Why am I gaining weight?
Your favorite pair of pants used to zip easily, but lately you can barely get them over your hips, and since you haven’t surely done anything differently, you’re probably wondering, “why am I gaining weight? Is it time to go for fat loss?”
Do you feel as if you’re gaining weight no matter what you do?
If you’re attempting to reach or keep a healthy body weight, it’s disheartening to watch the numbers on the scale go in the wrong direction. You are left frustrated and wondering, “why do I gain weight so easily?”
You’re not alone. Many people who eat healthily, stick to their fitness program, and drink plenty of water may still gain weight suddenly and rapidly. Although it may appear that you’re gaining weight for no reason, there are several typical reasons why you’re suddenly piling on the pounds.
If you’re having trouble achieving your health and fitness goals, consider asking yourself a few questions. While maintaining your exercise and diet programs are still essential for you to reach your weight reduction goals, unwanted weight gain can happen for a variety of reasons that often go unnoticed.
We discovered the most common reasons why you’re gaining weight and dug deep into the latest research articles in order to figure how to overcome each, so you can get back to your desired weight.
In this article, we will also discuss the best science-backed Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
20 Reasons Why You Are Putting On Weight
1. Eating too many highly processed foods
Highly processed foods, such as sugary cereals, fast food, and microwave dinners, contain a slew of harmful chemicals, as well as added sugars, preservatives, and fats that are detrimental to health.
Furthermore, numerous research have linked highly processed meals to weight gain as well as a growing obesity epidemic in the United States and across the world
A 2019 study of 19,363 Canadian adults published in BMJ Open found that individuals who consumed the most ultra-processed meals were 32% more likely to be obese than those who ate the least.
Highly processed foods are frequently high in calories but low in essential nutrients, such as protein and fiber, which help you feel full. In fact, in a two-week trial of 20 people, those on an ultra-processed diet consumed 500 more calories per day than those on an unprocessed diet.
As a result, you should consider restricting processed meals and snacks and eating more whole foods.
2. Eating a lot of sugary foods
Sugary food and beverages, such as candy, cakes, soda, sports drinks, ice cream, iced tea, and sweetened coffee drinks, can quickly increase your waistline. Many studies link sugar intake not only to weight gain but also an increased risk of chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Sugar is high in fructose, which has been linked to a number of chronic illnesses when consumed in excessive amounts. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and fatty liver disease are just a few of the conditions.
Furthermore, several studies have shown a link between excessive sugar consumption and abdominal fat. It’s crucial to realize that excess of anything, not just refined sugar, can cause belly fat accumulation. Even healthier sugars, such as natural honey, should be used only occasionally.
3. Eating too much healthy food
“There is a misconception that if a food is considered ‘healthy, you can eat as much of it as you want,” says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, and author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook. “The reality is that is not true. Foods like avocados, nuts, nut butters, hummus, cauliflower crust pizza, etc. are nutrient-rich for sure, but they still provide calories and thus you have still need to watch your portion sizes. Weight gain occurs when we take in more calories than we need to maintain our weight. Whether those calories come from fast food or nuts, they are still calories. Sure, one is high-quality calories, but still, they must be considered.”
While nutritious meals are good for your health, they too contain calories, so, regardless of what you eat, you must still track your calorie intake. Nuts, for example, while having a long list of health benefits are still high in calories. Macadamia nuts, for instance, contain as much as 950 calories per cup (132 grams). If you’re a nut enthusiast, it’s easy to eat too many of them, assuming you can munch on as many as you want throughout the day. Consequently, your weight loss plan is nowhere to be found since you are eating too many nuts.
A few foods are extremely hard to overeat, such as nonstarchy vegetables, which are high in fiber and water and contain very few calories. On the other hand, it’s important to keep track of starchy vegetables like potatoes and corn. Is it possible to eat too much vegetation? This is determined by the type you are consuming.
Another issue is low-fat and fat-free foods. These may have a low amount of fat, but they are high in sugars. As a result, it’s critical to pay attention to the calorie content of such meals and eat them in moderation.
4. Eating Quickly
People are now busier than ever before, and they eat their meals more quickly than in the past. However, eating rapidly may lead to weight gain. People who eat their meals fast are more likely to be overweight or obese, according to research. This is because it takes time for your body to send a signal to your brain that you’ve had enough. As a result, individuals who eat rapidly may consume far more food than their bodies require before they feel full. If you’re a fast eater, try to become more aware of your eating habits by chewing more and taking smaller bites.
Fast eating has been linked to a variety of other health issues, including:
Insulin resistance – Eating too fast, is linked to an increased risk of insulin resistance, which is characterized by high blood sugar and insulin levels. It’s a sign of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Type 2 diabetes – Fast eating has been linked to a higher incidence of type 2 diabetes. Fast eaters were found to be 2.5 times more likely to get diabetes than people who ate slowly in one study, according to the researchers, there is a link between how fast you eat and your risk of getting diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome – A number of studies have linked rapid eating to metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of risk factors that might increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Poor digestion – Fast eaters are more prone to have a poor digestive system as a result of eating too rapidly. They may take larger bites and chew their food less, which can have an impact on digestion.
