23 Tips & Tricks to Easily Lose Weight
So you want to slim down in 2016.
Let’s be honest: with so many crappy weight loss supplements and fad diets going around, it’s tough to figure out what works.
What Works For Weight Loss In 2016
Today, we’re taking it back to the basics. Here are 30 proven ways to lose weight easily, safely, and effectively in 2016.
1) Drink More Water
You’re not drinking enough water.
I know, I know. You drink lots of water because you’ve read this tip in every weight loss guide.
But seriously – you need to drink more water.
Don’t believe me? Check out this study, which showed that drinking water can boost your metabolism by 24 to 30% over a period of 1 to 1.5 hours, which means you burn more calories without really doing anything.
Water also helps trick your body into thinking you’re more full. Your stomach physically has less room for food. That fact was reinforced in this study, where scientists showed that drinking a half liter of water 30 minutes before meals helped dieters lose 44% more weight than a placebo (mainly because they consumed fewer unnecessary calories during meals).
Health authorities typically recommend drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water (about 2 liters, or half a gallon) every day. There’s no harm in doubling that number – or more, if you’re really thirsty.
2) Drink Ice Water
Okay, this tip won’t help you cut down to six pack abs overnight, but it can add up to significant weight loss over a long period of time.
When you drink ice water, your body has to spend energy heating up that water. In days gone by, some people thought this burned calories on a level equal to running or other forms of exercise.
Today, we know that’s just not true: drinking ice water does indeed burn calories. However, you only burn about 8 calories.
Of course, if you’re drinking 8 glasses of water per day, then that’s 80 calories that you wouldn’t have burned. Over the course of a week, that’s 560 calories – or about the number of calories in a Big Mac. It adds up.
3) Drink the Right Amount of Coffee
Coffee is associated with a wide variety of health benefits – and yet it has been unfairly criticized by many in the health community.
Sure, drinking 8 cups of coffee per day isn’t good for you. But drinking coffee in moderation has been shown to lead to some considerable weight loss results.
Good coffee, for example, is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants (as you may have guessed from the name) fight against the effects of oxidation within your body. They target free radicals and reduce your risk of disease. They also help clear up your skin and reduce the effects of aging among many other wonderful benefits.
From a weight loss perspective, the caffeine in coffee can have a significant effect on your metabolism.
Of course, for maximum weight loss results, make sure you drink your coffee black. Sugar and other high-calorie ingredients will quickly negate any benefits.
4) Avoid Drinking Diet Soda
Diet sodas make big promises about their benefits: you can get similar flavor to regular sodas with none of the calories or sugar!
Unfortunately, in scientific testing, diet sodas have often led to weight gain instead of weight loss.
How can you possibly gain weight by drinking 0 calorie beverages?
Check out this study, which showed that diet soda intake was associated with “long-term increases in waist circumference”. That study involved 749 Americans aged 65 and older. Researchers concluded that adults who drank more diet soda were observed to have higher rates of abdominal obesity, which was also linked to a greater risk of cardiometabolic conditions.
Basically, researchers found that those who didn’t drink diet sodas experienced a 0.8 inch increase in their waistlines over the course of the study, while those who drank diet soda regularly experienced 3 inch increases in their waistline.
Even those who drink diet soda occasionally were observed to have a 1.8 inch increase in their waistline.
Another study from the University of Texas Health Science Center linked diet sodas to a whopping 500% increase in waistline size.
The reason diet sodas mess up your diet is that your brain gets confused when you drink artificial sweeteners (like aspartame) or low-calorie sweeteners (like stevia).
Your brain knows that it tasted something sweet – but it gets confused because it received no calories from the sugar.
Thus, those who drink diet soda are subconsciously forced to consume more food at meals or when snacking between meals.
Meanwhile, those who drink ordinary sodas consume fewer calories in the long run because they don’t feel the need to make up those calories during meals.
Next time you’re thirsty, skip out that Diet Coke and swap it with a real Coke. Just kidding. Drink a water. Soda’s really bad for weight loss.
5) Eat More Eggs, Especially at Breakfast Time
Eating a good breakfast has long been associated with weight loss: when you start your day with a good meal, your body feels satiated throughout the day, which means you end up eating less over the course of the day.
