Millions of people try to lose weight every day as obesity has taken the world by storm. Some succeed while others end up gaining it all back. In that case, it can be definitely frustrating and a complete bummer.
But why does that happen? Aren’t these people strong enough to walk the talk? Don’t they have enough willpower? Or are they plain lazy?
The answer is none of these. The problem lies in how they are doing it. Most people embark on the weight loss journey without adequate knowledge. And this is a sure-shot recipe for failure.
Here, we bring you the 20 best possible ways for quick weight loss – that are most powerful and are sustainable at the same time. Does that sound too good to be true? Well, keep reading and you’ll know.
20 Science-Backed Ways To Reduce Weight Effectively
When we talk about weight loss, mind you, it’s the hormones that are the big players.
Insulin, which is secreted from the pancreas, is a major participant in this game. Also known as the fat-storage hormone, insulin helps in effective usage of glucose in the body. Its job is to help the body cells in taking up glucose for use. Rest that is remaining is stored in the muscles, liver, and fat cells.
The other big player in this weight loss game is the human growth hormone (HGH). It is the main fat-burning hormone released by the pituitary gland in the brain.
As we continue with these 20 ways of weight reduction, the relationship between HGH and insulin with fat loss will come into play. Decreased levels of insulin and an increased level of HGH are associated with weight loss (1) (2).
Let’s get started and understand more about it.
1. Low carb diet
Unlike protein, there are no essential carbohydrates that our body needs. Therefore, it won’t suffer from not consuming glucose or carbs. In fact, practicing a continuous low-carb diet pushes your body to break down fat and utilize it. This is mainly because of the lower production of insulin.
The body will run much better on fat fuel. In the process, you lose your stubborn fat, especially belly fat as lower levels of insulin encourages fat breakdown.
Summary: A low-carb diet forces your body to start breaking fat which is the most effective way of weight loss. The insulin levels go down and the body utilizes fat as fuel.
Read more: 6 Best Weight Management Supplements
2. Go keto
The famous ketogenic diet or keto diet is one of the most powerful tools to reduce weight. It comes under the category of a very low-carb diet. Here, your carb intake is limited to 20-50 grams (3). It is similar to the Atkins diet in many ways.
A Keto diet is considered better than a low-carb diet in some ways. Firstly, most low-carb diets have a higher amount of protein. This can cause damage to the liver and kidney. The toxic effects of its byproduct, ammonia, can cause problems in your brain. It can stress your digestive system and stomach. Also, a low-carb diet may or may not put you into ketosis.
Keto, on the other hand, recommends moderate protein and a high-fat diet. It is a diet that puts you into a physiological state called ketosis (4). Here your body switches from sugar burning to fat burning. The result is a healthy weight loss.
Summary: Keto is a classic example of a very low carbohydrate diet and is believed to be the most effective diet for fat burning in the body. This ensures gradual weight loss that is sustainable.
Read more: Top 6 Keto Supplements
3. Prolonged fasting
Fasting is the next big weight loss trend. But, it isn’t new at all. What’s new is the scientific benefits that are getting unfolded. Fasting has always been an integral part of many religions and cultures (5).
Prolonged fasting works wonders for you. Not only does it support your weight loss, it helps you to become a new you.
- It burns your body fat for an alternate fuel called ketones
- It helps in cell growth, reproduction, and regeneration
- It triggers autophagy where your body eats up old, degenerated cells and tissues
- It helps cleanse your body
- It’s anti-aging
- Helps heal joints
- Reduce your inflammation
- Increase antioxidant reserve
- Help heal your gut
- Improve cardiovascular function
These are just a few benefits of fasting. It reduces your insulin secretion and increases your HGH giving your body the perfect condition to break fat. The result is an effective weight loss with added benefits. Studies have observed that 3-day fasting can increase your HGH levels by 300%. A week’s fasting will increase it by 1250% (6).
Summary: One of the best ways to reduce weight is fasting. To top it off, the benefits are amazing. It lowers your insulin levels and increases your growth hormones making it a very conducive environment to reduce weight.
4. Intermittent fasting (IF)
For most of us, prolonged fasting is difficult. In that case, intermittent fasting is the next best possible way to reduce weight. It saves you from the difficulties of prolonged fasting yet provides you with fasting benefits.
Mind you, IF is not a diet but a pattern of eating. You fast for certain hours which is your fasting window. Then you eat within a certain time limit. This is called an eating window. You can either go for a 16/8, 18/6, 20/4, alternate day fasting, etc.