Lower satisfaction – Fast eaters find their meals less enjoyable than slow eaters, according to the researchers. This may not be a health hazard in and of itself, but it is significant.
5. You have a sedentary lifestyle
Inactivity is a risk factor for weight gain and chronic illness. Sedentary activities include working at a computer or phone, watching television, driving, and so on. In a 464-person study, researchers discovered that people with obesity and excessive weight spent an average of 6.2 hours every day sitting on working days and 6 hours every day sitting on non-working days. Work-related activities accounted for the most time, followed by television viewing.
Making a few minor lifestyle adjustments, such as exercising and sitting less, can provide a substantial benefit.
A 3-month study in 317 workers, for example, discovered that replacing just one hour of sitting with 1 hour of standing throughout the day reduced total fat mass and waist circumference while increasing lean muscle volume.
In fact, a recent study found that engaging in too much screen time may significantly contribute to unintentional weight gain. Small changes, such as going for a walk after dinner rather than watching television, exercising, or walking during your lunch break, as well as investing in a standing or treadmill desk and cycling to work can all help you lose weight.
6. Not Drinking Enough Water
According to estimates, between 16 and 28 percent of people do not drink enough water, with the elderly being more prone. Dehydration can make you thirsty. Surprisingly, the body may mistake thirst as evidence of hunger or food cravings.
People who drank two cups of water before breakfast ate 22% fewer calories at breakfast, according to one study.
Plain water has no calories, which is the best part of all. Some studies suggest that replacing sugar-sweetened beverages with water may help people reduce their calorie intake by up to 200 per day.
If plain water bores you, try slicing a cucumber, lemon, or other fruit for a little flavor.
7. Engaging in Yo-Yo dieting
Yo-yo dieting is the act of reducing weight by eating less and then regaining it. This pattern is significantly linked to weight gain over time.
In a study of 2,785 individuals, those who had dieted in the previous year had greater BMI and waist circumference than people who hadn’t dieted. According to several studies, restricting your eating and dieting may lead to weight gain in the future due to your body’s physiological responses, such as hunger and fullness hormones. Plus, the majority of individuals who lose weight through a restrictive dieting regain all or most of it within 5 years.
To keep weight off for good, make permanent lifestyle changes a top priority. Exercise, eliminating processed and sugary foods from your diet, and eating nutrient-dense, whole foods high in fiber and protein are all examples of long-term sustainable adjustments.
8. Being Too Social
To keep weight off long-term, you should concentrate on permanent lifestyle modifications. Exercising, eliminating processed and sugary foods, and eating nutrient-dense, whole food meals that are high in fiber and protein are all examples of sustainable changes.
While having a social life is critical for maintaining a pleasant work-life balance, being too sociable may cause you to gain weight. When you’re out and about, food or drink may frequently be provided at social events, which can quickly add unwanted calories to your diet.
It’s also been shown that individuals tend to eat like the people they’re with. As a result, if your friends eat enormous quantities of food or want unhealthy foods, you’re more inclined to do the same.
9. Not Getting Enough Sleep
A third of Americans do not get enough sleep. Unfortunately, a lack of sleep is closely associated with obesity. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including hormonal shifts and a lack of desire to exercise.
In research conducted over 16 years, scientists examined the sleeping habits of more than 68,000 women. Women who slept fewer than 5 hours each night had a far higher chance of gaining weight than those who slept 7 hours or more, according to the study. People who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to acquire belly fat, or visceral fat, as well. Visceral fat accumulation is linked to an increased risk of deadly illnesses such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
10. You’re stressed out
Chronic stress is most often a common issue that can very likely affect your weight. Cortisol levels have been linked to increased hunger and a preference for highly palatable, calorie-dense meals, which can lead to weight gain. Furthermore, research shows that persons with obesity have higher cortisol levels than people who do not have this condition. Consequently, it’s not surprising that stress management might help you lose weight.
In an 8-week study of 45 people with obesity, those who utilized relaxation methods such as deep breathing lost significantly more weight than those who only received normal dietary advice.
Try incorporating evidence-based stress-relieving techniques into your daily routine to help you relax. Yoga, spending time in nature, and meditation are all examples of such practices.
11. You eat too many calories
Overeating remains a prominent cause of weight gain. You’ve certainly heard the importance of “calories in versus calories out” when it comes to weight loss. This concept is based on the idea that as long as you eat fewer calories than you burn, you’re bound to lose weight. In other words, if you are consuming more calories than you burn every day, you are very likely to gain weight.
Uncontrolled eating, snacking frequently and making calorie-dense, nutrient-poor food selections all contribute to overeating. It might be tough to calculate your calorie needs on your own, therefore seek the advice of a certified dietitian if you have trouble with overeating.
Pay attention to hunger and fullness signals by eating carefully, following a high-fiber, high-protein diet rich in plant foods, drinking water instead of calorie-rich beverages, and getting more active.
