Long-distance runners may be lithe and lean, but plenty of the rest of us seem to battle body weight issues on a lifelong basis. Does it have to be that way?
Who would love to lose a few pounds without really trying all that hard? Most weight loss diets are just plain boring, and exercise programs can be trying as well. Not to belittle these important keys to physical fitness, but is there no easier way to lose weight and keep it off?
And what about all those weight loss scam stories we keep hearing about? Skip ‘em!
Try these 10 practical and common-sense dieting tricks, and slim down forever.
Here are 10 secrets to faking out your own body, outsmarting overeating and setting yourself squarely on the straight track towards weight loss.
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1. Don’t skip breakfast.
Too many aspiring dieters wrongly assume they can jump-start their weight loss efforts by skipping breakfast. Perhaps ironically, the results usually prove unsatisfying.
Here’s a weight loss secret. Actually, a smart breakfast (such as an egg and whole grain toast, a dish of oatmeal with fruit or a small muffin and half a grapefruit) can rev up the body’s metabolism for the day. What’s more, the morning meal provides energy, usually leading to a higher activity level and increased calorie and fat burning.
2. Buckle up a belt.
What is the oldest Thanksgiving Day one-liner of all? “I wore stretchy pants, so I can eat a lot.”
The opposite is a super secret for those who wish to lose weight. Fitted clothing, particularly around the waist, offers an excellent willpower reminder. A snug waistband, sash or belt serves as a constant memo to the metabolism – preventing foibles of forgetting when the buttery popcorn, gooey brownies, sugary donuts or other tempting treats are passed at a party, the workplace or anywhere.
3. Set yourself up with super snacks.
Snacking is important for maintaining blood sugar and energy levels, but it can also become an unconscious habit. That’s no secret to anyone trying to lose weight.
Clever dieters outsmart their own cravings by preparing healthy noshing choices before hunger strikes. Fridge containers filled with trimmed fresh vegetables, sealed packets of sliced meats and cheeses or cupboard jars of mixed nuts can offer gut-busting snacks when needed.
In the same vein, healthy, tasty, colorful salads enhance nearly any lunch or dinner. Crisp, fresh green leaves and vegetables add vitamins, minerals and fiber to the human diet. As a secret bonus, salad fills the belly quickly, leading to diminished appetite when the entrée arrives.
Of course, a smart salad is always tossed in a light dose of low-fat dressing, or simply in a squirt of lemon or other citrus juice.
Cooks who wish to lose weight may deliberately dig into salads while whipping up the main meals, instead of munching on diet-busting carbohydrate snacks.
4. Drink a full glass (or bottle) of water before every meal.
Water is the number-one secret ingredient to weight loss and overall health. One 12-ounce bottle or glass of water, downed before eating, actually reduces the appetite. Quite simply, the tummy feels full faster. In a nutshell, drinking water fakes out fat formation by topping off the tank, even before the meal begins.
Plus, hydration is healthy, particularly for those who may be exercising to lose weight and stay fit.
5. Skip the salt, as much as possible.
Most folks understand that eating too much sugar quickly undoes any weight loss effort, but excessive salt is a health and diet hazard as well. In America, for instance, most adults consume an estimated two to three times the recommended limit of salt daily.
Salt is sneaky, and it may into foods as a preservative, a seasoning or even a color enhancer. Label-readers will hunt for any ingredients including “sodium” in any form. Slimming down is easier for those who minimize their salt intake.
6. Cook your own food.
Sure, it’s simple to pull up to a drive-through window and order a burger or a piece of chicken or fish. Even if you toss the bun, however, that greasy grilled meat may be loaded with fat and salt. Why not bake or grill your own extra-lean beef, chicken, fish, pork or turkey at home?
Home cooking is a super secret to increased weight loss. By making your own meals, you will enjoy favorite seasonings, burn calories while cooking and monitor the contents of the food you eat. Your body won’t miss the salt and grease, except to grow fitter.
7. Mind the mist.
Non-stick cooking spray can be a dieter’s best secret friend in the kitchen. Using low-fat spray instead of butter, margarine or oil can lead to easy weight loss. Olive oil enthusiasts can use refillable misters, which dispense the product more sparingly, saving money and tons of calories.
Even grilled cheese sandwiches and pancakes come out fluffy and tasty from a lightly sprayed pan or griddle, rather than drowned in butter or margarine. The secret ingredient to these tasty treats is the missing fat.
8. Use smaller dishes.
Portion control is perhaps the most important secret to eating to lose weight, and petite plates or smaller bowls fool the eyes and appetite into becoming satisfied with less food.
A pound of body fat may be equated to approximately 3,500 calories. In other words, the average adult could lose a pound a month, all things being equal, by cutting out 100 calories a day. Choosing a smaller burger, scooping a lighter portion of pasta, skipping a buttery roll or forgoing a giant dollop of sour cream on a baked potato could be one day’s step in the right direction.
9. Stop the sodas.
Sugary soda pop, colas, sports drinks, energy boosting beverages, punches and juices are deathly to diets. Each of these sweet thirst-quenchers can pack 150 to 200 calories or more in one serving.
Why waste your daily calorie rations on a drink? Smart dieters save their intake allowances for more satisfying munching and crunching. By substituting water, unsweetened tea or diet drinks, a person may eliminate a couple of pounds a month without even paying attention. What a wonderful easy weight loss secret.
10. Don’t desert dessert.
What is the single most diet-defeating thing a body can do? That’s no secret. It’s giving up all favorite foods and especially desserts.
Dieters often give up because they feel deprived. Often, sweet-toothed cravings grow overwhelming, leading calorie counters astray.
Keep that desire for sweets in check by picking healthy desserts, such as berries with low-fat whipped cream, sliced fruit, yogurt, or a couple of ginger snaps before cravings attack.
Once in a blue moon, it’s not the end of the world to splurge on a single cream puff, a scoop of ice cream, or a slice of a favorite pie. It’s just not a habit anymore.
Here’s a dietary disclaimer.
Of course, these 10 tips for faking your body out and losing weight are not intended as professional medical advice or long-term nutritional counseling. Every human being has an individual metabolism, body fat ratio, fitness level, and overall health status. However, these simple common-sense secrets actually work for countless people.
Try them for yourself, if your physician approves, and see if you don’t drop a few pounds before you know it.