For fast weight loss, we recommend a 20/4 window which is 20 hours of fasting and 4 hours of eating. If you want to speed up, even more, go for OMAD (one meal a day). This is the best way to reduce weight (7).
Summary: Prolonged fasting is not everyone’s cup of tea. Yet the benefits can’t be ignored. Therefore IF gives you the best of both worlds. It provides you with all the fasting benefits and is done for a comfortable duration for most.
5. Physical exercise
Exercise can positively help you tone muscle, improve glucose uptake and keep you fit. A regular exercise program supports calorie burn as well as helps build lean muscle mass. This is a very important factor in weight loss as muscle mass helps burn more calories while at rest.
Cardio, resistance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is highly effective in keeping you in proper shape.
In addition to that, exercise can help increase the production of HGH (human growth hormone) (8). Some studies state that aerobic training regularly at a higher intensity can result in a 2-fold increase in 24 hours of HGH (9). Dr. Berg explains that short duration high intensity workout with lots of rest can produce more HGH than injecting it (10). He continues that sprinting is one of the best forms of exercise that can increase your HGH by 771%. Sprint for 20-30 seconds, then rest for 90 seconds. Repeat this 8 times.
Summary: Exercise is a great way to reduce weight and keep your body at its best. With exercise, you reduce insulin levels and increase your HGH which are two classic conditions of fat breakdown and weight loss.
6. Stop snacking
Every time you eat, your body produces insulin. This can prevent you from fat burning. The motto here is to keep your insulin levels low so that your fat-burning process can start. As you stop snacking, in the time period between your two big meals, the insulin goes down -the more the duration, the better the fat burning.
It also lowers the overall intake of total calories giving you a perfect formula of weight loss.
Summary: Continuous snacking increases your total calorie intake and leads to weight gain. To top it, snacking keeps your insulin levels high which prevents your body from breaking fat.
7. Cut out processed foods
Processed foods can be very addictive. In fact, they are more addictive than alcohol, smoking, and even drugs. The speed at which the sugar touches your tongue and connects to the reward circuitry of your brain is about 600 milliseconds. This is 20 times faster than if you were to smoke a cigarette and have nicotine enter the brain (11).
Many food companies do not show this big picture on the actual damages caused by processed foods. They are nothing but refined food with high quantities of sugar, saturated fat, preservatives, and harmful additives. Processed food dumps you with calories with no nutritive value. The result is obesity and cardiometabolic complications (12).
Every time you eat, your insulin levels spike. This can make your cells resistant to insulin, increasing the sugar levels in the blood. This sugar is then converted into fat and you gain weight quickly.
Therefore, cutting them off completely is a good way to turn around the bad effects of processed foods. The less you snack, the faster you lose weight. In other words, you can’t tap into your fat reserves if you snack the whole day.
Summary: Processed foods are new-age poison which has slowly cropped in our society. Hidden sugars, bad fat, and additives that have adverse effects on our body are its major ingredients. They provide empty calories and high consumption leads straight to obesity. It is better to stay away from them.
8. Gear up your protein intake
Protein-rich foods provide you with satiety. As your hunger pangs decrease your calorie intake decreases. A great aid to weight loss. Protein also helps preserve muscle mass while your body is burning fat.
Many studies have proved this point. A high-quality protein diet indeed lowers the risk of obesity. Protein triggers fat-burning hormones (13). A moderate amount of protein which is around 3-6 ounces per meal is good enough for the process. Don’t go overboard as a high amount of protein can trigger insulin that can put a stop to your fat burning.
Summary: Protein provides satiety and triggers hormone production that induces fat burning. High-quality, moderate protein intake can aid you in weight loss.
9. Cut off sugar completely
Sugar has been aptly named as “white poison.”
Each time you consume sugar, your hormone (insulin) comes into play and pushes the sugar down. This causes low blood sugar after a while and you crave more sugar. It’s a vicious cycle and is highly addictive (14).
Incidentally, it’s the sugar that keeps you hungry all the time. It makes you crave all the time and causes fatigue, stiffness, inflammation, weight gain and the list goes on.
Sugar also triggers two hormones: dopamine and serotonin. These are pleasure and happiness hormones (15). Over time, the addiction becomes stronger and stronger.
Cutting sugar reverses them all. Your body builds new enzymes to run the body on fat fuel, inflammation reduces, you have a better kidney function and you even clean out fatty liver. Take your B-vitamins that help reduce your addiction to sugars and avoid triggers.
Summary: No sugar in your diet not only helps reduce weight but also keeps your infection and inflammation on the lower side.
