Managing all responsibilities while maintaining a healthy lifestyle is probably easy only in movies. Weight loss is a long and arduous process in which you can make a lot of mistakes and quickly lose motivation. The first success is to identify the important factors that affect weight loss and make it your personal routine. Get to know the weight loss strategy, which was also supported by researchers as a result of the studies.
6 tips for effective weight loss according to science
1. Motivation for weight loss
The right motivation is the engine of success, and without motivation, goals will sooner or later fall apart with the slightest complications. It does not have to be one source of motivation, you can achieve the desire to train without a motivational coach, or you can be a motivator yourself. Motivational quotes and messages are cheap and superficial for many people. Photographs of training people with a soaked sentence or “super-spiritual” photographs with an enlightened quote about understanding life are not the only way. You don’t have to watch all of Rocky’s parts or memorize one of his sentences to motivate yourself. Create your personal mantra that will take you back to the essence and remind you why you haven’t given up yet. It doesn’t have to be a poetic or strong sentence at all, but it should definitely contain words that will convince you. You can write it on paper and stick it on a computer monitor or on a cabinet over the kitchen sink. 
Can’t imagine an example of such a sentence? Here are some examples for you:
- No one else will do it for you.
- You can do it, you did it yesterday too.
- I’m not done yet!
- I’m already looking forward to my new self.
- It’s not stabbing you in the chest, your legs don’t hurt!
- Was it really necessary, Joseph? Was it?
Mental adjustment is not just about feeling better, which you still need to get from training. A positive attitude can also affect the physical side of things. Support systems include, for example, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), which is used for health problems such as insomnia or depression. This method requires the patient to discover triggers for negative thinking and promotes the creation of a positive response. The CBT method may not only work in the case of a serious illness, it can also be used for weight reduction, and cognitive therapists support positive thinking as a way to change eating habits. The importance of this method is confirmed by a research from 2005, in which some applicants underwent 10 weeks of CBT therapy. Over the next 18 months, these participants maintained or lost weight, while the group without CBT therapy gained weight. 
If you hated exercise or vegetables before, try to approach them with an open mind and give that change a chance. You may discover recipes, that will appeal to you or you will learn about a new, pleasant addiction to exercise.
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2. Strength vs. cardio training
It is still popular among the general public that cardio training is the most suitable for weight reduction. It is true that aerobic exercise has a positive effect on weight loss and fat reduction, but the idea that strength training is solely for building muscles is not entirely correct.
Exercising with weights is not as successful in burning fat as cardio, but it brings a benefit that is more than important. Building muscle mass during strength training causes an increase in resting metabolism, which means that muscles burn more calories during rest.
A 2001 study compared the impact of strength training on 4 groups by gender and age – young men and women (20-30 years), older men and women (65-75 years). The results show that the change in the rate of resting metabolism after strength training does not depend on age, but gender. Strength training has a greater effect on resting metabolism in men than the results of groups with female participants. Research does not show why is that so, we can only assume that the reason may be a different body structure or hormone levels.  
Exercising with weights brings three benefits for weight reduction :
- Short-term increase in calorie burning – exercise with weights can start metabolism for another 38 hours after training.
- Long-term increase in calorie burning – weight training causes an increase in total muscle mass. The more muscle you have, the better the rate of basal metabolism. This means that you burn more calories throughout the day, not just during training.
- It changes your body composition – cardio changes the fat content in the body, and this affects the total weight, but weight training builds your muscles, while helping to burn fat. As a result, you will not only be skinnier, but also more athletic.
A 2017 study addressed the difference in fat and muscle loss during strength and cardio training. As a result, they present several findings that mean that strength training may not only be beneficial for younger and middle-aged people :
- During the 18 months, there was a different loss of body fat while following the diet (4.5 kg), the diet connected with walking (7.2 kg) and the strength-training diet (7.7 kg).
- Walking diet and strenght-training diet also caused a different loss of muscle mass. The walking diet represented a decrease in muscles of 1.8 kg and during strength training by only 0.9 kg. The proportion of muscles from weight loss was 10% in the group of diet with strength training. The share in the group with a separate diet was 16 %, and in the group with a diet and walking up to 20%.
Want to know more about this topic? The importance of strengthening for weight loss can be found in the article – How does strengthening support weight loss?
3. Protein and weight loss
Weight loss is about controlling energy intake and expenditure, but that does not mean that you replace weight loss with hunger strike. The key to success is to know the components of the food which you need to completely reduce, partially reduce or increase. Proteins are certainly not among the nutrients to be reduced during weight reduction. There are even several diets that are built on increased protein intake.
When processing proteins in the digestive tract, more calories are burned than fats or carbohydrates. This phenomenon is called the thermic effect of food, and means that to digest protein, it is needed to make more energy by burning calories. Proteins increase the level of satiety hormones (cholecystokinin, GLP-1 hormones) and reduce the level of hunger hormone (ghrelin). By improving burning and regulating the hormones that control appetite, you can promote weight loss, and you haven’t even started exercising. 
A 2012 study examined the effect of a protein and carbohydrate diet on overweight middle-aged respondents. The protein intake in the protein group was 1.6 g / kg body weight and in the carbohydrate group it was 0.8 g protein per kg body weight. Both sexes were involved in the research, who underwent a change in diet with a daily loss of 500 calories. The study lasted one year, with a weight loss phase lasting 4 months and a weight maintenance phase 8 months. The results showed that the total weight reduction was 9.9 – 11.2% in the protein and carbohydrate groups. The difference occurred in the measurement of fat reduction, the protein group lost significantly more from fat stores (-14.3 ± 11.8%) than carbohydrate (-9.3 ± 11.1%).  
