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25 Tips for Weight Loss That Actually Work




Over the years, you’ve certainly heard your fair share of weird weight loss advice, such as drinking celery juice every day or replacing your meals with weight loss “cookies.” Those tips are frequently offered by persons with no medical training, so if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. However, just as there is a plethora of mistaken weight loss advice to avoid, there are also numerous real, research-backed, and expert-approved solutions for those who are in the right mental health state and want to lose weight.

One such approach is to improve your diet’s quality. According to a study published in February 2023 in Nutrición Hospitalaria, researchers examined data from over 15,000 people and discovered that those who consumed the fewest processed foods had a lower risk of obesity, but those who consumed the most had an increased risk. The benefits of plant-based diets have been extensively investigated. According to data published in October 2022 in Obesity Science and Practice, participants who followed a low-fat plant-based diet for 16 weeks lost much more weight than a control group. Another study, published in November 2023 in the journal JAMA Network, compared twins on vegan and omnivorous diets, and found that identical twins on a healthy vegan diet lost more weight in eight weeks (and experienced improved cardiovascular markers), compared to their identical twin counterparts on an omnivore diet.

Multiple studies have also shown that having strong social support in your weight loss efforts can be beneficial, whether it comes from family and friends, a coach, or even an app or online group. Participating in an online support group can boost motivation, according to a study published in Digital Health in July 2022. A 10-year evaluation of the research on the function of social support in online obesity health communities concluded that such support is connected with improved weight loss behavior adherence, according to a study published in June 2022 in evaluation of Communication Research.

In terms of weight loss, your thinking is as important. According to a study published in the journal Obesity in February 2022, individuals who dropped and kept the weight off embraced setbacks, viewing them as brief pauses in their goal rather than failures. Also, determining your “why” is critical. A Mayo Clinic survey published in May 2022 discovered that the desire for better health is a significant incentive (83 percent of participants citing “health” as their top reason for wanting to lose weight).

Here are some more expert-approved and science-backed tips that can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

1. Eat Slowly

“I teach my customers how to chose foods they enjoy, fully taste each morsel that enters their mouths, and chew deliberately. I tell them to chew gently, swallow only after the meal is fully chewed, and repeat. It takes time to realize we are full. Eating slowly not only allows us to enjoy our food more, but it also provides us with stronger satiety signals.”

— Janet Zinn, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in private practice in New York City

2. Enjoy the Food You Eat

“We’re often instructed what to eat, and when we don’t enjoy the food, we’re less likely to develop long-term good habits. Try some different fruits and vegetables. Learn how to create new foods that are both varied and flavorful. Add herbs and spices to enhance the flavor. Alternatively, experience the sweetness of fruit and the richness of raw and steaming veggies. There’s no reason why your relationship with food shouldn’t be enjoyable.

— Zinn

3. Keep a Daily Gratitude Journal

“Our eating habits are sometimes linked to our emotions, whether we realize it or not. When we are stressed, we may turn to food for comfort. I work with clients to keep a daily record of things they’re grateful for — or simply just a journal to write in when pressured — so that they’re better prepared to manage with stress by acknowledging it and using other skills, rather than turning to food as a coping mechanism.

— Lauren Manganiello, RD, CSSD, a board-certified sports nutritionist and registered dietitian in private practice on Long Island, New York

4. Batch Cook and Prep

“On Sundays, I batch cook enough chicken for the week. I trim the fat, bake it with seasoning, measure 3.5 ounces, and store them in a container with mustard and frozen vegetables so I can take one to work each day. To sweeten, I divide ¼ cup rolled oats, 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter, 1 tablespoon ground flax, and a pinch each of protein powder and cinnamon into individual containers. So when I’m a zombie in the morning, all I have to do is add water and microwave.”

— Kyra Williams, a personal trainer in Boston

5. Don’t Forget the Weights

“Make sure you lift weights twice or three times every week. Using moderate to high weights—three or four sets of 10 to 15 reps with weights that challenge you—helps you gain muscular mass. When you have more muscle on your body, the food you eat is more likely to be used as fuel rather than stored as fat [studies also showed that resistance exercise can help with weight loss].”

— Williams

6. Get Enough Z’s

“A lack of sleep raises your hunger hormone, ghrelin, and lowers your satisfaction hormone, leptin, which can lead to weight gain. When we are sleep deprived, we seek saltier and sweeter foods. Why? Because when you experience more severe hunger, your desires for higher energy — aka higher calorie — items increase. We also know that insufficient sleep affects the way we think and process our emotions, so it’s easy to link this to a decreased capacity to make rational decisions in many aspects of life, including food. If we flip a coin, we may confidently conclude that when we are well rested, our bodies function better. When it comes to eating, that would mean that we would eat when we are truly hungry and eat just until satisfied. Our hormones are also going to be better balanced because our bodies got the time needed to sleep, repair, and refresh.”

