Many people are unaware that their daily habits could be the culprit behind their weight gain or lack of weight loss progress. The good news is that cultivating healthier habits doesn’t always require extensive planning or thinking.
You can start by making simple changes to your daily routine that will help you lose weight quickly and effectively. These habits are easy to adopt and can lead to long-lasting results. So, give them a try and see how they work for you!
1. Flip your dinnerware
Use salad plates for dinner and dinner plates for salad. Research shows that you’ll eat less off small plates because you’ll keep your portions in check. For drinks, use your smallest glasses for milk and juice and your biggest ones for water. These strategies work by tricking your eyes.
2. Avoid eating from the bag
Keep your portions under control by never eating straight from the box or bag. Unconscious eating from large bags or containers can lead to over-consuming. Research from Cornell found that people ate 45% more popcorn from large containers than popcorn served in a medium-sized container. Serve popcorn in a coffee mug, cereal in a teacup, nuts in a shot glass, and granola in a 1/2-cup ramekin. That will help you make sure your snack doesn’t become a fourth (or fifth!) meal.
3. Be fastidious about fats
Even healthy oils like olive oil contain 120 calories per tablespoon. Measure cooking oils by the teaspoon rather than pouring straight into the pan. Also measure nut butters.
4. Hydrate right
Whether you choose still or sparkling water, drinking more of it can help you eat less. Research shows that drinking water can help you lose weight by helping you burn more calories and reducing your appetite when consumed before meals. For a flavor kick, spike yours with fruits and herbs like grapefruit and thyme, strawberry and basil, or blackberry and tarragon.
5. Add flavor with spices
Use spices in place of sugar (which is linked to heart disease and weight gain) to add a sweet flavor to your food. For example, sprinkle pumpkin spice on top of plain yogurt, or put a dash or two of cinnamon on apple slices, oatmeal, or sweet potatoes.
6. Watch that latte
Sugar-filled syrups can add hundreds of hidden calories to an otherwise calorie-free cup of coffee. Instead of having a flavored latte, sprinkle cinnamon or cocoa (unsweetened) on a cappuccino. You’ll save 120 calories and 22 grams of sugar—or more.
7. Make coffee at home
Opt for a homemade coffee shake with a mocha twist. Toss brewed coffee, a splash of skim or milk alternative, a small squirt of chocolate syrup, and a handful of ice into a blender. You’ll be sipping about 70 calories instead of the 400-plus calories in a Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino Blended Coffee drink.
8. Crunch your produce
Liquid calories aren’t as filling as calories from whole fruits and veggies, says Joy Bauer, R.D. An orange has about 2.5 g fiber and 47 calories, while 16 oz of orange juice has about 1 g of fiber and 220 calories, so Bauer recommends eating your fruits and veggies rather than juicing them. If you do opt for juice, try a green one made with naturally low-sugar vegetables like spinach, kale, cucumbers, and celery with a splash of fruit juice for half the calories and a third of the sugar.
9. Fill up on fiber
Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate from plant-based foods like bran flakes and strawberries that absorbs water and helps us eliminate waste as it travels through the digestive system. According to a review published in Journal of American College of Nutrition, fiber may increase satiety to keep you fuller longer and dietary fiber intake is associated with lower body weight. Mayo Clinic recommends that women should aim for at least 21 to 25 g of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 g a day.
10. Add crunch to your salad
And we’re not talking high-sodium croutons. Toss in chopped apple, radish slices, water chestnuts, or toasted walnuts to get a satisfying crunch plus a boost of nutrition.