In order to lose weight, they are a variety of diets, supplements, and meal replacement plans that enhance the process. Scientific studies show that they are several ways that can help in weight management.
These strategies include exercising, keeping track of calorie intake, intermittent fasting, and reducing the number of carbohydrates in the diet.
.Some of the methods to lose weight include;
1. Trying intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting (IF)- this is an eating method that is accompanied by short breaks and eating within a short time during the day. This mainly works for obese people.
The most common intermittent fasting methods include the following:
- Alternate day fasting (ADF) fast every other day and eat normally on non-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 involves 16 hours fasting that is accompanied by eating after 8 hours window.
2. Tracking your diet and exercise
Observe all the things that you eat to help manage your weight. Physical activity and weight loss are among the most popular methods that help in losing weight. Tracking physical activity and weight loss progress on-the-go can be an effective way of managing weight.
Consistent tracking of physical activity helped with weight loss.
3. Eating mindfully
This involves taking note of the food you are taking and having an interest in taking it.
Due to busy lives, most people often tend to eat quickly on the run, in the car, working at their desks, and watching TV. They 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 does 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.
4. Eating protein for breakfast
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 cholecystokinin.
Good choices for a high-protein breakfast include eggs, oats, nut, and seed butter, quinoa porridge, sardines, and chia seed pudding.
5. Cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates
The Western diet is increasingly high in added sugars, and this has definite links to obesity, even when the sugar occurs in beverages rather than food.
Refined carbohydrates are heavily processed foods that no longer contain fiber and other nutrients. These include white rice, bread, and 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 processed and sugary foods for more healthful 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
6. Eating plenty of fiber
Dietary fiber describes plant-based carbohydrates that it is not possible to digest in the small intestine, unlike sugar and starch. Including plenty of fiber in the diet can increase the feeling of fullness, potentially leading to weight loss.
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
7. Balancing gut bacteria
What is the work of bacteria in the gut on weight management?
Microorganisms are at a very high rate in the human gut, this is around 37 trillion bacteria.
Each person has a different number of bacteria in the gut. Some types can increase the amount of energy that the person harvests 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 diverse set of gut bacteria. People should try to ensure that vegetables and other plant-based foods comprise 75 percent of their meal.
- Fermented foods enhance the function of good bacteria while inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria. Sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, yogurt, tempeh, and miso all contain good amounts of probiotics, which help to increase good bacteria. Researchers have studied kimchi widely, and study results suggest that it has anti-obesity effects. Similarly, studies have shown that kefir may help to promote weight loss in overweight women.
- Prebiotic foods 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.
8. Getting a good night’s sleep
Having less than 5–6 hours of sleep per night is associated with an increased incidence of obesity. There are several reasons behind this.
Having insufficient or poor-quality sleep slows down the process in which the body converts calories to energy, called metabolism. When metabolism is less effective, the body may store unused energy as fat. Besides, poor sleep can increase the production of insulin and cortisol, which also prompt fat storage.
How long someone sleeps also affects the regulation of the appetite-controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin. Leptin sends signals of fullness to the brain.
9. Managing your stress levels
However, when people are under constant stress, cortisol can remain in the bloodstream for longer, which will increase their appetite and potentially lead to them eating more.
Cortisol signals the need to replenish the body’s nutritional stores from the preferred source of fuel, which is 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.
Studies show that implementing an 8-week stress-management intervention program resulted in a significant reduction in the body mass index (BMI) of overweight and obese children and adolescents.
Some methods of managing stress include:
- Yoga, meditation, or tai chi.
- Breathing and relaxation techniques.
- Spending some time outdoors, for example, walking or gardening.