All You Wanted to Know About Weight Loss: Methods, Foods, and Professional Tips

Focusing on: Diet, Exercise, Sleep, Stress

Easy habits to implement and commit for 12 weeks of weight management program to become a healthier human being. You may be enticed to do more than one habit at a time – but 4 habit changes is a lot – you want them to stick, so start slow. You can build on them each month!

Just text to get started!
*it's free 😊
featured coach
@bod_by_bree

table of contents

So you’ve packed on a few pounds and gone up a clothing size or two. Not exactly the “thick” look you were going for ugh? You are not alone. So many of us are trying to lose weight. Only in the United States, 99 million people are considered overweight, and the world's amount of people suffering from different stages of obesity reaches up to 30% of the population.

There's no wonder we see so many weight loss programs and methods created to fight this situation. But which of them work best? And how to lose weight without harming your health? 

Let's dive into weight loss science step by step and find out the answers.

What Causes Extra Weight

First, let’s recount all the biggest contributors to obesity, to know which of them are manageable and where to start from.

Harmful Food Habits

One of the main causes of gaining extra weight is harmful food habits. We live in a world where access to obesity-causing food is very easy, often easier than access to healthy foods. Pizza, hamburgers, bread, pasta, cookies, and cakes — all this tasty yet harmful food makes you gain kilo by kilo. 

The first step that will definitely turn you towards weight loss is to stop eating junk and sugar-rich food and start cooking at home. Also, it's better to give up eating before you go to bed and at night. If you feel hungry, low-fat yogurt and crackers may help you resist.

Low Physical Activity

Low physical activity is another culprit that is causing a higher risk of packing on the pounds, among other undesirable outcomes, such as low energy and stamina. 

Many of us today have very sedentary lives. We go to work in vehicles and then sit at our desks for a large majority of the day. We then go back home where we sit on a couch, sit down for dinner and the list of sitting goes on.

Physical activity is another "must-have" on the fat-fighting list. But no worries, you don't have to force yourself to go to a gym, run, or do any other kind of physical exercises you don't like — if you don't. You may start from walking, playing tennis, or doing any other activity from a large variety of pleasant things that will help you lose extra calories and improve your mood.

Genetics

Some of us are genetically predisposed to gaining extra fat, meaning that it is easier to pile on the pounds if you’re not careful with your food intake and daily activities. You know, what we mean: somebody may eat a cake and nothing will change in their weight, while another person will gain a pound each time they touch a cookie. 

There's nothing you can do with genetics, but anyway, you may follow a healthy diet and active lifestyle and look much better than millions of people with "skinny" genes who live unhealthily.

Health Conditions and Medications

Health conditions, usually related to hormonal imbalances, and some medications are responsible for weight gain in a number of individuals. Notice how you started gaining weight right after you had to take that particular medication? Yes, that’s right, there are a number of prescription medications that could contribute to the process. 

If it's your case, we strongly recommend you to consult with your medical doctor to choose appropriate treatment and not experiment with medications yourself. Self-treatment may cause very serious health consequences.

Aging

Aging also often contributes to weight gain. As we age, our metabolism slows down and so does lipid turnover in the fat tissue. This means that as we age our bodies start working less efficiently than before to burn and break down fats. 

In this case, physical activity and a healthy diet are also a solution, but after you step into your 60-s, it's always better to ask a doctor before making any radical changes.

Stress

Emotional factors also play a huge role in weight gain. Stress and an emotionally-intensive lifestyle always go together with tiredness and fatigue and are often accompanied by poor sleep. These cause changes in how the body uses calories and produces energy and also cause weight gain. In addition, stress often causes hunger which adds up to obesity. 

If you want to lose weight in a healthy way, healthy sleep and balanced emotional life are very important to maintain.


Health Risks Associated with Extra Weight

According to numerous research, extra weight is often associated with increased risk for many health issues. Here are the main ones.

Physical Health Risks

Type 2 Diabetes

Over 90% of people who develop type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese. But how exactly is type 2 diabetes-related to obesity? With type 2 diabetes your body is making enough insulin, however, your body’s cells have become resistant to the action of that insulin. The more additional weight you have on your body, the more resistant your tissue cells and muscles become.

High Blood Pressure 

Another often consequence of gaining extra weight is increasing blood pressure. What happens is that the increase in fatty tissue, in turn, increases your body’s vascular resistance. This also makes the heart work harder to pump blood through the body resulting in hypertension.

Heart Disease and Stroke

Being overweight may put you at a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. A study published by NCBI indicates that with a bodyweight increase of 10 kg (approx. 22 pounds), systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels increase significantly. This also increases the likelihood of you developing coronary heart disease by 12% and a stroke — by 24%.

