20 Science-Backed Fat Loss Tips You Should Try Today

Fat-loss just got technical.

Looking for an edge to help you lose weight? Forget the fad diets and get on board with some actual facts.

Here are 20 science-backed fat loss tips you should try today.

1. Eat a high-protein diet

Think high-protein diets are for bodybuilders only? Not anymore, they’re not.

Filling your plate with amino rich food is perfect for fat loss. You genuinely don’t need to live in the gym to lean out with high-protein foods.

First of all, protein’s really filling, owning one of the highest satiety scores in food. So, just by eating more protein you can make meals more satisfying. This can make it easier to stop overeating, contributing to better weight loss[1][2]

Another reason to eat extra aminos is because protein protects muscle. By cutting calories without sacrificing protein, you continue nourishing your lean mass, while still burning fat.

Holding onto muscle also helps to keep your metabolism revving during weight loss[3]. Muscle needs energy to function, so the more you have, the faster your metabolism works.

2. Drink black coffee

Black Coffee

Chances are, you’re one of the millions who enjoys a hot cup of coffee every day. If not, here’s a reason to get you brewing up a shot of the black stuff – caffeine boosts fat burning.

How coffee helps you lose fat works using a double-barrel effect. Caffeine has the ability to both boost your metabolism and increase fatty acid breakdown[4].

Put plainly, caffeine, which coffee is crammed full of, is shown to increase how many calories you naturally burn at rest. It also helps your body unlock fatty acids from fat cells to use for fuel. If you’re in a calorie deficit, these fatty acids can be used for energy, meaning they’re used up and not deposited back into body fat stores.

Seriously, you can get both effects from every roasted bean. There’s much more to your morning mug than an energizing buzz. Enjoy your coffee black and keep it calorie-free.

3. Lift weights

Wait a minute, won’t weightlifting just make me big and bulky? Not when you actually look at the science, it won’t. We’re a big fan of the facts here.

Lifting weights is an indispensable fat burning tool. Much like coffee, it helps lean you out in two ways. In fact, combining weight training with caffeine can have some desirable performance enhancing effects.

To put it simply you could work harder, for longer, and burn extra fat[5].

Weightlifting is a fun and challenging way to push your body. It has a high-energy demand so it’s perfect for blasting through calories[6], and if your diet is on point, fat stores.

Resistance training is also a great tool for maintaining muscle mass too, which according to the experts is imperative while dieting[7][8].

Looking after your lean mass helps you to stay strong and keeps your metabolism rolling[9]. Hitting 10 weeks of resistance training could enhance resting calorie burn by 7% says one study[10].

What’s also worth noting is that your metabolism could be boosted for up to 36 hours post-weights workout too[11].

According to one study, weight training is excellent for reducing dangerous belly fat[12]. So, try adding three or four full-body sessions to your regimen.

4. Try HIIT workouts

HIIT workout

While you’re in the gym, why not swap a weights session for a HIIT workout? If you’re not a fan of steady, one-foot-in-front-of-the-other cardio, HIIT’s here to shift the weight.

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It can be incredible tough (intense), but oh so rewarding. Especially when it comes to fat loss.

One study from 2018 suggests that HIIT training on a hydraulic resistance system burns 25-35% more calories per minute than endurance training on a bicycle or treadmill. Interestingly, it beat 1RM training by the same amount too[13].

Other research has also shown that HIIT has genuine benefits for fat loss[14][15]. Calorie crushing aside, it’s helped many test subjects lose substantially more body fat than other control groups.

Some research even suggests HIIT boosts post-workout energy consumption too[16].

Most HIIT workouts last between 20-30 minutes. You might find it’s the easiest type of training to fit into a busy week.

5. Reduce stress

And breathe.

Stress is a surefire way to slow down fat burning. Get wound tightly enough and you might even start to reverse it.

Chronic stress causes a constant increase in the hormone cortisol. While this initial response can be useful in small doses, continuous release creates a hormone imbalance.

High-cortisol levels make you crave sweet, fatty, high-calorie foods and generally increases your appetite[17]. Caving into these cravings can quickly wipe out the calorie debt you need to lose fat.

You might gain weight instead, especially around your abdomen.  

The trick? Cut back the cortisol by setting boundaries and removing stressors. Ask your workplace, friends, and family to make adjustments if need be.

6. Track your calories

Eating all the right things but still can’t shift the pounds? You might be one of the many dieters who don’t realize just how much they’re eating. Yes, you can definitely have too much of a good thing.

Tracking calories takes the guess work out of food and lays down the facts. Given that the only way to effectively lose weight is with a calorie deficit, keeping a close eye on them is a smart move[18].

It’s really easy to creep over your daily count with an extra portion or two.

You don’t have to make tracking calories complicated. Simply download an app to your phone like MyFitnessPal or whip out the pen and paper. There’s no need to track your Saturday treat either – luckily.

7. Still eat healthy fats

Healthy fats

If you want to lose fat, it makes sense to stop eating them, right? Like a lot of things to do with weight loss, it’s not that straight forward.

Cutting out a few grams of fat from your diet makes sense – each gram of fat comes in at nine calories. But you shouldn’t be ditching them completely, not the healthy kind anyway.

