By Lucy Gornall
If you’ve set yourself a weight loss goal, you might think that locking the fridge door and endlessly exercising are the only ways to shed the pounds. Luckily, you're wrong...
While going on a strict diet might be your first thought when you think of weight loss, it doesn't always have to be like that.
Plenty of experts have studied ways in which we can aid our weight loss journeys by changing small behaviours in our day-to-day lives.
So if adding a few tricks to your daily routine could actually help you lose weight without having to on a proper diet, why not give them try?
Easy tips to help you lose weight without having to diet
"Next time you’re feeling positive about your body, remain with that thought. Perhaps you’ve just been for a walk, or a swim – you’re feeling strong, and alive, and capable. Hold the feeling in your memory. This is your anchor," explains Dr Michael Mosley, creator of the 5:2 diet and The Fast 800 lifestyle plan.
"Now, let’s picture the next scene. You’re at the supermarket, feeling hungry, and a packet of sweets is saying, ‘Eat me!’ Before you act, deploy your resolution – cast your mind back to your anchor. Think about eating the sweets, then think about how your body will actually feel after the first one, then the second, then the rest of the packet. Cut out the visual cue to eat by closing your eyes, and think about the discomfort at your waistband, the loss of appetite for your next meal. Then walk away.’
Get a digital diet buddy
Research has shown that people fitted with a tracker connected to an app and smart scales lost around a stone in three months.
The programme, called Second Nature, is being trialled by the NHS. If you can’t take part, a fitness tracker or app on your phone can be a similar way to track progress. We love the popular MyFitnessPal and Strava while new app Lose it! tracks calories and contains food brands and restaurants from around the world.
Drink water before eating
As well as boosting your metabolism, drinking water before you eat can help reduce your calorie intake by 75 cals per meal. It also fills you up more and, of course, it’s good for your overall health to stay hydrated.
Chew 40 times
It can make your meal last longer (and that’s no bad thing when you’re on a diet!), and it can also help shift pounds, as food that’s less lumpy burns more calories during the digestion process. A study in the BMJ also found that those who chew their food more slowly weigh less.
Eat full fat food
"We’ve been told all our lives to avoid fat," says Dr Mosley."In response, the food industry has offered a range of low-fat, sugar-laden “diet” foods."
"Obesity rates, meanwhile, continue to soar. But, far from being a cause of weight gain, 'good' fats – rich in mono- and polyunsaturates – powerfully curb the appetite, slowing the rate at which the stomach empties and so delaying the point at which it signals for more food.
"To feel fuller for longer, choose olive oil, nuts, oily fish and (in moderation) full-fat dairy products."
Lucy Gornall is the former Health & Fitness editor at Future and a personal trainer specializing in pre and post-natal exercise.
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