There’s a ton of information floating around online about weight loss – so it’s up to you to be discerning to make sure you’re following advice that actually does work. When in doubt, look at the evidence – whether the article’s claims have been backed by any studies, real-life examples or notable figures in the field.
Want to know the truth about weight loss? Check out these 3 things that scientists say are highly effective for losing weight!
#1: Dieting (instead of exercising)
This feels like it goes against all conventional thought – being active and exercising should be more important to weight loss instead of simply watching what you eat, right?
Turns out that, nope, cutting calories will do much more for your weight loss plans instead. As Samuel Klein, MD at Washington University’s School of Medicine frames it, if you want to achieve an energy deficit of 300 calories, you have two options:
A: Jog for 3 miles
B: Not eat a small packet of potato chips
For most people, it goes without saying that option B is far easier and more preferable.
Another thing to keep in mind is that exercising will activate your appetite hormones, which is why so many people binge on heavy meals right after a workout session. But this is (obviously!) counter-productive; you’ll completely wipe out any good that your exercise did in the first place, bringing you back to square one.
#2: Sustaining your diet (regardless of which diet you’re on)
Surprise, surprise! If you’ve spent hours researching about which is the best weight loss diet on the Internet, it might have been an exercise in futility.
The University of Toronto recently examined a wide range of popular weight loss diets, including the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet. After running 48 randomized control trials, they found that each of these diets were equally effective in helping people lose weight – as long as the diet was sustained.
That’s not to say that you should just close your eyes, pick a random diet and stick with it. The smart way to go about doing this is to evaluate the diets based on your personal needs, and hone in on the one that you think is the most realistic for your lifestyle.
For example, if you’re a dessert-lover, and you choose a diet that completely eliminates dessert from the table, that’s a recipe waiting for disaster. What often happens is that people stick to this for a week or two, and then they end up caving – only instead of a slice of cake, they end up gorging themselves on three or four slices, because the initial deprivation is messing with their rationality.
Bottom line? Pick a diet that is manageable for you, so that you can stick to it in the long term!
#3: Your mental state
Many researchers have found that weight issues and obesity aren’t caused by your body, your metabolism or anything physical – they’re actually caused by the brain. Weight gain simply boils down to a series of poor decisions, and vice versa.
So if you’re trying to lose weight, delve a little deeper and engage in some introspection.
- Ask yourself why you snack so much – are you hungry, or are you simply bored, depressed, and/or lonely?
- Ask yourself why you haven’t been able to lose weight despite trying countless times – is your weight a sort of security blanket that helps you to hide from the world?
- Visualize how great you’ll feel when you achieve your ideal weight – think of the things you would like to do, whether it’s keeping up with your partner without feeling fatigued, or being able to go to the beach in a bikini
Probing into your own mental state will help you understand yourself better, and understand the underlying motivations behind every single decision that you make. This will, in turn, make your weight loss journey an easier one!