Obesity is a heritable condition. Obese parents’ children are much more likely to become overweight than those from lean families. That does not, however, imply that obesity is completely determined. The kind of genes that are expressed in your body can be influenced by what you eat.
Non-industrialized communities rapidly get fat when they start eating a typical Western diet. Their genes did not change, but the environment and the messages it sent to their genes did. Simply said, your susceptibility to gaining weight is influenced by genetics. This has been proved very convincingly in studies on identical twins.
People all across the world are being misinformed about their health and diets. There are many reasons for this, but the problem largely depends on where people get their information from. Many websites or so-called social media fitness influencers, for example, spread inaccurate or even incorrect information about health, fitness, and nutrition.
Some news publications simplify or misinterpret the findings of scientific research, and their conclusions are frequently taken out of context. The information may be outdated, based on theories that have never been fully substantiated, or both.
The media and food industry also has an impact. Some adverts promote useless products, such as weight-loss supplements. False information can hold you back when it comes to weight reduction. It’s critical to pick your sources carefully.
14. You never indulge
“Why am I gaining weight if I’m following my diet strictly?” you might be wondering. And we have the solution: you’re taking it a little too seriously. You don’t have to limit yourself entirely when attempting to reduce weight—enjoy life a little! It’ll aid in the reduction of recent weight gain. Having a cheat day (or even cheat days) while dieting may actually aid weight reduction, according to an International Journal of Obesity study.
When people switched between adhering to a rigorous diet for two weeks and then cheating for two weeks, they lost more weight than those who stayed on a rigid diet the whole time, according to Australian researchers. Bonus: When the research was completed, those in the “cheater” group had regained less weight than those who did not cheat.
Eat the real thing, but scale down your portion to get back to a trimmer version of yourself. If you enjoy ice cream, for example, opt for a small scoop of premium instead of fro-yo.
15. Eating in Front of the TV
Many people eat while watching TV, surfing the web, or reading the newspaper. However, eating while distracted might result in you consuming more food. People ate more food during a meal when they were distracted, according to a meta-analysis of 24 studies.
Those who ate while distracted, consumed significantly more food later in the day. This might be due to a lack of awareness of how much food they had eaten throughout the meal.
Remove all distractions while eating and focus on your meal. Mindful eating is the act of purposefully concentrating only on your food during this process.
16 Not Eating Enough Protein
Protein deficiency might be causing you to gain weight. Protein helps you stay fuller for longer, thereby making you eat less food. Protein increases the production of fullness hormones like peptide YY, GIP, and GLP-1 in the body. It also tells the body to make fewer hunger hormones such as ghrelin.
It’s also been shown that a diet high in protein aids in the maintenance of one’s metabolism and muscle mass — both of which are essential for maintaining a healthy weight.
To increase your protein intake, consume more protein-rich meals like eggs, meat, fish, tofu, and lentils.
17 Not Eating Enough Fiber
Because fiber curbs your appetite, it helps you feel fuller for longer, a lack of it in your diet might be causing you to gain weight. A study discovered that increasing your daily fiber intake by 14 grams per day may lower your calorie consumption by 10%. This might result in a weight reduction of up to 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg) over four months.
Despite the fact that the effects of fiber on weight reduction are up for debate, fiber has been shown to help maintain a healthy waistline. Beans and legumes, as well as vegetables, may be eaten to increase your fiber intake. Alternatively, you might consider taking a soluble fiber supplement like glucomannan.
18. Having Irregular Mealtimes
Delaying meals every now and then isn’t harmful, but eating at irregular intervals on a regular basis may be detrimental to your health and waistline.
In one study of 11 people, researchers discovered that individuals who ate at regular mealtimes frequently felt less hungry before and fuller after a meal. This implies that those who have irregular mealtimes are more likely to feel hungry and eat more food.
The most significant fact is that those who skip meals are more prone to develop chronic illnesses. This includes metabolic syndrome, heart disease, insulin resistance, and poor blood sugar management, among other things.
In theory, irregular mealtimes may promote these harmful effects by affecting your body’s internal clock. This internal clock helps regular processes like appetite, metabolism and digestion, so irregular eating may disrupt their rhythm.
19. Not Paying Attention To Sodium Intake
A high-sodium diet might cause you to retain water and bloat. When you retain water in your stomach, it may appear as though you have gained weight there suddenly.—when it’s just water weight. Sodium’s effect on weight is fickle – easy come, easy go.
The solution: Increase your water intake and reduce sodium consumption. Fresh herbs instead of salt in your food should help your tummy deflate in a day or two. Dining out? Before you go out, read the nutrition information at home to choose a nutritious restaurant meal with less than 1,000 milligrams of sodium.
20. Medical Reasons For Putting On Weight
Most people put on weight because they eat and drink more calories than they burn through everyday movement and body functions. However, in certain circumstances, your weight increase might be the consequence of an underlying health condition.
Here are 9 medical issues that can cause weight gain
1. Underactive thyroid:
An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is an illness in which your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones, which are important for regulating metabolism. Although an underactive thyroid can affect people of any age and gender, it is most common in older women. Some newborns are afflicted with an underactive thyroid, and the condition can develop in children.
