Grandma Home Remedies for Weight Loss (That Work in Just 20 Days)

Weight Loss & Diets | Written by Nathan Petitpas | Updated on 14 April 2023

An elderly woman in her 70s is wearing orange glasses and standing in a kitchen while blending up purple vegetable juice while preparing various Grandma home remedies for weight loss.

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Grandmothers have plenty of valuable wisdom to share and that’s exactly why so many people turn to grandma home remedies for weight loss that have been passed down from generation to generation.

The 28 remedies below are old-school tips and homemade brews Grandmas have up their sleeve and they’re like no others because they’re belly-slimming concoctions made with love. These remedies do the trick either by helping the body burn more fat or by helping dieters develop healthier habits. In fact, many folks who try the “grandma diet plan” notice the results in just 20 days.  

So take a tip from Granny and learn how to lose weight without trying

#1 Grandma Says “A Walk a Day Keeps the Doctor Away”: Walks Build Bonds

When grandma suggests taking a family stroll after dinner, she isn’t just trying to connect with her family. Walking is an excellent fitness habit, and it has helped seniors and youngins alike lose belly fat for many years. 

A walk around the neighborhood also offers weight loss benefits. A study published in the Journal of Exercise Nutrition and Biochemistry asked a group of women to walk 50-70 minutes three times a week for 12 weeks. By the end of the study, the women had significantly reduced their abdominal fat, improved their insulin resistance, and increased their levels of serum adiponectin (a hormone that helps break down fatty acids). 

Research shows that exercising with a buddy (or family member) can also help people stick with a routine, and it can even encourage them to increase the length and intensity of their workout.1 After 20 days of walking with loved ones, any fitness buff will feel healthier and closer to their family. 

#2 Eat Fish or Salmon Weekly to Get Enough Omega 3s

There are many reasons why nutrition experts recommend eating fish at least once a week. Salmon and other fish contain plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, which do everything from supporting the immune system to boosting brain development. Research even shows that kids who eat fish weekly have an average IQ four-point higher than those who don’t.2

In addition to their overall health benefits, the omega-3s in fish can also help promote weight loss. Researchers have observed that people can increase their metabolisms by taking omega-3 supplements, which means they’ll keep burning fat long after their workout (and their meal) is done.3

Dieters who add salmon, cod, halibut, or tuna (even canned) to the weekly menu will be surprised to see how this shift helps their waistline. In just a few weeks, they’ll unlock the secret of how to lose belly fat overnight

#3 Reap The Benefits of Antioxidants Found in Berries

These days, some diet gurus claim that fruit is unhealthy due to its high sugar content. However, the grandmother’s advice might be more accurate here; while fruit does contain plenty of natural sugars, some fruits (like berries) can be great for weight loss.

A 24-year long study published in PLOS Medicine discovered that men and women lost weight when they increased their fruit intake, and apples and berries seemed to result in the greatest change. This is likely because these fruits are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants can help neutralize free radicals, decrease inflammation, and increase energy levels, all of which can help people lose weight more easily.

The research is still out on whether antioxidants directly affect weight loss.4 However, people who increase their fruit intake are less likely to indulge in high-calorie snacks like chips or cookies. Twenty days of opting for fruit can help change anyone’s eating habits – and better nutrition is one of the 3 steps to losing weight.

#4 Replace Fruit Juice With Vegetable Juice

Fruit juice exists in a healthy “gray zone.” It is certainly healthier than soda or other sugary drinks, but it is still very high in sugar and low on other nutrients. This means it fails to provide sufficient energy and it can contribute to insulin spikes in some people.5 These drawbacks might be why some grandmas opt for different kitchen remedies when they want a healthy beverage: vegetable juice. 

It is best to drink vegetable juice made from low sodium, high potassium vegetables like carrots or tomatoes. Vegetable juice contains significantly less sugar than fruit juice, which means that people with diabetes or insulin sensitivities can enjoy it with fewer risks to their blood sugar. 

