Every year, you’ll hear about new weight loss programs, and their corresponding specialty shakes and bestselling books. Each weight loss program boasts of its magic technique or breakthrough research, making us all feel that finally, there’s a new and foolproof way to shed those unwanted pounds.
But there are also some tried and tested weight loss tips that work each and every time, found at the heart of every successful weight loss program and repeated by every person who’s ever reached the target weight. Many of these tips are so simple and easy that you can use them even if you’re not on a diet…and lose weight without even trying!
Tested weight loss tip # 1: Load up on water.
When we feel restless and uncomfortable, we automatically think: ‘I’m hungry.’ But many times we don’t need food…we need water.
Here’s the thing: when we experience the typical symptoms of thirst (parched throat, dry tongue) we’re actually on the verge of being dehydrated. We may have an instinct to drink up—a niggling feeling that we need to put something in our mouths—but we either brush it off or, out of habit, get a snack and a drink.
Easy weight loss trick: Before you raid the fridge, pause: ‘Am I hungry or am I thirsty?’ Better yet, have an extra drink of ice cold water and wait about 20 minutes before getting food. It may be all your body really needs!
Tested weight loss tip # 2: Don’t drink your calories.
Can’t stand the taste of water? If your tongue’s used to flavored beverages, add lemon, a bit of orange juice, or mint leaves to a pitcher of water. You can also substitute juices with infused teas (like mango or peach) which can give you the taste but contain no calories.
Easy weight loss trick: Carry a small tumbler of water with you, wherever you go. Keep it on your desk at the office, or wherever you spend the most time (kitchen table, living room, bedroom, etc.) If you feel the urge to eat, take a big gulp–don’t even tempt yourself by going to the refrigerator.
Tested weight loss tip # 3: Change your perspective.
Instead of dwelling on what you have to remove from your diet, focus on what you can add to it. For example, don’t think: ‘I have to give up beef.’ Instead, think: ‘I need to add 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.’ Chances are, once you do load up on lettuce, carrots, etc. you’ll be too full to binge on steak—or, you’ll be satisfied with the proper portion of your favorite food.
This perspective lets you avoid feeling deprived or controlled (an emotional barrier that makes many people quit a diet) and is far healthier than drastically cutting calories to the point of feeling weak. Weight loss experts say, it’s not about eating less but feeling more full for every calorie you consume. One cookie has the same amount of calories as half a whole wheat sandwich—but which one will make you feel satisfied? (
Easy weight loss trick: If you keep putting off your diet, then don’t even start it! Just tell yourself, “I am going to eat more vegetables and fruits.” You will naturally eat less unhealthy food as you eat more healthy food. Here’s something to get you started: delicious, low calorie snacks.
Weight loss tip # 4: Serve mixed vegetables.
This is something many nutritionists and dietitians observe. People who successfully follow weight loss programs incorporate vegetables into the main course or soups instead of serving them in a separate plate. For example, instead of cooking a pork chop and steamed vegetables, make a pork and vegetable stir fry. Or, work seasonal vegetables into risotto, soups, or layer it into sandwiches. You’ll get a better variety of flavors and you won’t be tempted to load up too much on the fats and proteins—since these are automatically balanced with the ‘good, healthy stuff’ in every bite.
Easy weight loss trick: Incorporate stir fries, rice toppings, and hearty salads into your meal plan.
Weight loss tip # 5: Avoid emotional eating.
Your stomach is the size of your first, so it doesn’t need much food to feel satisfied. However, we often use food to feed other cravings. We eat when we’re sad, stressed, or tired.
But, food can only satisfy the physical hunger. So a craving that’s based on other needs—for affirmation, sleep, respect, love—will never be properly satisfied by a box of cookies, even if you eat each and every one.
Easy weight loss trick: If you’re tired, sleep. If you’re sad, call a friend. Give yourself exactly what you need, nothing else.
Weight loss tip # 6: Stop when you’re full.
You should feel good after you eat: satisfied, but not bloated, stuffed or tired. But many of us don’t know when to stop. The secret is to first downscale your portions, and then observe how your body feels after a ‘right’ meal. This allows you to become attuned to your body’s signs of hunger and fullness, so you can eat reasonably even when you’re not counting calories.
Easy weight loss trick: Wait 20 minutes before getting a second serving. That’s the time it takes for your brain to register that it’s full. (Read our tips on how to avoid overeating at Thanksgiving and other parties.)
Photo from osamex.com
[…] Worried about the extra pounds? Read our article on how to lose weight without even trying. […]