Thyroid hormone deficit can cause weight gain due to a slowing of the body’s metabolism. The condition is usually treated with levothyroxine, a daily hormone replacement pill.
2. Diabetes treatment:
Insulin is a hormone that regulates sugar levels in the body. Many people who use insulin to manage diabetes gain weight. Many people with long-term diabetes eat more than they require to prevent low blood sugar, otherwise known as a “hypo” or hypoglycaemia.”
Insulin is also responsible for instructing fat cells to store fat and retaining any existing fat. In many overweight and obese people, the Western diet promotes insulin resistance. This raises insulin levels throughout the body, causing energy to be stored as fat instead of being available for use.
Insulin’s involvement in obesity is debatable, however, several studies show that high insulin levels contribute to the development of obesity. Furthermore, to prevent a hypo incident, you may overeat and get more calories than required.
While increasing fiber intake is one of the greatest insulin lowering techniques, reducing simple or refined carbohydrates while boosting complex carbohydrates may help you get rid of excess pounds.
This common mental condition is linked to weight gain and obesity. The occurrence of depression in persons who are obese is said to be twice as common as that of individuals who are not overweight. There may be a bi-directional link between obesity and depression.
According to some studies, depression leads to weight gain and obesity, while other research has shown that those who are obese are more likely to develop depression later on.
Women who become depressed tend to gain weight across their lives at a higher rate than males who do.
4. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS):
PCOS is an endocrine disorder that primarily affects women of reproductive age. It might cause weight gain and make it more difficult to lose weight. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, is a complex disease that affects about 7% of adult females. PCOS affects 5 million women of childbearing age in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health Office of Disease Prevention.
Lowering insulin levels in women with PCOS by eating a low-GI, low-carb, high fiber diet may aid in weight reduction. Protein may also be beneficial in weight loss, especially for women with PCOS. Consider adding high-protein, low-carbohydrate foods like eggs, nuts, and fish to your diet.
Inflammation is prevalent in women with PCOS and has been linked to obesity. A diet high in whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables, may help to prevent inflammation.
Chronic calorie restriction may cause your metabolism to slow down, possibly leading to weight gain. Instead of trying to cut down on your food intake, consider adopting a healthy diet including whole, unprocessed meals to assist you to reduce weight.
Both cardio and strength training can help women with PCOS lose body fat and improve insulin sensitivity by reducing insulin resistance.
5. Binge eating disorder (BED):
BED is a neuroendocrine-based eating disorder characterized by recurring episodes of uncontrollable overeating that can lead to a variety of health problems, including weight gain. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), “BED is defined by several criteria. Individuals must report consuming an unusually large amount of food in a short duration (compared to what others may consume in a similar situation) in addition to experiencing a loss of control over one’s eating behavior during this time. In addition, at least three of the following characteristics must also be present: consuming food much more rapidly than normal, eating food until uncomfortably full, consuming large amounts of food when not hungry, consuming food alone to avoid embarrassment, or feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty after the eating event.”
Binge-eating disorder (BED) and night-eating syndrome (NES) are two types of disordered eating linked to obesity. Although these problems affect non-obese people as well, they appear to be linked with weight gain over time and a higher incidence of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Higher rates of depression, anxiety, and sleep problems have been observed in individuals with BED and NES compared to those with normal weight status without disordered eating.
Binging may be caused by eating habits that are too restricted. The key to a healthy, long-term diet is to eat mostly whole, unprocessed meals on a regular basis while allowing yourself treats every now and then. Fill up on healthy, low-calorie, high-fiber meals to assist you feel fuller longer.
As people get older, their muscles begin to deteriorate gradually. This happens as a result of less activity. Muscles are an effective calorie burner, so a loss of muscle tissue can indicate that you burn fewer calories. If you’re eating and drinking the same amount as you’ve always done and are less active than usual, you’ll gain weight. To keep your muscles healthy and prevent loss, continue to be active and do regular muscle-strengthening exercises.
Adults should aim to do strengthening exercises that target all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms) at least two days each week, At least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity each week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise each week. A great tip is to spread your activity out over 4 to 5 days each week, or every day and reduce sitting or resting time and break up lengthy times of inactivity with some physical activity.
7. Steroid treatment
Corticosteroids, commonly known as steroids, are used to treat a variety of illnesses, such as asthma and arthritis. Long-term usage of corticosteroid pills has been linked to an increased appetite in some people, resulting in weight gain. The greater the dose and the longer you take steroids, the more weight you are likely to gain. This is due to the fact that steroids make you feel hungry, affecting areas in your brain that regulate feelings of hunger and fullness.
During your steroid course, pay particular attention to what you eat so that you don’t consume more than usual.
It’s not a smart idea to cut back or cease your steroid therapy halfway. If you’re concerned about weight gain, see your doctor for advice on how to manage it.
