Time Your Meals
Set a timer for 20 minutes and reinvent yourself as a slow eater. This is one of the top habits for slimming down without a complicated diet plan. Savor each bite and make it last until the bell chimes. Paced meals offer great pleasure from smaller portions and trigger the body’s fullness hormones. Wolfing your food down in a hurry blocks those signals and causes overeating.
Serve More, Eat More Veggies
Serve three vegetables with dinner tonight, instead of just one, and you’ll eat more without really trying. Greater variety tricks people into eating more food – and eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to lose weight. The high fiber and water content fills you up with fewer calories. Cook them without added fat. And season with lemon juice and herbs rather than drowning their goodness in high-fat sauces or dressings.
Sip Smart: Use a Tall, Thin Glass
Use a tall, skinny glass instead of a short, wide tumbler to cut liquid calories — and your weight — without dieting. You’ll drink 25%-30% less juice, soda, wine, or any other beverage.
How can this work? Brian Wansink, PhD, says visual cues can trick us into consuming more or less. His tests at Cornell University found all kinds of people poured more into a short, wide glass —- even experienced bartenders.
Eat at Home
Eat home-cooked meals at least five days a week to live like a thin person. A Consumer Reports survey found this was a top habit of “successful losers.” Sound daunting? Cooking may be easier than you think. Shortcut foods can make for quick meals, such as pre-chopped lean beef for fajitas, washed lettuce, pre-cut veggies, canned beans, cooked chicken strips, or grilled deli salmon.
Chew Strong Mint Gum
Chew sugarless gum with a strong flavor when you’re at risk for a snack attack. Making dinner after work, at a party, watching TV, or surfing the Internet are a few dangerous scenarios for mindless snacking. Gum with a big flavor punch overpowers other foods so they don’t taste good.
Burn 100 Calories More
Lose 7 pounds in a year without dieting by burning an extra 100 calories every day. Calories burned per activity will vary depending on a person’s weight. Try one of these activities:
- Walk 1 mile, about 20 minutes.
- Pull weeds or plant flowers for 20 minutes.
- Mow the lawn for 20 minutes.
- Clean house for 30 minutes.
- Jog for 10 minutes
Shrink Your Dishes
Chose a 10-inch lunch plate instead of a 12-inch dinner plate to automatically eat less. Cornell’s Brian Wansink, PhD, found in test after test that people serve more and eat more food with larger dishes. Shrink your plate or bowl to cut out 100-200 calories a day – and 10-20 pounds in a year. In Wansink’s tests, no one felt hungry or even noticed when tricks of the eye shaved 200 calories off their daily intake.
More Beans, Fewer Potatoes
You need carbohydrates for energy, but some do your body more good than others. Whole grains, such as brown rice or quinoa, whole-wheat pasta, and beans have more fiber and raise sugar levels less. These help lower cholesterol and keep you feeling full longer. Other carbs, like those found in white bread, white potatoes, white rice, and pastries, boost blood sugar levels more quickly, leading you to feel hungry sooner, and may increase risk for overeating.
Walk It Off
If you’re not used to exercising — or hate the thought of going to a gym — just go for a walk. It’s easy, healthy, and all you need is a good pair of shoes. Aerobic or cardiovascular exercise such as walking lowers risk of stroke and heart disease, helps you lose weight, and keeps bones strong. If you’re just starting out, try a 10-minute walk and gradually build up from there.