TikTokers are raving about new weight loss trick – and experts say it might work
TIKTOK is flooded with tips that millions claim are the secret to weight loss.
While many turn out to be a fad, one hack being raved about may actually work, experts say.
Chia seed water has gained popularity on the social media platform as a simple way to suppress appetite and lose weight.
The beverage involves mixing two tablespoons of seeds into a large glass of water and leaving it to sit for a few minutes.
The chia seeds swell in the water and become soft. In smaller amounts of water it becomes gloopier.
Viral videos say the drink creates a feeling of fullness, and therefore reduces hunger, because the seeds expand in the stomach and form a gel.
They recommend it 30 minutes before meals, possibly to prevent overeating.
But experts say the elixir has a number of other health benefits that help with the weight loss process.
Chia seeds are bursting with vitamins but are also high in fat and protein, nutrients that help you feel more satisfied and prevent overeating.
They also have a high fibre content of around 10g in two tablespoons – a third of the NHS recommended daily amount.
Fibre has been shown in research to promote weight loss, as the NHS says: “Choosing foods with fibre also makes us feel fuller, while a diet rich in fibre can help digestion and prevent constipation.”
It’s also strongly associated with lower odds of bowel cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease.
Nutritionist Kerri Ferraioli told Insider the hyped up water can help with weight loss due to its high health fat content and ability to make a person feel full faster and longer.
Registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix added: "Because it has protein and healthy fat, they can make you feel full and last longer in your system without causing your blood sugar to spike.”
When blood sugar levels spike, it can cause highs and lows in energy and chaotic hunger levels.
Is there evidence?
There is plenty of evidence to back that the properties of chia seeds are beneficial for overall health.
But there are no studies that have proven that the seeds themselves will lead to weight loss, whether drunk in water or not.
One study of 90 overweight people showed no effect of having 50g of chia seeds per day for 12 weeks, Healthline reported.
In contrast, a six month study in obese people with type 2 diabetes on a reduced-calorie diet found that eating chia seeds daily caused significantly greater weight loss than a placebo.
It’s likely that chia seeds alone will not cause you to shed the pounds – and certainly won’t offset any other behaviours that sabotage weight loss.
Instead, think of it as one part of the puzzle that could help with hitting targets such as protein and fibre intake.
Experts also warn against guzzling too much chia seed water, because this could add unecessary calories and cause stomach problems.
Chia seeds can also be eaten sprinkled over breakfasts like porridge or yoghurt, in salads or baked into breads or muffins to get the same benefits.
How to lose weight
There are a dozens of viral hacks and trendy diets the claim to be the secret to weight loss.
But it generally comes down to the same simple rules.
The NHS' 12 tips for weight loss are:
- Don't skip your first meal
- Eat regular meals
- Eat plenty of fruit and veg
- Get more active
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat high fibre foods
- Read food labels
- Use a smaller plate
- Don't ban foods
- Don't stock junk food
- Cut down on alcohol
- Meal plan
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