Increased protein intake is beneficial in itself, and if you combine it with strength training, you will also build muscle mass. Whether you choose natural sources of protein or protein in the form of a supplement, you will support protein intake and weight loss at the same time. Want to know more about the effect of protein on weight reduction? Read our article – Protein and weight loss: how do proteins affect weight loss?
4. Stress and weight loss
Stress, emotions and overall mental state affect a person’s physical side and weight regulation. Challenges to a positive mood and stress relief are not just phrases, stress is the cause of several diseases and complications.
Stressful situations trigger an acute stress response, it is an impulse for the body to respond to the threat. During the preparation of the body, two hormones are secreted – adrenaline and cortisol. 
Adrenaline is a hormone whose secretion is accompanied by an increase in heart rate, an increase in blood pressure or weight loss. However, this does not mean that you should be exposed to stressful situations to reduce weight. Occasional increase in adrenaline is not a problem, worse is its frequent elevated levels. This situation can occur, for example, in people with obesity and untreated sleep apnea. Nocturnal breathing difficulties cause increased secretion of adrenaline, which can lead to the development of high blood pressure. 
Cortisol is a hormone that has a significant effect on the regulation of body weight. Cortisol imbalance affects thyroid function and blood sugar levels by influencing the hormone insulin. Increased doses of cortisol make the cells resistant to insulin, which reduces the absorption of sugar from the blood. This condition can lead to insulin resistance, pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Fluctuations in cortisol levels may be due to several factors, such as lack of sleep, overwork, skipping meals, or increased carbohydrate intake. 
Want to know more about insulin and its effects on body weight? Read everything you need in the article – Insulin Sensitivity – How to Increase It and Prevent Insulin Resistance.
During the stress response, the body focuses on resolving the situation and slows down digestion. This may be accompanied by stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation or heartburn. With chronic stress, problems can lead to serious health complications, such as irritable bowel syndrome. 
5. Green tea and coffee
In addition to food, a drinking regime is also important for weight reduction, of course without the content of sweetened drinks. If you supplement your fluid intake with coffee and green tea, you will definitely not regret it.
Green tea is a source of polyphenols, which can be classified as antioxidants with a positive effect on proper digestion. One of the important polyphenols that belongs to the category of catechins is EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which has the ability to reduce the absorption of fats into the body. EGCG can have a positive effect on weight reduction when consumed with caffeine, which is part of green tea. However, this feature of the EGCG is not supported by much research and the results are not consistent. However, a long-term comparative study and its results confirm that 2 cups of green tea a day is associated with a reduction in fat and total weight.   
Coffee is one of the most popular stimulants, due to its caffeine content, and it is no secret that caffeine before training can stimulate performance. Coffee, like green tea, is full of antioxidants, and several studies have confirmed that caffeine improves metabolism and fat burning. Caffeine slows down the breakdown of glycogen and encourages the body to prioritize fat as a source of energy.   
Coffee and Green tea are available and have a significant effect on health and weight reduction. If you are a fan of coffee and green tea, feel free to drink it without any worries. Cheers! If you have not had enough information about caffeine, you will learn all the essentials in our article – Caffeine and how to make your training more effective.
6. Carbohydrates are not one and the same
Carbohydrates are a macronutrient that can be divided into several categories, and not all of them are unsuitable for weight loss. They are divided into monosaccharides, disaccharides and polysaccharides :
- Monosaccharides – this includes, for example, glucose (energy source for cells), fructose (sugar in vegetables and fruits) or galactose (in milk and dairy products).
- Disaccharides – a type of carbohydrate composed of two molecules of monosaccharides, including lactose and sucrose.
- Polysaccharides – these are chains of 2 or more monosaccharides, they can be branched or unbranched. Glycogen (a store of energy in the liver and muscles) is also a polysaccharide, like the starch you find in cereals, potatoes or rice.
It is definitely more important for you to recognize simple and complex carbohydrates. Simple carbohydrates have 1 or 2 molecules, including white bread or sweets. This type of carbohydrate is a fast source of energy that will quickly raise your blood sugar, but at the same time it will be quickly absorbed, and you will be soon hungry. Complex carbohydrates contain fiber-containing foods, such as whole grains, vegetables or legumes. 
If you are interested in reducing your weight, be sure to avoid simple carbohydrates, for example in sugary drinks, white bread and most cakes. You will gain fast energy, but you will be hungry just as quickly and you will lose the fiber, minerals and vitamins that are found in the sources of complex carbohydrates. Oats, barley or whole meal bread are complex sources of carbohydrates, after which you will be full for longer, and in addition, “sugar will not rise quickly”. Maintaining a stable blood sugar level is important for weight control, enough energy, but also to prevent health problems. According to several studies, reducing carbohydrate intake is a way to keep sugar levels under control. Another important fact is that carbohydrates are especially useful in the morning to give you energy for the day. It is therefore great to start the day with a bowl of oatmeal with fruit. Such breakfasts are a great combination of fiber and healthy carbohydrates.    
Modern times have brought a sedentary lifestyle to a large part of the population, leading to increased control of food intake and physical activity. There are many resources with a “super fast” and successful way to lose weight, but their credibility may not be high. Advices and recommendations based on research results are not only an effective but also a safe way to dream of a figure. Do you want your acquaintances and friends to learn about a weight loss based on scientific knowledge? Feel free to support the article by sharing.
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