8. Cushing’s syndrome
Cushing’s syndrome is quite rare, affecting just 1 in 50,000 people, and is caused by high levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Cushing’s disease can occur as a side effect of prolonged steroid therapy, (iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome) or as a consequence of a tumor (endogenous Cushing’s syndrome).
Cushing’s disease causes weight gain, particularly on the chest, face, and abdomen. This happens because cortisol encourages fat to be relocated to these areas. Treatment will most often involve stopping or reducing steroid usage, or removing the tumor with surgery.
9 Fluid retention
Fluid retention (oedema) causes the body to become swollen, causing weight gain. Fluid buildup in the body results in this gain. Fluid retention can happen for a variety of reasons, such as if you’re standing for lengthy periods or just before your period begins. Swelling may affect one particular region of the body, such as the ankles, or it can be widespread.
Breathing difficulties can result from severe fluid retention, as well. If you have swollen ankles during the day, have to get up to pee at night, and must sleep on a few pillows to prevent breathlessness, you should see your GP. Fluid retention might be a sign of an underlying heart or kidney problem, as these examples illustrate.
10. Leptin Resistance
Leptin is another hormone that plays an important role in obesity, and is produced by fat cells and its blood levels increase with higher fat mass. Leptin levels are especially high in those who are overweight due to this.
High leptin levels are linked to lower hunger in healthy people. When it is working appropriately, it should inform your brain how much fat you have stored..
Leptin isn’t functioning properly in many obese individuals because it can’t pass the blood-brain barrier for some reason.
Leptin resistance, or leptin insensitivity, is a term used to describe the inability of our bodies to properly utilize leptin. It’s been associated with and plays a role in the development of obesity.
So now you know, there are several little factors that might cause you to gain weight. However, you can make small adjustments to your daily routine now to account for them. You may get the most out of your healthy diet and exercise regimen by following just a few of the suggestions in this article, as well as avoid unintentionally sabotaging it.
Don’t fall into the trap of believing too much in alluring enticing headlines that claim to help you lose weight just by following some diets. We would talk about the fundamentals of fat loss which would help you build a strong understanding of what may or may not work.
Basics Of Fat Loss
What is healthy weight loss?
It’s natural for anybody wanting to reduce weight to want to do so as quickly as possible. However, those who lose weight at a slower rate (about 1-2 pounds each week) are more successful at keeping the weight off long term. A healthy weight reduction strategy isn’t simply about a “diet” or “program.” It’s about making long-term adjustments to daily eating and activity behaviors.
Even a modest weight loss of 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight is likely to have health advantages, such as lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels.
If your weight is 200 pounds and you want to lose 5% of that amount, you must reduce your weight by 10 pounds, putting you at 190 pounds. Although this is a modest weight loss, it can help you reduce your risk factors for chronic obesity-related illnesses.
According to the National Weight Control Registry, people who have maintained a large weight loss for a long period of time experienced physical health improvements as well as increased energy levels, physical mobility, general mood, and self-esteem.
If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you would have probably heard about the importance of “calories in versus calories out.”
The “Calories In Versus Calories Out” Model
This theory is built on the notion that if you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. In other words, to maintain a constant weight, your calorie intake must equal your calorie expenditure.
“Calories in” is the amount of calories you consume, while “calories out” is the number of calories you burn.
There are three main bodily processes that burn calories:
Basic metabolism. Your body uses most of the calories you get from food to sustain basic functions, such as your heartbeat. This is commonly referred to as your basal metabolic rate (BMR)
Digestion. The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the term for how much of a meal’s calories are used to power digestion. The thermic effect of food varies depending on the meals you consume and is typically around 10-15% of the total calories consumed.
Physical activity. The leftover calories you get from your diet are intended to fuel your physical activity, including workouts and everyday activities such as walking, reading, and washing dishes.
When the calories you consume equal the calories you burn to keep your metabolism, digestion, and physical activity going, your weight will not fluctuate. As a result, the “calories in vs. calories out’ theory is entirely accurate. To lose weight, you need a calorie deficit. However, the situation is not all that simple. Although to lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you burn, there are other factors at play too.
According to certain studies, what you eat is more important than how much you consume, implying that the calorie content of your diet is unimportant for weight reduction. These studies, however, are founded on a few faulty premises. Those who argue that low-carb diets help people lose more weight than other types of eating plans, despite consuming the same number of (or even more) calories, frequently rely on diet journals to calculate calorie intake. The problem is that while diet journals are useful, they are often inaccurate, even when completed by nutrition experts.
Furthermore, many studies merely report overall weight reduction without stating whether the reduction came from muscle, fat, or water loss.
Different types of diets have varying degrees of muscle and water loss, which might lead people to believe that they are more effective for fat reduction when this isn’t the case. These variables, when taken into account, consistently show that weight reduction is always caused by a calorie deficit. This is true whether you consume your calories from carbohydrates, fat, or protein.
Here we would like to emphasize the fact that Health is more than just ‘calories in vs. calories out, because different foods can affect your hormone levels in different ways.
