8 Back to Basics Weight Loss Tips that Actually Work

By Michael A. Smith, MD

Feeling overwhelmed by the never-ending flood of weight loss information? You’re not the only one.

Conflicting reports and headline-driven fads can often be dizzying, derailing us from the key tactics that actually work. So how do we cut through the noise and stay focused?

The answer is simple: by sticking to a regimen and incorporating good habits that have been proven to support a healthy weight.

The tips below may not be revolutionary or late-breaking, but they work. Sure, you may have heard some of these before, but have you actually tried them? There’s no time like the present!

1. Eat multiple small meals throughout the day to help boost your metabolism. Don’t starve yourself all day to justify a big meal at night, as doing so will only counteract your dieting efforts.

2. Drink a glass of water before eating. Water expands your stomach and signals your brain that you’re full. This means that you’ll probably eat less.

3. Concentrate on portion control and meal planning. Dr. Andrew Weil, an industry leader and Life Extension® advisory board member, says to choose foods that you really love to eat. Also, be sure to chew your favorite foods slowly, savoring the flavors and scents.

Eating slowly not only helps you enjoy your food, but it also helps prevent overeating: Remember, it takes about 20 to 40 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you're full.

4. Cut your bread servings in half. Replace those calories with dark colored fruits and vegetables.

5. Get up from the table when you're done eating to help avoid nibbling. Wait 20 to 30 minutes before cleaning the dishes and putting away the leftovers, giving your brain enough time to receive the signal that you’re full. This will help you avoid the temptation to eat more when you’re cleaning up.

6. Once your meal is over, take a walk to help digest your food. Reflect on what a wonderful meal you just had, and focus on how the company and conversations contributed to the experience.

7. Use resistance bands at work. Every 30 minutes, exercise one major muscle group. Use slow and deliberate motions to get the maximum benefit from the resistance. If you need guidance, most manufacturers include diagrams showing the exercises you can do.

8. Laugh! It really is good medicine. Psychotherapists have used humor since the eighties to help people cope with stress.1 Remember, stress is a MAJOR cause of “binge” eating.

Looking for more technical diet and nutrition info, including proven supplements that you can add to your daily health regimen to support a healthy weight? Check out our report, Natural Approaches for Losing Weight.

By pairing that research with the tried and true tips in this post, you should be well on your way toward weight loss success.


  1. William Fry and Waleed Salameh, Handbook of Humor and Psychotherapy: Advances in the Clinical Use of Humor, Professional Resource Exchange, Sarasota, FL, 1987.


Ryan said...

Hmm... Very interesting tips, but I disagree with some points. You say that eating smaller meals can reduce appetite. Maybe this is not happening to me. Do not snack can also make our weight up quickly?
Well, for some people, drinking lots of water can reduce hunger. I agree with this, but this will not bring a good effect because our stomach will feel full.
Your last point also makes me laugh. Well, I also feel very hungry if too many laughs. But, I agree if laughter can cure stress that can trigger the appetite.
I think losing weight should be balanced with diet and routine exercise. Maybe the tips above can help reduce appetite, but not necessarily result in a healthy body and ideal body weight. Am I right?

Life Extension said...

Ryan, you're right! These are just tips. They are not meant to replace your diet and exercise routine.

Ivan said...

These are all good tips on how to lose weight.
It is never a good idea to eat very late, too. The food just can not digest and keep piling up on the stomach.

I agree with you that the Weight Loss itself s not that hard, or at least not the hardest part of the whole plan.
Keeping he weight Off, or More Like "Loose Weight" moment that comes after the short and starving dieting is the hardest task to achieve.

Life Extension said...

Hi Ivan. We agree with you that eating late at night (2 hours before bedtime) is not a good idea. Although, people with sugar and insulin issues can eat a small amount of protein before bed to help with morning blood sugar control. Thanks for reading our blog.

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