— Angela Lemond, a registered dietitian-nutritionist in private practice in Texas

7. Don’t Skip Meals

“Remember that our bodies’ ultimate objective is to stay alive. When we are denied calories, which are literally the life energy of our bodies, our bodies will do anything they can to survive. Our bodies know which meals are higher in energy density, and we crave them more. Honor your hunger and don’t let your body think it’s starving. [Research also shows that the benefits of a fast, such as a potential reduction in LDL cholesterol, often evaporate once the fast is complete]. This contradicts many dieting strategies, yet those strategies simply do not work for people in the long run. “I generally recommend eating every four hours.”— Lemond

8. Stay Hydrated

Research has found that people who drank two glasses of water before a meal lost more weight than people who didn’t drink water before meals — and they kept it off. This simple tip works in two ways. Thirst can mask itself as hunger, causing you to eat more. And water makes you feel fuller, causing you to eat less during a meal.”

— Megan Casper RDN, a nutrition counselor and the founder and CEO of Nourished Bite

9. Cut Calories, Not Flavor

“By choosing options such as sharp cheddar over mild cheddar, you can use less, but you’ll still get a lot of flavor without feeling like you’re on a diet.”

— Casper

10. Reorganize Your Plate

“Have half of your plate vegetables, a quarter whole grains, and a quarter lean protein.” You’ll notice a difference when you vary around the grains and vegetables on your plate. The one exception: potatoes, corn, and peas are starchy vegetables, hence they belong in the grains category.”

— Lainey Younkin, RD, a nutrition counselor and consultant in Boston

11. Start Where You Are and Do What You Can

“Do not feel compelled to completely alter your life right now. Assess your current situation and then determine where you want to be in the future. A good starting point for primarily sedentary folks is to purchase a step counter and measure how much you walk on a typical day. Then, set a little higher step goal and strive for it, gradually increasing to 10,000 steps each day.”

— Esther Avant, an online sports nutritionist specializing in weight loss who is based in San Diego

12. Think Big — Not Small

“Focus on the weight loss ‘big rocks’ – there are a few areas that will provide you the best bang for your money while trying to lose weight. Prioritizing those and letting go of the details that contribute to overwhelm will make achieving your goals feel more manageable and sustainable. Pay attention to calories, protein, and fiber. Prioritize strength training, daily steps, and recovery in your workout regimen.”

13. Look Beyond the Scale

“While the scale is useful, it is not the only thing that matters. To assist you track success that may not be shown on the scale, take regular photos and measurements, as well as keep a running record of nonscale victories. This can assist put the scale in perspective and highlight all of the wonderful adjustments you’re making to your health and lifestyle.”

14. Give Your Breakfast a Protein Boost

“Aim for 15 to 25 grams of protein with breakfast. Protein digests slowly and lowers hunger hormones, helping you stay full. Additionally, a high-protein breakfast helps to suppress cravings later in the day. Combine protein dishes with fiber and healthy fats, such as two eggs with whole-wheat toast and avocado, or high-protein frozen waffles with almonds, berries, and maple syrup.

15. In Fact, Consume Protein at Every Meal

“Eating protein-rich foods at all meals, particularly breakfast, can help you lose weight. Protein slows the digestion process and has a favorable impact on hunger hormones. Protein can also be more effective in suppressing appetite than carbohydrates. Protein-dense foods include quinoa, edamame, beans, seeds, almonds, eggs, yogurt, cheese, tofu, lentil pasta, chicken, fish, and meat.

— Christine M. Palumbo, RDN, a nutrition consultant from Naperville, Illinois

16. Try to Eat Mainly Whole, Minimally Processed Foods

” The various processing procedures and extra ingredients are why processed foods taste so nice and leave us wanting more. They typically contain high levels of added sugars, fats, and salt. According to research, people can consume up to 500 more calories per day if they are given unlimited access to ultra-processed foods as opposed to unprocessed ones.


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17. Limit High-Glycemic Carbohydrate Foods

“The glycemic index measures how rapidly blood sugar rises after consuming a carbohydrate diet. Eating high-glycemic carbohydrate items, such as white potatoes and refined bread, especially when consumed alone, causes a spike in blood sugar followed by a rapid decline. This leaves you hungry and craving more food. More long-term studies are needed, however short-term studies show that there is a correlation. However, high-glycemic foods are not completely off bounds. When you engage with a licensed dietitian-nutritionist, we provide tailored techniques to help you balance nutrients and avoid blood sugar spikes, which can aid with hunger control.”

