If you’re seeking to shed weight quickly, these tips from specialists can help you reach your goal with ease.
1. Write down what you eat for one week, and you will lose weight
People who keep food diaries wind up eating less food than those who don’t. And, new research suggests logging what you eat is one of the most effective and easy ways to lose weight. Just watch out for weekends: One study found people tend to consume an extra 115 calories per weekend day, primarily from alcohol and fat.
2. After breakfast, stick to water
At breakfast, go ahead and drink a half cup of orange juice. But throughout the rest of the day, focus on water instead of juice or soda. The average American consumes an extra 145 calories a day from soft drinks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s nearly 53,000 calories a year—or 15 pounds! And research shows that despite the calories, sugary drinks don’t trigger a sense of fullness the way that food does.
3. Eat three fewer bites of your meal
…or one less treat a day, or one less glass of orange juice. Doing any of these can save you about 100 calories a day, and that alone is enough to prevent you from gaining the two pounds most people mindlessly pack on each year. Here are 10 weight loss tricks that have nothing to do with diet or exercise.
4. Wash something thoroughly once a week
Whether that’s a floor, a couple of windows, the shower stall, bathroom tile, your car, a 150-pound person will burn about four calories for every minute spent cleaning. Scrub for 30 minutes and you could work off approximately 120 calories, the same number in a half-cup of vanilla frozen yogurt.
5. Eat in front of mirrors and you’ll lose weight
One study found that eating in front of mirrors slashed the amount people ate by nearly one-third. Having to look yourself in the eye reflects back some of your own inner standards and goals, and reminds you of why you’re trying to lose weight in the first place.
6. Walk five minutes for at least every two hours
Stuck at a desk all day? A brisk five-minute walk every two hours will parlay into an extra 20-minute walk by the end of the day, and getting moving is more beneficial than a standing desk. And research shows that exercise in just five-minute spurts could help improve your health and reduce the risk of death.
7. You’ll lose weight and fat if you walk 45 minutes a day, not 30
Research shows that 30 minutes of daily walking is enough to prevent weight gain in most sedentary people, but exercise beyond 30 minutes results in weight and fat loss. Burning an additional 300 calories a day with three miles of brisk walking (45 minutes should do it) could help you lose 30 pounds in a year without even changing how much you’re eating.
8. Close the kitchen for 12 hours
After dinner, wash all the dishes, wipe down the counters, turn out the light, and, if necessary, tape closed the cabinets and refrigerator. Late-evening eating increases the overall number of calories you eat, studies found.
9. Eat water-rich foods and you’ll eat fewer calories overall
body of research out of Pennsylvania State University finds that eating water-rich foods such as zucchini, tomatoes, and cucumbers during meals reduces your overall calorie consumption. Other water-rich foods include soups and salads. You won’t get the same benefits by just drinking your water, though (but you will get other benefits of staying hydrated). Because the body processes hunger and thirst through different mechanisms, it simply doesn’t register a sense of fullness with water (or soda, tea, coffee, or juice).
10. Avoid white foods
There is some scientific legitimacy to today’s lower-carb diets: Large amounts of refined carbohydrates from white flour and added sugar can wreak havoc on your blood sugar and lead to weight gain. Limit your intake of sugar, white rice, and white flour; swap them for whole-grain breads and brown rice. Several studies have found that eating more whole grains makes you more likely to weigh less.
11. Eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juice
For the calories in one kid-size box of apple juice, you can enjoy an apple, orange, and a slice of watermelon. These whole foods will keep you satisfied much longer than that box of apple juice, so you’ll eat less overall. And research has shown that there’s no difference in the impact on your body between drinking fruit juice and drinking a soda or other sugary drink.