But one breakfast food has proven to be particularly effective for weight loss: according to this study and this one, replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs will help you eat fewer calories over the next 36 hours (!).
The secret power of eggs lies in its protein content. That’s actually the main reason this link exists: so if you don’t like eggs, replace them with any similar protein source to start your day’s weight loss goals off right.
6) Stop Adding Sugar and Salt to your Meals
You’re the foods you eat already have lots of sugar and salt. You don’t need to add any more.
7) Use Smaller Plates
You know all those stupid articles you see online that talk about “one weird trick for weight loss”?
The “smaller plates” trick is certainly classified as a weird trick.
This isn’t just an old wives’ tale either: in this study, using smaller plates was shown to automatically reduce calorie consumption. People eat less food when it’s on a smaller plate because their portions look larger. Sounds stupid – but it works.
8) Stop Buying Unhealthy Snack Food
Even the most dedicated dieters can fall victims to unhealthy snacks.
We get it: you had a small lunch. You barely ate breakfast. What’s the harm in having a little snack in the afternoon?
There’s nothing wrong with snacking during a diet. The problem lies with the type of snack foods you have around your house.
Stop buying unhealthy snack foods. Throw out any unhealthy snack foods you have in your house. Stock up on healthy weight loss-friendly snacks. Nuts, baby carrots, yogurts, whole fruits, or trail mix are all popular options.
9) Brush Your Teeth After Dinner
Here’s another stupid weight loss trick that sounds dumb, but it works. Brushing your teeth after dinner makes you less likely to have a late night snack or unhealthy dessert later in the evening.
It’s not stupid if it works, right?
10) Order Indian Food Tonight (Or Anything Spicy)
If you’re going to treat yourself to a meal out, why not make it Indian food?
The spices in Indian food – like cayenne pepper – contain high levels of capsaicin. Capsaicin is a surprisingly powerful compound that has been linked to some genuine weight loss results.
Specifically, eating capsaicin raises your metabolism. It also slightly lowers your appetite – because let’s be honest, who wants to eat more food when their tongue and throat are burning?
11) Lift Weights
Cardio may be the king of the weight loss exercises, but weightlifting should never be ignored if you’re trying to lose weight.
One of the worst side effects of dieting is that it puts your body into starvation mode, leading to muscle loss and metabolic slowdown.
To prevent this from happening, perform resistance exercises – like weightlifting.
Of course, weightlifting also comes with benefits of its own. It keeps your metabolism elevated (even for hours after a workout at times). It also prevents you from losing muscle mass. And remember: muscle burns significantly more calories than fat.
If you’re losing weight to look better physically, then weightlifting will just expedite the process. The more you lift weights, the more you’ll have to show off when you burn through that fat. You’ll notice results more quickly.
12) Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are highly beneficial to any weight loss diet.
Both fruits and vegetables and low in calories – but high in fiber. They also contain high levels of water, which means they hydrate you while also providing low energy density.
Of course, I haven’t even explained the nutrient profile of fruits and vegetables, or the fact that fruits like berries contain high levels of antioxidants and other health-boosting compounds.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. It’s that simple.
13) Add More Fiber to your Diet
Fiber is something most of us don’t eat as much as we should.
Fiber has two main effects on the body.
First, it increases satiety, which means your body feels fuller after eating lots of fiber.
Second, it helps you pass waste out of your body, which speeds up the physical weight loss process.
Even if you don’t believe that, then you’ll believe this study, which shows that eating more fiber over a long period of time can help you control your weight.
14) Get More Protein
Protein is one of those magical weight loss ingredients that people don’t take as seriously as they should.
High protein diets are some of the most effective diets in the world today. Protein helps you feel satiated while also giving your body the valuable muscle building blocks you need to complement a cardio or weightlifting exercise routine.
Studies have reinforced the importance of protein for weight loss. Check out this study, for example, which showed that eating a high protein diet boosted your metabolic burn by 80 to 100 calories per day (which means your body burns more calories without even doing anything). Or, there’s this study, where participants ate 441 fewer calories per day on a high-protein diet.
