“Eat less, move more” is the mantra from health gurus. They assume that the only reason people gain or lose weight is because of calories. This is simply wrong, because our bodies are much more complicated than that. Different foods affect hunger and hormones in different ways and all calories are NOT equal. In fact, there are many things you can do to lose weight, without ever counting a single calorie.
Check out these science-supported strategies and start losing weight without going on a diet.
1. Hang a Mirror in the Dining Room
Watching yourself eat will definitely get you to reconsider your choices. So, yes, hang a mirror in your dining room, and when you go out, see if the hostess can seat you in front of your reflection. Research shows that people who eat in front of a mirror enjoy junk food less and, as a result, eat less of it. However, people who sat down to a healthy meal actually felt better about themselves — plus they got more enjoyment out of their veggies. The researchers figure your reflection holds you accountable for your choices.
2. Replace Grains with Eggs for Breakfast
Losing weight can be as simple as changing your breakfast. Two separate studies have shown that eating eggs in the morning (compared to a breakfast of bagels) can help you lose fat without trying. In one of these studies, 30 overweight or obese women ate either bagels or eggs for breakfast. The egg group ended up eating fewer calories at lunch, the rest of the day and for the next 36 hours. Put simply, the eggs were so fulfilling that the women automatically ate fewer calories at subsequent meals.
3. Be Mindful About Fullness
After each meal, you should feel satiated, but never “stuffed.” Determining your appropriate level of fullness (or “satiety”) requires practicing a bit of mindfulness. We’ll do this by rating satiety on a scale of 0-10 using this chart:
|0||Absolutely famished. Think of the hungriest that you’ve ever been in your entire life.|
|3||Hungry, but tolerable. This is about how hungry you should be right before your first meal.|
|5||Neither hungry nor full. Might eat out of boredom, but otherwise there is no real desire.|
|7||Satiated with no actual physical desire to eat more. You could probably eat more and possibly enjoy it if you really wanted.|
|8||Full, often with bloating, but no actual discomfort from overeating. “Happy full.”|
|9||Extremely full with moderate discomfort. Wish you had eaten slightly less.|
|10||Absolutely stuffed to the point of extreme discomfort. Could not take another bite.|
Make sure that you enjoy your meal slowly, because it takes a while for your stomach to register fullness. You should be aiming for a 6-8. If you find that you’re at a 9 or a 10, reduce the amount of food that you eat. Conversely, if you’re a 5 or below, increase the amount of food that you eat, prioritizing items in the following order: fibrous vegetables, then lean protein, and lastly starch or added fats.
4. Keep Your Kitchen Clean
A tidy home eases stress, and a clean kitchen helps cut calories. In a recent study, it found that volunteers who spent just 10 minutes in a cluttered, disorganized kitchen were likely to reach for unhealthy snacks like cookies. They ate about 100 more calories — all of it junk — compared to people in a tidy kitchen (who were more likely to choose carrots to nosh on).
5. Use Smaller Plates
The larger your plates or bowls, the less your brain thinks you have eaten. By using smaller plates, you trick your brain into feeling more satisfied with fewer calories.
6. Eat More Protein
There is a lot of evidence that protein can increase fat burning and reduce hunger, leading to automatic weight loss. In fact, studies show that protein boosts metabolism more than any other macronutrient.
One of the reasons for that is that it takes the body more calories to digest and make use of protein, than it does fat and carbs.
Protein also increases satiety, leading to significantly reduced hunger. In one study, increasing protein to 30% of calories lead to an automatic decrease in calorie intake of 441 calories per day. Many studies show that increasing your protein intake can lead to automatic weight loss, even when eating until fullness.
Protein can also help you gain more muscle, especially if you also lift weights. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning that it burns a small amount of calories, even at rest .
The best way to get in more protein is to eat more animal foods like meat, fish and eggs — preferably at every meal.
6. Avoid Late Night Carbs
Probably THE best way to start losing weight without calorie counting or portion control is to reduce your carbohydrate intake. Studies consistently show that people who eat less carbohydrates, automatically start to eat less calories and lose weight without any major effort.
The best way to cut carbs is to reduce or eliminate major carb sources from your diet like sugars, sweets, sodas, as well as starchy foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, etc. Getting into the range of 100-150 gram carbs per day can be useful. If you want to lose weight fast, then going under 50 grams per day can be extremely effective.
Another great benefit of reducing carbs is that it lowers your insulin levels, which makes the kidneys start shedding excess sodium and water from the body, significantly reducing bloat and water weight.
7. More Sleep, Less Stress
Two things that often get ignored when discussing health (and weight) are sleep and stress levels. Both are incredibly important for the optimal function of your body and hormones.
Inadequate sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity — short sleep duration raising the risk by 89% in children and 55% in adults.
Poor sleep can increase hunger and cravings and cause a biochemical tendency for weight gain by disrupting hunger hormones like ghrelin and leptin.
Excess stress can increase your levels of the hormone cortisol, which is known to increase belly fat accumulation and the risk of chronic, Western diseases.
For these reasons, it is very important to make time for quality sleep, as well as avoiding unnecessary stressors in your life.
8. Stop Skipping Meals
Skipping meals could be one of the worst ways to lose weight and here’s why. When you skip a meal (or two, or three), your body starts to wonder why it’s not getting any food and it will go into starvation mode. Then it reacts by slowing down your metabolism, which means slower weight loss — not exactly the results you were going for. Plus, not eating will also give you a headache, make you feel dizzy or sleepy, and make for one cranky, hungry person. Try not to go more than three or four hours between meals and snacks.
9. Use Cash
Scientists have found that having to dig out dollars to get a candy bar or a bag of chips may give you pause enough to reconsider the purchase. The pain of parting with cash stops many impulsive cake and cookie purchases, according to a study of shopping behaviors. Another trick at the grocery store is to choose the smaller cart: These researchers also noted people made more impulsive purchases when pushing around a larger cart.
10. Dim the Lights
With soft lighting, stress melts away, conversation gets interesting, mood improves and you eat less. In the study, participants who ate in dimmer lighting enjoyed their meals more, took longer to eat, and consumed 18 percent fewer calories than people who sat under bright lights.
11. Sniff Peppermint All Day
Just a whiff of peppermint helps control cravings and emotional eating, according to research. People who sniffed peppermint every two hours felt less hungry, more focused, and consumed 2,800 fewer calories per week than non-sniffers. In fact, participants who sniffed peppermint lost five pounds in a month and felt more in control of their diet than people who didn’t. Try some scented vanilla or peppermint candles in the dining room and/or kitchen.
12. Watch Comedies While Eating
Eating in front of the TV is unwise, but we all do it. So save the snacks for comedies or talk shows, and put the chips away when you’re watching action or tear-jerkers. According to the findings in recent studies, people scarfed twice as much snack food while watching dramas than they did while watching comedies. At the movies, viewers of sad movies ate 28 to 55 percent more buttered popcorn than people who watched comedies.
13. Follow a Healthy Food Plan
Following a healthy food plan to help kickstart your weight loss can help educate and guide you to the right eating path . Many popular diets these days leave you starving, restricting calorie to the point that your metabolism actually SLOWS. But there is a little-known plan called the 2 Week Diet that actually teaches you what to eat and when. This increases your metabolism, allowing you to shed weight and shed it FAST. Those on the diet report losing 12-23 pounds and 2-4 inches in a matter of 2 weeks – all backed by science. Watch this video to learn more about how the 2-week diet works.