Read more: The 6 Best Supplements for Blood Sugar Support
10. Keep yourself hydrated
Yes, you heard that right. Water can indeed support your weight loss. Drinking water can replace food and causes you to eat less. It reduces your hunger and lets your body adapt to fat burning (16).
A good amount of water also helps you stimulate metabolism. It helps lower hormones such as insulin, cortisol, and estrogen that can nullify the function of all 6 fat-burning hormones.
Summary: Drinking sufficient quantities of water not only keeps you full and reduces your food cravings and stimulates metabolism.
11. Avoid hidden sugar
The lesser you open packets, the better you are. Sugary drinks, juices, sodas, processed foods all contain hidden sugars that are as bad as consuming normal sugar. They load you with extra calories that make you gain weight.
As you start replacing them with healthy alternatives, you prevent the intake of these extra calories. With that, you cut off the very reason for modern age weight gain.
Summary: Many processed and packaged foods contain hidden sugar which is loads of calories. Avoiding them can cut off the very reason for modern age obesity.
12. Stop eating refined carbohydrates
The other important thing that you need to know is about carbs. Every kind of carb converts into sugar on digestion except fibers. Bread, pasta, cereals, waffles, etc all turn into sugar.
It has been noted that the average person might consume about 275g of sugar every day. This comes out to a little over a half-pound of sugar each day. Refined carbs rapidly break down in the body and convert into sugar. It is as bad as the white poison.
Therefore, try to cook up a meal that has carbs in the form of complex carbohydrates and fiber. They not only reduce your net carb intake but also keep your gut healthy. The result is a healthy weight loss.
Summary: All refined carbs convert into sugar. Every day we unknowingly take them and load our body with the extra calories that lead to uncontrolled weight gain. Stop taking them and you will start to lose weight.
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13. Eat slowly, chew properly
It is true! There is a lag of about 20-30 minutes before your brain gets a signal to get to know that your stomach is full. If you keep eating beyond that period, your brain will not know that you are full and you end up overeating by that time. If you eat slowly and deliberately, the brain will get enough time to realize that you are full and you can stop eating.
Therefore, you can prevent overeating and this can definitely help you not gain weight (17). Therefore, eating slowly, chewing each morsel of food properly can be helpful when you are trying to lose weight.
Summary: Chewing properly every morsel that you eat leads to effective digestion and prevents uncontrolled eating. This can be a helpful tip in your weight loss endeavor.
14. Get a good sleep
Sleep plays a very important role in our bodies. You burn the most body fat while you are sleeping. Sleep helps reduce stress which improves cortisol levels. Sleep improves blood glucose levels. In fact, a lack of sleep leads to weight gain, metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and constant food cravings. A good 7-8 hours of high-quality good sleep can keep you fit and healthy (18).
For better sleep, try taking calcium, vitamin B1, potassium, and magnesium. Go to bed when you are tired, stop watching television before you sleep. Exercise and lower your EMF exposure from your phone and other screens.
Summary: Good sleep can lower your cortisol levels which can be a major cause of weight gain. Sleep also allows your body to tap your fat reserve for fuel.
15. Superfoods for weight loss
Nature has bestowed us with a plethora of foods that are natural fat burners. Examples include green coffee beans, green tea, garcinia cambogia, and capsimax cayenne pepper. Some rev up your metabolism and aid in weight loss while others act as an appetite suppressant and prevent excess calorie intake.
There are certain spices and herbs that can activate certain genes that increase fat burning and sensitize your body to insulin. This means lower insulin in your system and more fat burning. This includes cinnamon, turmeric, fenugreek seeds, and berberine. Other foods that are highly effective are apple cider vinegar (ACV), L-carnitine, and Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
Including them in your diet as an ingredient or a supplement can really support your weight loss effort and optimize your health.
Summary: Taking natural fat-burners such as green tea, garcinia cambogia, etc can be a great way to lose weight. They lower your appetite and increase your metabolism resulting in higher calorie burn.
Read more: Top 6 Supplements for Boosting Weight Loss
16. Eat more fat to burn fat
When we talk about weight loss and fat breakdown, the best diet form is low carb and moderate protein for that. Therefore, the rest of your calories have to come from healthy fats.
We aren’t talking about drinking butter or lard but incorporating a good amount of fat into the diet. You get all your fat-soluble vitamins through fat, essential fatty acids, which is also an immune protector.
Fat can control your appetite and can support longer periods of fasting. It prevents you from overeating as it causes satiety. Fat can also fire up your fat-burning rate in the body. It reduces the spikes in your blood sugar and effectively lowers your insulin levels that facilitate fat burning (ketosis).
