25 Weight Loss Tricks That Require Little Effort


Making small changes in your diet and lifestyle can add up to big declines in your weight. Best of all, these 25 tips are so easy to use that you'll be able to stick to them, shed some weight, and keep the extra pounds from coming back.

Eating Strategies

  1. Focus on presentation. Turn each meal into a luxurious experience. Set an aesthetically pleasing table and food presentation.

  2. Eat high volume foods. Feel full, and give your body the nutrients it needs while you're consuming fewer calories. Choose foods that are high in fiber and water content like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, lean meats and healthy fats.

  3. Spread out your daily protein. Foods high in protein curb your appetite better than fats or carbohydrates. That way you'll feel satisfied on fewer calories. Eat cottage cheese or eggs with breakfast and fish or chicken at lunch rather than saving all your protein for dinner.

  4. Grab breakfast. Start each day with a breakfast that provides energy and helps you resist visiting the office vending machines before lunch. Dish up eggs, a few vegetables, and a sweet potato.

  5. Stay full. Schedule meals and snacks throughout the day so your have a set expectation about when you're going to eat. 
  6. Reduce portion sizes. You're likely to crave cheesecake even more if you try to ban it completely. Help yourself to a sliver of your favorite desserts from time to time. Practice eyeballing common serving sizes, like an ounce of cheese or three ounces of chicken breast.

  7. Drink more water. Fill up on water so there's little room left for snacks. Have a glass before every meal and snack. Put a pitcher on the table for easy refills.

  8. Eat more fiber. Fiber is good for your heart and waistline. All that chewing makes you feel like you've had enough. Good choices include apples, beans, and broccoli.

  9. Start with soup. Serve soup for your first course. It forces you to eat slowly. Choose a clear broth or slim down creamy recipes by substituting low-fat milk for cream.

  10. Use smaller plates. Tiny dishes make the contents look more abundant. Buy a pretty set of dessert plates that will make the most of a skinny slice of pie.

  11. Put your fork down. Set your silverware down between bites. It's one of the easiest ways to pace yourself and give your brain time to realize that it's full.

  12. Limit the side dishes. One look at a buffet line proves that variety leads to overeating. Plan your menus around one main course and a salad.

  13. Eat before shopping. It's easier to bypass the cookies right after you've had a bowl of minestrone with some whole wheat bread. Bring home more produce and fish.

  14. Select healthy ingredients. You can train yourself to prefer foods that are good for you. Start with the dishes you like and experiment until you find more winners. You may find yourself looking forward to grilled fish.

  15. Clear out your pantry. What about the junk food that's already on hand? Drop it off in your office or church kitchen for others to enjoy. If you decide to hold onto your corn chips, store them out of sight so they're less convenient to get to.

  16. Choose healthier restaurants. Dining out can be challenging. Skip the fast food places and try a new Indian restaurant that serves lots of low calorie vegetable dishes.

  17. Grow herbs. Fresh herbs are a delightful way to add flavor to your meals without piling on sugar or fat. Even the tiniest kitchen has room for a pot of basil or mint.

  18. Master new recipes. Preparing your own meals gives you more control. Stock up on essentials and browse online for ideas for workday lunches and special dinners. Cook meals in batches so you can heat up a plate of spinach lasagna when you return home late from work.

Other Lifestyle Changes

  1. Take a walk. Aerobic exercise tends to suppress appetite temporarily. Hit the treadmill or stroll around the neighborhood after dinner instead of taking a second helping of potatoes.
  2. Dine alone. Studies show we eat more when we sit down with others. Instead of your usual Sunday brunch, you may want to eat a healthy breakfast and then go bicycling with friends.
  3. Seek support. Encouragement and praise from family and friends can be more satisfying than a powdered donut. Team up with a workout / diet accountability partner. 
  4. Make new friends. Socializing can also be a positive influence. Keep your old buddies, but reach out to that coworker who loves yoga and green salads. You may pick up her habits if you spend more time together.
  5. Get a good night's sleep. Lots of people give their bodies more food when more sleep is what they really need. Go to bed an hour earlier on work nights. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet so you'll sleep more soundly.
  6. Indulge in calorie-free pleasures. Overeating is often closely tied to our emotions. Reward yourself with a new book rather than a candy bar. When you've had a rough day at work, walk right past the pizza parlor and call a friend to talk things over.
  7. Reward yourself. Pat yourself on the back for bringing your weight under control. Buy a new gym bag or plan an outing to a local science museum.

Deprivation usually backfires, so give yourself some wiggle room while you manage your weight. Making room in your diet for small treats (wine, chocolate, whatever) will keep you happy and lean.

It's okay if you start out slowly. Turn these tips into habits. Try two techniques each week. Within a few months, you'll be automatically cutting calories in dozens of ways!

Add full-body workouts to multiply your results and you'll look and feel great for the long term.

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