Although many doctors and health experts recommend losing weight through both dieting and exercise, for most people, it is quite difficult to follow a strict diet. Many people also shy away from diets because they don’t want to give up certain foods or get stuck eating the same things every day.
The monotony of a diet can also cause weight-watchers to overeat. Studies show that women who restricted their calorie intake were more likely to quit their diet and binge. If you’ve been through the rigors of dieting and feel like you’ve gotten nowhere, follow these 10 tips on how to lose weight without dieting.
1. Eat More Healthy Foods
Instead of eating less, eat more – healthy foods, that is. When you incorporate healthy foods, like fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, into your diet, you can eat more of them without feeling guilty. These foods are also high in fiber, which means they won’t make you feel hungry a few minutes later. Fiber can also inhibit the absorption of sugar and starches, which can help you lose weight, or at the very least, keep your weight from increasing.
2. Keep Moving
You can’t lose weight without doing some sort of exercise, so make a habit out of doing some form of physical activity. But it doesn’t have to be a boring routine. Get up and dance around the house for a while or go outside and run around with your dogs. Take a walk around the block with some friends or bike through your local park. As long as you do something that you can enjoy, you’ll be willing to do it more often.
3. Meditate Often
Stress can trigger people to eat and even overeat. When people feel anxious or upset about something, they tend to plow through their meal without even thinking about what they are eating. If you are one of those people, consider taking a meditation class or employ deep breathing exercises when you feel overwhelmed. When you’re relaxed you can savor your meal, which will make you feel fuller and will keep you from overeating.
4. Distinguish Between Physical And Emotional Hunger
Meditating on a regular basis can also help you distinguish between physical and emotional hunger. Hunger is a physical feeling, but some people use food to feed their emotions. Before you plunge into a bag of potato chips, ask yourself if you’re really hungry, or just bored or upset about something. If you’re really hungry, it’s OK to eat, but if you’re not, find a more positive outlet that will help you solve the problem.
5. Get Enough Sleep
People who get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep tend to gain weight more easily. That’s because sleep deprivation causes the body to produce cortisol, which is a stress hormone that can lead to an increase in the amount of fat around the abdominal area. A lack of sleep can also cause the body to hold on to sugars and starches, which can potentially lead to weight gain. If you’ve been getting less than the recommended amount of sleep, go to bed earlier or take naps during the day.
6. Be Silly
Watching your favorite comedy, telling a few jokes or reading a funny story can actually help you lose weight. Studies show that laughing can speed up your metabolism and your heart rate, which in turn, will help you burn calories. In fact, if you laugh for just 15 minutes a day, you can burn close to 15,000 calories a year.
7. Cook With Spices
Spices will add flavor to your food, but they won’t add calories. Spices will also make your food smell delicious and studies show that people who savor both the smell and taste of their food are not likely to overeat.
8. Reduce Salt Intake
Have you ever washed down a salty bag of potato chips with a sugary soda? Studies show that people who eat salty foods are more likely to drink high-calorie, sugar-filled beverages with them. Eating foods that are high in sodium can also increase your risk for high blood pressure and heart problems, so stick with low-sodium options and reduce your use of the salt shaker.
9. Believe You’re Losing Weight
If you think you’re losing weight, you are. A study conducted on hotel housekeepers showed that those who were told that they were losing weight through their physical activity at work actually did lose weight – just by believing it. So if you believe that your weight loss efforts will help you lose weight, they will.
10. Use Positive Reinforcement
If you stick to your weight loss plan and end up losing a few pounds, it’s OK to celebrate. Plan a fun day out with your friends or buy yourself something nice. Even if you simply maintain your weight, applaud your efforts and be proud of the fact that you’ve stuck to your plan. If you feel confident about the work you’ve done, you’ll be more likely to continue it in the future.