Even dieters without insulin sensitivities can reap some benefits from juicing their veggies; studies show that drinking at least one cup of vegetable juice every day results in greater weight loss, higher vitamin C intake, and lower overall carb consumption.6

#5 Nourish Yourself With Electrolytes Found in Coconut Water

Another one of grandma’s natural home remedies for weight loss is coconut water, a refreshing beverage that also contains plenty of potassium. But potassium isn’t the element that makes it seem like a weight loss wonder food – that honor goes to the electrolytes. 

According to a study from the University of California, Irvine, participants who added electrolytes to their weight loss program lost an average of 56 pounds over a 6-week period!7 At that rate, dieters who add coconut water to their routine could lose as much as 26 pounds in 20 days. 

While the electrolytes in coconut water may be able to help with weight loss, it’s also important to remember that coconut water tends to be high in sodium. People with high blood pressure should look for low-sodium varieties so they can enjoy the benefits of coconut water without taking in extra salt.

#6 “Drink Your Coffee Black” Just Like Grandmother Suggests

Of all the grandma home remedies for weight loss out there, female caffeine lovers will like this one best. According to research from The Journal of Nutrition, drinking coffee every day results in lower overall body fat and a decrease in trunk body fat (the area around the midsection) for women.

A Grandmother with eyeglasses, wearing a purple sweater, holding a white coffee cup full of black coffee.

Source: Willowpix via Canva.com19

Research suggests that women can reap weight loss benefits from drinking coffee whether it is caffeinated or decaf. But of course, it is important to note that adding extras to coffee (milk, sugar, whipped cream, etc.) will up the calories and nullify any weight loss benefits. Dieters should stick to black coffee for 20 days, then splurge with a sweeter drink to celebrate their weight loss success.

#7 “Don’t Stuff Yourself Like a Turkey” – Fill Up On Water Before Meals

Any grandma who has ever told her grandchildren to drink some water before dinner was onto something great. A study published in Obesity found that water consumption helps to reduce the number of calories consumed during a meal, which resulted in a 44% weight decline for study participants over 12 weeks.

Dieters who drink water before their meals or when they want a snack won’t just benefit from the calorie reduction. They can also learn to better understand their hunger and thirst cues – bodily signals that 37% of people struggle to understand, according to research from Physiology and Behavior. After 20 days of choosing water before meals, dieters will be able to determine what their body truly needs.

#8 “Back in My Day We Didn’t Have a Soda but Once a Month”

These days, about 20% of Americans drink at least one soda a day and Grandma doesn’t approve.8 This habit can be detrimental to a person’s health, as just one can of Coca-Cola contains 140 calories (all of which come from sugar). Still, many families keep these sugary drinks at home, leaving temptation that can undo a person’s weight loss efforts just inside the fridge. 

The best way to resist this temptation is simply to remove it from the house. Take a tip from granny and stop buying sodas, and then limit soda intake to once a month (or less). After 20 days, this healthier soda-free lifestyle will be second nature. 

#9 Grandma’s Go To – Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is one of the more popular home remedies to reduce weight in 7 days, thanks to celebrity endorsements like Selena Gomez, Katy Perry, and Megan Fox. But this kitchen staple has another long-time advocate: grandma! Apple cider vinegar has anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce cravings and curb appetite, which helps you feel fuller and ultimately eat fewer calories. 

How should people take apple cider vinegar, and how much should they drink? Diet experts recommend drinking just one or two tablespoon mixed in water each day.9 However, dieters who don’t prefer that method can also mix apple cider vinegar with olive oil to create a tasty salad dressing or simply incorporate it into recipes like baked beans or stews.  

#10 Make Old Fashioned Oats Instead of Instant Oats

There are a few grandma home remedies for weight loss that are simply a product of time. Instant oatmeal wasn’t invented until 1966, which means that some grandmas spent much of their lives cooking oats the old-fashioned way.10  

Cooking old-fashioned oats instead of popping an instant packet in the microwave may be a mere habit for grandmother, but it also may help her stay slim due to the filling properties of fiber and the lack of sugar. Instant oats are more processed than old-fashioned oats, and they are often packed with extra sugars and flavorings that are not healthy. 