Fats that are specifically used for this are MCT oil, coconut oil, whole cream, lard, grass-fed butter, ghee, etc (19). Other than that, olive oil, nuts, avocado, nut butter, chia seeds, fatty fish, and seeds.
Therefore, the good fat in your diet helps you reduce weight. Make sure to choose them properly.
Summary: Healthy fats can keep you from overeating, provide satiety, and are nutritionally more calorie-dense, control your insulin spike, and trigger fat burning.
17. Maintain a healthy gut
Insulin resistance is one of the root causes of weight gain. In this condition, there is too much insulin in your body that is preventing your fat-burning process.
Probiotic foods that contain healthy bacteria can be your answer. These are usually available in uncooked, fermented products such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, kombucha tea, etc. The good bacteria after consumption can dodge the digestive system and straightaway reach your intestine.
Here, they add on to the gut microbiome and produce butyrate that helps with insulin resistance. Probiotics can also reduce the size of fat cells and inhibit fat accumulation in the liver (20).
Therefore, probiotics can help you lose weight by improving your digestion and absorption while keeping your gut healthy.
Summary: The good bacteria in your gut can help you lose weight by improving your digestion and reducing insulin resistance.
Read more: Top 6 Probiotic Supplements
18. Choose healthier alternatives
When we talk about food, choose them appropriately to make sure your body gets healthy nutrients and lower calories. Consume whole grains, nuts, green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, animal protein such as eggs, chicken, goat, pork, beef, organ meats, and healthy fats. Go for food that is high in soluble fibers such as flaxseed, beans, legumes, shirataki noodles, oats, etc (21).
Avoid foods high in trans fat such as margarine and spreads. They increase insulin resistance and the resulting fat accumulation.
Curtail vegetable oil, reduce packaged foods, avoid junk food and sugar-packed snacks that are inflammatory. Combined with proper exercise and a healthy lifestyle, you will lose weight comfortably and effortlessly.
Summary: Healthier alternatives provide more nutrition and fewer empty calories. Go for nutrient-dense foods that can keep you lean and fit.
19. Go easy on alcohol
Alcohol can literally block your fat burning. Yes, you heard that right. It can pause your ketosis temporarily. The main component of alcohol is ethanol. When you consume alcohol, the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase breaks the ethanol in alcohol into acetaldehyde. This is very poisonous and can be potentially harmful. Your body needs to get rid of it very soon.
Therefore, the liver pauses every other thing it is doing and converts acetaldehyde into acetic acid with the help of the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase. Acetic acid further is converted into carbon dioxide and water and excreted out of the body (22).
Therefore, more is the alcohol consumption, more is the pause in fat burning. Also, it is conducive to selecting the right alcohol as many of them contain carbohydrates that can throw you out of your fat-burning state.
Moderate consumption of the right alcohol once in a while is okay and that too when chosen from the lowest carb alcohol. But limiting the consumption only can help you lose weight.
Summary: It is better to avoid alcohol as it not only stops your fat-burning but provides you with empty calories that cause weight gain.
20. Reduce your stress levels
When you experience any form of physical or mental stress, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. The cause can be anything starting from work stressors, losses, trauma, pregnancy, bad lifestyle, menopause, or even relationship problems. All of these can trigger cortisol.
Cortisol brings out some changes in order to help the body adapt to stress. It is believed to be good once in a while as your body prepares you to face a situation that needs your immediate attention.
However, chronic stress is detrimental to health. When it builds up, it nullifies the other fat-burning hormones and can prevent weight loss. It significantly raises your blood sugar levels. In fact, many times, in a ketogenic diet while you are doing everything right, stress can be your biggest enemy.
Reducing your stress and bringing your cortisol levels down can help you lose weight (23). You may practice meditation which can be a great way to reduce stress.
Summary: Stress can totally quash your weight loss efforts. It can increase your blood sugar levels and prevent fat-burning hormones from doing their job. Try and have a stress-free life for proper weight loss and good health.
Read more: 6 Best Supplements to Reduce Stress
The Final Note
A healthy weight loss is only possible if you make long-term changes in your lifestyle. Adopting the right habits, physical exercise, discipline, and perseverance are the key to success.
A healthy routine, the right food choices, getting your stress levels in control, a good night’s sleep, can not only help you lose those extra pounds but also help you sustain the weight loss.
Herbs and spices with natural phytocompounds can help in keeping your hormones under control and speed up weight loss. A low carb or keto diet can starve your body of readily available sugar and trigger fat burning.
An honest step in the right direction can help you reach your weight goal successfully.