The internet is flooded with dietary tips, calorie-counting strategies, meal plans, low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb processed foods, fad diets, and weight loss plans. Unfortunately, these fad diets are usually not effective. More often than not, they lead to deprivation, weight gain, and yo-yo dieting.
Yet, obesity is an epidemic. It is a major contributing factor to chronic health conditions, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease (and has been a major risk factor for severe COVID).
Weight loss is not just about eating fewer calories. To lose weight, you need to transform your eating habits and incorporate some lifestyle changes that support your overall health and wellness. Sustainable weight loss tips are simpler than you think.
How to Lose Weight: My Top 10 Weight Loss Tips
If you want to know how to lose weight, follow my top weight loss tips. If you are at a healthy weight, I recommend the same healthy eating and lifestyle strategies for weight management and a healthy, energetic body.
1. Follow a Nutrient-Dense Diet
If you are looking for tips for weight and maintaining your weight loss, you have to forget about fad diets. Instead, it is best to follow a nutrient-dense diet. A nutrient-dense diet is one of my top weight loss tips. It will not only help you to lose weight but will also energize your body and improve your physical and mental health (1, 2).
Eat plenty of greens, vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices. Eat plenty of healthy fats, such as avocados, olives, extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter and ghee, nuts, seeds, nut butter, and fatty fish. Choose healthy sources of protein, such as grass-fed meat, pasture-raised poultry and eggs, wild-caught fish, beans, gluten-free whole grains, quinoa, amaranth, nuts, and seeds. Eating plenty of nutrient-dense whole foods will satisfy your body and transform your taste buds while reducing your cravings for high-calorie, sugary junk food.
2. Hydrate Your Body
Eating healthy foods is not enough. Optimal hydration is one of my top tips for weight loss. Dehydration may lead to a feeling of hunger, snacking, and gut health problems. Water supports hydration, detoxification, digestion, and overall wellness. Start your day with 16 to 32 oz of purified water. Drink a glass of water every one or two hours throughout the day. Additionally to drinking water, you may drink some green juices, green smoothies, or herbal tea, and eat hydrating veggies and fruits, such as cucumber, celery, strawberries, or oranges (3, 4, 5).
3. Avoid Liquid Calories
This comes hand in hand with my good hydration weight loss tip. Liquid calories, such as soda, energy drinks, fruit juice, sugary drinks, creamy lattes, and other high-calorie drinks, only add extra calories to your body without any nutritional benefits. These empty calories can add up quickly and lead to weight gain. Sugary drinks may also lead to blood sugar imbalances, insulin resistance, and metabolic problems. Cutting out empty liquid calories and choosing water instead can cut out a lot of calories, reduce inflammation, and help you lose weight (6, 7).
4. Support Your Gut Microbiome
Your gut microbiome health has an impact on your entire body. Your microbiome influences your metabolism in general, with more and more research implicating gut flora imbalances in weight gain, obesity and diabetes. The overgrowth of certain unhealthy bacteria can increase weight and fat deposition. Poor gut microbiome health may also increase cravings for sugary and unhealthy foods that will further feed bad bacteria in your gut (8, 9). Eat plenty of prebiotic-rich foods that feed the good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut, such as Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, leeks, onion, garlic, apples, and bananas. Eat plenty of probiotic-rich fermented foods, including sauerkraut, kimchi, fermented vegetables, fermented herbs, coconut kefir, coconut yogurt, and kombucha (unless histamine intolerance is an issue for you). Take a high-quality probiotic supplement daily.
5. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is among my favourite weight loss tips. It is an eating strategy that involves a period of short-term fasting each day, leaving a shorter window for your meals than you are used to. Intermittent fasting eliminates after-dinner snacking and removes a lot of unnecessary calories. It will help you to become more conscious about your food choices. Intermittent fasting may also help to reduce your daily calorie intake, critical to weight management, without calorie counting (10, 11, 12).