A bowl of oatmeal can be a great way to stay full and consume healthy grains, but it’s best to stick with old-fashioned oats sweetened naturally with fruit.    

#11 “Only One Glass of Wine a Day & Avoid Brown Liquor”

Many grandmas love a drink as much as the next person – but they understand that alcohol doesn’t do much for their figures. Most alcohol (especially dark liquors like whiskey or rum) are high in empty calories that up a person’s caloric intake before they even notice. 

A couple with grey hair is sitting on a couch while each is holding a glass of wine, smiling, and relieving stress from the day.

Source: Brothers91 via Canva.com20

The body also burns alcohol for energy before it touches carbohydrates or fats.11 This means that dieters who drink too much liquor may end up storing that extra glucose and lipids along their waistline.

It’s ok to have alcohol on occasion while trying to lose weight, but moderation and selection are key. Stick to lower-calorie liquors (the clear ones like vodka or gin) and try to limit consumption to just one glass. 

This habit may take a concerted effort – especially for folks who love to party – but it will ultimately benefit the body in more ways than one.

#12 “Slow Down Youngin: Chew Slower & Chew Your Food More”

Grandmas across the world have been telling their grandkids to chew their food more for centuries. And while many people likely assumed that this advice was meant to prevent choking (which it partly was), science has shown that extra chewing could help people lose weight more effectively. 

Research found that chewing food more slowly can increase thermogenesis (generating heat and burning calories).

In addition to the scientific benefits, chewing slowly can help dieters change their relationship with food. It typically takes the brain around 20 minutes to realize that the body is full – and if someone is eating too quickly, they can go from “sated” to “stuffed” before their brain has time to process.12 

Making slower eating a habit can help dieters pay attention to their bodies and stop eating sooner, thus reducing their daily calories.

#13 Grandmas Triple Threat: Honey, Cinnamon and Lemon

There are many home remedies to lose weight in a week hiding in the average pantry right now, and these three ingredients are at the top of the list. Honey, cinnamon, and lemon all contain medicinal properties that can help people lose weight. 

The International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition reports that study participants who ate natural honey for 8 weeks saw a decrease in both body weight and blood lipids (fatty substances found in blood and body tissue). Cinnamon is known to curb sugar cravings and help regulate insulin levels.13 

Some research suggests that lemons can help boost metabolism. And when dieters combine these ingredients to create a lemon water drink with honey and cinnamon, they can enjoy weight loss benefits long after they’ve drunk the last drop.

#14 Fix Your Belly With Baking Soda – An Old Fashioned Remedy That’s Still Up in the Air

Grandma may be full of wisdom, but occasionally, science is not on her side. Such is the case with this advice: adding baking soda to a glass of water or apple cider vinegar.

This baking soda for weight loss theory sprang up because baking soda is alkaline. Alkalinity can help improve a person’s digestive health, which will, in turn, boost metabolic activity and help them lose weight. 

It’s a clever idea that makes sense on paper, but it has one major flaw – science can’t seem to prove it. In fact, consuming too much baking soda can have negative health effects, including high blood pressure, gas, and even seizures

Any grandma home remedies for weight loss that suggests drinking baking soda are best left in the past.

#15 Get Enough Protein Through Natural Sources

Many people know that protein is an essential part of a healthy diet and that it can aid with weight loss and management. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that dieters who eat 1.2-1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight each day stay fuller longer and have an easier time maintaining body weight. 

Grandma certainly agrees – but according to her, it’s best to get that protein from natural sources. 

The best proteins to eat while trying to lose weight include eggs, nuts, chicken, lean beef, Greek yogurt, fish, and lentils.14 Eating more of these foods can help folks drop weight and keep it off.  

