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Three research-based tips to support healthy weight loss

Three research-based tips to support healthy weight loss

Going crazy with all the conflicting weight loss advice?

For every piece of weight loss advice out there, there seems to be another one that contradicts it.  

One expert tells you to go high-protein and low-carb, while someone else says you need to watch your fat intake.  One guru claims that if you eat most of your calories at breakfast, you’ll lose more weight, while another says it just doesn’t matter.  And that doesn’t even begin to address all the strange and interesting supplements you can now find on the health store shelves.  

You already know you need to take in fewer calories through food than you burn during the day to lose weight.  But once you get past the basics of a calorie-controlled diet and an increase in exercise, what else can you do?

If the conflicting advice has you tearing your hair out, here are three solid, research-based recommendations to support your weight loss programme.

  1. Start by getting a higher proportion of your calories from protein
    Multiple studies1,2 have shown that people who eat diets that are proportionally higher in protein are more likely to lose weight.  Just remember the keyword here is “proportional” – replace some of the existing carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet with high-protein ones to avoid increasing total calories.

    Additionally, make sure you get your protein from the right places. Avoid heavy, saturated fat-laden foods like bacon and soft cheeses.  Instead, focus on healthier, lean protein sources like low-fat dairy, chicken, fish, eggs and legumes.
  2. Increase your fibre intake
    An American study3 showed that women who ate diets that were higher in fibre and lower in fat tended to have lower BMIs.  Their conclusion was that “Weight control advice for US women should place greater emphasis on fibre consumption”

    Tips for boosting your fibre intake include eating more vegetables, whole grains, legumes (e.g. beans and peas) and fruits. Aim for at least 25g/day (women) or 30g/day (men).
  3. Aim for more sleep and less stress
    In a recent six-month study4, researchers found that people who slept 6-8 hours per night and stressed less at the beginning of the study lost more weight.  Stressed people who slept less than 6 hours or more than 8 hours per night were far less likely to lose weight.

    To manage your sleep and stress levels, try to establish a regular sleep routine with around 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night.  And if stress is a consistent factor in your life, look at ways you can manage that. Meditation, yoga, relaxing music or simply walking are all great options.
None of these tips will help without that calorie-controlled diet and exercise routine we mentioned above.  But once you have the basics are in place, why not try these research-proven recommendations?

1Layman, DK, Evans E, Baum JI, Seyler J, Erickson DJ, Boileau R A. Dietary protein and exercise have additive effects on body composition during weight loss in adult women.  Journal of Nutrition 135(8), August 2005
2David S Weigle,Patricia A Breen,Colleen C Matthys,Holly S Callahan,Kaatje E Meeuws,Verna R Burden, and Jonathan Q Purnell.  A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations1,2,3. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.July 2005
3Howarth N, Huang TK, Roberts S and McRory M. Dietary Fiber and Fat Are Associated with Excess Weight in Young and Middle-Aged US Adults. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2005.
4Elder CR, Gullion CM, Funk KL, Debar LL, Lindberg NM and Stevens VJ. Impact of sleep, screen time, depression and stress on weight change in the intensive weight loss phase of the LIFE study. International Journal of Obesity, 2011.

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Three research-based tips to support healthy weight loss

Want to lose more weight? Read the 3 research recommendations to support your weight loss programme. Get the basics now.

Going crazy with all the conflicting weight loss advice?

For every piece of weight loss advice out there, there seems to be another one that contradicts it.  

One expert tells you to go high-protein and low-carb, while someone else says you need to watch your fat intake.  One guru claims that if you eat most of your calories at breakfast, you’ll lose more weight, while another says it just doesn’t matter.  And that doesn’t even begin to address all the strange and interesting supplements you can now find on the health store shelves.  

You already know you need to take in fewer calories through food than you burn during the day to lose weight.  But once you get past the basics of a calorie-controlled diet and an increase in exercise, what else can you do?

If the conflicting advice has you tearing your hair out, here are three solid, research-based recommendations to support your weight loss programme.

  1. Start by getting a higher proportion of your calories from protein
    Multiple studies1,2 have shown that people who eat diets that are proportionally higher in protein are more likely to lose weight.  Just remember the keyword here is “proportional” – replace some of the existing carbohydrate-rich foods in your diet with high-protein ones to avoid increasing total calories.

    Additionally, make sure you get your protein from the right places. Avoid heavy, saturated fat-laden foods like bacon and soft cheeses.  Instead, focus on healthier, lean protein sources like low-fat dairy, chicken, fish, eggs and legumes.
  2. Increase your fibre intake
    An American study3 showed that women who ate diets that were higher in fibre and lower in fat tended to have lower BMIs.  Their conclusion was that “Weight control advice for US women should place greater emphasis on fibre consumption”

    Tips for boosting your fibre intake include eating more vegetables, whole grains, legumes (e.g. beans and peas) and fruits. Aim for at least 25g/day (women) or 30g/day (men).
  3. Aim for more sleep and less stress
    In a recent six-month study4, researchers found that people who slept 6-8 hours per night and stressed less at the beginning of the study lost more weight.  Stressed people who slept less than 6 hours or more than 8 hours per night were far less likely to lose weight.

    To manage your sleep and stress levels, try to establish a regular sleep routine with around 6-8 hours of quality sleep each night.  And if stress is a consistent factor in your life, look at ways you can manage that. Meditation, yoga, relaxing music or simply walking are all great options.
None of these tips will help without that calorie-controlled diet and exercise routine we mentioned above.  But once you have the basics are in place, why not try these research-proven recommendations?

1Layman, DK, Evans E, Baum JI, Seyler J, Erickson DJ, Boileau R A. Dietary protein and exercise have additive effects on body composition during weight loss in adult women.  Journal of Nutrition 135(8), August 2005
2David S Weigle,Patricia A Breen,Colleen C Matthys,Holly S Callahan,Kaatje E Meeuws,Verna R Burden, and Jonathan Q Purnell.  A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations1,2,3. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.July 2005
3Howarth N, Huang TK, Roberts S and McRory M. Dietary Fiber and Fat Are Associated with Excess Weight in Young and Middle-Aged US Adults. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, September 2005.
4Elder CR, Gullion CM, Funk KL, Debar LL, Lindberg NM and Stevens VJ. Impact of sleep, screen time, depression and stress on weight change in the intensive weight loss phase of the LIFE study. International Journal of Obesity, 2011.

Three research-based tips to support healthy weight loss
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