I lost 10lbs of fat this summer with three simple tweaks. They take seconds to implement. And despite not wanting to lose more weight, I’m still following them today. I believe they’re health promoting habits everyone should consider. What are they? Do they actually work? And how much weight could you lose following them? Well, let’s get into it!

Diet Tweaks

Food quantity is the number one determinant of weight gain or loss. Food quality is a close second. Optimizing these parameters is the best way to lose weight. But the three tweaks I’m about to share will accelerate the process. Here are those three tweaks:

1. Pre-load with Water

Ever heard that drinking more water will cause weight loss? Well, evidence of that is low [1]. Maybe if you’re swapping soda for water. Otherwise, drinking more might just mean peeing more. But there is a water strategy that works. Pre-loading water before meals. A few studies have found that consuming water 30mins before a meal reduces caloric intake. Why? It’s still unclear. But people feel fuller and more satisfied after a water preloaded meal. [2]

Weight Loss Benefits from Preloading Water [2]

Frequently, I’d scarf down lunch or dinner and forget to stop and drink. After overeating the meal, I wouldn’t even want the water. Simply switching the order helped. Now I aim for two cups of water before every meal. 30 minutes before seems best but sometimes I forget and just chug it immediately beforehand. How much could this help? One study showed participants lost 1lb/month more weight from preloading water compared to not [2]. For such a simple strategy, why not? It helps me stay hydrated and prevent overindulging. However, if the increased fullness doesn’t last until the next scheduled meal, it may increase snacking [2]. Which may nullify the benefit. Which leads me to tweak two. (What a great transition 😏)

2. Eliminate Snacks

Should you snack if your goal is to lose weight? To date, studies haven’t shown a relationship between snacking and obesity. It doesn’t appear to matter. What you eat for those snacks might. Healthy snacks promote weight loss while unhealthy snacks promote weight gain. Either way, I try to avoid it. If my meals are planned correctly, then I don’t need the extra calories. But there’s two more reasons I avoid snacks. [3]

First, late night snacking isn’t good. It promotes weight gain and disrupts sleep [4]. By never snacking, I avoid the temptation of eating after dinner. Easy solution. If I go to bed mildly hungry, then I’m more excited for breakfast too. It’s a win-win.

Second, not snacking increases my time in catabolism. No, not cannibalism. I doubt that’s healthy. Maybe reference my Carnivore Diet Review for that. Anabolism is a metabolic state around growth and building. It occurs during the eating phase. Think of it like adding resources to a warehouse. Catabolism is a metabolic state around usage and maintenance. It occurs during the fasting phase. Think of it like shipping resources out of the warehouse and cleaning it of expired products. It’s where most healing and self-repair happens in the body. Research suggests the more time we spend in catabolism, the healthier we become. Not snacking between meals increases my time in the catabolic state. Another win for not snacking. [5, 6]

3. Track Progress

How do we know if any of these diet tweaks are working? By stepping on the scale. Study after study shows the more you weigh yourself, the more weight you lose. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. One study showed participants lost 2lbs/month more weight by weighing themselves everyday vs most days (think 4-6 days per week). They concluded that daily weighing is an effective weight loss tool. It’s that easy. [7]

Weight Loss Effects of Daily Weighing [7]

I don’t weigh myself every day, but I try to. I step on the scale each night around 10pm after using the bathroom and before going to bed. This reduces variables impacting my weight. Even so, it’s common for weight to fluctuate two to three pounds per day based upon hydration and nutrition. Therefore, I pay more attention to the 7-day rolling average to see which way my weight is trending. New lows are a good sign too. I don’t obsess about the results. I use them to guide my food quantity needs moving forward.

Final Thoughts

Food quantity and quality are the biggest determinants of weight loss. But these tweaks can accelerate it. Pre-loading water before meals, not snacking, and daily weighing may help you lose over 2lbs/month. With little time and effort. And if you’re losing weight, don’t forget strength training. This will preserve muscle mass. That way the weight lost is fat loss. These are my latest habits for health excellence.

Hi, I’m Brandon Zerbe

Welcome to myHealthSciences! Every week I share habits for health excellence. I do this by covering topics like Fitness, Nutrition, Sleep, Cognition, Finance and Minimalism. You can learn more about me here.