Cancer

Research shows a connection between obesity and cancer. The risk is increased for several cancers including kidney and pancreatic cancers, colorectal cancer, breast, uterine and esophageal cancers. Experts note that the additional visceral fat causes inflammation. The visceral fat also affects the body’s management of hormones such as estrogen and insulin. This in turn affects how and when your cells divide and when they die which thereby increases your risk of developing the mentioned cancers among others.

Osteoarthritis

There is a consistent link between extra weight and osteoarthritis. Each additional pound that you put on adds three to four pounds of stress to your knees. This pressure causes a breakdown in cartilage. People who have extra weight are at a higher risk for osteoarthritis that may require joint replacement.

Fatty Liver Disease

There is an estimated 20% of American adults currently living with fatty liver disease. This condition used to be noted mainly in people that had a history of excessive drinking but now the tables have turned. Fatty liver disease is turning up in more people who have a higher BMI (body mass index) and suffer from diabetes.

Kidney Disease

Having extra weight has a direct impact on your kidneys. The additional weight forces your kidneys to work harder as it now has to filter more than the normal amount of waste. This additional work overtime increases the risk of kidney disease.

Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a complex of symptoms that increase cardiovascular risk significantly. They include obesity, hypertension, and high blood sugar, and cholesterol. It is sometimes called a silent epidemic because the number of liable people increases each year. Key risk components of these conditions are obesity and lack of exercise. As you gain more weight and develop increased insulin resistance your risk of developing metabolic syndrome increases.

Acute Pancreatitis

The pancreas is responsible for helping digestion and hormones that regulate your body’s glucose-related processes. When you gain extra weight around your belly this can lead to acute pancreatitis or increase your risk of developing the condition.

Respiratory Complications

With the added weight, your diaphragm, lungs, and chest cavity will experience mechanical compression. This can lead to restrictive pulmonary damage. It can further increase pulmonary resistance, decrease the total compliance of the respiratory system, and reduce the muscle strength of the respiratory system.

Mental & Social Health Risks

An increase in weight may also increase the risk of different mental and social conditions which, in turn, often cause new health problems.

Depression

There is strong evidence of obesity causing depression, found by a recent study done by the University of Exeter and the University of South Australia. They maintained a study where psychological aspects of obesity were separated from the health-related issues and found out that people with extra weight are more liable to depression than others.

Low Self-Esteem

When you are aware of the fact that you are overweight it can wreak havoc on your self-esteem. This is especially true for those who are struggling with trying to reduce weight without success. Studies show that people that have higher BMI tend to have considerably lower self-esteem than their peers.

Mood and Motivation Disorders

Both clinical and community studies show an overlap between obesity and mood disorders.

Repeated unsuccessful efforts to lose weight over time results in a lack of motivation. This is not simply motivation to eat right or exercise but a general lack of motivation towards the regular day to day activities.

Stigma & Discrimination

Whether you gain a little excess weight or a lot, people will see it, and often, they will comment. There is a certain amount of stigma associated with being overweight. While some people are not even aware of the fact they do this is it widespread. Sometimes we even have our own internalized stigma that stems from the dissatisfaction of our body due to the weight gain. This can cause overweight people to shy away from social situations which can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression.

Quality of Life

Along with the physical and mental health issues that also cause an increase in medical spendings, excess weight creates other types of obstacles. It can get problematic to get up, move around the house, choose clothes, find sturdy furniture, book airline tickets — all this is bound to affect the quality of your life.


How to Solve the Issue

So you gained a couple of extra pounds, or maybe more than a few. What now? Now you solve the problem before it blows up and manifests itself in physical sickness among other risks. 

Here are proven ways that will help you get back down to a healthy weight over time. Whatever you choose to do, remember to stick with it. This needs to be a lifestyle change, as no quick fix will work for the long term.

Healthy Nutrition

Food is our main source of energy and is directly linked with fat loss or gain. But it's not enough to just stop eating (and feel hungry all day long) or refuse from several products. Based on research, we collected some of the most recommended diets that may change the game.

