There are so many opinions out there on what are some of the best strategies to lose weight, but how many of those claims can be backed by science? In this article I share three lesser known strategies backed by science that are simple and easy to start implementing right away.
- Eat less at nighttime. The majority of people consume their largest meal of the day at dinner time, and their smallest meal for breakfast. Scientists found the exact opposite can help you stay fit. Italian researchers observed the eating habits of more than 1200 middle aged adults and discovered a substantially higher obesity risk for subjects who consumed half or more of their total daily calories at dinnertime. Another study in the Obesity journal found that participants who consumed more calories at breakfast and less as they progressed throughout the day (breakfast: 700 kcal; lunch: 500 kcal; dinner: 200 kcal) had greater fat loss around their waist lines than the group that followed the opposite meal plan. The scientists believe there are two main reasons for these results, we burn more calories in the morning as our metabolism is slightly higher; and secondly, our insulin sensitivity falls as we approach evening which increases the chance for carbohydrate intake to be stored as fat.
Plan of action: Think of the saying, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” Plan to consume more of your calories at breakfast and tapper them off as you approach dinnertime. A substantial breakfast can help stabilize blood sugar levels, promote satiety and will reduce the risk of mindless snacking, overeating, and poor food choices later on in the day.
- Plan ahead. An investigation published in Appetite found that when people pre-ordered their lunch online they ended up selecting meals with 115 fewer calories and 5.4 fewer grams of fat on average than if they bought in person. The investigators believe that smells, social pressures, and up-selling from employees could all be contributing to this discrepancy.
Plan of action: Ordering online or pre-planning your meal choice before you go out to eat can help you make healthier choices. Next time you are going out to eat, view the menu online, pre-pick what you are going to order and stick to that once you arrive. Over time all those unwanted calories will make an impact on your body composition.
- Eat more beans. With the popularity of the paleo diet legumes have gotten a bad rap. This is unfortunate because scientific data shows that those who include more beans in their regular diet have an easier time maintaining healthier body weights. This is most likely because beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein and dietary fiber which can increase satiety, encouraging less calorie consumption over the long run.
Plan of action: Start looking at creative ways to include one serving daily of legumes into your diet. It could be as simple as eating hummus on your sandwich, making a chili for dinner, or throwing some lentils in your salad.