Losing body fat can be difficult, often requiring a lot of effort, patience, and dedication.

Although there are many quick solutions promised by fad diets and supplements, the most effective way to maintain a healthy weight is to change your lifestyle and exercise routine.

In addition to promoting sustainable and lasting fat loss, there are several easy ways to improve your overall health.

Ways to Promote Long-Term Fat Loss

If you want to lose fat and keep it off, these are the best ways to do it.

Start Strength Training

Strength training is a type of exercise that uses muscle contractions against resistance. It increases muscle size and strength over time, and often includes lifting weights.

Research indicates that there are many health benefits to strength training, especially when it comes to reducing body fat.

Resistance training for at least 4 weeks may help decrease body fat by an average of 1.46%, according to a review of 58 studies. It may also significantly reduce body fat mass and visceral fat, which is a type of fat that surrounds the organs in your belly.

A different study showed that 5 months of strength training was more effective at reducing body fat in obese adolescents than aerobic exercise alone.

Additionally, resistance training can help maintain your lean muscle mass, potentially leading to an increase in the number of calories your body burns naturally.

Resistance training appeared to increase people’s resting metabolic rate, while aerobic exercise did not have the same effect, according to one review.

There are a few easy ways to get started with strength training, including doing bodyweight exercises, lifting weights, and using gym equipment.

Follow a High Protein Diet

If you want to reduce your appetite and increase fat burning, try eating more foods that are high in protein.

Several studies have found that eating more protein can help lower the risk of obesity and excess body fat.

Other research has shown that a high protein diet can help to preserve muscle mass and a person’s metabolism when they are trying to lose weight.

Increasing the amount of protein you consume can also make you feel fuller, decrease your hunger, and help you to eat fewer calories overall, all of which can help you to lose weight.

You might want to try incorporating a few more protein-rich items into your diet on a daily basis. Some good sources of protein include meat, seafood, eggs, beans, tofu, and dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.

Get More Sleep

One way you can help yourself maintain a healthy weight is by adjusting your bedtime or wake-up time.

Several studies associate sufficient sleep with weight loss.

One study found that young women who slept fewer than six hours per night were more likely to be obese.

A small study showed that people who got one less hour of sleep per night lost less fat than a control group.

Other research has shown that not getting enough sleep can affect hunger hormones, make someone more interested in food, and increase the chance of obesity.

Most experts agree that you should try to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night for optimal health.

To promote a healthy sleep cycle, stick to a regular sleep schedule, limit evening caffeine consumption, and reduce your use of electronic devices before bed.

Eat More Healthy Fats

Although you may think it would cause you to gain weight, eating healthy fats may actually help prevent it.

A study found that people who followed a Mediterranean diet rich in healthy fats from olive oil and nuts lost more weight than those who followed a low-fat diet.

Another study found that diets full of olive oil led to greater decreases in weight and fat around the waist when compared to similar diets without olive oil.

A diet high in trans fats has been linked to weight gain. Trans fats are often found in fried or processed foods.

There are many healthy fats that can improve your wellness, such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

Remember that even though healthy fats are not as bad for you as unhealthy fats, they are still high in calories. Try to swap out unhealthy fats for healthy fats, such as those listed above. This will help you to maintain a healthy weight.

Drink Unsweetened Beverages

One of the easiest ways to promote long-term, sustainable fat loss is by swapping out sugary drinks for healthier selections.

For example, sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda are often packed full of calories and offer little nutritional value. Alcohol is also high in calories and can lower inhibitions, which may in turn increase your risk of overeating.

A recent study has concluded that there is a higher risk of developing excess belly fat from consuming sugary beverages as well as alcohol.

Instead of sugary drinks, choose ones that have no calories like water or green tea.

A small study involving 14 young men found that drinking 1 pint of water before a meal can make you feel fuller, reduce hunger and lead to eating fewer calories during the meal.

Green tea may help with weight loss by increasing fat burning and metabolism, although more research is needed to verify this observation.

Fill Up on Fiber

Soluble fiber is a type of fiber that is found in plant foods. It is able to absorb water and moves through your digestive tract slowly. This helps you to feel full for a longer period of time.

Some studies suggest that consuming foods high in fiber may help to prevent weight gain. These foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

Eating more fiber has been linked to weight loss and improved dietary adherence in multiple studies.

A separate review found that increasing intake of soluble fiber leads to reduced body weight and abdominal fat, regardless of how many calories are consumed or how much exercise is done.