Best Diets for Effective Weight Loss

Based on studies, such as the one conducted by the Institute of Medicine in Washington and another one by Irene Strychar published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, here is a list of health-safe diet for fat loss:

  • Low-Calorie Diets
    This type of diet requires consuming 500 calories less than you usually consume per day. Weight loss foods allowed on this diet include soups, shakes, and bars that replace actual meals. People are directed to take additional vitamin supplements when on a diet to maintain a healthy balance. A low-calorie diet can help people lose 3 to 5 pounds per week. This type of diet is a great starting point when you are just getting into dieting. It helps to reduce calories at a healthy level so that you are not being too restrictive.
  • Low-Carbohydrate Diets
    A low-carbohydrate diet has a focus on proteins such as eggs, fish, poultry, and meat. Typically excluded from this diet are bread, legumes, pasta, starchy vegetables, fruits, and sweets. Some nuts and seeds are excluded as well. The consumption of non-starchy vegetables is encouraged and it recommended that dieters focus on eating more whole foods in general. This type of diet is good for fast initial weight loss but may prove to be hard to transition through especially if you are used to having a very carbohydrate-rich diet in the first place.
  • Very-Low-Calorie Diets
    These diets require an extreme restriction of calories. Calorie intake should be drastically reduced to a maximum of 800 calories per day. Also, it requires replacing two with meal replacement supplements each day. These replacements can be shakes, drinks, or bars.
  • Very-Low-Fat Diets
    These diets allow for the consumption of foods that are very nutrient-dense. You are encouraged to eat whole grains, fruits, and vegetables as usual. You are cautioned to eat dairy products and desserts and snacks that are low in fat or considered fat free. This type of diet is more adapted to people who have a larger amount of visceral fat.
  • Meal Replacement Programs
    Meal replacement diets as their name suggest require you to replace two of your meals with a shake, cookie, or bar. You are allowed to have one healthy meal of your choice for a total of three main meals per day. This type of diet also allows for around two 100 calorie snacks per day to help you cope with the restricted calorie intake. These snacks can be had in between your three main meals.

Healthy Food Habits for Weight Loss

Here are a couple of weight loss tips on how you can make healthy foods a regular part of your everyday food, meal choices:

  • Drink less sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Choose healthier food options.
  • Cook at home more.
  • Learn to estimate or measure portion sizes in restaurants.
  • Learn to recognize the fat content of menu items and dishes on buffet tables.
  • Eliminate smoking and reduce alcohol consumption.
  • Modify your route to work to avoid a favorite fast food that tends to be a major temptation.


Physical Activities

Sports and other physical activities are very important in your fight against excess weight. More physical activity will increase the number of calories you burn which is what leads to fat loss. While eating fewer calories can help you to lose weight, staying physically active will provide a bigger success. When both diet and exercise are combined you can get the best result.

Best Exercises for Losing Weight

  • Walking: If you are just starting out this is a great activity to start with. 
  • Running: Once you have the knack of walking you can amp it up to running.
  • Cycling: Cycling will help you to do longer distances and times and thus burn even more calories than walking and running. 
  • Weight Training: Weight training is very beneficial and can be combined with any of the other exercises included in this list. 
  • Interval Training: Interval training helps to ensure that you don’t plateau and is the better choice for those who have had plateau experiences before. 
  • Swimming: This is a great low impact cardio exercise option. 
  • Yoga: Great choice if you are looking to benefit by not only reducing calories but also want some mental health benefits as well. 
  • Pilates: This offers benefits similar to Yoga. 
  • Jumping rope: this is effective and it may help you find your inner child and some happiness all of which can help to boost your mood, motivation, and self-esteem. 
  • Kettlebell Circuit: Ideal for home workouts if you can’t make it to a gym. 
  • Rowing machine: This machine works for multiple muscle groups and is a great way to get your exercise in. 
  • Stairs: No gym, no trail but stairs in your building? Hit those stairs for a great high or low-intensity cardio session.


Healthy Sport Habits

Knowing the importance of physical activity and actually doing exercise are two different things. As such you will need to develop habits that will support a continuous lifestyle. 

Here are some tips to keep you on track once you start your new physically active lifestyle:

  • Train on a schedule at the same time and days of the week to help your body adapt.
  • Try to fit in at least a small piece of exercise but do it daily.
  • Don't exercise too late in the day.
  • Always stretch before any type of physical training.
  • Use SPF and sun-protective clothes.
  • Don't forget to hydrate.
  • Make it a habit.
  • Measure your results regularly.

Healthy Sleep

When you are not getting proper sleep your body alters the way it responds to food dramatically. You will notice an increase in appetite when you are not sleeping properly and you will find it harder to ward off these craving temptations. You may find yourself bingeing more when not getting adequate sleep. 

Here are some healthy habits that help to promote good quality sleep for fat loss.

