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40 Weight Loss Tips Backed By Science

40 Weight Loss Tips Backed By Science

Most weight loss diet tips center around food and exercise. Now new studies are indicating that there may be a lot more to weight loss than we think. Here are 40 weight loss tips backed by science which you may not know about. More research may have to be done before these become mainstream but they could work well for you, so why not give it a shot?

Mindset and lifestyle.

1. Tidy your desk.

Yes, the state of your desk will affect whether you make a healthy snack choice or not! One study at the University of Minnesota shows that it not only helps in making wise food choices but also in making good business decisions.

2. Decorate your fridge with low calorie food pictures.

Experts now tell us that low calorie food pics or photos can have a beneficial effect in keeping us on track when we get those awful cravings. They help to remind us of our weight loss goals. Food image viewing has been investigated and is reported in the Appetite Journal. Research shows that images of high calorie foods has the opposite effect.

3. Write motivating notes.

Make sure you put these two notes on your computer screen, desk or wherever you spend a lot of time.

  • Stay focused!
  • Never give up!

Studies show that motivation is an important element in any weight loss program.

4. Think long term.

You are not just counting calories or measuring inches. You are in this for the long term health benefits. Remind yourself that heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes are less of a threat if you keep at it.

5. Wear your workout clothes when shopping.

Researchers at Northwestern University have found that wearing certain clothes will help you with your thought process in keeping your fitness goals. They call this phenomenon ‘enclothed cognition’.

6. Take a multivitamin.

The International Journal of Obesity published a study on obese women who took a daily multivitamin. They did better on losing body fat than those in the placebo group. This study suggests this simple trick may help you to eat less as your body does not feel the need for so many nutrients via your food intake.

7. Don’t lock away your beach wear.

Keep these in view as they can aid in keeping your mindset laser sharp on your weight loss objectives. According to Joshua C. Klapow a clinical psychologist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, you may have to ask yourself a question such as: ‘If I stop my diet, how will I look or feel in six months from now?’ when you feel motivation shrinking. This will help you to review the pros and cons.

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8. Download an app.

There are lots of apps for weight watchers. They are great for keeping track of your progress and offer loads of recipe ideas as well as reminders, inspiring quotes, coaching and meetings.

9. Sleep in the dark.

An interesting research at Ohio State University shows that mice who slept in total darkness were less likely to put on weight or snack during the night. Sleeping in total darkness has lots of other benefits such as a more restful sleep, which is why we are not going to get up for a snack.

10. Don’t watch too much TV.

Better keep watching TV to a minimum as the commercials for fattening foods are a temptation you can do without. Most studies show that TV food advertising increases snacking during and after those seductive ads. Children are at an even greater risk.

11. Choose your place carefully at the buffet.

Stephen Gullo gives advice about grazing at the buffet in his book, The Thin Commandments: The Ten No-Fail Strategies for Permanent Weight Loss. He recommends avoiding the center seats as that is where all the bread and chips tend to congregate. The end of the table is a much safer place!

12. Turn down the thermostat.

You use calories to keep warm. Experts now say that you should sleep in a cooler environment as that not only helps you burn a few calories but also you will sleep much better. This was the conclusion of a study at The National Institute of Health Clinical Center.

Exercise.

13. Dress to kill when you workout.

Look good in your workout clothes. Buy a set to last you a week or two so that you always look great. Studies show motivation can increase if you can show off your best features while downplaying those areas that have to be worked on.

14. Stretch while watching a movie.

Use stretching to relax and keep flexible. Some people say that an hour of a yoga type workout can actually burn around 300 calories.

15. Use a stand-up desk.

Any movement will help to burn calories. Also, using a stand-up or treadmill desk will add a few additional health benefits. Anything is better than sitting down all day.

16. Exercise in the morning if you can.

Studies show that when you work out in the morning, you have more energy, work harder and get better results. Getting your exercise done first thing gives you a great sense of achievement.

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17. Download your favourite music.

Music and exercise make a great pair. Look at what you get. You can feel less pain and tiredness because it distracts you and also increases your metabolism. You will also be in a great mood.

18. Stay hydrated.

Water helps but drinks such as green tea are even better. The experts say that it contains a catechin called EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), which helps to boost your metabolism and that means more calories burnt.

Food.

19. Have a sweet at breakfast!

Weird, no? A study done at Tel Aviv University found that having a good breakfast with something sweet was better for weight watchers than a smaller, healthier breakfast. But there is a great debate on this one. Some dieticians argue that a balanced breakfast is best.

20. Drink some hot water before eating.

The secret here is that this will make you feel fuller more quickly and you will eat less. The University of Nebraska studies on this and other weight loss tips are very interesting and worth reading.

21. Have a snack before you are invited out.

Worried about eating too much at your friend’s place? The best solution is to eat a small yogurt or apple before leaving the house. Research shows that any food with water content is useful before main meals so that you do not ruin your appetite or your diet!

22. Use small plates.

At the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, researchers gave volunteers smaller and bigger bowls. Those who had to eat from the bigger ones were serving themselves generous portions, about 53% more than those with the smaller bowls.

