We’ve got 20 simple tricks and tips to help you lose weight without so much as a sniff of a diet! Some of them are weird, some of them a wacky, some of them you would have heard before. But all of them are quick, easy and effective!
Log Your Food For A Week
Keep a diary of everything you eat through the day. Everything from your meals to nibbles and single bites. Studies have found that people who keep food diaries eat around 15% less than those who don’t.
Put Cutlery Down Between Bites.
This helps you to slow down and eat more consciously, allowing time to notice when you’re full and prevent overeating. It’s even more effective if you sip water and chat to your dinner partner (unless they’re really boring!) while doing it.
Get Chanting Affirmations
Find your weight loss mantra (or mantras) and make it a daily affirmation. Chant it into the mirror every morning, ‘Today I WILL work out’, ‘I Will Avoid The Cookie Jar Today!’.
Surround Yourself With Blue
It’s a weird one for sure, but it’s been proven that the colour blue can act like an appetite suppressant. Blue foods occur very seldom in nature so humans have not evolved with an automatic appetite response to the colour blue. In fact, we evolved to avoid eating blue coloured substances because they could be poisonous. Surround yourself with blue objects, wear a blue sweater or even blue tinted lenses to avoid overeating!
Stick With Water
Forget the fizzy drinks and skip the juice which contain empty calories from sugar and wreak havoc with our blood sugar levels. Stick to water and moderate amounts of tea and coffee to stay hydrated, and prevent unnecessary snacking (the sensation of thirst can easily be mistaken for hunger). Jazz it up by adding some slices of lemon, lime or orange, cucumber or a sprig of fresh mint.
Eat In Front Of A Mirror
This clever mind trick works to make you more aware by putting you under the judgemental watch of your ultimate critic – yourself. Having to look yourself in the eye while you’re eating reminds you of your goals and standards. Shudder!
Take A Walk Before Dinner
Walking before a meal can suppress appetite and increase the feeling of fullness. Huh?! It seems counter-intuitive but according to a 2006 study published in “Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism”,
walking for 20 minutes immediately before a meal can reduce the amount we eat and increase the calories we burn off afterwards… but only if we work up a sweat!
Serve Your Food On A Smaller Plate
The obvious outcome to this is less food on our plate. However, the same size portion served on a larger plate can make us feel deprived and less satiated. Serving it on a smaller plate creates a visual trick making us feel as though we’ve eaten more.
Up Your Step Count
Start using a step tracker (most smartphones have one) and try to increase your steps by 1000 a day until you’re getting in at least 10,000 steps a day. This is a great way to increase your activity and you have the added motivation of a daily goal to work toward.
Increase Your Veggies
Add extra high-fibre veggies to every meal. They’re low calorie but high in fibre which fills you up (and keeps you regular). Avoid adding starchy veggies like potatoes which are calorie dense, instead go for leafy greens, bell peppers and broccoli.
Simplify Your Coffee
Those fancy concoctions sure look tempting, and it’s just a coffee right? Err, a coffee containing 500 calories and a bag of sugar! Those Mocha Chocca Frothy Whipped Frappes sure add up. Stick to plain coffee with a little honey or stevia and milk to cut empty calories. You can try adding some raw cacao powder for a lower calorie mocha, or some vanilla essence or cinnamon.
Avoid White Foods
Too many simple carbohydrates from white flour and sugar mess with your blood sugar levels and lead to weight gain (and worse still, type ii diabetes). Chose whole grains and brown rice instead for some great, healthy carbs with plenty of fibre.
Eat Oatmeal For Breakfast
The breakfast of champions! Numerous studies show that people who eat Oatmeal for breakfast are much less likely to be obese or develop type ii diabetes than those who don’t. Avoid ready oats (that contain lots of sugar) and go for plain oats cooked with the milk of your choice, fruit and nuts. If you’re strapped for time in the morning, prepare a large batch of overnight oats the evening before which can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Add Some Spice
Spicy foods, like Cayenne Pepper, can supress our appetite and slightly increase our metabolism. It’s not going to have a dramatic effect, but having a sprinkle of cayenne in your morning coffee can help kick-start your metabolism. Not to mention, it’s much more difficult to overeat a spicy Vindaloo than it is a mild Korma!
Watch The Dressings
A healthy salad can seem like the best menu option when you’re eating out, but watch those devilish dressings! Ask for your dressing on the side so that your greens don’t arrive swimming in it. If the salad come dressed in a creamy or sweet sauce, ask for a vinegarette or olive oil and balsamic on the side instead for a healthier option.
Breakfast Like A King…
Lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper. There really is something in this age old adage. Having a substantial breakfast can kick start our metabolism for the day, especially when combined with morning exercise. Having a light, and early, dinner also allows for our body to go into fast mode for the night, which is proven to be effective for weight loss and good gut health.
5 Minute Walk Every Hour
Set your alarm for on the hour and go for a 5 minute walk, it’ll all add up by the end of the day. Not only will you be getting some extra exercise in, if you work from a desk the extra movement will help to fight fatigue which can lead to unnecessary snacking.
Instagram Your Food
What better way to stay accountable than by putting your plate on Instagram to be judged by the world! OK, so yes the judgement is part of it. But it also works as a great visual food journal to keep track and encourage us to get plenty of healthy ingredients on our plate.
Brush Your Teeth To Beat Cravings
Because who wants to eat ice-cream with after brushing their teeth!? Brushing your teeth signals to your brain that mealtime is over so can be very effective at managing food cravings.
Have A Good Sniff!
Did you know that smelling certain foods, rather than getting our taste buds going, can actually supress our appetite? Keep some garlic, olive oil, apples, fennel, grapefruit or mint handy and have a sniff when cravings hit!
Got any of your own tips to share? Let us know in the comments!