Metabolism varies depending on the types of nutrients you consume. Some, for example, require more effort to digest, absorb, or metabolize than others.The higher the TEF(thermic effect of food), the more energy a food requires to be metabolized. While fat has the lowest TEF, Protein has the highest. This implies that a high-protein diet needs more calories to be metabolized than a low-protein diet does.
Protein is particularly effective at boosting your metabolism, which is why eating it is frequently said to be superior for burning fat than consuming carbohydrates or fats. When it comes to weight loss, however, the TEF of meals appears to have only a minor influence on your calorie balance.
So the bottom line is that from a strictly biological perspective, the “calories in versus calories out” model matters for weight loss, however, it fails to consider nutrient density, which is essential to your health. Your hormones, metabolism, hunger, and satiety, as well as feelings of fullness, are all influenced by different foods in various ways. If you restrict yourself to counting calories only, you may be missing the larger picture.
Now, that we are clear about the basics of fat loss, here are some healthy weight-loss macro strategies that include eating nutritious food, potentially fewer carbohydrates, and that aim to: reduce your appetite, cause fast weight loss, and improve your metabolic health at the same time
How to Lose Weight Fast in 3 Simple Steps
1. Cut back on refined carbs
Cutting carbohydrates, or sugars and starches, is one way to reduce weight quickly. This can be accomplished through a low-carb diet or by replacing refined carbohydrates with whole grains. If you eat that way, your hunger levels will go down, and you’ll consume less calories. You’ll burn stored fat for energy instead of carbs when you have a low-carb diet.
Low-carb diets are also shown to reduce hunger, which may help you consume fewer calories without thinking about it or becoming hungry.
It’s important to remember that the long-term consequences of a low carbohydrate diet are still being studied. Adhering to a low carb diet might be difficult, which can lead to yo-yo eating and less success in maintaining a healthy weight. Here, it’s worth noting that reduced-calorie diets can also lead to weight loss and be easier to maintain for longer periods of time.
2. Eat protein, fat, and vegetables
Each one of your meals should include: a protein source, fat source, vegetables and a small portion of complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains
You must consume the appropriate amount of protein to help you preserve your health and muscle mass as you lose weight. Evidence suggests that eating adequate protein may improve cardiometabolic risk factors, appetite, and body weight.
There are many factors that determine your protein needs, but generally, an average person needs
- 56–91 grams per day for the average male
- 46–75 grams per day for the average female
Diets with adequate protein can also help reduce cravings and obsessive thoughts about food by 60% and reduce the desire to snack late at night by half, it also makes you feel full.
In one study, people on a higher protein diet ate 441 fewer calories per day.
Healthy protein sources include: meat (beef, chicken, pork, and lamb), fish and seafood (salmon, trout, and shrimp), eggs (whole eggs with the yolk), plant-based proteins (beans, legumes, quinoa, tempeh, and tofu)
Don’t be scared of eating fats. Why? Regardless of what diet you choose, your body still requires healthy fats. A healthy vegetable oil, such as olive or avocado oil, can be used in place of margarine and should be included in your meal plan.
Because of their greater saturated fat content, butter and coconut oil should only be consumed in moderation.
Low carb and leafy green vegetables
Don’t be scared to fill your plate with leafy green vegetables. They’re high in nutrients and can be eaten in large amounts without adding a lot of calories or carbohydrates. Vegetables to include for low carb or low-calorie eating plans: broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes, kale, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, Swiss chard, lettuce, cucumber.
3. Increase Your Activity Level
While exercise is not required for weight loss, it may help you lose weight faster. Lifting weights has several advantages. You’ll burn a lot of calories while lifting weights, which will help prevent your metabolism from slowing down as you lose weight.
To develop muscle, you should work out at least three to four times a week. If you’re new to the gym, seek guidance from a trainer. Make sure your doctor is aware of any new exercise plans that you’ve started.
If weightlifting is not an option for you, doing cardiovascular exercises such as walking, jogging, running, cycling, or swimming is quite beneficial for weight reduction and general health. To sum it up, both cardio and weightlifting can help with weight loss.
Can I Reduce Fat From My Tummy Only? Is Spot Reduction Possible?
Is it possible to reduce fat from specific body parts? “Tone up those abs! Melt that fat! Feel the burn!” Sound familiar? In the fitness industry (especially the social media scenario), phrases such as these are abundant. Are they meaningful, though? Are they detracting us from more essential factors of fitness and distorting our understanding of the most efficient and effective strategies to achieve our objectives?
Almost everyone would like to change certain parts of their body as people tend to accumulate extra fat in their waistline, thighs, buttocks, and arms. The practice of targeting “trouble areas” with isolation exercises instead of a comprehensive training program is just as prevalent and ineffective as ever. The idea of spot reduction is based on the incorrect belief that training a particular muscle will result in fat loss in that specific area of the body.
And the worse part is that for years the scientific consensus has been out that spot reduction doesn’t work, yet popular workouts and recommendations continue to push and sell this idea to people.
How Fat Loss Works
It is important to understand how the body burns fat in order to understand why spot reduction may not be effective.