23. Serve food on red plates.

Believe it or not, the color of the plates can make a difference to how much you eat! Volunteers were given red, blue and white plates to use while snacking on popcorn and chocolate chips. Those eating from the red plates ate less and the reason seems to be that the color contrast is key. It makes us more mindful of how much we are eating. It could also be that red is usually a warning sign.

24. Cut up your food really small.

When you do this, the food takes up more space on the plate. It helps you to keep your portion control in check and it also makes it easier to feel satiated.

25. Put the extra food away immediately.

Let us imagine that you have made lots of food and there will certainly be leftovers as that saves you time. The problem becomes acute if we leave that extra food in view as we are tempted to eat it. As soon as you serve your portions, store the extra food in the fridge or freezer. Out of sight, out of mind!

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26. Eat slowly.

Take time to savor your food. This is impossible when we eat on the go. But at home, wait a few minutes before going on to the second course. This is very useful in giving our bodies the necessary time to signal that we are full. Normally it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to register fullness so the slower we eat, the better. The neuroscientist Jyoti Mishra Ramanathan talks about the importance of learning to really taste our food.

27. Eat spicier food.

Spicy food boosts your metabolism. Look what the researchers found at Purdue University in Indiana. People who had just half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper in their soup ate 60 fewer calories at their next meal than those who had just plain soup. Spicier food also slows down the eating process.

28. Eat more often.

Nutritionists have found that eating six small meals at regular intervals may be much better for us than eating three big ones. But the key issue here is that we have to make sure that we are eating healthy, low calorie food. Eating more often does help with cravings and that is helpful.

29. Eat more often at home.

At home you are much more in control, so it makes good sense. When eating out, you are going to pay a high price in every sense. You will have to grapple with high calorie intake and also processed foods which are not that great. Just think that the average burger has 700 calories, 1,529 mg of salt and 40 grams of fat!

30. Eat carbs in the evening.

This may seem weird because we are supposed to burn these off during the day. But one study at Hebrew University of Jerusalem has found that when one group of obese people were given carbs in the evening, they managed to lose weight and more body fat than those who had them during the day.

31. Drink a glass of wine.

This may appear to go against mainstream thought but there are several studies which show that wine in moderation can actually help with weight loss. The Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston followed 19,000 women for 13 years. Those women who had one or two alcoholic drinks daily had put on less weight than the non-drinkers and heavy drinkers. Nobody knows why but many women who drink a little wine tend to burn more calories after drinking than men.

32. Forget about sweeteners.

Scientists have begun to wonder why sweeteners instead of sugar do not produce any measurable results. They now believe that the digestion system gets confused with the absence of additional calories from the saccharin and it fails to burn any calories at all. Dieters are much better off with natural sugar in fruit and yogurt.

33. Limit your antihistamines.

Joseph Ratliff from Yale School of Medicine has discovered that the typical antihistamines such as Claritin may block certain histamines which are used in the breakdown of fat. You may have to do even more exercise to compensate or consider an allergy shot or corticosteroids.

34. Eat some chocolate.

Researchers at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University have published some interesting research on chocolate and weight loss. They found that the flavonols in dark chocolate may play a role in weight loss. As chocolate also contains sugar and fat, this has to be applied in moderation!

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35. Pay in cash.

Strange as it may seem, paying in cash for food at restaurants may be much better for your weight than using your plastic! Cornell University followed over 2,000 students as they paid for food at their cafeterias. Where students had to pay by cash almost half (42%) made wise food choices. They were also buying more fruit (more than 20%). In the cafeterias where credit cards were only accepted, less than a third (31%) chose nutritious food. Nobody is sure why this happens so more research will have to be done.

36. Ramp up your CLA.

CLA stands for Conjugated Linoleic Acid and it is the most common Omega 6 fatty acid. You can get the best type of CLA from beef and dairy products if they have been grass fed. Numerous studies have shown that CLA can reduce body fat mass while increasing lean body mass.

37. Smell the peppermint.

Another strange fad? Well no, because the theory is that the strong smell may actually distract you from your craving for food. Researchers at Wheeling Jesuit University asked volunteers to smell peppermint oil every two hours for 5 days. They were surprised to find that their hunger levels were way down and they dropped their calorie intake by 3,000 during the experiment.

38. Eat in front of a mirror.

Have you ever watched yourself eat? Probably not, given that dining areas at home are usually full of cupboards and have few mirrors. But researchers at Arizona State University have found that when people ate in front of a mirror, their food intake was much lower.

39. Spray the back of your hand with vanilla.

Having problem with cravings for candies and cakes? One study at St. George’s Hospital in London may provide you with the answer. When the volunteers sprayed the back of their hands with vanilla-scented spray, they found it much easier to control their cravings.

40. Forget the guilt.

If you ever stray from the straight and narrow and treat yourself to something really fattening, forget the guilt! This is the advice from Kristen Neff of the University of Texas and author of Self Compassion. You will only overeat when you are stressed out and guilt causes stress!

Let us know in the comments what tricks you use to keep your weight loss goals.

Featured photo credit: Girl Writing in her Moleskine Diary/ VIKTOR HANACEK via picjumbo.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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