Habits for Healthier Sleep

  • Find a perfect amount of sleep for you within the recommended 7 to 9 hours a day.
  • Use an alarm clock or find a sleep app that will help you go to bed and wake up at the same time on a daily basis.
  • Gradually reduce and then limit your intake of caffeinated beverages, especially closer to bed-time.
  • Avoid smoking, actively or passively.
  • Try not to indulge in alcohol of any type, especially right before bed.
  • Limit your portions of food and liquids as the time comes closer to the night.
  • Don't nap after 3 p.m. unless it can't be helped.
  • Exercise different relaxation techniques before nighttime, such as listening to soft music, taking an Epsom salt bath, or reading a book.
  • Keep the bedroom temperature at a cooler level as it will aid in falling asleep.
  • Cancel out bright lights from the outside and digital screens, noises, and other distractions.
  • Avoid going onto social media or watching TV before sleep.
  • Increase your exposure to natural sunlight during the day.
  • If you can't fall asleep — don't force yourself, and instead, try getting up and doing something relaxing.


If you continue having trouble sleeping and none of the tips work, see a doctor. You might have a disorder that affects your ability to sleep, such as sleep apnea, so proper diagnosis is in order.

Drink More Water

Water also plays a very important role in the weight loss process. When you are drinking it in adequate amounts. Water is 100% calorie-free and is a good appetite suppressant if you consume it before meals. When you replace all your sugary beverages with water you will benefit from a decrease in sugar and also a decrease in calories. After all, your body is approximately 70% water so you can only see benefits when ingesting water in its correct amounts.

Importance of Water for Fat Loss

When you drink water you cleanse your body of waste products while boosting your metabolism. This can stop your body from retaining water and lead to a loss in water weight which is for many people a cause of extra weight gain. Studies also suggest that getting enough water intake can increase the number of calories you burn.

We get it, drinking water only is hard, I mean, it is a colorless tasteless liquid! We all would rather put only tasty things in our mouths. But for the sake of our health, we need to be consuming adequate amounts of water. How can you develop healthy water drinking habits? How much water is “adequate” for daily consumption?

Healthy Habits

  • Drink plenty of water every day. On average: 
  • Women need 2.7L water per day.
  • Men need 3.7L of water per day.
  • Aim to have at least one 8-ounce glass of water with each meal.
  • Always keep a bottle of water nearby and drink a little bit every time you see it.
  • Drink extra water when exercising or during physical activity.
  • Increase water intake when it is warm, humid, or very sunny.
  • Keep a glass of water near your bed at night. 
  • Eat more soups and liquid-rich meals, such as curries, stews, and smoothies
  • Eat fruits and vegetables with high water content, especially berries, grapes, melons, tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, and lettuce.

Stress Management

Multiple studies show how an increase in the stress hormone cortisol is correlated to a larger waistline. As such with stress management, the aim is to lower the levels of cortisol in the body. With the following healthy stress management habits, you can start working towards this goal.

Healthy Habits

  • Take psychotherapy sessions - you can find online ones.
  • Exercise at least 20-30 minutes every day - any type of bodily movement counts.
  • Decrease or totally remove caffeine and alcohol from your diet, yes we know this one is going to be hard.
  • Incorporate stress relievers into your everyday life by: 
  • Getting outdoors and enjoying nature.
  • Practicing mindfulness meditation.
  • Listening to relaxing music.
  • Focusing on your breathing.
  • Reading a book or magazine.
  • Enjoying aromatherapy with the use of essential oil diffusers.
  • Creating artwork of any kind, even if you do not consider yourself a painter or a creative.
  • Being kind to yourself. 
  • Saying “no” to things that may add stress.
  • Spending time with a pet.
  • Practicing 10 minutes of deep breathing.
  • Developing a positive self-talk habit.
  • Making time for leisure activities.
  • Practicing yoga.


How Much Weight Can You Realistically Expect to Lose?

Healthy fat loss is not fast. But if you want to stay healthy and keep the results for a long time, it's better to plan a long run than to lose weight extremely rapidly and increase many risks

The best tempo for weight loss is considered to be between 1 to 2 lbs per week according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — CDC. This translates to 4 to 8 pounds of weight lost each month. This can be achieved if you burn an extra 500 to 100 calories than that of which you consume each day. So the main way to reach this goal is to lower your calorie intake while also performing physical activities outside of the normal to get your body working to burn calories. 

A realistic initial goal in the majority of situations is to reduce their current weight by 5%. This is of course if you have not been advised by a health professional to lose more weight than that. You should always follow the primary guidance of your health professional over any advice you find here or anywhere else on the internet. They are professionals for a reason after all!

Self-monitoring and Feedback

Weight is manageable, but it comes with hard work. It takes commitment to a plan and the ability to stick to the plan and follow through with it. There is no one size fits all approach to fat loss, exercise, and dieting. While the concept is as simple as to be more active and consume fewer calories, translating this into real-life comes with its own set of challenges. You will need to remain accountable during your weight loss journey and will need some amount of support. 