#16 Cook With Coconut Oil, Avocado Oil, Olive Oil or MCTs

There are so many oils to choose from at the grocery store, but a few specific options have been favorites of granny for quite some time. Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) all have noticeable effects on a person’s weight. 

Coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil all contain MCTs, which are made up of fatty acids the body can absorb quickly to use for fuel. This means they are less likely to be stored in the body as fats, particularly compared to the long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) found in nut oils. 

Research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that replacing LCTs with MCTs in a person’s diet can result in weight loss, so consider swapping out nut-based cooking oils like peanut for coconut, and avocado, or olive. 

#17 “Don’t Fret” – Relieve Stress Through Yoga

Some of grandma’s weight loss advice deals with mental health and physical health. After all, a person’s weight loss journey is as much “mind over matter” as it is diet and exercise. If a dieter is stressed, discouraged, and unmotivated, he or she is much more likely to find themselves giving up on weight loss

A woman with short grey hair is standing in a yoga pose on an orange yoga mat with a laptop and a couple of purple dumbbells in the middle of a living room with a side table and a plant in the background.

Source: Yuganov Konstantin via Canva.com21

Finding a healthy outlet for stress is an important part of successful weight loss (and healthy life). One great option is to practice yoga. Yogis practice relaxing, meditative breathing while building strength and flexibility, which makes this exercise a workout for both body and mind. 

Additionally, yoga can help assist with losing weight; according to research from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, adults who practiced yoga five days a week for six months (starting with just 20 minutes per day and building up to 60 minutes) lost more weight than adults who did not practice yoga.

#18 Use Natural Green Tea for Seniors and Whippersnappers Alike

Many people start their morning with a cup of (ideally black) coffee or hot tea. People who want to lose more weight can keep up this habit, but they should make sure they are sipping on green tea. 

Research from the International Journal of Obesity found that the catechins in green tea (the metabolite that gives plants their antioxidant properties) help to decrease body weight and play a significant role in weight loss maintenance. A cup of green tea (flavored with granny’s other super ingredients, lemon, and honey) can be instrumental in helping dieters keep weight off. 

Green tea also contains plenty of carotenoids, which can help target and eliminate face fat.15 These elements neutralize free radicals, reduce inflammation, and promote blood flow throughout the body, which can help burn facial fat. This new, slimmer profile can make anyone look like they managed to lose weight overnight.  

#19 Dial in Your Sleep Hygiene & Prioritize Sleep: “Get Your Rest Sweetie”

Getting enough “beauty sleep” has been excellent health advice since well before grandma’s day, but it is just as valuable today. Not only will sufficient sleep keep dieters looking and feeling great, but insufficient sleep can totally undo their efforts. 

According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, the amount of sleep a person gets directly contributes to their body’s ability to burn fat. Dieters who don’t get enough sleep are effectively hamstringing their metabolism, making it harder to shed those pounds. Don’t let this happen anymore; make sure to get enough shut-eye every night. 

#20 Grandma Home Remedies for Weight Loss: Spice Up Your Meals & Sweat it Out

If grandma cooks with lots of spices, she might be trying to stay slim (or she might just like spicy dishes). Research shows that spicy foods like cayenne pepper contain capsaicin, which can help promote metabolic activity and burn more calories.16 

If a tasty dish leaves you sweating, there’s a good chance your metabolism will be working in no time. 

#21 Drink Fruit Infused Water to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck

Diet experts can recommend many drinks to reduce belly fat in 4 days, and one of grandma’s favorites will always be infused water. Adding herbs like mint or ginger or vegetables like cucumber to your water can help dieters stay hydrated and enjoy more flavorful beverages. 

Just add the selected herbs, juices, or fruits and veggies to a glass of water and let it infuse overnight. 

#22 “Pick Some Mint Weeds & Make Peppermint Tea”

Another popular drink among folks trying to lose weight naturally is peppermint tea. This is because this herbal tea is low in calories, and because it helps suppress appetite and support digestion, which helps everyone from young people to seniors lose belly fat.17 Simply boil mint leaves in a saucepan for 5 minutes, then strain them into a mug and enjoy!