If you have never tried intermittent fasting before, I recommend starting with a shorter 12, or even 10-hour daily fast. Simply stop eating after dinner and wait until breakfast the next day. Gradually increase your fasting window by eating breakfast later and/or eating dinner earlier. Aiming for a 16-hour fasting window is the most common. However, you may find that a slightly shorter or longer fasting period works better for you.
6. Eat Mindfully
Mindful eating is one of the most important yet often forgotten tips for weight loss. Paying attention to how you are eating is just as important as what you are eating. Chewing your food well is critical for digestion. Eating slower can help you get in touch with your hunger clues. Enjoying your food may increase satiety, and mindful eating can reduce emotional eating (13, 14).
Try to avoid getting a quick bite on the run, eating in your car or at your desk, or snacking mindlessly. Sit down when you eat and stay present with your food. Avoid distractions while eating, such as watching TV or scrolling social media. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Think about where your food comes from and make mindful food choices.
7. Move Your Body
When you are looking for weight loss tips, exercise will be the first thing that may come to mind. It’s true, moving your body is an important weight loss tip. This doesn’t mean you need to become an athlete and certainly doesn’t mean over-exercising. Active living, moving your body regularly and exercising mindfully matter the most (15).
Start your day with some physical activity. It may be some stretching, a short yoga session, a short walk outside, or 5 minutes of rebounding. Stay active throughout the day. Get up from your desk, stretch and shake out your body. Take a walk in a nearby park. Ride your bike or walk short instead of driving whenever possible. Turn on your favorite song and dance. Play with your kids or pets. Aim to exercise 5 days a week for 20 to 30 minutes each session. Incorporate strength and resistance training and aerobic workouts into your exercise routine.
8. Reduce Stress
You may not think about meditation and journaling as weight loss tips, but they may be the missing link you’ve been looking for. Stress will lead to the release of cortisol and adrenaline. Though under acute stress, these hormones will initially reduce your appetite, if you are under constant stress, your cortisol levels will remain high and lead to increased hunger, stress eating, and overeating. Chronically elevated cortisol, as part of adrenal dysfunction, can lead to increased weight gain, water retention, and obesity (16, 17).
On the other hand, research has shown that stress management programs may help weight loss and may reduce obesity (18). I recommend practicing meditation, breathwork, relaxation techniques, gratitude, yoga, tai chi, qi gong, and journaling. Spend time outdoors walking, hiking, gardening, or just sitting connecting with nature.
9. Eat a Chemical-Free Diet
Following a chemical-free diet is an often forgotten weight loss tip. Pesticides, herbicides, plastics, and hormones in livestock are major hormone disruptors. They may lead to estrogen dominance, thyroid dysfunction, and chronic inflammation that may increase the risk of weight gain (19, 20, 21, 22).
I recommend following a chemical-free diet. Choose organic produce whenever possible. If it’s not possible to buy only organic, always wash and peel non-organic produce. Buy organic, grass-fed, and pasture-raised meat, poultry, and eggs to avoid exposure to hormones. Reduce the use of plastic packaging, especially BPA. Choose glass or aluminum water bottles, glass containers, silicone ziplock bags, and ceramic or bamboo dishware.
10. Identify Food Sensitivities
My last tip for weight loss is to identify your food sensitivities. Even if you are eating a nutrient-dense diet, some foods may still be causing inflammation and compromising your weight loss. Common food sensitivities include gluten, wheat, dairy, fructose, peanuts, soy, and shellfish. However, you may find that your body has other, less common food sensitivities (23, 24).
To identify your food sensitivities, I recommend following an elimination diet. Remove all common food sensitivities and potential culprits for at least 4 weeks. Reintroduce foods one by one, three days apart. Keep a food diary to note any reactions and symptoms. If you notice symptoms from food, you may benefit from removing that food from your diet completely.
Follow these weight loss tips and improve your health. If you are looking for personalized tips for weight loss and dietary recommendations, or want to improve your health, wellness, and mental well-being, I welcome you to start a personalized functional medicine consultation with me for further personalized guidance to improve your health. You may book your consultation here.