Evidence-Based Weight Loss Strategies

How to be successful in losing weight

The internet provides many confusing, odd, and even false strategies for the prospect of weight loss. However, if you are looking for an answer to the sought-after question of “how do I successfully lose weight?” you are in the right place. This article will present evidence-based strategies that will not leave you questioning the validity of your chosen weight loss strategy but instead will provide you with reassurance and your desired weight-related goals if appropriately followed. 

Three evidence-based weight loss tips

  • Add an hour of sleep to your day
  • The amount of caloric consumption each individual has is usually proportionate to the amount of time that individual is awake. Therefore, researchers have examined the relationship between replacing an hour of wakefulness with an hour of sleep and found that this substitution is associated with increased weight loss (Sivak, 2006). For instance, leptin and ghrelin are two hormones regulated during sleep, and research has shown that sleep loss results in potential weight gain due to the increase in ghrelin and decrease in leptin it poses (Sivak, 2006). When leptin levels decrease, and ghrelin levels increase, our appetite and caloric consumption increase, increasing our weight. Next, there is also a non-hormonal relationship between sleep and weight loss: the longer we stay awake, the higher our caloric consumption will rise as eating has become a habit rather than a necessity in our modern society, especially as it is readily available and a form of social connection to those around us (Sivak, 2006). 


  • Use an intermittent fasting schedule
  • Intermittent fasting is a diet plan for weight loss that transitions between eating and fasting. This “diet” is especially effective as it relies on when one eats instead of focusing on what one eats. When people cycle between these periods of fasting and eating, there is a continuous calorie restriction that takes place throughout the day and an enhancement in metabolic function, which is associated with weight loss.  Klempel et al. analyzed the effect of intermittent fasting on weight loss in an experimental study. They discovered that intermittent fasting might reduce not only bodyweight but visceral fat mass— an indicator of waist circumference (2012). A typical intermittent fasting schedule would be structured as such: eating for ten hours followed by a period of fasting for fourteen hours. And yes, you can eat all your favourite foods in moderation. 



  • Go into a calorie deficit 
  • It may be difficult to grasp how to make a weight loss plan. However, a simple yet effective way is to undergo a calorie deficit: an empirically validated weight-loss strategy that has displayed an effective reduction in both one’s body mass index (BMI) and a reduction of 1 to 2 pounds of overall weight per week (Singh et al., 2020). One can utilize a calorie deficit using three methods: first, by consuming fewer calories than one burns. Second, by burning more calories (i.e., through increased physical activity) than one consumes. Lastly, by combining the above methods to burn more and consume less, respectively. We will make it easy for you to calculate your calorie deficit here: 


    [(Current Body Weight) x 15] - 500 = Calorie Deficit

    Conclusion 

    Navigating the road to one’s desired weight loss goal can be difficult at times— especially as the modern internet is flooded with non-evidentiary opinions and myths. Therefore, it might be helpful to utilize all three of these evidence-based methods to reach your desired weight while being reassured of your chosen weight loss strategy’s validity.

    References 

    Gunnars, K. (2018, August 22). 26 Weight Loss Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/26-evidence-based-weight-loss-tips#TOC_TITLE_HDR_2

    Klempel, M. C., Kroeger, C. M., Bhutani, S., Trepanowski, J. F., & Varady, K. A. (2012). Intermittent fasting combined with calorie restriction is effective for weight loss and cardio-protection in obese women. Nutrition Journal, 11(1), 98-98. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-11-98

    Singh, J., & Bhardwaj, B. (2020). To study the effect of calorie deficit diet and strength training in patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnoea. Indian Journal of Otolaryngology, and Head, and Neck Surgery, 72(3), 284-291. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12070-019-01739-2

    Sivak, M. (2006). Sleeping more as a way to lose weight. Obesity Reviews, 7(3), 295-296. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-789X.2006.00262.x

    Images

    1. “Man sleeping in bed cartoon” by Videoplasty https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en
    2. “Schedule clock” by Ranjitthsiji https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en
    3. “Calculator on white background with fresh vegetables, fruits and measuring tape, top view” by Marco Verch Professional https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

     

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