On a recent vacation with the family, I was astonished to find out that I had lost more than 20lbs in 10 months. Sure, factors such as my recent relocation to another country might have played a part; however, I attribute a great deal of the weight-loss to new habits I incorporated into my daily activities.
The problem a lot of women face in trying to lose weight, is that the word “lose” ultimately conjures up images of food deprivation. Instead of focusing on what you are giving up, trying restructuring your mind and focusing on what you can GAIN by slowly changing your eating habits.
Below are 7 tips on how to lose weight effortlessly.
1. Night-time Shut-down
a. One of the most effective methods of losing weight is to give yourself a time to stop eating. For first timers that are used to eating very late, a cut-off time of 8:30 or 9:00pm is very realistic and less dramatic. According to health experts, one of the main reasons people gain weight is that they eat very late, preventing their body from burning the extra calories. Research shows that a cut-off time of 7pm every night can help you lose up to 10lbs a month.
2. Always have an appetizer
a. One of the easiest ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet, is to remember to have them as appetizers before every meal. Doing so not only ensures that your food is fortified with nutrients, but that your appetite is reduced by 50%. For example:
i. Before you have breakfast, have a bowl of fruit salad
ii. For lunch, enjoy a big plate of vegetable salad (sans chicken) before diving in to your sandwich or pasta.
iii. Before eating your delicious dinner, be sure to enjoy a nice bowl of vegetable soup.
a. It is very important to form the healthy habit of always hydrating yourself. Next time you are craving a fizzy drink, try drinking a glass of water instead. If you hate the taste of water, you can try sweetening it by adding lemon or crystal light.
4. Exercise your way
a. Most people cringe at the thought of going to the gym; however, the most important thing about any type of exercise you do, is that you do SOMETHING that ELEVATES your heart rate. Instead of putting yourself through a rigorous exercise regimen that you won’t keep up, you should try doing something that you love like dancing. Dancing for 30 minutes to your favourite track while cleaning your room, can help you burn more than 150 calories.
b. Another way to integrate exercise into your daily activity is to eliminate the use of elevators and escalators and use the stairs instead. Also make it a point to add more “steps” to your day; investing in a pedometer will help you monitor how much you walk daily.
5. Find a hobby
a. Another major reason why most people over-eat is because of boredom. If you find yourself reaching out for a bag of chips after a meal, quickly drop it and find something else to do. Keeping your mind busy and off food, is a guaranteed way of losing weight effortlessly.
6. Find alternatives
a. Every VICE has an alternative:
i. If you have a sweet tooth, and constantly crave things like candy, you can satisfy your craving by reaching out for a piece of fruit BEFORE looking at the skittles or Hershey.
ii. If chocolate is your vice, try grabbing a “chocolate flavoured” protein bar with equal or less amount of calories; that way you are not cheated of your nutrition.
iii. If your cravings are more salty than sweet, go for nuts like peanuts, almonds, or cashews. Even though they are fatty, they are full of the good kind of fat. Grab a handful of almonds (roasted if you like) next time you get the urge to buy chips. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, a handful of nuts will help put that craving at bay!
7. Simplify your taste buds
a. Studies show that having too many flavours during a meal time, tricks your taste buds into consuming more food than you normally would. So be sure to stick to one flavour next time you eat. (Meaning no sweet and sour!)
b. Another way of tricking your taste buds, and reducing the amount of food you eat, is to brush your teeth after each meal. This sends a signal to your brain that you are done eating.
*What other ways have you LOST weight effortlessly? Send your tips to Azara@bellanaija.com