Shedding unwanted kilos (if you do have some), will not only make you look better and feel more confident – you’ll be healthier and less prone to diseases.
If you’re one of those people who’d like to lose weight but don’t feel like signing up for a gym membership just yet, take heart. You can slim down just by making some adjustments to your current lifestyle. It’s all about making smart, health-conscious choices.
Here are 15 things you can do right now to lose weight in no time.
- Start your day by eating protein-rich eggs
Whether you like it poached, boiled, scrambled or sunny-side-up, eating eggs for breakfast instead of your usual carb-based meal can make you feel fuller for a longer period of time, thus curbing cravings later on in the day.
- Turn off the TV while you’re eating
Studies have shown that people who eat while they’re distracted doing something else like playing games, talking on the phone, or watching TV have the tendency to eat more. In fact, experts believe that having the TV turned on while you’re having dinner means you could be consuming 40% more calories than normal.
Have the discipline to eat at the dining table and not in the living room, where there are a lot of distractions.
- Change oils
Now is the time to add coconut oil to your diet. Advocates say that coconut oil has a significant amount of medium-chain fatty acids. Compared to saturated fats found in meat and dairy products, medium-chain fatty acids are quickly burned by your body for energy and are not stored in in your tissues.
Moreover, coconut oil increases energy levels, helps your body absorb more nutrients through better digestion, and helps curb hunger pangs.
- Skip the alcohol
Unwinding with a cocktail after a stressful workday can significantly add to your calorie count. A bottle of regular beer has 158 calories, a glass of Margarita has 168 while a Pina Colada has as much as 490! Save that cocktail for the weekend or just for special occasions. If you can’t resist having one, stick to vodka, tequila, wine, champagne, or brandy as these only have about 100 calories per serving. Always drink everything in moderation, of course.
- Go for healthier food options
Depriving yourself of food you love can lead to binge eating and bad moods. Sticking to your commitment to switch to a healthier lifestyle will definitely be harder. Instead of just ditching those unwholesome snacks, why not find yummy and nutritious alternatives for them? Yoghurt can stand in for ice cream, jelly beans can sub for your favourite candy, a grilled chicken sandwich can replace pizza…the possibilities are endless, all you need is your creativity! They’re just as tasty but with fewer calories – you’ll start losing those inches before you realise it.
- A fruit a day keeps the pounds away
Have a stash of apple, pear, or orange slices in the pantry’s common fridge or in your gym bag. Fruits are a great snack option because they’re easy to prepare, has no fat, and is rich in fibre and water to keep you feeling full and hydrated.
- Have a glass of water before meals
We often mistake thirst for hunger. Drink water first before grabbing a bite, it might just do the trick. Studies have also shown that drinking half a litre of water about 30 minutes before a meal will help you eat less than usual.
- Prepare food in batches
Resist the temptation to order fatty, takeaway food by preparing nutritious dishes in batches. Store them in the freezer and just pop them in the microwave when you’re too busy or tired to cook. The web is a goldmine for light and healthy recipes that are easy to make.
- Get some rest
Too many late nights and not having enough sleep is one of the main triggers of obesity in children and adults.
And there’s so much truth in the phrase “stress eating”. Short-term stress can make you lose your appetite. But it’s a different story when you’re constantly bombarded by it. According to Harvard Health Publications, “The adrenal glands release another hormone called cortisol, and cortisol increases appetite and may also ramp up motivation in general, including the motivation to eat. Once a stressful episode is over, cortisol levels should fall, but if the stress doesn’t go away — or if a person’s stress response gets stuck in the ‘on’ position — cortisol may stay elevated.”
So, force yourself to stop what you’re doing at a designated time each day. You can always catch up on your projects tomorrow.
- Brush your teeth
Brush and floss your teeth 30 minutes after you’ve eaten your last meal for the day. Maybe it’s the minty flavour in your mouth, maybe it’s the fuss of doing it all over again, but whatever it is, it will deter you from late-night snacking.
- Forget the diet fads and commit to healthier eating
Those trendy diets rarely work in the long-term. Instead of starting a new diet, commit to changing your lifestyle, one day at a time.
- Bring your own food to work
You’re likely to swing by fast-food restaurants or a convenience store near your office for a quick hunger fix. These meals are usually greasy and have a lot of preservatives your body can do without. Bring your own lunch and snacks to work. Not only are these more nutritious, you’ll be saving money, too.
- Think of something else to do instead of eating!
Can you believe that many people eat just because they’re just bored and have nothing else to do? If this happens to you, step outside and take a leisurely walk around the block, nap for 20 minutes, or read. This will take your mind off food, and you’ll know if it’s really your appetite that’s bothering you and not something else.
- Use smaller plates
You can actually trick your brain into thinking that it has eaten a lot by dining on smaller plates.
The larger your plates or bowls, the less your brain thinks that you’ve had your fill. It’s a mysterious thing, indeed.
- Mum was right: Eat your vegetables
Have more servings of vegetables; the more colourful they are, the better. Just like fruits, they’re rich in fibre and nutrients to keep you full. And yes, don’t forget to eat them on a smaller plate.