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10 Scientifical Ways to Lose Weight

Updated on April 9, 2010

Every day we are bombarded with advice about new super diets and slimming fads. Advice on foods that supposedly will help us lose weight and advise on which foods are loaded with calories. Yet, losing weight continues to be one of the hardest thing we ever attempted - Each year, million of us try to slim down and fail!

So, what does work? Lets see what science has to say.

10 tips on losing weight that science gives us at a glance:

1. Don’t skip meals

2. Use smaller plates

3. Count your calories

4. Don’t blame your metabolism

5. Protein staves of hunger pangs

6. Soup keeps you feeling fuller for longer

7. The wider the choice, the more you eat

8. Low fat dairy will help you absorb less fat

9. Exercise goes on burning fat even while you sleep

10. Keep moving and you lose weight

Health issues related to excess fat

Beside the esthetical question, excess fat can lead to several problems, particularly if we talk about internal visceral fat – the fat that is not visible and that surrounds vital organs like kidneys, liver, spleen, stomach and others. This fat is potentially dangerous. Unlike normal fat, this fat releases chemicals which can damage the arteries around the heart leading to heart diseases. These chemicals can also increase the risk of cancer. This kind of fat also seats next to the liver and the released chemicals can get into the liver easily and interfere in its ability to clear insulin from your blood which can lead to type II diabetes.

If your waist starts to expand is an indicator that you may be starting to get visceral fat that pushes out your abdomen creating a pot belly. The good news is that visceral fat it is some of the first fat you lose when you diet and exercise.

If you have back problems [see Bulging Disc Surgery - Tips to Avoid It] , excess fat can also be contributing to that. Losing weight may help improve your condition.

10 Scientifical Ways to Lose Weight Explained

1. Don’t skip meals

When you don’t eat your brain will have far greater activity when it sees high calorie foods (like cakes) as opposed to low calorie foods (like a salad). When you are hungry you are driven to eat high calorie foods – a dieting disaster. Our brain is responding to a powerful signal that comes from a hormone called ghrelin. When our stomachs are empty, ghrelin sends a message to our brain that says: fill me up now! This triggers a powerful urge to eat high calorie foods to compensate. When you are not hungry the brain doesn’t respond much to either type of foods.

Also recent studies on mice show that "junk food" is addictive! This is something that won't help our diet.

2. Use smaller plates

Studies show that when you reduce the size of your plate from 12 inches to 10 inches you are likely to eat 22% less food. This doesn’t mean you will be hungry - you can repeat. It means you are eating just what your body needs.

3. Count your calories

If you know the calories you can eat much more and still lose weight.

Check the image bellow. All the plates contain the same calories. What do you think will fill you up for longer?

300 calorie food each
300 calorie food each

You can also choose low calorie versions of your favorite foods. For example:

Black coffee has about 10 calories, a cappuccino 100! 3 black coffees a day and you safe 270 calories.

A toast has about 125 calories while a pastery has about 270.

A grilled chicken salad has 250 calories while the same salad with mozzarella, croutons and dressing has 450 calories.

Pizza with tomato and cheese with 850 calories instead of pizza with pepperoni that can contain 1400 calories.

If you choose the low calorie meals by the end of the day you will have eaten half the calories and already started to lose weight.

4. Don’t blame your metabolism

What about people who eat all of the right foods, that cut off fried and fatty foods and stick to vegetables, salads, fruits, lean meat and fish and still they don’t lose weight? Can it be that people have a slow metabolism and how carefully they eat they will never be slim.

The answer is no. The reason they don’t lose weight is because they are eating high doses of the right food. Because of this the calorie intake is way above the recommended for the persons (about 2000 calories)

5. Protein staves of hunger pangs

Hunger pangs happen when the stomach is empty and shrinks. This triggers the hormone ghrelin to send a message to the brain that you want more food.

One of the ways you can foul your brain is to eat protein. Protein can be found for example on eggs, lean meat, fish, and beans and make you feel fuller for longer.

The explanation: When food travels your digestive system it triggers the release of a hormone called PYY to the blood stream. When PYY reaches the brain it suppresses any hunger signals. Of all of the foods, protein triggers this hormone far more than anything else, flooding the brain with signals that you are full.

If you eat your proteins and several hours later see a chocolate bar you don’t feel like eating it.

Attention: High-protein diets are generally well tolerated by healthy adults. But a dramatic increase in protein-rich foods may be dangerous for people with liver or kidney disease because they lack the ability to get rid of the waste products of protein metabolism. Routine exams to transaminases can diagnose any problem related to this.

6. Soup keeps you feeling fuller for longer

Soup increases the overall volume of the meal, which stays in the stomach for longer. This blended mass can’t drain out of the stomach quickly.

Drinking a glass of water with the meals won’t have the same effect. Water passes by leaving only the solid food to digest.

7. The wider the choice, the more you eat

Our body instructs us to seek variety in food and that can affect how much we eat.

At a buffet, for example, variety triggers our instincts to try everything and that can lead to over eating.

8. Low fat dairy will help you absorb less fat

Calcium binds to fat molecules and forms a substance we cannot absorb. The calcium and fat passes trough, and the fat instead of ending up in our hips it gets excreted.

Results show that a high dairy diet will excrete the double the amount of fat in comparison to a low dairy diet. In a month this amount can be about 160 . In a year it represents 2kgs!

Amount of fat you won't absorb
Amount of fat you won't absorb

9. Exercise goes on burning fat even while you sleep

After 90 minutes of exercise you have burned about 160 calories or 19 grams of fat. It really isn’t much. Over night while sleeping and in the morning without exercise you have burned an additional 50 grams of fat. And the burning will continue for the next hours.

You are burning more fat while you are asleep than when you are doing exercise.

Our body uses 2 types of fuel: Carbohydrates and fat. While doing exercise muscles use mostly carbohydrates because they are easy to burn. After exercise, the stock of carbohydrates has been largely used up and the body will take up to 22 hours to replace it. In the meantime our body is forced to burn fat instead just to keep us going, walking, talking, and sleeping

10. Keep moving and you lose weight

If you are one of those who aren’t in any kind of exercise you should move more. Exit the subway in the previous stop, use the stairs (I personally use the elevator when going down to avoid impact to the spine and knees), leave your car further away, etc. Do these small changes and you will burn 250 calories or more.

But remember: don’t eat more just because you are doing some exercise!

Major credits to BBC.


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