Fat is stored in the form of triglycerides and is present in the form of fat cells. Triglycerides are fats that the body can utilize for energy. Triglycerides must first be broken down into smaller parts called free fatty acids and glycerol before they can be used as fuel. The free fatty acids and glycerol used as fuel during exercise can come from any part of the body, not just the target region.
Aside from failing to correlate with the body’s fat-burning mechanism, several studies have demonstrated that spot reduction is ineffective. For example, one research in 24 individuals who only completed abdominal-focused workouts for six weeks found that there was no decrease in belly fat.
Another research that followed 40 overweight and obese women for 12 weeks discovered that abdominal muscle resistance training had no impact on belly fat reduction when compared to dietary intervention alone.
So the bottom line is – The authoritative scientific proof indicates that spot reduction is ineffective, and fat loss tends to be generalized to the entire body, not the body part being exercised.
So far, we've uncovered some of the top reasons why you're gaining weight and how to overcome each, so you can get back to your ideal weight. We also went through the basics of fat and weight loss and how easy it is to lose weight fast in 3 simple steps.
Let’s discuss a few simple tips which you can employ in your day to day life to get the scale moving
Weight Loss Tips That Are Actually Evidence-Based
1. Eat a high-protein breakfast
High-protein breakfasts might aid in the reduction of cravings and calorie intake over the course of the day. Protein is essential for muscle health and wellbeing, which is crucial because calorie burning depends on muscular activity.
Having eggs as your protein source for breakfast not only boosts your metabolism and help you lose weight, it may also assist you in eating less for the next 36 hours. Replace a grain-based breakfast with eggs and you’ll consume fewer calories for the next 36 hours as well as lose more fat and body weight.
Many people believe that eating just the whites of eggs is healthier than eating whole eggs because they are less fatty. However, there are many advantages to consuming whole eggs.
It’s fine if you don’t consume eggs. Any high-quality protein source for breakfast should suffice.
2. Drink Water, Especially Before Meals
Drinking water has long been said to aid weight reduction — and that is true.
Drinking water may boost metabolism by 24–30% for 1–1.5 hours, allowing you to burn off a few more calories in that time period.
According to a research, drinking a half-liter (17 ounces) of water about half an hour before meals decreased calorie consumption by 44% compared to those who didn’t drink the water.
3. Avoid sugary drinks and fruit juice
Empty calories from sugar aren’t useful to your body and can hinder weight loss. Another way to look at it might be to avoid drinking your calories, as doing so can help to save you hundreds of ‘empty calories’ and tons of added sugar.
Plain water should be your drink of choice, with coffee (unsweetened), teas, sparkling water, and clear broth as alternatives.
4. Cut Back on Added Sugar
One of the most harmful components in today’s diet is added sugar. Most people eat far too much of it.
If you want to lose weight, limit your intake of added sugar. Just be sure to read labels; even though they are marketed as “healthy,” many so-called health foods may contain a lot of sugar.
5. Drink Coffee (Preferably Black)
Coffee has been unjustifiably maligned. Coffee, when of high quality, is high in antioxidants and has a wide range of health advantages.
Caffeine can increase metabolism by 3–11 percent and fat burning by up to 10–29% in lab tests, according to studies.
It’s also important to avoid adding excessive sugar or other high-calorie elements to your coffee. Any benefits will be rendered useless as a result of this.
6. Make Cardio Part Of Your Workout Regimen
Aerobic exercise (cardio) is a great method to burn calories while also benefiting your physical and emotional wellbeing.
7. Lift Weights
The downside of dieting is that it frequently causes muscular deterioration and metabolic stalling, which is known as starvation mode.
The best approach to avoid it is by performing some sort of resistance activity, such as lifting weights. Weightlifting has been proven in studies to help your metabolism stay high and prevent you from losing muscle mass.
Of course, losing fat is essential, but it’s also critical to gain muscle. Resistance exercise is essential for a toned physique.
8. Add high-intensity intervals to your workouts
If you are looking to lose weight through exercise, intense workouts not only are more efficient with your time, they burn off the pounds faster, too.
According to a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, interval training such as running sprints is more effective at reducing weight than continuous, moderate exercise such as brisk walking or cycling at a speed of 10 miles per hour for extended distances.
Interval exercises that may be done at home include Tabata sprints — a 20-second run followed by a 10-second rest — and burpees, or squat thrusts, with pushups.
9. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a popular eating pattern in which people cycle between periods of fasting and eating.
Short-term studies suggest intermittent fasting is as effective for weight loss as continuous calorie restriction.
Additionally, it may reduce the loss of muscle mass typically associated with low-calorie diets. However, higher-quality studies are needed before any stronger claims can be made.
The most common intermittent fasting methods include the following:
Alternate day fasting (ADF): Fast every other day and eat normally on non-fasting days. On fasting days, the modified version entails eating only 25–30 percent of one’s total energy requirement.
The 5:2 Diet: Fast on 2 out of every 7 days. On fasting days eat 500–600 calories.
The 16/8 method: Fast for 16 hours, eating only during an 8-hour window. The 8-hour period would generally be between noon and 8 p.m. According to research on this technique, people who ate during a restricted time consumed fewer calories and lost weight.