#23 Try Out Tea Made From Sage 

Sage is another popular kitchen remedy touted among grandmas everywhere. But unlike green tea or even peppermint tea, there is no scientific research to back up the claim that sage tea promotes weight loss. 

However, it is well known that sage has antioxidant and stimulant properties, which can help the body boost metabolism and burn more calories.18 Add some sage leaves to a home-brewed tea and give it a try. 

#24 Drink Dandelion Tea & “Quit Blowing on Them to Make Wishes” 

Dandelion tea is yet another popular DIY weight loss remedy with little research to back it up. But that does not mean this herbal tea can’t help dieters slim down. A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine revealed that dandelions have diuretic properties, which means they can help people lose water weight. 

Anyone who needs to slim down quickly (for example, to prepare for an event 20 days away) can reap some benefit by making dandelion tea a part of their routine. 

#25 Eat Wholesome Carbs & Avoid Flour

Despite the bad reputation, carbohydrates have gotten in recent decades, many people (including grandmas) know that carbs are not all bad. Carbs give the body plenty of fuel for energy, which is vital for folks living an active lifestyle. However, there are some carbs it’s best to avoid – namely, those made from white flour.

Flour-based carbs tend to have less nutritional value than whole-wheat varieties. They also tend to contain additional sugars, which means they’re easier to overindulge in.19 This is why nutrition experts encourage people who want to lose weight to replace white-flour pasta, bread, and other carbs with whole-grain options

#26 “Want Dessert? Eat Some Fruit My Love”

Fruit contains natural sugars, which makes it a great substitute for dessert when a dieter is craving something sweet. However, there is another benefit to eating fruit instead of a pastry or candy; fruit is packed with fiber, which can help control blood sugar and keep you feeling full. 

In fact, research found that consuming fiber triggers the brain to release a hormone called ghrelin, which helps suppress appetite. Eating fruit for dessert after dinner might be able to help dieters avoid cravings for a late-night snack. And if sugar is a concern, berries are a lower sugar alternative as mentioned above. 

#27 Say No to Processed Junk

Perhaps the most obvious piece of grandma’s dieting advice is to learn how to stop eating junk food and sugar. Most people know these foods are “bad for them,” but the fact is that many folks simply don’t know just how detrimental processed food can be to their weight.

Study Shows Grandma Home Remedies for Weight Loss Truly Work

A study from the National Institutes of Health asked participants to eat a highly processed diet (including chicken nuggets, canned ravioli, hot dogs, etc.) and a minimally processed diet (including salad, vegetables, baked fish, etc.) for two weeks each. They found that participants gained an average of two pounds while eating processed foods for two weeks, and they lost an average of two pounds when they cut out processed foods. 

If these people can lose two pounds in two weeks simply by cutting processed foods from their diet, imagine what someone who cuts out these foods and tries some other grandma home remedies for weight loss can lose in 20 days!

#28 “Believe in Yourself and Love Yourself”

Trying to lose weight and be happy with your body is a challenge for many people that can be very stressful. Unfortunately, stress can have a negative impact on a person’s weight, making it harder for them to shed pounds. Therefore, it is so important to believe in yourself and trust in the weight loss journey.

All in all, realizing why the scale doesn’t matter and instilling better habits is the key to sustainable weight loss results.  With the right attitude, a little commitment, and a few grandma home remedies for weight loss, anyone can achieve weight loss in just 20 days and take major steps to achieve their fitness goals.


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About the Author

Nathan Petitpas

Nathan has been a fitness enthusiast for the past 12 years and jumps between several types of training such as bodybuilding, powerlifting, cycling, gymnastics, and backcountry hiking. Due to the varying caloric needs of numerous sports, he has cycled between all types of diets and currently eats a whole food diet. In addition, Nathan lives with several injuries such as hip impingement, spondylolisthesis, and scoliosis, so he underwent self-rehabilitation and no longer lives with debilitating pain.