If you want to shed a few pounds before summer, you don’t have to starve yourself on the latest fad diet. The following tips can help you to burn more calories every day and eat lose weight without dieting.
1. Trade Your Plates
If you have 12-inch dinner plates, trade them for 10-inch ones. Buy smaller breakfast bowls too. Several studies have shown that people unconsciously serve themselves more and eat more when given larger dishes. When given smaller ones, they eat less. Shrinking your tableware can cut calories by up to 200 a day, which could add up to a loss of 20 pounds in a year.
2. Become a Slow Eater
The average time people take to eat a meal is approximately 14.5 minutes, less than half the time taken 20 years ago. Satiety signals don’t begin to register in the brain until ten minutes after you start eating. When you bolt down food, it’s easy to take in extra calories without feeling full. Try to savor every bite and expand your meal times to 20 minutes or more.
3. Go to Bed Earlier
Research has shown that people can drop around 14 pounds a year simply by getting an extra hour of sleep each night. The hunger-regulating hormone leptin is produced during sleep. Low levels of leptin lead to food cravings, even when you’ve had plenty to eat. Inadequate leptin also slows down your metabolism and causes calories to be stored as fat rather than burnt as energy.
4. Beware the Afternoon Slump
A survey of 1,250 people who wanted to lose weight found that they were most likely to snack or cheat on their diets between 3:00 and 3:30 p.m. At this time of day, people experience a natural dip in energy. Many workers are also feeling bored or stressed. Eat a high protein lunch to help keep you going till dinner time and try to schedule the most interesting tasks for the afternoon.
5. Have Eggs for Breakfast
Eggs are low in calories and high in protein. They keep you feeling fuller for longer than a carbohydrate breakfast like cereal or toast. In one study, participants were given either a bagel or eggs. Both breakfasts contained the same number of calories. Those who ate the bagel consumed significantly more calories over the following 24 hours.
6. Don’t Eat Wearing an Elastic Waist
Eating breakfast in pajamas or dinner in sweatpants could help to pile on the pounds. One indication that you’ve had enough to eat is feeling the tightness of fitted clothing as your stomach expands. Without this slight discomfort, you may reach for an extra helping. In addition, wearing elastic-waist clothing makes it harder to tell when you’ve put on weight, so you may pay less attention to how much you eat.
7. Fill up on Folate
Folate (folic acid) is a B vitamin that helps to steady blood insulin levels and encourage your body to burn fat rather than storing it. One study found that dieters who ate the most folate lost more than eight times as much weight as those who ate the least. The best sources of folate are green vegetables such as spinach, asparagus and broccoli, and pulses such as lentils, black beans, and kidney beans.
8. Walk a Mile a Day
A twenty-minute walk every day (on top of whatever exercise you normally get) could help you lose ten pounds in a year. A one-mile walk burns around 100 calories and is easy to fit into your day. Park further from your workplace or get off at an earlier bus stop. Do your errands on foot. If you don’t have a spare twenty minutes, take two ten minute walks during your breaks.
9. Have an Apple Appetizer
Research shows that if you start your meal with an apple, you are likely to eat less overall. The fiber in apples expands in your stomach so it takes less food to satisfy your hunger. In addition, the time and effort it takes to chew an apple keep you from wolfing down more food than you need. In one study, people who ate a whole, raw apple before a pasta meal ate 15% fewer calories than those given applesauce or apple juice.
10. Drink Water Before Meals
Research has shown that drinking two cups (500 ml) of water before a meal decreases your appetite and can help you lose weight. In one study, participants who drank water before eating consumed between 75 and 90 fewer calories than those who didn’t. In another, obese dieters who drank water before each meal lost an average of five pounds more than dieters in a control group.
11. Dance to Your Music
Don’t just lie on the couch listening to your favorite music. Get up and dance to it. A person who weighs 155 pounds will burn about 223 calories in 30 minutes dancing to fast club-style music. The same person would burn 205 calories in 30 minutes dancing to disco music. The heavier you are, the more calories you’ll use to shake your weight around.
12. Liquidize Your Lunch
Scientists used MRI scans of people’s stomachs to compare the digestion of soup versus solid foods. They found that if you make a meal of meat and vegetables, add water, and blend it into soup, it will stave off hunger longer than eating the individual food components. The extra liquid in the soup helps to fill up the stomach, and, because it is thickened with solids, the water cannot pass through the pyloric sphincter valve into the intestines until the whole meal has been digested.