Fat is slow to digest, so it can make gastric emptying move at a steadier pace. This is shown to help reduce appetite and hunger[19].

Plus, unhealthy lipids like trans fats are known to increase all types of fat, but particularly around the belly[20][21]. Swapping out bad trans fats for the healthy kind could help you lose that last inch.

8. Fill up on soluble fiber

Soluble fiber isn’t the first thing we think about for weight loss. But because it’s so good at absorbing liquid, it’s great for slowing down stomach emptying.

When soluble fiber soaks up water, it expands into a thick, viscous gel. Its consistency makes it move slowly through your digestive system, so you feel fuller for longer[22].

A large review of relevant studies suggests that upping your fiber by 14 grams a day can reduce calorie intake by 10%[23].

One of the most popular soluble fibers taken for weight loss is glucomannan[24]. Its impressive absorption and expanding quality make it a common addition to dietary fat loss supplements.

You can top up your other fiber intake by tucking into more fruits, legumes and vegetables. Many green veggies are low calorie too, meaning you can really fill your plate and add bulk.

9. Cut down your alcohol intake

Alcohol consumption

Enjoying a beer or two on the weekend shouldn’t make or break fat loss. But round after round of margaritas and a whiskey chaser definitely can. On first name terms with the local bar staff? It might be time to cut back on your drinking habits.

Excessive alcohol consumption is bad for your health – bottom line. It can seriously hold back your weight loss efforts as well.

Alcohol is almost like the fourth macronutrient we all forget. It comes in a seven calories per gram, and your metabolism actually prioritizes it over other energy sources.

If you drink a shot of tequila, you’ll burn off the booze before tapping into the carbs you had for dinner.

Plus, a lot of alcoholic drinks contain other ingredients for flavor. Beer often adds in extra carbs, and cocktails can be full of sugar. This only adds to the calorie count racked up by the neat alcohol alone.

Try to cut back on how much alcohol you drink. Also consider switching to slimline gin and tonic, vodka and soda, or lighter beers.

10. Increase your iron intake

Iron is a mineral that’s important for maintaining thyroid health and function[25][26][27]. That’s the small gland located inside your neck that releases hormones to regulate your metabolism.

One common symptom of hypothyroidism is weight gain[28]. So, if you’re not getting enough iron, you might be undoing your fat loss efforts. People who have reversed their deficiencies of the mineral have gone on to lose weight much easier[29].

11. Mix in more cardio

Cardio is the type of exercise you do to raise your heart rate. Think running, swimming, cycling, and skipping rope to get the idea.

Although it doesn’t quite build muscle, cardio can be beneficial for boosting fat burning. It’s an easy way to hike up your calorie use and cause weight loss.

One review of a bunch of studies found that the more people did cardio, the extra amounts of belly fat they lost[30]. So, according to the research, cardio can be great at moving fat from your midsection[31].

Aim to mix up your workouts by performing strength training and cardio on alternate days.  

Man performing cardio

12. Use intermittent fasting

If you follow fitness trends at all, you’ve no doubt heard about intermittent fasting. Loved by athletes and wellness influencers alike, IF has quickly become a go-to fat loss method over recent years.

Intermittent fasting is more of an eating plan than diet. You have a set time where you fast, followed by a window to eat.

Most people when starting out use the 16:8 fasting to feeding radio, or 5:2. 16:8 uses hours of the day, whereas 5:2 represents days of the week.

There’s research out there suggesting IF is legitimate too. Studies show it can benefit fat burning, while also helping to maintain lean mass when accompanying a weight loss diet with resistance exercise[32].

Not sure how to start? It’s fine to start with a smaller 12-14 hour fast before working up to a full 16 hours. The same goes for adjusting to the 5:2 method. Dieters who dive straight into full IF sometimes find it hard. 

13. Fix your sleeping pattern

Experts suggest that there’s a very close connection to sleep and weight loss. So, getting a few extra zeds could mean better fat loss results.

The proof is in the pudding too, says one expansive sixteen-year study. Of over the 68,000 individuals examined, those who slept five hours or less a night were more inclined to gain weight than those who got seven.

Bottom line – the test subjects who slept more were less likely to put on weight[33]

Cutting corners with your sleep might make you think you’re winning. But although you’re extending how many hours are in your day, you’re throwing off your hormones.

A lack of sleep significantly alters the balance of hunger hormones in a bad way. It can hike up your risk of hunger the next day and increases overall obesity risks too[34]. Neither of those are beneficial, regardless if you’re trying to lose weight or not. 

Set your alarm a few hours later or go to bed earlier depending on your routine. Seven hours seems to be enough for most people.

14. Switch to healthier drinks

Switching to healthier drinks might seem super obvious. Yet, you’d be amazed how many people refuse to put down the soda.

Sugary drinks taste good, that’s a given. But they’re also full of empty calories, which can make maintaining a calorie deficit harder.

Sugar can be stored as body fat incredibly easy. It doesn’t need to be broken down like the complex kind, meaning it’s almost readily available energy.