Choose Whole Grains Instead of Refined Carbs

When you cut down on the amount of refined carbs you eat, you may see a decrease in your overall body fat.

In the refining process, the bran and germ are removed from the grain, leaving a final product that is low in fiber and nutrients.

Eating refined carbs can cause spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels that lead to increased hunger. However, you are more likely to see these effects if you eat refined carbs by themselves rather than as part of a balanced meal.

Not only that, but research has linked consuming lots of refined carbs to gaining more abdominal fat over time.

Eating a lot of whole grains is linked with having a lower body mass index, less body weight, and a smaller waistline.

Remember that BMI is not the only factor to consider when looking at weight and health.

The goal is to consume whole grains instead of foods that contain refined carbs like pastries, processed foods, pasta, white bread, and breakfast cereals. Some examples of whole grains include whole wheat, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, and oats.

Best Eating Habits for Rapid Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight, it is important to watch your diet and make changes to what you eat. According to the Harvard Medical School, eating more fruits and vegetables instead of processed foods can help you burn fat. However, there is conflicting information from nutritionists about the best ways to lose weight. As a result, many people try different diets and spend billions of dollars on supplements and other products advertised to help with weight loss.

While many people might think it takes a lot of work to eat well and lose weight quickly, there are some proven techniques and habits that can have great results.

Start the Day With Fiber

The moment you open your eyes in the morning, you start burning calories. If you choose the right breakfast, you can avoid overeating later in the day. Adding one simple nutrient to your breakfast can make a big difference.

“Eating whole-grain breakfast foods can help with weight loss because the fiber keeps us satiated and can keep us fuller longer, decreasing our overall calorie intake,” Dana Ellis Hunnes, Ph.D., MPH, RD, senior dietitian at UCLA medical center, and author of Recipe for Survival said. “It also keeps our blood sugar levels stable which helps with satiety.”

Eat Breakfast With Tea or Coffee

You need to choose the right beverage to pair with your breakfast to unlock the maximum levels of calorie burning. Luckily, two early morning staple beverages can supercharge how you eat breakfast.

“Drinking black coffee or tea can help with weight loss because it’s essentially a calorie-free beverage that is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory which can help promote weight loss,” Hunnes continued. “When we consume coffee with a ton of added sweeteners and high-calorie creamers it’s turned into a calorie bomb, which our bodies don’t get satiated from (in the same way they do solid foods), so it’s best to drink them black of very lightly sweetened with a teaspoon of sugar and/or plant-based milk.”

Practice Mindfulness While Eating

Keeping track of your hunger throughout the day can help you realize when you’re already full.

“Mindfulness is a state of being that focuses on the present moment—being aware and accepting of your thoughts, feelings, and messages from your body,” Alyssa Burnison, MS, RD, LN explained. “When you practice mindful eating, it can have a positive impact on your emotional and physical health, your relationship with food, and possibly, your weight.”

“You are more in tune with your body’s cues,” Burnison continued. “It takes nearly 20 minutes for your stomach to send a message to your brain that you are full. When you slow down and eat mindfully, you recognize when you feel satisfied and stop eating. You may consume fewer calories than if you hurried through your meal, possibly eating more than you need.”

Embrace the Mediterranean Diet

Many people believe that the reason that eating fatty fish and vegetables helps you stay fit and lose weight is because the ingredients are fresh and healthy. However, the real reason this eating pattern is effective is because it contains an essential nutrient.

“A Mediterranean-style eating pattern is often ranked the best for weight loss because it’s easy to adopt and sustain long-term,” Danielle McAvoy, MSPH, RD said. “A key reason the Mediterranean Diet is so effective is that it’s high in fiber from being largely plant-based. Fiber helps keep blood sugar levels stable, which can reduce hunger levels and cravings. Fiber also makes you feel full after eating, which can curb total calorie intake.”

Try Intermittent Fasting

While calorie counting may be appealing, it can be tedious to keep track of everything you eat. Intermittent fasting is a way to cut calories without having to monitor your food intake as closely.

“Intermittent fasting is also an effective eating pattern for losing weight,” McAvoy continued. “A major review of the research found that the average weight loss from all intermittent fasting plans was 7-11 pounds over 10 weeks. It can be effective because it limits eating to certain times of the day which limits calorie intake.”

 

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About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

Learn More About Elegant Eating and How to Get Started

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