the following:
Alternate day fasting(ADF): Fast every other day and eat a typical diet on non-fasting days. The modified versioninvolves eating just 25–30% of the body’s energy needs on fasting days.
- The 5:2 Diet: Fast on 2 out of every 7 days. On fasting days eat 500–600 calories.
- The 16/8 method: Fast for 16 hours and eat only during an 8-hour window. For most people, the 8-hour window would be around noon to 8 p.m. A study on this method found that eating during a restricted period resulted in the participants consuming fewer calories and losing weight.
It is best to adopt a
If someone wants to lose weight, they should be aware of what they eat and drink each day. One way to do this is to log these items in either a journal or an online food tracker.
Mindful eating is a practice where people pay attention to how and where they eat food. This practice can enable people to enjoy the food they eat and
As most people lead busy lives, they often tend to eat quickly on the run, in the car, working at their desks, and watching TV. As a result, many people are barely aware of the food they are eating.
Techniques for mindful eating include:
- Sitting down to eat, preferably at a table: Pay attention to the food and enjoy the experience.
- Avoiding distractions while eating: Do not turn on the TV, or a laptop or phone.
- Eating slowly: Take time to chew and savor the food. This technique helps with weight loss, as it gives a person’s brain enough time to recognize the signals that they are full, which can help to prevent over-eating.
- Making considered food choices: Choose foods that are full of nourishing nutrients and those that will satisfy for hours rather than minutes.
Protein can regulate appetite hormones to help people feel full. This is mostly due to a decrease in the hunger hormone ghrelin and a rise in the satiety hormones peptide YY, GLP-1, and
Good choices for a high protein breakfast include eggs, oats, nut and seed butters, quinoa porridge, sardines, and chia seed pudding.
Refined grains undergo processing to remove the bran and the germ, which contain most of the grain’s fiber and nutrients. These include white rice, white bread, and regular pasta.
These foods are quick to digest, and they convert to glucose rapidly. Excess glucose enters the blood and provokes the hormone insulin, which promotes fat storage in the adipose tissue. This contributes to weight gain.
Where possible, people should swap highly processed and sugary foods for more nutritionally dense options. Good food swaps include:
- whole-grain rice, bread, and pasta instead of the white versions
- fruit, nuts, and seeds instead of high sugar snacks
- herb teas and fruit-infused water instead of high sugar sodas
- smoothies with water or milk instead of fruit juice
Dietary fiber describes plant-based carbohydrates that are impossible to digest in the small intestine, unlike sugar and starch. Including plenty of fiber in the diet can
Fiber-rich foods include:
- whole-grain breakfast cereals, whole-wheat pasta, whole-grain bread, oats, barley, and rye
- fruit and vegetables
- peas, beans, and pulses
- nuts and seeds
One emerging area of research is focusing on the role of bacteria in the gut on weight management.
The human gut hosts a vast number and variety of microorganisms, including around
Every individual has different types and amounts of bacteria in their gut. Some types may increase the amount of energy the person extracts from food, leading to fat deposition and weight gain.
Some foods can increase the number of good bacteria in the gut, including:
- A wide variety of plants: Increasing the number of fruits, vegetables, and grains in the diet will result in an increased fiber uptake and a
more diverseset of gut bacteria. People should try to ensure that vegetables and other plant-based foods comprise 75 percent of their meal.
- Fermented foods: Fermented foods including sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, and miso
containpotentially probiotic microorganisms. Researchers have studied kimchiwidely, and limited evidence suggests it may have anti-obesity effects. Similarly, studies have shown that kefir may help to promote weight loss in overweight women.
- Prebiotic foods: These stimulate the growth and activity of some of the good bacteria that aid
weight control. Prebiotic fiber occurs in many fruits and vegetables, especially chicory root, artichoke, onion, garlic, asparagus, leeks, banana, and avocado. It is also in grains, such as oats and barley.
Numerous studies have shown that getting fewer than 5–6 hours of sleep per night is associated with an increased incidence of
How long someone sleeps also affects the regulation of the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin sends signals of fullness to the brain.
Stress triggers the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, which initially decrease the appetite as part of the body’s fight or flight response.
However, when people are under constant stress, cortisol can remain in the bloodstream for longer, which will
Cortisol signals the need to replenish the body’s nutritional stores from the preferred source of fuel, carbohydrate.
Insulin then transports the sugar from carbohydrates from the blood to the muscles and brain. If the individual does not use this sugar in fight or flight, the body will store it as fat.
Insulin allows sugar from the blood to enter the body’s cells, where it can provide energy. If an individual does not immediately use this sugar, the body will
Some methods of managing stress include:
- yoga, meditation, or tai chi
- breathing and relaxation techniques
- spending some time outdoors, for example walking or gardening
Below are some frequently asked questions about how to lose weight fast.
Can someone lose 10 pounds in 3 days?
Losing 10 pounds in 3 days is an unrealistic goal for most people and
Rapid weight loss like this may also make it
How can someone lose 20 pounds in a month?
To lose 20 pounds in a month, people must burn more calories than they take in, either through dietary changes or increased physical activity.
However, rapid weight loss like this
What happens if someone loses weight too fast?
Losing weight too quickly may also
People who experience rapid weight loss may be more likely to put weight back on in the future. The
It is important to remember that there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss.
The best way to manage weight is to eat a nutritious, balanced diet.
This should include 10 portions of fruit and vegetables, good quality protein, and whole grains. It is also beneficial to exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.