The Science of Weight Loss, Part Three: Weight-Loss Protips

The Science of Weight-Loss

a PHMP Health Article Series

Welcome back to our four-part series about scientifically-supported weight-loss methods.
In Part Three, we’re delving into the first half of our list of 26 weight-loss protips. (In case you missed it, check out the complete Science of Weight-Loss series.)

The weight loss industry is full of myths.

People are often advised to do all sorts of crazy things, most of which have no evidence behind them. However, over the years, scientists have found a number of strategies that seem to be effective.

Here is Part 3 in the PHMP’s series The Science of Weight-Loss.

01 Drink Water, Especially Before Meals

Drinking water can boost metabolism by 24–30% over a period of 1–1.5 hours, helping you burn off a few more calories.

One study showed that drinking a half-liter (17 ounces) of water about half an hour before meals helped dieters eat fewer calories and lose 44% more weight, compared to those who didn’t drink the water.

Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before meals to benefit from its appetite-reducing benefits.

02 Eat Eggs For Breakfast

Eating whole eggs can have all sorts of benefits, including helping you lose weight.

Studies show that replacing a grain-based breakfast with eggs can help you eat fewer calories for the next 36 hours as well as lose more weight and body fat (4, 5).

If you don’t eat eggs, that’s fine. Any source of quality protein for breakfast should do the trick.

eggs and coffee

03 Drink Coffee (Preferably Black)

Quality coffee is loaded with antioxidants and can have numerous health benefits.

Studies show that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3–11% and increase fat burning by up to 10–29%.

Just make sure not to add a bunch of sugar or other high-calorie ingredients to your coffee. That will completely negate any benefits.

Coffee has been unfairly demonized — the PHMP has extensively covered the health benefits of coffee!

04 Drink Green Tea

Like coffee, green tea also has many benefits, one of them being weight loss.

Though green tea contains small amounts of caffeine, it is loaded with powerful antioxidants called catechins, which are believed to work synergistically with caffeine to enhance fat burning.

Although the evidence is mixed, many studies show that green tea (either as a beverage or a green tea extract supplement) can help you lose weight.

Like coffee, the PHMP has bountiful coverage of the benefits of green tea.

05 Try Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is a popular eating pattern in which people cycle between periods of fasting and eating.

Short-term studies suggest intermittent fasting is as effective for weight loss as continuous calorie restriction (13).

Additionally, it may reduce the loss of muscle mass typically associated with low-calorie diets.

Approach this method of weight-loss cautiously: higher-quality studies are needed before any stronger claims can be made.

06 Take a Glucomannan Supplement

A fiber called glucomannan has been linked to weight loss in several studies.

This type of fiber absorbs water and sits in your gut for a while, making you feel more full and helping you eat fewer calories.

Studies show that people who supplement with glucomannan lose a bit more weight than those who don’t.

You can find glucomannan supplements not only at vitamin shops and pharmacies but also online.

07 Cut Back on Added Sugar

Added sugar is one of the worst ingredients in the modern diet. Most people consume way too much.

Studies show that sugar (and high-fructose corn syrup) consumption is strongly associated with an increased risk of obesity, as well as conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

If you want to lose weight, cut back on added sugar. Just make sure to read labels, because even so-called health foods can be loaded with sugar.

08 Eat Less Refined Carbs

Refined carbohydrates include sugar and grains that have been stripped of their fibrous, nutritious parts. These include white bread and pasta.

Studies show that refined carbs can spike blood sugar rapidly, leading to hunger, cravings and increased food intake a few hours later. Eating refined carbs is strongly linked to obesity.

If you’re going to eat carbs, make sure to eat them with their natural fiber.

09 Go on a Low-Carb Diet

If you want to get all the benefits of carb restriction, then consider going all the way and committing to a low-carb diet.

Numerous studies show that such a regimen can help you lose 2–3 times as much weight as a standard low-fat diet while also improving your health.

How many carbs should you eat per day to lose weight? We have an article that asks and answers that very question!

bread and plate

10 Smaller Plates, Portion Control, and Counting Calories

Using smaller plates has been shown to help some people automatically eat fewer calories.

However, the plate-size effect doesn’t appear to affect everyone. Those who are overweight seem to be more affected.

Portion control — simply eating less — or counting calories can be very useful, for obvious reasons.

Some studies show that keeping a food diary or taking pictures of your meals can help you lose weight.

Anything that increases your awareness of what you are eating is likely to be beneficial.

11 Keep Healthy Food Around in Case You Get Hungry

Keeping healthy food nearby can help prevent you from eating something unhealthy if you become excessively hungry.

Snacks that are easily portable and simple to prepare include whole fruits, nuts, baby carrots, yogurt and hard-boiled eggs.

Here’s an article detailing some easy and healthy food swaps for snacking.

12 Take Probiotic Supplements

Taking probiotic supplements containing bacteria of the Lactobacillus subfamily have been shown to reduce fat mass.

However, the same doesn’t apply to all Lactobacillus species. Some studies have linked L. acidophilus (a type of bacteria found in your intestines) with weight gain.

You can shop for probiotic supplements at many grocery stores, as well as online. Here’s our list of The Best Immune System Boosting Supplements to get you started.

Stay tuned for next week’s article — the final installment of our The Science of Weight-Loss PHMP Health Article Series!

  • Christine+Williams
    Posted at 03:58h, 16 February


  • Marisol perez
    Posted at 20:40h, 15 February


  • Elisabeth Bartlett
    Posted at 14:45h, 15 February

    Great info!

  • adam duke
    Posted at 12:31h, 15 February

    good review

  • Patricia Montgomery
    Posted at 10:07h, 15 February

    I drink black coffee every day.

  • Lilly Vore
    Posted at 23:53h, 12 February

    Thank you!!

  • Roxanne Davis
    Posted at 14:09h, 12 February

    Good information that will help me. Thanks!

  • Dennis Sanders
    Posted at 19:32h, 11 February


  • Heather+Weed
    Posted at 18:23h, 11 February

    Thank you

  • CLEO
    Posted at 17:12h, 11 February

    good info

  • Shane+Bingham
    Posted at 13:11h, 11 February

    Great information

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