Many studies have been conducted over the past years on how to burn excess calories and lose weight. We are bringing you the latest studies on the topic.
Water consumption before the meals can help you lose weight
A notable study conducted by one of the leading experts in weight management Dr Helen Parreti from Oxford University in the U.K. shows that drinking a pint (~470ml) of water right before your biggest meals is relatively an easy way to reduce your weight.
She led her research with two groups. The first group drank a pint of water before each major meal and the second group was supposed to imagine their stomachs were full. The first group was so called “water group” the second “think group”.
Three months later, at the end of the experiment, the “water group” lost 5.3 pounds and the “think group” only 2.6 pounds. 5.3 pounds in 3 months is almost the same as the commercial weight – loss programs.
So, drinking water before every meal is easy, safe and a practical way to lose weight. It is not said whether the lost pounds would return in a short period or it is a long term weight loss. (Obesity, 23: 1785-1791, 2015)
The sleep hormone Melatonin can also burn fat
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and helps you sleep. The gland produces it in response to darkness and light. According to a study led by Italian researchers, using lean and overweight mice which were given melatonin in their drinking water, melatonin reduces weight.
In the overweight mice, there was a significant weight lose after eight weeks, but the case was not the same with the lean mice. Melatonin decreased inflammation and normalized adipokines, which are important fat – signaling chemicals. It also activated brown fat that enhanced the amount of energy. So, melatonin supplements help with weight reduction and sleep as well. (Nutrition Research, 35: 891-900, 2015)
HIIT has the ability to control hunger
The High Intensity Interval Training protocol (HIIT) which is known as alternation between high intensity intervals (such as sprints), which last 30-60 seconds and low intensity intervals. HIIT differs from the traditional cardio because it makes you stronger and improves your stamina in shorter time and it also improves glycogen storage as well as oxygen consumption. The effects on weight control and fat burning are not yet fully understood.
A recent study led by Aaron Sim and his colleagues from the University of Western Australia shows that when HIIT is used for a period of 3 months, it reduces appetite in overweight, inactive men better than continuous exercise.
In the research HIIT was used on a stationary bike. One 15 second bout at maximum intensity on the stationary bike was followed by one minute of rest.
Opposite of HIIT the traditional cardio was consisted of 30 to 45 minutes low intensity cardio sessions without rest at about 60 % of the max effort.
An estimation of the appetite was regularly done. The group that trained traditionally showed no changes in their appetite but on the other side the HIIT group showed that they can control their appetite during the meals. The blood sugar regulation was improved in the HIIT group as well.
HIIT is a good way of controlling your weight and the management of insulin sensitivity. (Medicine Science Sports Exercise, 47: 2441-2449, 2015)
Dairy Foods can help in fat burning
Recently done miscellaneous researches have shown that dairy food can help in fat burning. Happy about these studies, the dairy industry started to promote their products in accordance to the part that “Eat dairy products to burn fat”.
However, these studies have found out that eating more dairy foods won’t make people slim – only that using them is related to lower body fat levels. Professor Alison Booth in cooperation with her associates from the Deakin University in Australia made a huge analysis that combined the results of studies on the effect that dairy foods and calcium supplements have on weight loss and body structure.
Calcium supplements did not have influence in weight or fat loss. On the other hand, dairy foods combined in a well balanced diet, helped in fat loss but not in weight loss. So these completed researches found out that dairy foods served three times a day for 16 weeks would help in losing fat. (British Journal Nutrition, 114: 1013-1025, 2015)
Using low fat food won’t help in fat loss
During the past 3 or 4 decades, people have been advised by nutritional experts, to cut down on fat food. The creator of this piece of advice was the United States Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs Committee led by the former U.S. Senator George McGovern (1968 and 1977).
It was promoted that the consumption of fats should be lowered on the account of increasing the intake of carbohydrates as national aims. Americans took the advice seriously without reconsidering it and obesity became one of the biggest problems in America. Deirdre Tobias and his colleagues from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard University conducted a big research that combined the results of 53 different studies on low fat diets on long term weight loss.
Their conclusion is that low fat diets don’t reduce the weight more than foods that are rich in fat. There is a campaign against fat for nearly fifty years but not backed up with evidence. (The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, 3: 968-979, 2015)
Intermittent Fasting and weight reduction
To be a successful athlete in certain sports sometimes requires low body fat levels and increased muscle mass. Intermittent fasting can be the real thing for athletes when it comes to reaching optimal weight – according to an article written by Grant Tinsley, Joshua Gann and Paul La Bounty.
In sports like bodybuilding, powerlifting and martial arts, athletes rely on a certain weight. Being constantly on a diet, an athlete can experience shortage of energy because of glycogen depletion in muscles and liver. This will make your training fairly difficult.
Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where people cycle between periods of eating and fasting. This could help athletes in weight reduction but at the same time it can help them in preserving energy for intense training.
You don’t need to fast every day. It can be done on non exercise days and it will result in calorie reduction over a period of time. (Strength and Conditioning Journal, 37: 60-71, 2015)