Losing weight can be a challenging process, but there are simple steps you can take to make your journey easier. Here are three things you can do to boost your weight loss, without much additional effort.
Cut Out Sugary Beverages
Sugar-sweetened beverages are high in calories and can stall your weight-loss efforts. A 2009 study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that participants consumed an average of 356 calories a day from beverages. If you replace those 356 calories a day with zero-calorie water and make no other changes to your diet, you would lose almost 3 pounds in a month. Study participants experienced weight loss by reducing their intake of these beverages; when they cut out one sugar-sweetened beverage per day, they lost a significant amount of weight during both a six-month and an 18-month period.
Additional research has supported an association between sugar and body weight. In an analysis of 68 different studies, researchers for a 2012 edition of the British Medical Journal found that when people decreased their intake of added sugars, their body weight dropped significantly. Cut the soda and sugary juices out of your own diet to increase your weight loss.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep could make it easier for you to lose weight. In 2010, researchers for the Annals of Internal Medicine compared two groups of dieters: one group that slept for 5.5 hours per night, and another that slept for 8.5 hours a night. After two weeks, those who slept 8.5 hours per night lost 55 percent more body fat than did those who slept only 5.5 hours per night. A second study in a 2012 edition of Obesity Facts showed similar results. In the study of 123 men and women undergoing a weight-loss program, those who slept more lost more body fat, even after researchers controlled for factors such as age, gender, and calorie intake.
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A study in a 2009 edition of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that sleeping too little could lead people to eat more. Researchers for this study had participants sleep for fewer than 5.5 hours each night for two weeks, and then for over seven hours per night during another two-week period. During the period of sleep deprivation, participants consumed more calories. Be sure to get an adequate amount of sleep each night to avoid sabotaging your weight-loss efforts with too many calories.
Add Some Dairy to Your Diet
Weight loss isn’t just about what you can’t eat; some foods can actually promote weight loss. Dairy is one such food. In a 2012 study in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers found that those who followed a weight-loss diet that was high in dairy lost significantly more body weight and body fat than those in a control group. Study participants who consumed a high amount of dairy also reduced their waist circumferences more than control group participants.
A study included in a 2004 edition of Obesity Research reached a similar conclusion. Participants on a standard diet lost only 6.4 percent of their body weight during a 24-week period, whereas those on a high-dairy diet lost 10.9 percent of their body weight during the same period of time.
Adding a few servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese to your daily diet is a simple way to boost your weight loss. Getting enough sleep and cutting out sugary sodas can also help you to shed weight without much additional effort.