If you love your food, but do want to lose weight without going on a diet, then these handy tips could help.
1 Slow down
This is the simplest way to lose weight without a diet plan. Set a timer for 20 minutes and make each bite last until the timer goes.
Eating slowly triggers the body’s fullness hormones but when you eat fast your stomach doesn’t have time to tell your brain it’s full and that leads to overeating.
2 Sleep More, Weigh Less
Poor sleep patterns definitely affect weight and sleeping an extra hour a night could help you drop 14 pounds in a year, according to a University of Michigan researcher. He based this on a 2,500 calorie per day intake.
Results would vary for each person, but there’s evidence that getting less than 7 hours of sleep revs up your appetite, making you even more hungry.
3 Have more vegetables
You have heard it before, but usually in relation to overall health. However having at least three different vegetables with a meal is a great way to lose weight.
The high fibre and water content fills you up with fewer calories. Just make sure to cook them without added fat, and season with lemon juice and herbs not high-fat sauces or dressings.
4 Soup, glorious soup
Add a clear broth-based soup to your menu and you’ll fill up on fewer calories. Soup’s especially handy at the beginning of a meal because it slows your eating and curbs your appetite.
Start with a broth, such as miso and add fresh or frozen vegetables and simmer. Beware of creamy soups, which can be high in fat and calories.
5 Whole grains aid weight loss
Brown rice, barley, oats, buckwheat help fill you up with fewer calories and may improve your cholesterol levels, too.
6 Have a ‘reminder’ piece of clothing in mind
We all have a favourite piece of clothing that has ‘shrunk’ a bit and doesn’t quite fit.
Hang it somewhere where you’ll see it every day as this is your reminder of what you want to achieve.
7 Banish bacon
We do love our bacon, but two slices at breakfast cost you an extra 100 calories, so removing them can add up to a 10 pound weight loss over a year.
If you love your ‘bacon butties’ then look for lower calorie alternatives.
8 Lower the calories in your pizza
There are several ways to make your pizza less calorific. Choose vegetable toppings instead of meat and 100 calories saved.
Other skinny pizza tricks are to cut down on the amount of cheese on top, or use reduced-fat cheese and choose a thin, bread-like crust made with just a touch of olive oil – not the thick or crust stuffed variety.
9 Dieting drink tips
This is not about sugar-free drinks, which actually don’t help you lose weight, but about changing how you drink. So here are some handy weight loss tips for your tipple:
– Replace your sugary drinks like cola with fizzy water to avoid about 10 teaspoons of sugar. Add a small amount of a natural cordial, some lemon and/or mint. The liquid sugar in soft drinks appears to bypass the body’s normal fullness cues and if you can’t live without a sweetener go for a natural one such as Stevia or Xylitol.
– Use a tall, thin glass instead of a short, wide tumbler to cut calories as you’ll drink 25%-30% less liquid. It is a visual trick, you pour less into a tall thin glass – even bartenders do apparently.
– Limit alcohol and follow the first drink with a nonalcoholic, low-calorie drink like sparkling water. Alcohol has more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein. It can also loosen your resolve so you reach for bar snacks such as crisps and nuts that you’d normally limit.
– Go for green tea as some studies suggest that it can rev up the body’s calorie-burning engine temporarily, possibly through the action of phytochemicals called catechins. At the very least, you’ll get a healthy drink without tons of calories.
10 Slip Into a Yoga State of Mind
Not just to keep you flexible, but women who do yoga tend to weigh less than others, according to a study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Researchers think the calm self-awareness developed through yoga may help people resist overeating.
11 Stay home
Eating at home rather than restaurants is really helpful. A Consumer Reports survey found this was a top habit of “successful losers.”
If you don’t normally cook a lot then go for quick and healthy meals using salad bags, pre-chopped vegetables, canned beans, chicken and salmon already cooked for you.
12 Use the ‘Eating Pause’
Most people have a natural “eating pause,” when they drop the fork for a couple of minutes. You may not have noticed it but now watch for this moment and don’t take another bite.
Clear your plate and enjoy the conversation. This is your body’s quiet signal that you’re full but sadly most people miss it.
13 Keep strong mints handy
Chewing a mint or a naturally sugarless mint chewing gum is brilliant when you are vulnerable to a ‘snack attack’ as the strong flavour inhibits your appetite.
Key risk areas for this are making dinner after work, socializing at a party, watching TV, or surfing the Internet as these all put you in the area for mindless snacking.
14 Burn 100 calories more off each day
All the following activities will help you lose 10 pounds in a year without dieting by burning an extra 100 calories every day and without going to the gym.
Choose the one/s you are most likely to enjoy, and stick with.
• Walk 1 mile, about 20 minutes.
• Do some active gardening such as weeding or planting for 20 minutes.
• Mow the lawn for 20 minutes.
• Do the housework for 30 minutes.
• Jog for 10 minutes.
15 Cut your plate size to cut calories
If you reduce the size of your plate you will automatically eat less. A small plate means fewer calories, around 100-200 a a day, and that is another 10-20 pounds in a year.
Research has shown that people who do this don’t feel hungry or even notice that this trick has cut their daily calorie intake.
16 Don’t eat too much, too often
Sounds obvious does’t it, but the top habit of slim people is to stick with modest portions at every meal, five days a week or more.
After measuring portions a few times, it can become automatic but make it easier with small “snack” packs and by serving food ready plated and keep serving dishes off the table to prevent ‘topping up.’
17 The 80-20 rule
This theory has been highly successful in business, and personal development, so why not in your diet too?
We are conditioned to keep eating until we are really full, but residents of Okinawa, Japan eat until they’re 80% full and this helps keep weight off. So serve yourself 20% less food and studies show that most people don’t miss it.
18 Restaurant rules
Restaurant meals are notoriously fattening, and a special treat for when we usually indulge ourselves, so consider these tips to keep things more under control:
• Split a main course with your companion
• Order an appetizer as a meal
• Whatever you order, add some extra salad and aim for half the plate to be vegetables
19 Keep it red
Pasta in itself is itself a healthy choice in a moderate amount, but for weight loss you need to choose your sauce carefully.
That means going for ones that are tomato-based as they tend to have fewer calories and much less fat than cream-based sauces.
20 Embrace your inner vegetarian!
Eating vegetarian meals more often is a slimming habit as they tend to weigh less than meat eaters. One reason is that vegetables and beans are full of fibre which fills you up with fewer calories.
From an overall health point of view eating vegetarian once or twice a week is a good habit to get into.
21 Banish bloat with hormone balance
Bloating and fluid retention can pile on the pounds so deal with oestrogen dominance if that is a factor in your weight gain.
Progesterone is a natural diuretic so it helps balance any excess oestrogen by helping to reduce weight as excess water is expelled.
If you find it generally difficult to stick to a diet, it can often be better to choose a “lifestyle” diet that does not require you to be constantly cutting calories aims to improve your overall weight and hormone balance.
One that might prove helpful is to look at the hybrid diet from nutritionist Patrick Holford.
Variation not moderation is the key to weight loss