It’s important to follow a healthy eating plan on non-fasting days and to avoid over-eating.
10. Get Good Sleep
Sleep(proper recovery) is underappreciated, but it may be just as essential as eating nutritious food and exercising.
Poor sleep is one of the most significant risk factors for obesity, according to studies, as it is linked to an 89 percent higher chance of becoming obese in children and a 55 percent higher incidence in adults, studies have shown.
11. Eat soluble fiber.
Soluble fibers, according to studies, may aid in weight reduction. Glucomannan, a fiber found in konjac root, has been linked to weight reduction. This type of fiber absorbs moisture and stays in your stomach for a while, making you feel fuller and lowering the amount of calories you consume.
People who take glucomannan supplements, according to studies, lose more weight than those who don’t.
12. Eat Less Refined Carbs
Refined carbohydrates are sugar and grains that have been stripped of their fibrous, nutritional components. White bread and pasta are examples of refined carbohydrates.
Refined carbohydrates, according to studies, can rapidly raise blood sugar levels, causing hunger, cravings, and a larger food intake a few hours later. Refined carbohydrates are strongly linked to obesity.
If you are going to eat carbohydrates, make sure they’re eaten with their natural fiber.
13. Go on a Low-Carb Diet
Low-carb diets limit (but not exclude) carbohydrates, such as those found in sugary and processed foods, pasta and bread. They’re high in protein, fat, and nutrient-dense veggies.
If you’re looking for all of the advantages of a low-carb diet, then go all in and commit to a low-carb diet.
Many studies have confirmed that a low-carb diet can help you lose twice as much weight as a traditional low-fat diet while also enhancing your health. However, it might take a few days to get over unpleasant symptoms on a low-carb diet and several weeks for total adaptation, so it’s crucial not to give up your diet too soon. Remember – Carbohydrate restriction isn’t enough to lose weight or improve health on its own. Make sure you eat a nutritious diet and get enough exercise to maintain good health.
14. Eat Whole, Single-Ingredient Foods (Real Food)
The best thing you can do for yourself if you want to be a slimmer, healthier person is to eat whole, single-ingredient meals.
These foods are filling by nature, so it’s difficult to put on weight if the bulk of your diet is composed of them.
15. Don’t Diet — Eat Healthy Instead
Do you know what’s the biggest problems with diets? It’s that they rarely work in the long term.
People who diet, if anything, tend to gain more weight over time, according to studies. Instead of restricting your calorie intake, aim to become a healthier, happier, and more athletic person. Rather than depriving your body of nutrients, focus on feeding it well.
Then, as a result of this change in perspective, you’ll be able to maintain your new weight for longer.
16. Exercise Portion Control or Count Calories
Portion control — simply eating less — or counting calories can be very useful, for obvious reasons.
Keeping a food diary or taking pictures of your meals has been shown to aid weight loss in certain studies.
Anything that enhances your awareness of what you are eating is likely to be beneficial.
17. Chew More Slowly
Chewing more slowly may not make sense at first, but once your brain understands you’ve had enough to eat, it will register the fact. Chewing more slowly has been shown in studies to help people consume fewer calories and boost hormone levels linked with weight reduction.
Consider chewing your meals more thoroughly as well. Chewing food longer has been shown in studies to help people consume fewer calories at a meal.
Mindful eating is all about paying attention to your meals, which can help you eat less and enjoy your food more.
18. Take Probiotic Supplements
Probiotic supplements that include Lactobacillus bacteria have been found to aid in the reduction of body fat.
However, this is not the case for all Lactobacillus species. Some research have suggested a connection between L. acidophilus and weight gain.
19. Eat Spicy Foods
Capsaicin, a spicy component present in chili peppers, can boost metabolism and decrease appetite slightly.
However, over time, individuals may become tolerant to the effects of capsaicin, limiting its long-term effectiveness.
20. Prepare meals and snacks ahead of time
Preparing a small number of meals and snacks beforehand may help you make better nutritional decisions. It also aids in the prevention of skipping meals, which can lead to excessive eating later in the day.
21. Take a brief walk after meals
Walking for a few minutes after dinner not only helps you get in more physical activity, but it also aids digestion and prevents bloating. When it comes to weight loss, it’s critical not to gain weight simply because of water or constipation. After your dinner, set a goal of 10-15 minutes.
The Bottom Line
In this article, we covered in detail the basics of fat loss, reasons that may be causing you to gain weight, and also a few practical tips to reduce weight.
As we observed, numerous techniques backed by science can aid your weight loss goals. The best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight is to eat a balanced, nutritious diet.
It’s vital to note that there are no overnight solutions when it comes to reducing weight.
Some of these suggestions are primarily nutritional in nature and involve increasing protein or reducing sugar. While others, such as improving sleep quality or adding a workout routine, are more lifestyle-based. Chewing more slowly, for example, is one method to begin practicing conscious eating.
If you follow a few of these suggestions, you’ll be well on your way to achieving your weight reduction goals.