The problem arises when you don’t have the need to burn through that energy and your body looks to store it. If there’s no demand for that instant fuel, it’s quickly snapped up by your fat stores.

Try switching to black coffee, teas, and water. Diet sodas can be a good compromise until you’re willing to cut them completely. Just make sure you’re ditching the sugar – even in coffee.

15. Drink more water

drink more water

On the complete opposite end of the beverage spectrum, you’ve got water. Calorie-free and absolutely essential for life, water can be your best friend for boosting fat loss.

Ditching soda or designer coffees for water automatically cuts your calorie use. Studies show that people who enjoy water as their main drink typically consumer 9% less calories[35][36]

Drinking water before meals might have its own advantages too. Timing a glass of water or two before each meal helped obese test subjects like 44% more weight compared to a control group[37]. Other studies have shown similar weight loss effects too[38]

There’s no magic amount of water you need to drink for fat loss. However, most health bodies recommend getting eight glass a day to stay hydrated. You will need to adjust this amount if you’re exercising regularly.

16. Fill up on leafy green veggies

We all know we should eat our greens if we want to stay healthy. But they become a bit more enticing when we think about how they help weight loss.

One of the greatest assets of green veggies is that they’re full of fiber, while being low in carbs and calories. They’re also jam packed with nutrients like vitamins, antioxidants, calcium, and iron. Some of which can even benefit fat burning[39].

The real weight loss secret of greens, however, comes in bulk. You can fill your meals with piles of them without stacking up the calories.

According to studies, this can help you eat less calories throughout the day[40].

You’re still eating a lot of food full of fiber, but your actual energy consumption is lower. So, go ahead. Fill your plate with green veggies for faster fat loss. 

Leafy green vegetables

16. Cut back on sugar

Studies show that cutting back on sugar can reduce hunger and lower calorie consumption[41]. Simple, but effective.

17. Cut back on fruit juice

Enjoying a small glass of OJ with breakfast isn’t a deal breaker. But fruit juices contain a lot of sugar, which can hike up your calories for the day.

Apparently, if you’re going to drink a glass, it’s best to go for the 100% kind[42]. Ditch the concentrate and added-sugar stuff.

18. Add vinegar to your diet

Interestingly, numerous studies say that adding vinegar to your diet could benefit fat loss[43].

One suggests that you might only need one to two tablespoons a day too. According to its findings, 15-30 ml of vinegar helps lower body weight and belly fat after just 12-weeks[44].

That’s a noticeable difference in as little as three months.

19. Swap regular oil for coconut oil

Coconut oil is full of medium-chain fatty acids, which studies show may boost metabolism[45][46]. This ramp up in fuel burn might off-set some of the energy absorbed from the high-calorie oil itself.

Research suggests that daily coconut oil use for 12-weeks helped obese men lose fat from their waist[47]. What’s impressive is they didn’t knowingly change their diet or workout regimen either.

Remember that coconut oil is still a high-calorie food. Swap out your regular oil instead of adding coconut oil as an extra.

coconut oil for weight loss - fat loss tips

20. Eat mindfully

There isn’t tons of research about mindful eating, but the small batch of studies out there are impressive. If you find yourself regularly distracted and hungry after mealtimes, this is for you.

Mindful eating is based on the Buddhist concept of, you guessed it, mindfulness. Applied eating and noticing the colors, smell, texture, temperature and taste of food allows your brain to connect with what you’re chewing better.

Scientists say this helps you to recognize when you’re full and feel more satisfied during/after mealtimes[48].  

To try mindful eating for yourself get rid of distractions in your meal space. Turn off the tv, forget your phone, and concentrate on everything about your food.

Think intently about what it took to produce your meal before tucking into your first bite. When you’re eating, set a timer for twenty minutes and use it to enjoy a regular meal.

The Final Word

Try these 20 fat loss tips today to see if your progress improves. Each one is tried and tested by science, so you know you’re not wasting your time.

Just remember to eat well in a negative energy balance, exercise regularly, and make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Those are your three main pillars of weight loss – the rest are all add-ons.


References

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20847729
[2] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16002798
[3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23446962
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27824614
[5] https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-7-5
[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5524349/
[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2980962/
[8] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28507015
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18356845
[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22777332
[11] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00421-001-0568-y?LI=true
[12] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23714599
[13] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25162652
[14] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/
[15] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227712803_The_Effect_of_High-Intensity_Intermittent_Exercise_on_Body_Composition_of_Overweight_Young_Males
[16] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27747847
[17] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15044359
[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18025815
[19] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3680687/
[20] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3302130/
[21] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17636085
[22] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10721886
[23] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11396693
[24] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16320857
[25] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16500878
[26] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4729155/
[27] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28202844
[28] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMHT0022777/
[29] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24770833
[30] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17637702
[31] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26202452
[32] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26374764
[33] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16914506
[34] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632337/
[35] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16421349
[36] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20796216
[37] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661958
[38] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661958
[39] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12514302
[40] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17556681
[41] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17228046
[42] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26091353
[43] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785201/
[44] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19661687
[45] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6849272
[46] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8654328
[47] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22164340
[48] https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/mindful-eating-may-help-with-weight-loss

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