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Weight

Your weight is the result of your body’s fight against gravity. The ideal weight-loss diet will maximize fat loss and minimize fat-free mass loss.

Our evidence-based analysis on weight features 232 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by and reviewed by the Examine team.
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Summary of Weight

Mass is a measure of how much matter is in an object. Unlike its weight, the mass of an object is constant. If an object’s mass is 1 gram on Earth, its mass is 1 gram on the Moon.

An object’s weight is its relative mass. Unlike mass proper, weight is affected by gravity: it will be different on Earth and on the Moon; it can even vary on Earth (a given object is slightly heavier at sea level than at the top of a mountain, and at the equator than at the poles).

For our purpose, however, mass and weight and pretty much interchangeable. The “weight” in “water weight” and the “mass” in “fat mass” are matters of convention. When “weight” is used alone, it refers to body weight.

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Human Effect Matrix

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The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies to tell you what supplements affect Weight.

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Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Supplement Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-a Strong Very High See all 28 studies
Appears to have a large effect on increasing overall weight due to water retention in persons who respond to creatine supplementation. Degree of increase is variable.
grade-a Notable Very High See all 4 studies
The effect of paleo on decreasing weight may be similar to or greater than that observed with other healthy diets.
grade-a Notable Very High See all 10 studies
In a meta-analysis from 2016 (PMID: 26138004) of 1151 participants, a vegan diet reduced body weight by ~2.5 kg compared to a regular diet after a median follow-up of 18 weeks.

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Frequently Asked Questions and Articles on Weight

Is my “slow metabolism” stalling my weight loss?
The number of calories you burn is based on your resting metabolic rate, the thermic effect of food, and physical activity.
Why do my muscles get sore?
Muscle soreness after exercise usually goes away quickly, but prolonged muscle soreness, otherwise known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), can last for days. Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs), light exercise, massage, and good nutrition can play a role in alleviating or preventing DOMS.
How do I stay out of "starvation mode?"
Marasmus is a disease of caloric restriction, but you most likely don't have it. Your metabolic rate can definitely slow down during weight loss, but it will never slow to the point where it causes you to gain weight; in this sense, starvation mode is a myth.
Is weight lifting bad for kids?
What should you eat for weight loss?
When it comes to figuring out what to eat for weight loss, the most important factor is eating less. When you consume less calories than you spend you will lose weight and the diet that helps you lose weight best will be the one that allows you to consume less calories without causing much distress or lethargy. The key is to pick a diet that you can adhere to.
Can hypothyroidism lead to fat gain?
Yes, a less active thyroid will reduce metabolic rate and can cause some weight gain. It is not a lot of weight gain though, and a subactive thyroid is not an excuse for obesity (if hypothyroidic, please see a doctor for medication; it burns fat)
Can you be Healthy and Obese?
Not optimally healthy when morbidly obese, but health parameters could be improved (to a degree) independent of weight loss with further benefits inducing weight loss
Low-fat vs. low-carb? Major study concludes: it doesn’t matter for weight loss
A year-long randomized clinical trial (DIETFITS) has found that a low-fat diet and a low-carb diet produced similar weight loss and improvements in metabolic health markers. Furthermore, insulin production and tested genes had no impact on predicting weight loss success or failure. Thus, evidence to date indicates you should choose your diet based on personal preferences, health goals, and sustainability.
Whey vs soy protein: which is better when losing weight?
Whey protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis rates more than soy protein, but supplementing with ~25 grams per day of either has similar effects on body composition over two weeks of dieting.
Is it OK to skip breakfast?
5 little-known facts about protein
Can you survive if you eat only protein? Can you survive without eating protein? How does your body keep functioning when you fast? Do high-protein diets actually promote weight loss, or do they only help you retain muscle when you eat below maintenance? Find the answers to those questions, and more, in the article below.
Stepping up weight loss: Can walking help dieters shed fat?
Walking doesn't do much for fat loss on its own. But there's reason to suspect it could boost the benefits of a caloric deficit.
Will eating breakfast keep you lean?
A lot of the evidence supporting the idea that eating breakfast is important for shedding pounds comes from observational studies. Do clinical trials support this claim, too?
Exploring chia seeds for weight loss
Oh no, another superfood fad! Not so fast. This six month trial put chia seeds to a rigorous test, looking for weight loss in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Measuring body fat percentage: It's an accuracy thing
Comparing DEXA versus Bod Pod for people with different BMI.
How to minimize fat gain during the holidays
Holiday season is when most people gain weight (and then struggle to take it off). Overfeeding on protein could be your solution in helping minimize the fat gain.
3 Science-based steps to curbing your appetite
Fiber, stress relief, and supplement options can help curb your appetite!
The lowdown on intermittent fasting
We analyze the research on intermittent fasting and how it impacts your health.
Does high-protein intake help when dieting?
We analyze a study which suggests that a higher protein-intake while dieting can help you lose more fat.
I'm not too tired to stuff my face
This study found that total sleep deprivation leads to more calories eaten overall, but those calories were all consumed at night. Sleep deprivation did not affect the amount of calories consumed the following day.
I am a female. Will lifting heavy weights make me bulky?
While lifting weights will increase muscle, the rate is slow enough and androgens limited enough to not make you appear too 'bulky'.
How do I lose fat around my belly?
I have lost significant weight and now have loose skin. How can I tighten up my skin?

Things to Note

Also Known As

body weight

Click here to see all 232 references.