Are you hoping to lose a few pounds but too busy for the gym or too tired when you get home to exercise? The good news is you can lose up to five pounds without a lot of effort, if you try to change up a few of your habits.
1. Walk Instead of Driving
If you're going anywhere within walking distance, resist the urge to hop in the car. If have access to public transportation where you live, and you commute, get off the bus or train a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way. If you just make this one change, you should see a few pounds come off in a few months.
2. Try Healthy Snacking
If you get the munchies during the day, take some healthy snacks to work, instead of relying on the vending machine or corner deli. Carrots are crunchy, and will satisfy your urge to munch, plus you'll be getting healthy beta carotene and a host of vitamins and minerals. If you have a sweet tooth, bring some fruit and yogurt to have on hand when you get hungry (it’s got fewer calories than candy!).
3. Get Some Sleep
Getting enough sleep will help with the regulation of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. University researchers have found that people who get 8 1/2 hours sleep per night lose more body fat, up to 55% more, than people who only get 5 1/2 hours do So get some sleep and lose some weight!
4. Turn Down the Lights
A recent study by Cornell University has shown that people who eat under dimmer lights eat less than those who eat in brightly lit places, up to 175 calories less. So, try dimming the lights to get fewer calories.
5. Drink More Water
Instead of turning to a sugary, carbonated beverage when you’re thirsty, drink water instead. Water naturally suppresses appetite, helps boost metabolism and rids your body of impurities. If you drink up before you eat, you'll eat up to 75 calories less, which equals about eight pounds per year. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water per day will help with your rapid weight loss goals and keep you hydrated to boot!
6. Keep a Food Diary
Write down everything that you eat for a week and watch your eating habits change. Researchers have found that people who keep a food diary eat 15% less than those who don’t.
You might notice a few trends when doing this: weekends tend to be filled with noshing, and possibly alcohol consumption, definite diet killers. Look over your diary at the end of the week and see where you need to cut back. Maybe it’s on the snacks and alcohol, maybe it's on the salad dressings and condiments. At any rate, you'll get to know your eating trends better if you have them written down and that could lead to more quickly hitting your weight loss goals.
7. Don’t Eat Unless You're Hungry
Many people reach for something to eat whenever they're nervous, anxious or simply bored, and perhaps you fit into this category. If you wait until your stomach tells you that you're truly hungry, you'll be less likely to eat a lot of empty calories, which are the ones that keep your weight stubbornly high.
8. Read Food Labels
Spend time at the store reading the food labels, and you might be surprised how many foods are highly processed. Try to avoid white flour and sugar, high fructose corn syrup and fructose—they shouldn’t be one of the first four ingredients listed on the label of any food you eat. Instead, purchase whole grain foods that have at least two grams of fiber per 100 calories. Also, increase your consumption of fresh fruits and veggies and, if you don’t like them raw, look for creative ways to cook them without adding a ton of butter and cheese.
9. Watch Your Portions
The true key to losing a few pounds fast is controlling your food portions. Try using smaller plates at dinnertime (and smaller forks), and measure out your snacks into single-portion-size bags or containers. Never eat out of the chip bag! If you read the package, you'll see the number of chips and the calories count involved; stick to the recommended portions. After a meal, put away the leftovers quickly so you can resist the temptation to eat more than you need.
10. Eat Dinner Earlier
Try to eat dinner earlier in the evening and try to keep dinner down to only 25% of your daily calories intake. Going to bed on a full stomach is definitely not a good way to lose weight and can interfere with your sleep.
There are no easy ways to lose weight, especially without trying at all, but, if you follow these simple tips, you should be able to lose a few pounds with very little effort!