Losing weight is no easy task. “Dieting, exercising, and making sure you stay healthy in the process can seem impossible sometimes,” says registered dietitian Ronald Smith, RD, of EatDrinkBinge.com. “However, there are many ways to help you reach your goal more easily.” Best of all, they don’t have to be time-consuming or difficult.
We know that tracking everything you eat or meal prepping marathons can be a slog. That’s why we rounded up the below low- and zero-effort tips to bring down the number on the scale quickly and easily. Read on, and for more on how to eat drop pounds, don’t miss these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.
“[Drinking water is] good for your skin and metabolism, two things that affect whether or not you lose weight,” says Smith. “Also, drink a glass of water before every meal: it will help fill you up faster.” Bonus points if you add lemon to your water—check out all the health benefits of lemon water here.
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Practice ‘hara hachi bu.’
Hara hachi bu…mp up your weight loss. “Hara hachi bu is the practice of eating to only 80% of fullness,” explains Bill Bradley, RD, author of Foods of Crete, Traditional Recipes from the Healthiest People in the World (with Koula Barydakis), who lost 50 pounds with simple weight loss habits.
“My habit was to feel slightly hungry throughout the day, just a very slight hunger. This improved my energy and made me feel confident that I was doing the right thing to lose weight. I thought it was going to be a hard habit, but it turned out to be one of the easiest. The key here is not counting calories, but to have a habit of not overeating,” he continues, citing this research.
Eat breakfast within two hours of waking up.
If you’re a breakfast skipper, you may want to rethink your habit. “If you wait too long in the morning, your body will go into starvation mode and store any extra calories as fat instead of burning them for energy,” says Smith.
Stumped for what to eat for the most important meal of the day? Check out 30 Nutritionist-Approved Healthy Breakfast Ideas.
Eat more apples.
An apple a day really does go a long way. In fact, Bradley employed the apple as his “secret weapon” in his weight loss push. “Before losing weight, I had a habit of eating something sweet in the afternoon (often peanut M&M’s or some sort of milk chocolate),” he recalls.
Then, apples came into the picture: “I would buy the crunchiest, sweetest apples I could find. In the afternoon or whenever I felt a hunger pang, I would eat an apple. This has worked for years and is an amazing and simple way to lose weight,” he elaborates, noting a PLoS Medicine study.
Use smaller plates for meals and snacks.
Time to employ a little psychology into meal-time, friends. “This trick will trick your brain into thinking that you have eaten more than what you actually did,” says Smith. While you’re at it, you may want to consider eating off of plates that aren’t white—find out why, and more sneaky weight loss tips that actually work here.
Commit to a healthy diet that’s sustainable.
We’re talking about a way of eating that you can maintain in the long-haul, dear readers. “As a registered dietitian who specializes in weight loss, there is one thing I hear almost every day. People tell me about their successful diet and how they lost weight, but then they tell me they fell off the wagon and then gained all the weight back,” offers Bradley.
“An easy way to lose weight and keep it off is to eat a healthy diet that will help you lose and maintain weight,” he elaborates, praising the research-backed Mediterranean Diet, the easy and delectable eating plan that helped him lose 50 pounds and keep it off for five years and counting.
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