To lose weight, your body needs to burn more calories than it consumes.
There are two ways to do this — eating fewer calories or exercising more.
Tracking your calorie intake helps you stay aware of how many calories you consume per day, so you can know if you’re on the right track or need to make adjustments.
In fact, a review of 37 studies including more than 16,000 participants found that weight loss programs that involved tracking calorie intake led to losing 7.3 pounds (3.3 kg) more per year than programs that did not (1Trusted Source).
The number of calories you need to consume per day depends on various factors, such as your starting weight, lifestyle, sex, and activity level.
The two most common ways to track calorie intake are with an app or food journal.
That said, it’s important to note that simply tracking calorie intake may not be the most sustainable approach to lose weight.
However, tracking calories can work exceptionally well when paired with healthy lifestyle modifications, such as eating more vegetables or exercising regularly.
Tracking your calorie intake can help you stay on track with your weight loss goal, especially when combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle modifications.
Fiber is a type of indigestible carbohydrate that can aid weight loss.
This is because fiber slows the rate the stomach empties its contents, which in turn may help you feel full for longer (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
In addition, studies have shown that fiber, especially soluble fiber, may reduce the production of hunger hormones, such as ghrelin, and increase the production of fullness hormones, such as cholecystokinin (CCK), glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1), and peptide YY (PYY) ( 5Trusted Source).
By curbing your appetite, fiber may help reduce your calorie intake and lead to effortless weight loss (6Trusted Source).
For example, one dated review found that increasing daily fiber intake by 14 grams was linked to eating 10% fewer calories daily and weight loss of 4.2 pounds (1.9 kg), without making other lifestyle or diet changes (7Trusted Source).
That said, more recent research is needed.
Foods that are high in fiber include most vegetables, fruits, nuts, whole grains, and seeds. Alternatively, you could try taking a fiber supplement, such as glucomannan.
Fiber can help you stay full for longer, which in turn may reduce your calorie intake and help you lose weight.
To lose 100 pounds, increasing your protein intake is important.
Diets higher in protein have been shown to boost your metabolism, curb your appetite, preserve muscle mass, and may reduce harmful belly fat (8Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
In fact, research has shown that simply following a higher protein diet may help you burn an additional 80–100 calories per day (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source).
In one study, women with excess weight whose diet comprised 30% protein lost 11 pounds (5 kg) over 12 weeks, without restricting their calorie intake (13Trusted Source).
Moreover, a higher protein diet may help prevent weight regain. For instance, a study found that consuming supplemental protein, which resulted in a diet comprising 18% protein compared with 15% in another study group, prevented weight regain by as much as 50% (14Trusted Source).
Choosing healthy foods, such as meats, seafood, eggs, nuts, seeds, and legumes in favor of other foods is a great way to increase your protein intake.
Increasing your protein intake may help you lose weight by boosting your metabolism, curbing your appetite, and reducing belly fat.
Reducing your refined carb intake is an effective way to lose weight.
Refined carbs, also known as simple carbs, are sugars and refined grains that have been stripped of nutrients and fiber during processing. Common sources of refined carbs include white bread, white flour, pasta, sweets, and pastries.
Refined carbs are not only a poor source of nutrients but also tend to have a high glycemic index. This means they are digested and absorbed quickly.
This can cause rapid spikes and dips in blood sugars, followed by increased cravings, hunger, and a higher risk of overeating (15Trusted Source).
In addition, some research has linked a higher intake of refined carbs to carrying more visceral fat — a type of fat that is linked to a higher risk of chronic diseases like heart disease (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
For example, a study including 2,834 participants discovered that a higher intake of refined carbs was linked to carrying more belly fat, whereas a higher intake of whole grains was linked to carrying less belly fat (18Trusted Source).
Also, it’s a good idea to cut back on soda, juice, and energy drinks. These beverages are often packed with sugar and calories, lack other nutrients, and contribute to weight gain over time — all without filling you up (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
Aim to swap refined carbs for whole-grain alternatives, such as brown rice, quinoa, couscous, and whole-grain bread, or for more high protein foods.
Choosing more whole-grain carbs and protein-rich foods instead of refined carbs can help you stay full for longer and aid weight loss.
With a goal such as losing 100 pounds, willpower alone is not always enough to ensure long-term success.
That’s where accountability is important. It helps you stay on the right path for weight loss success and allows you to make adjustments along the way.
One way to stay accountable is to weigh yourself more frequently. Research has shown that people who weigh themselves more frequently are more likely to lose weight and keep it off, compared with people who don’t weight themselves as frequently (21Trusted Source).
Another way to stay accountable is to keep a food journal. It allows you to keep track of your food intake, which can help you lose weight and keep it off longer (22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).
