Research Backed Weight Loss Tips: Part 1

Saad Rana Jul 15 2014

Research has helped us adopt a plethora of positive habits. Just think about all the healthy routine activities that you do, and you’ll realize that there’s so much that science has contributed to your understanding of healthy living. The coveted benefits of exercise, the best foods to eat, the dangers of processed foods- these are just a small fraction of the invaluable knowledge that science has shared with us.  
Through part 1 of this article, you’re going to learn a few more helpful tips pertaining to weight loss. Get a pen and paper ready; it’s time to make a ‘To-Do’ list for shaping up! 

Do: Change Your Dishware

Extensive studies have confirmed an intriguing phenomenon: colors can influence our moods and behaviors.

  • The color red demonstrates courage, strength, energy and aggression. It also stimulates appetite.
  • Blue, on the other hand, relates to trust and serenity. It curbs our appetite.
  • White represents cleanliness and sophistication. However, a white plate triggers the desire to fill up the empty space, often leading to overeating.    

Based on these characteristics and subsequent effects, experts recommend purchasing dishware in shades of blue.
If you cannot find blue plates (as they tend to be less common than white ones), use smaller sized white plates. Use 8-10 inch plates rather than those that are 12 inches wide.

Do: Eat Healthy Snacks

Low calorie intake can lead to a sluggish metabolism, ultimately negating the effect you hope to achieve by cutting down on your daily consumption (Read: Eat More to Shed That Extra Weight). This does not mean that you can continue to overeat if you are overweight or obese. This refers to eating less than the expert recommended caloric intake for men and women to lose weight.
Research shows that if you snack on protein rich foods such as Greek yoghurt in the afternoon or right before dinner, you are less likely to overindulge. Revamp your dietary habits and eat healthy snacks throughout the day to maintain or increase your metabolism.

Do: Eat Your Breakfast

Breakfast is by far the most important meal of the day. It kick-starts your metabolism and gives you energy a healthy boost. Not eating breakfast increases the likelihood of binge eating, which completely nullifies your attempts to lose weight. For more information, read Do you Know why Breakfast is Important for You?

Do: Exercise Portion Control

Instead of setting up the dinner table with several dishes, serve food on the kitchen counter buffet style. After finishing your portion, take a minute or two before going for a second helping. You might realize that you are not as hungry as you thought you were, and this will help you avoid excess eating.

Do: Stock the Fridge

Make an effort to stock the fridge with fresh and healthy foods. Keep lots of fruit and veggies on hand. In this way you’ll have a host of healthy options to chose from when those hunger pangs kick in.   

Do: Chew Slowly

The quicker we eat, the less we chew, and the less time the body has to register that it’s full. So put the fork down in between bites, and make an effort to savor the food before you swallow it.

Do: Switch the T.V Off

Watching television and eating at the same time is a bad idea, according to research. It has been linked to poor food choices and overeating. Television and media has a direct effect on our emotions. Commercials promoting unhealthy foods and beverages generate the desire to consume whatever is being advertised on screen. In general, your favorite drama serial or talk show can make you lose track of the number of crisps you’ve had or the quantity of coke you’ve already consumed. Food and television are two separate activities that should not carried out at the same time.

Do: Say No to Temptation

Foods that fall within our line of vision are more likely to entice us. Try to rearrange your food cabinets so that healthy foods such as whole-grain pasta and whole-wheat bread are in plain sight.

Do: Fill up on Protein

Protein can help you achieve a healthy body weight simply because protein rich foods promote satiation. It also facilitates muscle growth during exercise. Experts recommend plant based protein over animal protein, so stock up on lentils (daal) for a healthy dose of protein.

Do: Fill up on Fiber

High fiber foods keep us feeling full for longer periods of time because the body digests such food slowly and gradually. Aim for at least five grams of fiber per serving. Cooked daal,  split peas, black beans, green beans, broccoli, cooked whole-wheat spaghetti, pears and apples, are excellent fiber-rich choices.

Do: Opt For Healthy Fats

Healthy fats are a great source of energy and are essential for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats obtained from avocados, olive oil, nuts, coconuts, seeds, and fish, are vital for your health. For more information, read Not All Fats are bad for you!

Do: Avoid Simple Carbs

Simple carbs are found in white foods i.e. white bread, white pasta, pastries and refined sugar. These foods provide energy but they lack essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and fiber which are contained in complex carbs. The body breaks down simple carbs faster, leading to an immediate increase in your blood sugar level. The only concern is that your energy levels will drop just as quickly as they increased, causing those dreaded hunger pangs to kick in.
Opt for whole grains instead, such as whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, whole-wheat bread or quinoa. For more information on carbs, read Carbohydrates: What You Should Know about Them.

Do: Enjoy the Laal Mirch!

Laal mirch, or cayenne pepper, is known to boost metabolism and reduce cravings for fatty, salty and sweet foods. Some studies even suggest that it can increase fat oxidation (process in which the body uses fat as fuel). Just sprinkle some laal mirch on your meal to avail all of these benefits.

Are you Ready to Give These Tips A Shot?

Pick out a few of these tips to facilitate your weight loss goals. Some of these are minute changes that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine.

We’d love to hear what has or has not worked for you in the comments below! Feel free to contribute, and if you have any other suggestions do share them with the HTV community.
Saad Rana

Saad Rana:

As a current dental student at Ziauddin University, Saad takes an interest in health, fitness and nutrition. He writes articles based on research through on-line publications as well as consulting various doctors and nutrition and fitness experts. When he's not writing for Health TV, you can find him studying, exercising or watching some of his favourite TV shows.