Almost everyone is looking for ways to lose weight that don't involve starvation diets or marathon training. Small diet tricks won't help you lose 10 lbs. in the next five weeks, but making incremental changes to how much you move, what you eat and how you eat can add up to significant long-term weight loss.
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Liquid calories don't sate hunger the way solid-food calories do, according to a December 2004 article in the "Washington Post" entitled "Those Liquid Calories." In the article, Professor Richard D. Mattes of Purdue University explained that because the body doesn't respond the same way to liquid calories as it does to solid-food calories, liquid calories don't trigger the body to recognize satiation. Stick to water for weight loss.
Keep a daily journal of everything you eat and drink and when you consumed it. Not only will a journal make you accountable to yourself, it may also highlight diet deficiencies and reveal damaging patterns like snacking at night or on weekends.
Buttering your bread may be an almost automatic act, but it's one you might wish to reconsider. A single tablespoon of butter has 102 calories. Consuming just 1 tbsp. of butter ever day for a year adds up to 37,230 calories, or the equivalent of 10.6 lbs.
It can be hard to find the time to exercise, but try to incorporate more movement into your everyday life even when you're not at the gym. Take the stairs, park at the back of the lot, get up during every commercial break and treat your dog to an extra walk. Individually, these activities don't burn very many calories, but if you make a commitment to move more every day, you'll see results.
Eat at Home
Restaurants are not only expensive, they're diet disasters. Progress has been made toward requiring chain restaurants to inform consumers about their foods' nutritional content, but a research study conducted at Tufts University revealed that, on average, restaurant meals contained 18 percent more calories than reported. If you're on a 1,500-calorie-a-day diet, unintentionally eating 18 percent more calories every day could lead to a 28-lb. weight gain over the course of a year.
Don't Eat Packaged Foods
The same study that showed restaurants underreporting calories showed that packaged foods, on average, contain 8 percent more calories than reported on their labels. Packaged foods are also notoriously high in sodium content, which could lead to water weight gain.
Ditch the Drinks
More and more research indicates that alcohol offers health benefits when enjoyed in moderation, but that doesn't change the fact that booze has a lot of calories. A regular beer has approximately 149 calories. Drinking one beer every night for a year adds up to 54, 385 calories, or 15.5 lbs.
It seems counterintuitive to snack when you want to lose weight, but incorporating small, healthy snacks like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grain pretzels and low-fat dairy products into your weight loss plan to prevent binge eating.
Jettison junk foods and tempting sweets from the house. You're much less likely to snack on unhealthy foods at night if you have to run to the store to buy them.
Sit Down to Eat
If you only let yourself eat when you're sitting down at the table, you'll go a long way toward reaching your diet goals. Imagine eliminating all the calories you eat while sitting in front of the television or computer.
Brush Your Teeth
Brush your teeth immediately after you finish each meal. It not only draws a psychological line in the sand telling you that it's time to stop eating, most foods will taste unappetizing until the toothpaste flavor fades from your mouth.