Whether we succeed at losing weight or not often has much less to do with the latest elaborate diet plan and much more to do with the hundreds of small decisions we make each day when it comes to food and drink.
These are often subconscious choices, based on our mood, energy levels and what we have already eaten that day. Who else agrees that when you’ve had an extra late night you just NEED that full fat morning latte, or that when you’ve eaten badly all day, the mentality always becomes ‘well one more biscuit won’t hurt…’
We’re not saying you should beat yourself up over these slip ups, we can ALL relate to them after all! But these little decisions add up to the pounds piling on without us even realising it.
But there is a way to combat this and lose weight without dieting, all by subtly changing your attitude and behaviour when it comes to food.
By changing up a few things in your daily routine, you can still indulge AND trick your body into losing weight. We don’t usually believe in playing mind games, but in this case we’ll make an exception!
11 really easy ways to trick yourself into losing weight without even trying!
Eat more fat
“You need to eat fat to lose fat,” says Dr John mansfield author of The Six Secrets Of Successful Weight Loss. “You also need fat to synthesise (fat soluble) vitamin d. Research shows that low levels of vitamin d can lead to weight gain.”
What you can do: include oily fish, avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds in your diet.
Keep calm and carry on
Work getting you down? count to 10 and try to stay calm.
“When you’re stressed the body releases the stress hormone cortisol,” says Dr Emma Short.
“Too much cortisol promotes weight gain and causes you to store more fat around the middle. It also affects insulin release and blood sugar levels, making it harder to lose weight.”
What you can do:
- Practise relaxation techniques such as yoga.
- Look at what’s causing you stress and see what you can do to change things.
Chew gum while you shop for food
We can very easily set ourselves up for a fall while wandering around the supermarket aisles, especially when hungry! If sugary snacks go in that trolley, it’s practically guaranteed they will be eaten that week. Chewing gum will offset sweet cravings and keep hunger pangs at bay while you shop. Stay strong in the supermarket!
Invest in some new champagne flutes
By drinking your usual glass of red or white through a champagne flute you cut your consumption by 10% (and you feel a little bit fancy too, no?) We all know alcoholic beverages are laden with empty calories, but who can resist a glass at the end of a stressful day? This way, you can cut some calories without cutting down on treating yourself.
Don’t dine while distracted
If you bring your lunch to work and surf the Web while you eat, you may consume more than you would’ve if you’d focused on your meal. Same goes for eating your dinner in front of the TV. Concentrate on your food and its flavours instead and you’ll also enjoy your meal more, too!
Be menu savvy
While on special occasions we recommend ordering whatever the heck you like and enjoying every last mouthful, if you eat out regularly those extra restaurant calories can soon add up, especially as you can’t be sure what hidden calories they contain. Look out for how the dishes are described to see if they have been cooked in a more fattening way. If the word ‘buttery’ appears it usually means there is an additional 102 calories in the dish, and anything described as ‘crispy’ typically contains 131 more calories.
Get some shut eye!
Being sleep deprived is the worst culprit for making you snack. Plus you’ll need those extra coffees throughout the day to keep going! Get your full 8 hours and you’ll feel more equipped to stick to a healthy eating plan. Here’s what time you need to go to bed if you want to lose more weight.
Chew your food!
We know you’ve heard it before, but it really, really works! When we’re hungry, we can have a tendency to inhale our plate of food, barely pausing for breath. But by doing this, we not only hinder our enjoyment by not fully taking in the taste and flavours, we also eat so quickly that our appetite has no time to catch up with our stomachs. Cue the uncomfortable bloated feeling we’ve all suffered after a heavy meal. We know we sound like your granny, but ALWAYS remember to chew your food!
Get a gym buddy
Gyms aren’t exactly synonymous with fun times. Who wants to spend Friday night pumping iron with a load of sweaty blokes after all?! However, if you schedule classes into your diary with a buddy you will be much more likely to stick to them. By associating exercising with something more social, you will begin to think of it differently, too. And there is always the lure of a cheeky gossip and glass of vino after the Friday night yoga class!
Swap your usual plate for a smaller one
An oldie, but a goodie! Most of us continue eating past being full, so stop piling that plate so high! You can still eat the same food, just eat less of it.
Chopping everything you eat (well not everything, but meat, fish, veg, fruits, etc) into bite sized pieces will increase your time it takes to eat and how full you feel. Here is the science bit to back this one up… “It’s about covering a lot of the plate and creating the illusion that you’re eating a lot,” says Devina Wadhera, a graduate student at Arizona State University who conducted a study into overeating.“Since we use numbers to gauge quantity, meals in pieces appear larger and more rewarding, even if there’s no difference in calorie count.”