When it comes to physical fitness and health, many of us are just plain lazy. There are no other words to describe it. You want to do something with your body but at the same time, you really don’t want to do what is necessary. I’ll be the first to admit – I have that lazy person inside of me that I battle with every time I think about going to the gym or going for a run. It keeps telling me that I can always do it later, knowing very well that I will probably end up just sitting on the couch, eating chips and watching Law and Order all night.
For those of you, just like me who struggle to beat that lazy person inside of you, here are 9 tips that will get you healthier and losing weight without really having to try. Remember the key to really losing weight is consistency, so pick out a few of these tips (do not adopt all 9 tips at the same time – it’s not realistic!) and keep at them for at least 21 days, whereby they will then become your ‘usual’ habit.
1. Drink Two Glasses of Water
Are you really hungry, or are you actually just thirsty? Recent research has suggested that people inappropriately respond to thirst over 60 percent of the time by eating instead of drinking. Even if you’re not hankering for a thirst-quencher, preloading meals with plain calorie-free water can shave hundreds of calories from your daily intake. And if plain water sounds boring, you can add some practically calorie-free fresh citrus to create a health-boosting (and flavorful!) detox water. A study published in the journal Obesity found that people who drank two cups of water before eating consumed 75 to 90 fewer calories over the course of a meal than they would otherwise. This may simply be because water is filling, but researchers note the added H20 may well be displacing calories otherwise spent on calorie-laden beverages.
2. Hide the Junk
Out of sight, out of mouth? Simply reorganizing your pantry’s “top hits” could translate into serious calorie savings, according to researchers at Google. A study, conducted at the search engine’s New York office dubbed “Project M&M” found that placing chocolate candies in opaque containers as opposed to glass ones, and giving healthier snacks more prominent shelf space, curbed M&M consumption by 3.1 million calories in just seven weeks. A similar study published in the Journal of Marketing found that people are more likely to overeat small treats from transparent packages than from opaque ones.
3. Add a Little Spice To Your Meals
Finishing a meal with freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkling of fresh herbs isn’t just gourmet, it’s a double-duty weight loss trick. Recent studies suggest piperine, a powerful compound found in black pepper, has the profound ability to decrease inflammation and interfere with the formation of fat cells, resulting in a decrease in waist size, body fat, and cholesterol levels. As for fresh herbs, a study in the journal Flavour found participants ate significantly less of a wildly aromatic dish than a mildly scented variety. Adding herbs and sodium-free spice blends is an easy take advantage of sensory illusion that you’re indulging in something rich—without adding any fat or calories to your plate.
4. Eat until 80% full
There is a reason why Japanese women are thinner relative to us American women. In Japan, the eating culture is such that most people don’t over indulge and eat until they are 80% full. If you put the advice to practice at every meal, that translates roughly to a 300 calorie-per-day saving for the average American.
5. Eat Less Sugar
Too much sugar does not just make us fat – it can also make us sick. If you have a sweet tooth, try cutting back your sugar intake. Not only does this mean scaling back on things like cookies and ice cream, it also means scanning nutrition labels of foods that don’t even taste sweet. Sugar is hiding everywhere—even bacon has sugar in it!.
6. Eat Food that has to be Refrigerated
Eat out of your fridge, not your pantry. Skip the processed packaged foods and eat fresh foods that were recently alive and well. Be a big fan of colorful veggies, pasture-raised meats and eggs, and wild seafood and game. Get skinny and healthy at the same time.
7. Sleep More
Getting a proper night’s rest can accelerate your weight loss. When you don’t get enough sleep, levels of the hormone leptin drop, which increases appetite. This surge in appetite makes comfort food more appealing, which can derail weight loss efforts. It is always best to get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep per night.
8. Use Chopsticks To Eat
While it’s far from conventional, replacing your fork with chopsticks is a simple way to slow down the eating process, which will help you take in less food. It takes approximately 20 minutes for your brain to register if you’re full, and using a fork is an easy way to overload your stomach. Using chopsticks will help you slow down.
9. Don’t Eat Past 6:30pm
Eat only between the hours of 9 am and 6:30 pm. You’ll not only cut out that fattening late-night snacking habit but also minimize the damage of some of the less-than-healthy meals you have during the day. This tactic also puts your body into fasted state, which can make losing weight or keeping the weight off an easier, faster process.