Lastly, you could try partnering with a friend who has similar weight loss goals, or joining an in-person or online weight loss community. Doing so can not only help you with your goal but also make things fun to help keep you motivated (24Trusted Source).
Staying accountable can help you lose weight. Several ways to do so is weighing yourself regularly, keeping a food journal, and having an accountability partner.
Though most people know that vegetables are very healthy, research shows that around 91% of people in the United States do not eat enough of them (25Trusted Source).
In addition to being healthy, vegetables have other qualities that can help you lose weight.
To start, vegetables are a good source of fiber — a nutrient that can slow the rate of stomach emptying and increase feelings of fullness (2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
Also, vegetables tend to have a high water content, which gives them a low energy density. This means vegetables are low in calories for their weight.
Consistently choosing low energy density foods, such as vegetables, in place of refined carbs, allows you to eat the same quantity of food and still slash your calorie intake (26Trusted Source).
In fact, studies show that adults who eat vegetables more frequently tend to weigh less (27Trusted Source).
Vegetables are high in fiber and have a low energy density, meaning they can help you stay full for longer while consuming fewer calories.
Exercise is important when it comes to losing a lot of weight.
Cardio, also known as aerobic exercise, is a popular form of physical activity that helps burn calories and promotes heart health (28Trusted Source).
In fact, studies have shown that cardio alone can aid fat loss.
For example, a study in 141 participants with excess weight or obesity analyzed the weight loss effects of doing 400 or 600 calories worth of cardio 5 times per week for 10 months, without watching their calorie intake.
Researchers found that participants who did 400 and 600 calories worth of cardio lost an average of 8.6 pounds (3.9 kg) and 11.5 pounds (5.2 kg), respectively (29Trusted Source).
Similarly, another study in 141 participants observed that doing just 40 minutes of cardio 3 times per week for 6 months led to a 9% decrease in body weight, on average (30Trusted Source).
In addition, studies have shown that cardio can help you burn harmful belly fat, which is also known as visceral fat. This type of fat sits in the abdominal cavity and is linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers (31Trusted Source, 32Trusted Source, 33Trusted Source).
If you are not used to cardio, try walking more frequently during the week and slowly progress toward jogging or running as you begin to feel more comfortable. If walking puts too much stress on your joints, try doing low impact cardio exercises, such as water walking or cycling.
Cardio helps you burn calories, which can aid weight and fat loss.
Resistance training, commonly called weight lifting, can assist weight loss.
It involves working against a force to improve muscle strength and endurance. Though it’s commonly done with weights, you can do it with just your body weight.
Resistance training can aid weight loss by slightly increasing your metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories at rest (34Trusted Source).
For example, a study in 61 people found that 9 months of regular weight lifting increased the number of calories they burned at rest by 5%, on average (35Trusted Source).
Similarly, another study noted that 10 weeks of regular weight lifting increased the number of calories burned by 7%, helped reduce blood pressure levels, and led to 4 pounds (1.8 kg) of fat loss, on average (36Trusted Source).
The easiest way to get started is to go to the gym, but you can try resistance training exercises, such as squats, lunges, sit-ups, and planks, at home using your body weight.
If you have never been to the gym before, consider getting a personal trainer to help you understand how to use the equipment properly and reduce your risk of injury.
Resistance training helps preserve muscle mass and may boost your metabolism, which in turn can aid weight loss.
Mindful eating37Trusted Source).
There are several ways to practice mindful eating, but the most common ways include eating slowly, chewing food thoroughly, and avoiding distractions while eating, such as your phone, computer, or TV.
Research has shown that eating slowly — a mindful eating practice — can help you eat less while feeling fuller and more satisfied (38Trusted Source).
Another study in 17 men observed that eating slowly led to a greater release of fullness hormones, such as peptide YY and glucagon-like peptide-1, as well as greater feelings of fullness (39Trusted Source).
Additionally, a review of 19 studies found that incorporating mindfulness into a weight loss regimen led to weight loss in 68% of the studies (40Trusted Source).
Incorporating mindful eating into your weight loss routine can help you eat less, lose weight, and enjoy food more.
With a large weight loss goal like losing 100 pounds, it’s an excellent idea to seek the support of a qualified professional, such as a registered dietitian.
A dietitian can not only help you determine the best way to lose excess fat without being too restrictive but also offer you support along your journey.
What’s more, studies have shown that working with a dietitian on your weight loss journey can lead to significantly more weight loss than going at it alone, as well as help you maintain the weight loss afterward (41Trusted Source, 42Trusted Source).
Gathering a dietitian’s input is especially important if you have a complex medical condition. A dietitian can ensure you lose weight safely, without significantly compromising your health.
A dietitian can help kick-start your weight loss and point you in the right direction. This is especially true if you have a complex medical condition.