15) Chew Longer and More Slowly
Here’s another tip out of the “weird but true” weight loss handbook. Studies have shown that chewing your food more slowly is a great way to control your weight.
The reason? Your brain gets tricked into thinking that you’ve had enough to eat. Thus, you eat fewer calories. Certain studies have also shown that chewing more slowly raises the production of specific weight loss hormones.
16) Stop Drinking Sugary Fruit Juices or Sodas
If you’re serious about weight loss, then stop drinking calories. Sugary beverages – like sodas or fruit juices – make up a huge amount of your daily caloric intake. And, since you’re drinking these calories, you don’t feel the same as you would if you ate, say, 300 calories of fries.
Check out the nutrition information on your fruit juice the next time you take a drink. Even seemingly “healthy” juices can have high levels of sugar and calories. You probably knew that soda wasn’t good for you – but you might not have the same hesitation towards fruit juices and blends.
17) Record the Food You Eat
One of the best dieting tips in the world today is to make some record of the food you eat. There are a few different ways to do that.
Some people take pictures of the food they eat. Whip out your phone before every meal and snack and take a picture.
Others write down all the food they eat. You can use your phone for this too – which is handy for subtly tracking food intake on-the-go.
The point isn’t to look back through your food photos and reminisce about that great bowl of cereal you ate this morning: it’s to remind your brain that everything you eat has a consequence.
There’s no sneaking a handful of potato chips at midnight. You can do that if you want – but your brain might stop you because it knows there will be a record of it.
18) Eat Before You Go Out or Attend a Party
Whether it’s a birthday party, a work party, or some type of fun event, there’s probably going to be food there, and it’s probably not going to be super healthy.
Eat before you go out and you’ll be less likely to overeat on unhealthy appetizers and snack foods.
19) Eat Using Chopsticks (Or Anything Else You Find Difficult to Use)
This tip doesn’t work on everyone. Some people will just get frustrated and angry. But on others, it can work like the “chew slowly” trick.
Using chopsticks (or any utensil that’s difficult for you to use) will naturally force you to slow down you eating. You’ll also be consuming less food with each mouthful. Both of these things can help you feel full more quickly, which means you eat less in the long run.
20) Put a Mirror in your Kitchen
This tip can be a bit depressing to implement, but eating in front of a mirror can forcefully remind you of your diet goals.
When you see yourself, you’re reminded that you’re trying to lose weight. Instead of just eating without consequence, you’re watching yourself stuff your face with a second helping of macaroni and cheese.
Put a mirror on your kitchen table or in your kitchen or wherever you eat and make food.
Just remember to take that full-sized mirror down from the kitchen table the next time you have company. You don’t want them to think you’re crazy or super lonely.
21) Eating a Treat? Take 10 Minutes to Eat It
Whether it’s a slice of cake or a cookie, I guarantee the enjoyment of your treat will last longer when you take 10 minutes to eat it. Taking 10 minutes to eat a treat will help you savor it. It will also help you feel fuller – which means you’re less likely to grab a second serving of that treat after you’re done your first.
22) Focus on Eating Whole, Single Ingredient Foods
Whole foods with single ingredients are incredibly effective for weight loss. One of the best things you can do for weight loss is to remove processed foods from your diet and focus on eating whole foods with single ingredients.
Whole foods are filling but, since they contain only one ingredient, it’s hard to gain weight by exclusively eating that ingredient (obviously, there are some exceptions to this rule).
This is also a great way to make your body feel more natural: so instead of filling your body with synthetic chemicals and processed ingredients with low nutritional value, you’re getting food as close as possible to nature.
23) Stop Calling It a Diet
There’s one big problem with fad diets: people feel like they’re dieting. And when people feel like they’re dieting, their psychology changes.
When you feel like you’re dieting, you feel like you’re restricted. You feel like you can’t eat what you want. You feel like something’s holding you back, or that you’re torturing yourself.
Instead of feeling all of these things, don’t call your diet a diet: call it a healthier lifestyle. Your body and mind won’t feel restricted and you’re more likely to successfully lose weight in 2016 in the long run.