We know that shedding unwanted pounds used to mean giving up your favorite foods, logging hours at the gym, and being hungry (and hangry) all the time. Fortunately, dropping a dress size (or two) doesn’t have to be that complicated or torturous. Sure, losing any significant amount of weight requires lifestyle changes and some hard work, but it all boils down to simple choices.
You’ve heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy? If you keep focusing on things you can’t do, like resisting junk food or getting out the door for a daily walk, chances are you won’t do them. Instead (whether you believe it or not) repeat positive thoughts to yourself. “I can lose weight.” “I will get out for my walk today.” “I know I can resist the pastry cart after dinner.” Repeat these phrases and before too long, they will become true for you.
A University of Vermont study found that online weight-loss buddies help you keep the weight off. The researchers followed volunteers for 18 months. Those assigned to an Internet-based weight maintenance program sustained their weight loss better than those who met face-to-face in a support group. These are 50 easy ways to lose weight without a lick of exercise.
Do the Mediterranean diet if you like fish and veggies. A plan like the Mediterranean diet may be able to help you sustain weight loss. It is based on the traditional ingredients and cooking styles of people living near the Mediterranean sea. Research has shown that people adhering to this diet have reduced risk of heart disease - plus it helps you shed pounds and look lean and trim. If you want to try the Mediterranean diet, avoid bread, dairy and processed foods. Instead, build your meals around the following foods:
Cinnamon helps you avoid overeating by fighting insulin resistance and also reduces oxidative stress associated with metabolic syndrome. Sri Lankan or Ceylon cinnamon is the true cinnamon that is well tolerated and safe when used in therapeutic doses. It is traditionally used for a number of ailments including dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhea, vomiting, bronchitis, stomach cramps, toothache etc. Cinnamaldehyde and gallic acid are some of the major active constituents.
SOURCES: WebMD Feature: "With Fruits and Veggies, More Matters." 2005 U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author, The Pocket Idiot's Guide to the New Food Pyramids. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD,author, Comfort Food Makeovers. Brian Wansink, PhD, professor and director, Cornell Food and Brand Lab, Ithaca, N.Y.; author, Mindless Eating. Barbara Rolls, PhD, professor of nutritional sciences; and director, laboratory for the study of human ingestive behaviors, Penn State University; and author, The Volumetrics Eating Plan.
Another very important yet ignored tip to fight obesity is to have a proper breakfast. Research shows that those who have a big breakfast are more likely to lose weight and even a few inches off their waistline compared with those who eat a large dinner. Your breakfast should be protein and fiber-rich, rather than high in carbohydrates. It is also important to relax, exercise regularly along with mindful eating to achieve a desirable healthy weight.
For me, veggies are like math – the more I run away from it, the more it chases me! I don’t know about math, but veggies do help reduce weight. I can say that because I also struggled to lose weight until I started consuming veggies in the right proportions. Eat spinach, kale, lettuce, collard greens, radish greens, celery, carrot, beetroot, cauliflower, broccoli, chives, scallions, yam, okra, eggplant, tomato, onion, herbs, and spices. These will help you load up on vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. Veggies are low in calorie and high in fiber. So they can help you feel full for longer. Have 3-5 servings of veggies per day.
One of the biggest reasons why more vegetables can aid in weight loss is the addition of added fiber. Nutritionist Kimberly Snyder, CN, New York Times best-selling author of the Beauty Detox series and author of the new 30-Day Roadmap for Healthy Weight Loss, says increasing your fiber intake will help you slim down. “Fiber helps to fill you up without adding extra calories,” she explains. “Fiber is cleansing, versus trying to get full from eating dense fat or protein alone. Eat lots of veggies and soups and smoothies (versus juice alone, which has the fiber removed).”
Chronic stress may increase levels of stress hormones such as cortisol in your body. This can cause increased hunger and result in weight gain. If you’re looking to lose weight, you should review possible ways to decrease or better handle excessive stress in your life. Although this often demands substantial changes, even altering small things – such as posture – may immediately affect your stress hormone levels, and perhaps your weight.
“Sound is the forgotten food sense,” says Ryan Elder, PhD, an assistant professor of marketing at Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management and co-author of a study that found that people eat more in noisy spaces. “When you mask the sound of consumption, like when you watch TV while eating, you take away one of those senses, and it may cause you to eat more than you would normally. The effects many not seem huge but over the course of a week, month, or year, it could really add up.” His advice? Turn off the TV, radio, music, and other noise, and focus on the melodic tones of crunching, slurping, and satisfied sighs.
