The most popular New Year’s Resolution is always to lose weight. People pack on the pounds throughout the year and recognize the need for change as the new one starts. And while it’s not the new year yet, maybe you’re already thinking about how to lose a few extra pounds in time for the holiday season. The great news is that it’s possible to lose weight without dieting. The bad news is, you might need to make a few tweaks to your habits if you want it to happen. Here are the ten best ways to shed a few pounds without completely depriving yourself of the foods you love.
Shrink Your Plate Size
It sounds impossible, but it’s important to eat your food on smaller sized plates. This trick actually makes you feel full faster. Something about eating everything on your plate tells your brain that you’re done sooner. It also helps you manage portion sizes without needing to measure anything.
Don’t Drink Your Calories
While a smoothie or iced latte both sound amazing, they are easy places for you to overdo it on the calories. When you drink your food, you skip the step of chewing, which is a process that tells your body there are calories coming and what to do with it. Also, most high-calorie beverages are also sugar bombs that don’t help with weight loss. Switch to water instead and drink it throughout the day.
Say Goodbye to Your Smartphone
Okay, maybe you don’t need to say goodbye to it forever, but if you want to lose weight, it’s important to put the technology away while you eat. This goes for eating at your computer or television as well. It’s best to eat if you’re not distracted by some type of screen at all. The distractions keep you from gauging how much you’ve eaten which can lead to overeating.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is vital especially if you want to lose weight fast. A good night’s sleep allows you to feel rested, reduces your stress, and promotes balanced hormone levels. This is especially important because so many hormones involved in fat storage and release are regulated with sleep. Some hormone imbalances lead to cravings and can cause you to overeat on junk food. Try your best to go to sleep at the same time each night. Also, sleep in a cool, dark room as too much light pollution can disrupt sleep.
Got a FitBit or a smartwatch? These are a great way to monitor your daily activity levels and steps. Use one of them or another pedometer to measure how much you’re walking on a daily basis. Once you get an average over the course of a week, make an effort to increase your steps by 2,000 per day. This could be as simple as taking a walk around the block during your work break, going for a brisk walk after dinner, or taking your time in the grocery store.
Statistics show that up to 56% of adults don’t eat breakfast daily. It’s important to eat something nourishing when you first wake up in the morning to give your body the fuel it needs to start the day. People who try and skip breakfast will often choose to eat unhealthy foods if they get hungry before lunch. A healthy breakfast also helps rev up your metabolism so you can burn calories more efficiently throughout the day.
Slow Your Chewing
Have you ever scarfed down a meal so fast you wondered what just happened? Take your time when you eat. Chew each bite thoroughly before you swallow. Then take a 15-second break before you take your next bite. If you want to lose weight without dieting, you need to make sure your brain and your stomach are on the same page. Eating too fast doesn’t give your brain time to recognize it’s full. When you slow down, not only do you reduce your risk of choking on your food, you also help your body to experience the feeling of fullness.
Start a Workout Routine
We mentioned you should walk more, but it’s also important to get in a dedicated workout at least 4-5 times a week. Pick something you like so you can stick with it long-term. Exercise can be anything from swimming laps in a pool, to lifting weights, to a home workout routine you find on YouTube. While some say to workout for an hour each day, it’s entirely possible to get a great workout in 30 minutes. Don’t overdo it, but find a consistent time and space for exercise in your home or at a gym. It also helps if you can find a friend or family member to workout with. It helps hold you accountable to your goals.
Reduce Your Stress
Sounds easy right? It turns out that stress hormones in your body block your ability to burn fat. When you feel stressed or anxious, your body increases the amount of cortisol it releases into your bloodstream. This hormone boosts fat storage, especially in your belly. This often leads to metabolic issues further complicating your ability to lose weight. Meditation, yoga, reading a book, and taking a bath are quick ways to lower stress. Also, look for areas in your life causing you the most stress and find ways to improve situations that impact you the most.
Eat More Protein
Protein is a powerful way to help you lose weight without dieting. When you eat enough protein at each meal, you’ll feel full longer. This is in part because protein-packed foods trigger the release of the hormone ghrelin which is involved in your ability to feel full. Foods with a lot of protein include kidney beans, steak, pork, tofu, and lean chicken. They are filled with essential nutrients that your body needs for recovery and growth.
It’s very possible to lose weight without dieting. Do one, two, or all of these things to help your body burn fat and feel great. And, do it all without traditional “diets”.