— Sue-Ellen Anderson Haynes, RDN, CDCES, a certified personal trainer and national media spokesperson of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics who is based in Boston

18. Experiment With Fruits at Dessert Time

“Fruits are low in calories and high in nutrients like antioxidants and fiber. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), just around 12% of Americans consume enough fruit, and only 10% consume enough vegetables. Using fruits for dessert not only helps you achieve your daily requirements, but it also adds flavor to your day. Many fruits can be grilled, sautéed, or baked. For example, grilled peach with vanilla yogurt and shaved almonds is delicious!”

— Anderson Haynes

19. Eat Breakfast Like a King, Lunch Like a Prince, and Dinner Like a Pauper

“It’s a phrase with numerous interpretations, but you should consume more calories earlier in the day. According to a study published in November 2019 in the journal Nutrients, participants who were given small breakfasts and large meals lost considerably less weight than those who were given a large breakfast and a smaller dinner. So we can see how eating smaller meals later in the day may benefit those looking to shed weight and enhance their general health. The timing of supper was the most interesting aspect of this study. They discovered that eating the main course (bigger meal) too late (after 3 p.m.) was connected with difficulty losing weight. It’s important to note that this study is not saying that everyone should not eat after 3 p.m. Each person has individual needs, which may require additional snacks and food, such as those who are pregnant, are breastfeeding, have diabetes, or take medication that require certain foods. This is why it is so important that you seek a consultation with a registered dietitian nutritionist.”

— Anderson Haynes

20. Get Into Meal Planning

“Meal planning is one of my best ideas for staying healthy and eating well. I’m so into the subject that I wrote a book about it! Taking 5 to 10 minutes over the weekend to plan a weekly menu will save you time, money, and unneeded calories in the long run. Not sure what to prepare for supper tonight? Don’t worry; it’s already on your menu. Menu planning is an excellent method to stay organized and know what goods you need to buy against what you currently have on hand, as well as to ensure a well-balanced meal.  The benefit is knowing ahead that you’ll be doing that so you’re not scrounging when hunger sets in. And be sure to write down the plan — you’re more likely to stick to it if it’s in front of you as a reminder.” —

Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, a culinary nutrition and communications dietitian based in Westchester County, New York

21. Make a Grocery List and Stick to It

“Once you’ve planned your weekly meal, create a shopping list on paper or on your phone – I use Notes, but there are apps for this as well. Knowing what you need to buy at the grocery ahead of time will save you time, avoid food waste, and keep you from buying goods that appear enticing but are unnecessary. To keep to your list, avoid shopping while hungry. According to research, there was an increase in impulsive behavior during that period.

22. Take Stock of What’s in Your Kitchen

“To prepare healthy meals, you must have the proper components and cooking tools on available. Low-sodium canned beans, canned fish, tomato sauce, whole-grain pasta, quinoa, brown rice, low-sodium stock, low-fat plain yogurt, a variety of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and dried herbs and spices are some of the pantry, fridge, and freezer staples I recommend. These are only a few of the items that can make up the foundation of a nutritious and enjoyable supper.”

23. Have the Right Tools on Hand

“Similarly, having a diverse set of kitchen tools can help assure simple, efficient, and healthful cooking. For example, a seasoned cast-iron skillet is one of my favorite pans for cooking eggs, sautéing veggies, and making pancakes since it requires less oil or butter to prevent food from sticking. My other favorite cooking equipment are an immersion blender, an Instant Pot, baking sheets, measuring cups and spoons, and a hand juicer. Of course, anyone working in the kitchen should have a high-quality pair of knives.

24. Read Food Labels

Getting into the habit of flipping packages over will save you time, money, and calories. Food labels provide a clear image of what you’re actually getting, and if you want to lose weight healthfully, it’s important to consider not only how many calories you’re getting, but also what kind of calories you’re getting. To make your meals more beneficial, make sure you’re receiving a good balance of nutrients without going overboard on sodium, sugar, and saturated fat.

25. Choose Super Snacks

It’s ideal to think of your snacks as tiny meals. We’re munching more than ever, so choose nutritious snacks like almond butter and a sliced apple or Greek yogurt topped with fruit and a high fiber cereal. It’s difficult to obtain everything you need in a day, but nutritionally dense snacks can help bridge the gap while also making you feel more full and pleased.

— Taub-Dix

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