Thanks to increases in technology you can now find support not just from those in your household or at work but you can find people from all over the globe who can cheer you on and give professional advice. 

Let's see how it works.

Accountability

Ever so often people go on diets, lose weight, and then regain it. This is often because they don't monitor their progress and quickly return to their old habits. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine provides confirmation that accountability is important for fat loss, no less than other healthy habits we listed.

In this study, it was found that persons who kept a food journal were two folds more successful than those people who did not. Keeping a food journal helped to keep participants motivated and helped them to be better able to realize when they were making mistakes and pointed them on how to not make those mistakes again. Avoiding mistakes provided a feel-good factor that further motivated study participants to stay on top of their fat loss goal.

Support and Feedback

We get it, it is not easy to manage your weight and more so to lose weight. With more than 66% of the adult population of the United States is classified as obese there is a need for effective interventions. Without proper support, it is easy to fall back into old habits. The good news is that there is a lot of information, methodologies, and professional support for those who need it.

It is a well-known fact that social interactions and relationships can affect diet and physical activity and thereby affect weight status. You can find support through mobile apps, friends, family, and personal fitness trainers. As technology increases the forms of support continue to increase as well.

Verb to Help You Lose Weight and Monitor the Progress

Verb is an SMS-based online coaching platform intended to help people maintain a healthy lifestyle and overcome challenges with professional support. There is no app to install on your mobile device and instead, you simply get a text message. 

Verb helps you to remain accountable when it comes to fitness, nutrition, sleep, water intake, and stress. The tool learns your habits over time and checks in on a daily basis via SMS.

  • It allows you to customize the experience by setting custom reminders where you can be asked questions at particular times throughout the day or week. 
  • It helps you to stay accountable to your goals by being your virtual workout buddy. 
  • There are weekly reviews by coaches to ensure that you maintain your goals as set out at the beginning.
  • You are provided with recommendations and encouragement specific to your needs.

All this allows for effective long-lasting results once you are paying attention to the reminders offered by the tool. In addition to weekly reviews, there are also progress reports that help you to see your progress over time and help you to understand how your fitness habits develop overtime as well.

Stay accountable even if you’re stuck at home
Don’t lose your fitness progress and goals
Receive fitness and nutrition advice in SMS

It’s extremely helpful to have the texts throughout the day. It’s like the little voice in my head reminding me of what im working towards.

I have learned more about health, and fitness. For example 80 ounces of water is dope for recovery as is sleeping 8 hours consistently every night.

The reminders, questions and support have been excellent for my journey.

How it works

Verb helps you maintain personal accountability & fitness regarding nutrition, water intake, sleep, and stress by learning your habits and checking in daily via SMS.

Personalized

Make Verb your own. Set custom reminders, adjust message timing and ask questions.

Accountable

Stay true to your goals even when you can’t get to a gym. Let Verb be your workout buddy.

Effective

Workouts paired with daily messages and weekly reviews give you the power to achieve lasting change.

What's INCLUDED?

TEXTS

Automated accountability questions about ideal water intake, sleep, food, stress, work or a custom parameter.

WORKOUTS

Stay on track with new and exciting workouts, even while you're not able to be at the gym.

WEEKLY REVIEWS

Our coaches review your responses for the week to provide encouragement and recommendations.

PROGRESS REPORTS

Develop an understanding of your fitness habits by seeing your progress over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Verb help me reach my goal?

The key to Verb’s success is the success of our users. We provide the tools and you provide the drive. When users set realistic goals and achieve them, we all win 🚀

How much will Verb cost?

Usually, Verb requires a monthly commitment of just $4.99. Right now we are offering Verb for free.

Is my communication using Verb private?

At Verb, your privacy is our number one concern. We’ve taken all the necessary measures to ensure that any communication to and from Verb is secure and safe 🔐

Has Verb already been helping people?

A group of users were selected to join our beta testing group. With the help of these users, we’re working to make sure Verb is the best possible product to launch with when it becomes available to the public 🙌

Do I need to download an app to use Verb?

Verb is an SMS based platform. What that means is there’s no need to add another app to your phone, simply text us like you would anyone else. The goal of Verb is not to complicate, but instead to make your experience as seamless as possible 👍

When will Verb be available?

We want to make sure Verb is the best tool to help our users accomplish their goals. For this reason, we are taking time to ensure that not a single detail is missed or rushed. We hope to have Verb fully available by the fall of 2019. Trust us, it’ll be worth the wait 🌟

Contact us

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.