If you’re like me, you welcome any new excuse to add more chocolate to your life. Cocoa contains more phenolic antioxidants than most foods. Just look at this list of benefits from a recent study done at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center by David L. Katz, MD, and his colleagues: “Cocoa can protect nerves from injury and inflammation, protect the skin from oxidative damage from UV radiation … and have beneficial effects on satiety, cognitive function, and mood.”
All meals are important, but breakfast is what helps you start your day on the right track. The best, heartiest breakfasts are ones that will fill you up, keep you satisfied, and stave off cravings later in the day. Aim to eat anywhere between 400 and 500 calories for your morning meal, and make sure you're including a source of lean protein plus filling fat (e.g., eggs, unsweetened Greek yogurt, nuts, or nut butters) and fiber (veggies, fruit, or 100% whole grains). Starting your day with a blood sugar-stabilizing blend of nutrients will help you slim down without sacrifice.
After you have your dinner, wait for 2-3 hours and then go to bed. This will prevent you from late night snacking. When you consume anything after 3 hours post-dinner, your body will not be able to use the extra energy in the form of activity. Therefore, it will get stored as fat thereby making you gain weight. Moreover, late-night snacking can prevent you from falling asleep, which is also required for you to feel stress-free and lose weight.
National guidelines recommend that, for sustainable weight loss, a reduction in calorie intake of about 600 a day is needed. This could lead to a weekly weight loss of around 0.5kg (1lb). While it may not sound a great deal next to the promises of many quick-fix diets, it allows you to incorporate healthy eating habits into your lifestyle permanently, so you’re more likely to keep it off for good.’
Drink at least 2 liters (0.53 US gal) of water each day. Water has the double effect of both hydrating your body and filling your stomach with a certain volume of a liquid that has zero calories. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (0.8 US gal) (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.
If you have tried to lose weight in the past and it didn't go too well, try to identify what went wrong. Then think about how you can change things this time. Were there any triggers that made you eat more? Decide upfront how you're going to tackle these. Or you might identify that you need more support, or to build more exercise into your life to help keep the weight off.
Magnesium: Affectionately called the relaxing mineral, magnesium can counter stress response, help your muscles release, and may even help you score better sleep. (Here are five other tricks that could help you snooze.) Plus, Dr. Gottfried says it's needed for hundreds of biochemical reactions in the body, like keeping your heartbeat steady and maintaining normal nerve and muscle function. Opt for 200 to 1000mg, and take it at night, since it helps your muscles relax.
Mason, A. E., Epel, E. S., Aschbacher, K., Lustig, R. H., Acree, M., Kristeller, J., … Daubenmier, J. (2016, May 1). Reduced reward-driven eating accounts for the impact of a mindfulness-based diet and exercise intervention on weight loss: Data from the SHINE randomized controlled trial. Appetite , 100, 86–93. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4799744/
A simple solution to the portion problem is to use smaller dishes. Eating off of 8-inch salad plates instead of 10-inch (or larger) dinner plates, and using small bowls instead of large soup bowls can help you feel like you’re still getting a full plate’s worth of food but with far fewer calories, according to Cornell’s Food Lab. You won’t even miss the extra bites! Here are 10 more kitchen tools that help with help loss.
Yes whey: the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that high-protein shakes are a vital part of a weight loss plan, so don’t hold back – especially at breakfast. According to research from the University of Bath, eat 700 calories before 11am and you’ll have better blood sugar levels than those who skipped the most important meal of the day. It’s the best excuse you’ll have of sticking with a morning fry-up and avoiding a costly Starbucks lunch.
One easy trick if you're a pasta fan is to swap out white pasta for the wonderfully named courgetti (spaghetti made from spiralizing courgette). You’ll hardly notice the difference when you’re eating it, but you’ll be fuller for longer despite consuming fewer calories. When you consume fewer calories, your body can go to your fat reserves for energy, rather than just burning off the food you’ve eaten.
Should you find yourself at an unhealthy weight, weight loss can be important. But, in general, it’s both your physical and mental health which should be your focus, and that should always take priority over any pressure you may feel to slim down from an already healthy weight. Nevertheless, if you are thinking about kickstarting your own weight loss journey, there is one change you can make at mealtimes in a bid to aid your results. And, this doesn't even affect the type of food that you eat.