If you think that losing weight is always following a merciless diet and/or doing exhausting gym sessions, you are wrong! Yes, these ways are effective but there are also lots of other hacks you can use every day to reinforce your weight loss regime without all the hassle of counting calories and all that sweat.
Here are 7 ways to lose weight that you can implement straight away.
1. Use smaller plates
This is an easy way of eating less. Researchers at the University of Groningen found that dishes which are about 70% full are preferred when eating. So, just using smaller dishes works and you can lose up to 18 lbs a year, just by doing this. Plates of 9/10 inches in diameter are ideal.
2. Drink some water before eating
How about zero calories before you even start? This is what happens when you drink 16 ounces of water about half an hour before eating so that your stomach will feel fuller during the meal. This is another great way of eating less and losing weight. It worked in an experiment with obese people, according to a study published on the WebMD site.
3. Choose healthier swaps when you want
You can easily reduce the amount of calories you are consuming by making a few savvy swaps. Did you know that almond milk has only about one third of the calories that skim milk has? One cup of almond milk has 30 calories while the same quantity of skim milk has 91. Raisins have double the amount of calories as grapes so go for the grapes when you want a snack. Go for leaner meat when you can. For example, a 4 ounce turkey patty has only 150 calories. Compare that to its beef counterpart which has 319.
4. Choose dark chocolate for your dessert
Forget all those cookies and try to cultivate a taste for dark chocolate. You will be cutting your sugar and calorie intake. Dark chocolate really is a healthier option. I am a chocoholic so you have to believe me! One ounce of dark chocolate (75% cocoa) has 170 calories. One cookie of a similar weight has 220 calories and double the amount of sugar that chocolate has.
5. Move your body
How often do you walk? How many times do you take the stairs rather than the elevator for a few floors up? Another good idea is to find parking space for your car which is further from your office or supermarket, provided the weather is good. If you build more movement into your daily routine, you can burn off those extra calories at a steady rate over the whole year. It all adds up and helps.
6. Eat smaller meals more often
If you cannot burn off all those calories after a big meal, then you have little chance of losing weight. The main reason is all those extra calories will be stored somewhere visible on your body as fat. Overdo it on the lips, forever on the hips! The best solution is to eat smaller meals and to eat more often. By doing that you are burning fat faster and you are also keeping your blood sugar levels steady. Doctors now recommend that you can have 6 light meals evenly spaced throughout the day. The basic premise is that the longer you have to wait for food, the hungrier you are going to be. That will not help your waistline at all.
7. Sleep well
Science has it. Researchers at Columbia University have found that if you sleep less than 7 hours a night, you are going to put on more weight and getting rid of those extra pounds will be all the harder.
How can sleep be so important in the weight loss battle, you might wonder? Well, first you are awake for fewer hours so the risk of snacking is cut down. Also, people who are well rested and get a good night’s sleep can burn up to 20% more calories after eating than their insomniac friends. There are lots of studies that show when you are tired, you have more cravings, you eat more and you also tend to buy more fattening food when you go to the supermarket.
So, there you have it. And the best tip of all? If you really have cravings, try sniffing peppermint every two hours. One study in the Journal of Neurological and Orthopaedic Medicine found that people who did that were able to lose 5 lbs a month. So easy!
Featured photo credit: It is happening again/ Daniel Oines via flickr.com