7 Effortless Eating Habits for Faster Weight Loss, Say Dietitians
Have you ever searched on the internet, for "ways to lose weight without trying?" You're definitely not the only one. We all want to lose weight easily, but we want to do it without putting in a ton of motivation. Unfortunately, some work needs to be involved as you can't lose weight without actually trying. However, there are some ways to lose weight that seem so easy that they feel effortless. This includes "effortless" eating habits.
Trying to lose weight doesn't have to be stressful. That's why we spoke with Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, authors of The Nutrition Twins' Veggie Cure and members of our Medical Expert Board, to help you find simple and easy eating habits can help aid weight loss so you can reach your goals faster than if you didn't use these tips. Then, be sure to check out Effortless Ways to Help You Lose Weight As You Age, Say Dietitians.
Bulk up your meals with vegetables.
"Fill half your plate with vegetables," says The Nutrition Twins. "They'll crowd out the heavier items on your plate and fill you up with fiber and very few calories."
The Nutrition Twins suggest that when possible, toss vegetables into any meal that you're making since it will have the same effect as filling your plate with vegetables.
For example, if you're making chicken and rice stir-fry, simply toss in snow peas, cauliflower, carrots, and mushrooms. If you're making pasta with shrimp, simply toss in broccoli and zucchini.
"You don't even have to take the time to cut the vegetables, you can use frozen vegetables, which are just as healthy as fresh vegetables since they are packed and frozen," says The Nutrition Twins.
The nutrients remain intact in this form, so none are lost during shipping or placement in the stores. Therefore, if the vegetables are exposed to light or heat or take a long time to reach store shelves, the nutrients will still be in those frozen veggies.
Leave three bites behind at each meal.
Have you ever been told to "finish what's on your plate" as a kid? Chances are you might be dealing with a "clean plate" mentality, which means you eat everything that's on your plate, despite feeling full. However, you don't need to do that, and leaving some leftovers on your plate can actually help aid weight loss.
"If you're like most people who finish everything on their plate, simply leave the last 3 bites behind," says The Nutrition Twins. "This can save more than 100 calories at each meal, and if you're someone who eats 3 meals and a snack each day, this can equate to a nearly 4-pound weight loss over a month."
Choose calorie-free beverages.
"When we drink calories, our brain doesn't get the signal that we got fuel, and we don't compensate for those calories the way that we would after eating, and instead eat just as much later," says The Nutrition Twins.
The Twins also suggest that while drinking beverages with calories contribute to weight gain, sugar-sweetened drinks are especially problematic. Research from The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism has found these beverages to interfere with the hunger-suppressing hormones that signal a sense of feeling full. Meanwhile, hydrating with sugar-free, unsweetened drinks like water, seltzer, or infused waters that add sweetness naturally, takes space in your stomach, helping to prevent overeating. They also give your body the fluid it needs to prevent dehydration, which is necessary for body processes to function efficiently, and that includes your metabolism.
If you're looking to make your own infused water, try a berry mint-infused water by The Nutrition Twins.
Eat soluble fiber.
Soluble fiber includes fruits like apples, strawberries, and other citrus fruits as well as oats, oat bran, beans, rice bran, peas, and potatoes.
"These are all good sources of soluble fiber, which is fermented in the gut into short-chain fatty acids which suppress appetite by increasing levels of fullness hormones and decreasing hunger hormones to help reduce visceral fat," says The Nutrition Twins.
One study found that upping soluble fiber by just 10 grams per day lessened the risk of visceral fat gain by 3.7%.
For ideas, try the Nutrition Twins recipes for Copy Cat Apple Pie and Cinnamon Belly Fat Burning Oats. You can also swap for barley, flaxseeds, and psyllium.
Eat fermented foods daily.
According to The Nutrition Twins, fermented foods contain probiotics that may help to reduce belly fat and increase a hormone that helps you to feel full, while also helping to reduce the amount of fat the body stores.
"These fermented foods may also be able to help to decrease the amount of fat you absorb and increase the amount you excrete," they say.
Examples of fermented foods include sauerkraut, kefir, and yogurt.
Include your favorite foods.
Just because you're trying to lose weight, doesn't mean you need to cut out everything you love!
"People who deprive themselves always end up throwing in the towel because their plan is unsustainable," says The Nutrition Twins. "They also often go off the deep end after feeling like they couldn't eat any of the foods they like and instead end up overeating or bingeing. By including small portions of your favorite foods occasionally, you take deprivation out of the equation, so it makes it much easier to follow a healthy eating plan."
Put oil and dressing in a spray bottle.
This action allows you to still get all the flavor, just in a fraction of the calories.
"Each tablespoon of oil has 120 calories, and many dressings are about 100 calories per tablespoon," says The Nutrition Twins. "Most people add several tablespoons of oil at breakfast when cooking eggs or bacon, several at lunch, pouring dressing on salads, and several at dinner, dipping bread in oil or adding it to their pan when they're cooking chicken, fish, tomato sauce and more. It's conceivable that this change alone could result in a 5-pound weight loss over a month."
The Nutrition Twins suggest instead of pouring the oil directly into the pan when you cook, spritz your pots and pans with oil instead. Also, spritz bread with oil, rather than dipping, and spray salads with dressings instead of pouring them.