Over the years, you’ve probably heard your fair share of impractical weight loss advice—whether it involves going on a strict juice fast or regularly skipping your meals in the name of a fancy new diet. And a lot of times these unhealthy standards are perpetuated by people who aren’t even close to being health experts.
While there is a lot of wacky weight loss advice out there, certain methods are actually approved by science. Having said that, here are ten legitimate, research-backed fastest ways to lose fat.
Drink more water
Along with being essential for survival, drinking more water can also help you lose body fat. Research by Dr Emily L Van Walleghen, Department of Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, USA, found that drinking water right before your meals can significantly suppress your appetite, leading to less calorie consumption. While another study by Dr Michael Boschmann, Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center, Humboldt-University, Berlin, Germany, found that drinking half a litre of water in one sitting may increase the calories you burn by 24–30% for an hour. When you drink more water, you tend to skip on sugary drinks, something that can significantly reduce your sugar intake and induce weight loss.
Add more protein to your diet
A protein-rich diet not only helps you gain healthy muscle, but is also one of the fastest ways to lose fat. The human body burns calories when digesting and metabolising the protein you eat, so a high-protein diet can significantly boost your metabolism. According to research by Dr David S Weigle, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, USA, a high-protein diet can suppress your appetite in a healthy way and make you feel more full even after consuming less amount of calories. The research showed that subjects that regularly consumed a high-protein diet, ate almost 400 fewer calories than the subjects that ate a carbohydrate-rich diet.
Eat whole foods
Everyone says that eating whole foods is better for your health and can help reduce weight. But did you ever wonder why? Research by Dr S H Holt, Department of Biochemistry, University of Sydney, Australia, states that most whole, single-ingredient foods are naturally very filling, making them an ideal addition to weight-loss diets. On the other hand, processed foods and refined grains contain added sugar and fat—something that you should avoid if you’re wondering how to lose body fat.
Try high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a workout regimen that alternates short periods of intense exercise with brief recovery periods, a process that elevates your heart rate. A study conducted by Dr M Heydari, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia, found that young men performing HIIT for 20 minutes three times weekly lost an average of 2 kilograms of body fat over a 12-week period, even with no other changes to their diet or lifestyle. The subjects also experienced a 17 percent reduction in belly fat.
Drink healthy caffeinated beverages
Unsweetened coffee and green tea are good for your health due to their high antioxidant content and can also help you lose body fat. According to research by Dr Michelle C Venables, Human Performance Laboratory, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, The University of Birmingham, UK, consuming green tea regularly may increase energy expenditure by 4 percent and increase selective fat burning by up to 17 percent. While another study by Dr I Hindmarch, HPRU Medical Research Centre, University of Surrey, UK, states that drinking black coffee may support weight loss by increasing energy levels and the amount of calories you burn.
Eat more slowly
When we eat too fast, we end up chewing our food less and consume more calories at an accelerated rate. This not only slows down the nutrient-absorption process, but can also lead to weight gain. According to research by Dr T Ohkuma, Center for Cohort Studies, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan, eating quickly is positively associated with excess body weight and fast eaters are more likely to become obese. Another research by Dr Alexander Kokkinos, First Department of Propaedeutic Medicine, Athens University Medical School,Greece, states that chewing more slowly can help increase the production of hormones that are linked to weight loss.
Spice up your meals
This should be fairly easy as most Indian recipes call for green chillies. If you have a taste for extra spicy food, it can prove to be one of the fastest ways to lose fat—thanks to a compound called capsaicin. According to research by Dr Mary-Jon Ludy, Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, USA, green chilli peppers and jalapeños are loaded with capsaicin, which may boost metabolism and increase the burning of fat. Capsaicin has also been shown to reduce appetite and decrease calorie intake.
Probiotics are live microorganisms we get from different foods to support optimal functioning of the digestive system. They are also known as ‘good bacteria’ that fight off ‘bad bacteria’ and help the body digest food more easily. According to research by Dr Akihiro Ogawa, Milk Science Research Institute, Saitama, Japan, along with improving gut health, probiotics can also block the absorption of dietary fat, while reducing appetite and inflammation, ultimately leading to weight loss. Out of all the probiotic bacteria, Lactobacillus gasseri shows the most promising effects on weight loss. You can increase your Lactobacillus intake by consuming fermented foods, such as yogurt, kefir, miso, kimchi, tempeh, miso, pickles, and sauerkraut.
Get enough sleep
Wondering how to lose body fat? Just get more sleep. We all know that sleep is vital for our overall health. But did you know that getting enough sleep can also prevent weight gain? A study conducted by Dr Francesco P Cappuccio, Clinical Sciences Research Institute, University of Warwick Medical School, Coventry, UK, found that sleep-deprived people are up to 55 percent more likely to become obese, compared to those who get enough sleep every night. This is because sleep deprivation tends to disrupt the daily fluctuations in appetite hormones, leading to poor appetite regulation and ultimately, weight gain.
Try Glucomannan supplements
If you want to speed up your weight loss even further, you can try certain healthy supplements. Glucomannan is a water-soluble, natural dietary fibre that is extracted from the roots of the konjac plant, which is also known as the elephant yam. It is one of the very few scientifically proven supplements that can aid weight loss and is one of the fastest ways to lose fat. According to research by Dr N C Howarth, glucomannan is a low-calorie, fibre-rich compound that takes up space in the stomach and delays stomach emptying. It also reduces the absorption of protein and fat, and feeds the beneficial gut bacteria, ultimately leading to weight loss.