If you need to lose a few pounds, you don’t need to overhaul your entire life. Instead, try to make a few simply changes. Here are 20 ways to lose weight without trying. Choose a handful of these tips and give them a shot for a week or two. You’ll feel and look better.
1) Drink water 15 minutes before every meal or snack
You’ll stay hydrated, flush toxins and eat less
2) Boost your fiber
Add in a couple extra servings of vegetables a day to help with digestion, elimination and hunger control. Carrots, celery, radishes, cauliflower, cucumbers and peppers are a few easy go-tos.
3) Limit fruit to no more than 1 to 2 serving a day
Fructose, the sugar in fruit, can wreak havoc on your weight loss efforts if you eat too much. Aim for fresh berries, green apples and grapefruit to help boost nutrients and fiber without filling you up with too much fruit sugar.
4) Avoid refined carbohydrates
They can be hard to cut back on, but refined carbs include snack packs, pastries, chips and most bread products. These foods are dead calories and offer your body no real benefit. Easing off will yield huge benefits right away.
5) Eat more healthy fats
Without healthy fats in our diet, metabolism takes a hit. Don’t shy away from olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds and even butter. There is no need to go overboard, but eating a reasonable amount will help you feel fuller for longer and get fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) where they need to go!
6) Don’t eat 3 hours or less before going to bed
Eating too close to bedtime increases insulin levels, which is exactly what you don’t need before your head hits the pillow. Increased insulin around bedtime can affect the amount of human growth hormone (HGH) released when you sleep. HGH helps us develop muscle, repair wounds and look younger. What’s more, unruly insulin levels put your body on the fast track to storing fat.
7) Drink warm lemon water first thing in the morning
A big glass of lukewarm or warm water in the morning helps to get your body “moving” in the morning, while providing hydration. Adding a little extra lemon helps to push toxins out of your cells, too!
8) Stop eating at 7pm and don’t start again until 11am
Sounds kind of crazy, but this eating schedule is a form of intermittent fasting (IF), which is a great way to naturally increase your body’s HGH and burn fat. This pattern may not be ideal for everyone, particularly those with metabolic concerns and women who are pregnant, but it’s a great way to kick start your metabolism.
9) Eat more garlic, onion, Brussels sprouts and broccoli
Big players in anti-inflammation, getting at least one or two serving of these four foods a day will help to relieve your body of inflammation, a common cause of weight gain.
10) Limit coffee to no more than one drink a day
Just one cup of Joe in the morning can spike cortisol levels by 30%. Elevated cortisol can throw off blood sugar levels, increasing hunger…not to mention stress. Cut back if you’re a java junkie.
11) Avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague
Known to decrease insulin sensitivity (not a good thing), artificial sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame have shown no benefits when it comes to weight loss. What’s more, these chemical sweeteners are toxic and get stored in our body.
12) Eat the whole egg, not just the white
Eat the egg…the whole egg. Egg yolks are a great source of choline, Vitamin A, B12 and phosphorus, to name a few. One or two whole eggs are nothing but beneficial…and do a great job keeping hunger at bay.
13) Lift weights
Even modest strength training can have a tremendous impact on your body’s muscle mass, thereby increasing your resting metabolism. You don’t need to bench press 200 pounds, rather, just move things that are heavy.
14) Do more high intensity interval training (HIIT)
HIIT, or pushing your heart rate up for short periods of time, then resting, is a fantastic way to burn belly fat! Check out these workouts and get going. They’re short and sweet.
15) Limit slow and steady cardio to 20 minutes a day
Cardiovascular activity is great, but too much slow and steady cardio activity has shown very little benefit in the world of weight loss. Don’t waste your time; increase the intensity instead.
16) Avoid all dairy, wheat and soy for one week – see what happens
When it comes to food sensitivities, these three are big culprits. When people have food sensitivities, they don’t always realize it. Excess weight (or the inability to lose weight) is often a “silent” side effect. Try to completely cut out one or all of these foods for a week or two and see what happens.
17) Sleep a full eight hours every night
Sleep and weight management go hand in hand. Ideally, we go through five sleep cycles every night (taking about 8 hours). Within each of those sleep cycles, our body releases HGH. Without this, we’re not as lean as we could be. Sleeping less than seven hours a night makes it’s easy to become over-fat.
18) Limit starchy carbohydrates to one meal a day
If breads, pastas, potatoes, rice, wraps or pastries rule your meals, it’s time to ease off. Limit these starchy carbohydrates to one meal a day.
19) Avoid fruit juice and energy bars, even if they’re “natural”
Fruit juices and energy bars sound really healthy, but are often loaded with sugar. Instead, grab something healthier, like a handful of nuts or a cup of berries
20) Carve out 15 minutes from every day to relax
A little bit of downtime, even if it’s just sitting quietly for a few minutes breathing deeply, can help reduce stress. Stress is closely tied to our overall health, increased body weight included. People who live with consistently higher levels of stress have larger waistlines.
Traci D Mitchell is a nationally-recognized Chicago-based nutrition coach and personal trainer featured on the TODAY Show and Dr. Oz. As the trainer for Steve Harvey's Bridal Bootcamp, Traci keeps herself busy by challenging others to be the healthiest they can be. Traci is available for corporate speaking events and private coaching. Interested in working with Traci? Get info here. To keep up-to-date, subscribe to her newsletter.