The Science Behind Weight Loss that Lasts

Losing weight is not easy. Sometimes it's harder to keep the weight off once you've managed to lose it. Unfortunately, people make it harder than it has to be through fad diets instead of science-backed methods.

Avoid Yo-Yo Dieting

Dieting doesn't work. Perhaps you will lose a few pounds with your diet, but then you will gain it all back. Yo-yo dieting is only effective at screwing up your metabolism. The problem is that people want fast results which leads them to crash dieting or one of the latest fads. Although you can fine-tune your diet to maximize results, you can't keep the weight off by limiting calories to an unsustainable level or by cutting out entire food groups.

Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, and limit your calories to a reasonable amount. For example, women should never go below 1200 calories per day. Of course, a woman will lose weight quickly if she cuts calories below that target, but the body goes into starvation mode and holds on to fat, which is counterproductive.

Stay Away from Fad Diets

One of the most significant issues with fad diets is that they are rarely sustainable. Look back at history at some of the most prominent fads, and you're not likely to find anyone still completely eliminating carbs like the Atkins diet, or drinking shakes for two of their meals every day. Although components of the diet might be effective, these plans are designed to make the authors, doctors, or creators money, not to provide a lifelong health plan for you.

Time Your Meals

If you want to lose weight, there are a few scientific methods that work and last. Many people find long-lasting results by timing their meals. This is especially beneficial if you exercise to build muscle. Eating a small snack about an hour before you go to the gym can provide energy and offer muscle-building benefits.

Timing your meal too close to your workout often results in a stomachache and lower energy. You can also help build muscle by eating the right nutrients and timing it after your work out. Timing your meals helps you work out smarter, not harder, to achieve and maintain your fitness goals.

Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is another way to lose weight that is supported by science. Fasting has a long history of scientifically proven health benefits. Intermittent fasting is slightly different from traditional fasts where you may choose a day or couple days to not eat. With intermittent fasting, you typically fast for 16 hours every day, eating all your calories within an eight-hour window. If that's not sustainable for you, consider a 14-hour fast with a 10-hour window for eating.

The fast allows you to reboot, while the smaller eating window helps to limit your calories and reduce the risk of over-indulging. Although you still want to choose nutritious food during your eating period, the point isn't to count calories.

Trust science if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Although fad diets work for a short period, you will likely gain the weight back, and it will probably make it harder to lose weight the next time you try. 

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