New weight loss research is always sure to grab headlines as we seek out the latest weight loss tips and tricks to help us achieve that ever elusive weight loss goal. So here are a few of the latest as supported by scientific research with a little insight of whether they may be right for you.
A couple of low calorie days
Whether you are a fan of the 5:2, The Fast Diet or the Alternate Day Diet, all of these approaches are based around a similar principle – that significantly cutting back on calories for a day or two a week acts to kick start the body metabolically, which supports weight loss. While there is some evidence that individuals using this approach did drop a few kg during the research interventions, more significant was the reduction in their health related risk factors including high blood glucose levels, high cholesterol and anti-inflammatory markers, in the short term. So if you are keen to try this approach, a day or two each week of low calorie eating which includes soups, salads and a small meal each day may give you a weight loss kick start, but in isolation there is little evidence currently available to show it will support you in losing large amounts of weight (>10kg), and keeping it off long term.
Add ½ an avocado
Who does not love avocado and this nutrient rich food that is packed with Vitamin E and monounsaturated fats may even support weight loss. New research published in the journal Nutrition of found that when dieters included ½ an avocado with their lunch that they reported feeling fuller throughout the afternoon, and were also less likely to snack. It is thought that the fat content of avocadoes helps to slow down digestion and help to reduce blood glucose levels, which in turn helped to control appetite. So if you regularly suffer from the 3pm sugars cravings, perhaps it is time to add a little more avo to your lunch.
Eat more at breakfast
You know the drill, a quick coffee and slice of toast for breakfast, lunch on the run before a sweet afternoon snack and a proper meal at night. While this may be a pattern that many of us get into, when it comes to the proportions of calories we consume at different times through the day, it does appear that the more we can consume at breakfast, the better. Research from the University of Tel Aviv found that dieters who consumed 700 calories at breakfast, 500 calories at lunchtime and just 200 calories at dinner were significantly more likely to lose weight and waist circumference than dieters who consumed just 200 calories at breakfast and 700 at dinner. The moral of the story, the bigger the breakfast and the smaller the dinner, the better it is if your ultimate goal is weight loss.
Drop the snacks
To snack or not to snack – twenty or thirty years ago it was all about 3 meals a day, whereas nowadays regular snacking is encouraged to support hunger management and to help boost metabolic rate. For those who have long days with plenty of regular exercise, small snacks of just 100-200calories, from a coffee, piece of fruit or nut based snack bar may be warranted but for those of us with have just 3-4 hours in between meals with breakfast by 8am, lunch by 1pm and dinner by 6pm, snacks may not be warranted. Indeed recent research from the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam found that dieters who consumed high calorie snacks in between meals as opposed to larger meals less frequently had high levels of fat in both the liver and around the waist. The take away message here, eat well balanced, good sized meals three times a day, with small snacks in between only if you are genuinely hungry.