Though there are no magic tricks to lose weight, there are a few simple weight loss hacks you can use at home, at the office, or out on the town to help you get the body you deserve. Try a few or try all of these weight loss hacks to encourage healthy weight loss:
1. Eat by a window
Whether you are dining at home or eating out in a restaurant, studies conducted at Cornell University have shown that if you dine near a window, you’re likely to eat healthier food.
2. Put high-fat foods in hard-to-find places
If you keep unhealthy snacks in your home, make them hard to reach. Basically it would be better not to buy the snacks, but most of us will buy cookies or cupcakes or treats for an occasion – if they are sitting on my counter staring me in the face, it’s hard to resist. Use the top shelves of your cabinets or very low shelves behind heavy pots.
3. Choose meal companions carefully
According to research, you’re likely to make food choices based on the behavior of the people that are with you when you eat. So choose healthy friends to share your meal.
4. Never dine at your desk
Tempted to stay near your computer and work through lunch? Don’t do it! Your meal will be less satisfying and you’ll be more likely to want more food soon after.
5. Eliminate economy-sized packages
When you serve yourself food from huge boxes of cereal, chips or crackers, you’re more likely to over-serve yourself. Or if you do want to buy them for economic reasons, don’t eat from the big bag. Portion out your amount and close the bag or box.
6. Get sneaky with labels
Can’t ditch the snack foods completely? Label your favorite food packages with the correct portion size of that snack AND the amount of exercise needed to burn it off. It might make you less likely to overindulge!
7. Learn to pour perfect portions
Wine is fine, but learn to drink the right amount. Use a measuring cup to pour a five-ounce serving and then pour the wine into your glass. After a few tries (over several days), you’ll know exactly how much to pour.
8. Clean out your fridge
A clean refrigerator can showcase your healthy foods to make diet-friendly eating easier. Put single-serving containers of Greek yogurt, low-fat dairy products, and chopped veggies on the front shelves, so you see them right away when you open the fridge door to browse.
Related: 55 Healthy and Easy Snacks
9. Use photo apps as a food diary
Not every dieter counts calories. But you can still keep a food diary to hold yourself accountable and to promote diet-friendly choices. Sometimes seeing what you’ve eaten in one day or a week is very eye-opening. Check out a popular app, MyFitnessPal, or use an old fashioned notebook.
10. Avoid processed foods at all costs!
Quick microwavable meals are often high in calories, high in fat and low in nutrition. Packaged foods are often filled with artificial food coloring, flavors, additives and fillers that leave you bloated, inflamed and low energy. Try to start following the idea of eating real food, mostly plants. Remember, real food often doesn’t have a label because there is nothing added to it. A carrot is a carrot!
11. De-clutter your countertops
Clean living encourages clean eating, according to scientific studies. Clear off your countertops to give yourself the space you need to prepare healthy meals.
12. Eat before you shop
Never go to the grocery store hungry or after a hard exercise session. You’re more likely to choose diet-friendly foods if you roam the aisles with a full belly.
13. Enjoy a post-meal mint
Peppermint and other minty flavors help you to stop eating. Chew gum after dinner or brush your teeth to derail post-meal snacking. Try drinking a cup of mint tea to calm your mind and taste buds.
14. Unplug to practice mindful eating
Avoid distractions at mealtime. Turn off the television and walk away from your computer when you eat to avoid mindless eating practices that often lead to overeating.
15. Choose a single indulgence
Have a glass of wine to relax. Or enjoy a dessert at special dinners. But you can’t keep drinking several alcoholic drinks and eating dessert and expect to lose weight. Choose the indulgence that makes the meal most satisfying for you. (For example, enjoying a glass of wine with a small piece of dark chocolate. The key word being “small”.)
16. Pack lunch after dinner
Prepare tomorrow’s lunch after dinner tonight, when your belly is full, and you feel satiated. You’re likely to pack a smaller meal with fewer calories.
17. Wear a waistband
Ditch the sweatpants and loose, comfy, clothing during meal times. Wear something that has a fitted waistband. It will help you to feel when you’ve had enough to eat.
18. Drink water with meals and eat slowly
Skip sodas, juices and even wine with most meals. Drink water instead. The swap will help you to focus on and enjoy the satisfying flavors of the food on your plate, and you’ll cut calories at the same time. And don’t forget to chew your food and eat slowly. Often we eat so fast and wash it down with sugary drinks. The slower you eat, the better chance your stomach has to catch up with your brain and tell you that you are full.
19. Delegate dishes for diet success
Don’t linger in the kitchen after your meal is over. You’re likely to mindlessly nibble and potentially overeat. Go for a walk, and if possible, delegate the dish-work to a loved one who supports your commitment to reach a healthy weight.
20. Shop the perimeter of the store
Shop the perimeter of the grocery store, where fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy meat and fish are located. Next hit the frozen foods – things like frozen vegetables and fruits can last longer and be cost effective. Save the center isles for last (or not at all) – that is where the processed foods are shelved.
- Fill up on fiber at lunch time
Make sure you include fiber-rich foods (a pear, raw broccoli or radishes) in your lunch. The fiber will help you get through those late afternoon cravings that can undo your diet.
22. Start your day with water
Even before you drink your coffee, tea or eat breakfast, drink at least 12-16 ounces of water. Even better add some lemon. It will help to flush out toxins, get your digestive system going, help your hydration levels and even wake you up!
23. Split your meal into courses
Dine like you’re at a restaurant even when you’re at home. First, serve your salad on a small plate. Then, enjoy your entrée on a separate plate. Don’t leave large serving bowls on the table. When you take more time to eat, you give your belly a chance to recognize the signs of satiety. Then you’ll eat less and feel more satisfied.
24. Choose smaller, brighter plates
Some research suggests that eating off of smaller plates and plates that are brightly colored may help you eat smaller, healthier meals.
25. Give yourself credit
Dieters who believe that they can lose weight are more likely to reach their goal. So acknowledge at least one success each day and write it down or say it out loud. It’ll boost your motivation, your commitment to your program and your chances of weight loss success.