Yes, it is possible to reduce weight quickly. Numerous fad diets promise to help you lose weight quickly while leaving you hungry and deprived. But what good does it do to lose weight only to gain it back? It’s important to lose weight gradually if you want to keep the weight off in the long run. And, according to many experts, you can do it without going on a diet. The key is to make small changes to your lifestyle.
3,500 calories are equal to one pound (0.45 kg) of fat. You can lose around a pound (0.45 kg) each week by slashing 500 calories per day through food and exercise changes. If you merely need to maintain your current weight, cutting 100 calories per day will suffice to avoid the 1-2 pounds (0.45 – 0.90 kg) that most adults gain each year.
Adopt one or more of these simple, painless, and healthy weight-loss strategies without resorting to a diet:
Never Skips Breakfast
Many people who have lost weight and kept it off have a habit of eating breakfast every day. “Many people think skipping breakfast is a great way to cut calories,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD, author of The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to the New Food Pyramids, “but they usually end up eating more throughout the day.” “Studies show that people who eat breakfast have lower BMIs and perform better at school and in the boardroom than those who don’t.” For a quick and nutritious start to the day, try a bowl of whole-grain cereal with fruit and low-fat dairy.
Close the Kitchen at Night
Set a timer for when you’ll stop eating so you don’t succumb to late-night cravings or mindless munching while watching TV. “If you want something sweet after dinner, have a cup of tea, a piece of hard candy, or a small bowl of light ice cream or frozen yogurt,” recommends Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, WebMD’s “Recipe Doctor,” and author of Comfort Food Makeovers.
Select Liquid Calories Carefully
Sweetened beverages are high in calories, yet they don’t satisfy hunger the way solid foods do. Water, sparkling water with citrus, skim or low-fat milk, or small servings of 100 percent fruit juice will quench your thirst. If you’re hungry in between meals, try a glass of healthful and low-calorie vegetable juice. Keep an eye on your alcohol calories, since they can easily pile up. Limiting alcohol to the weekends can save you a lot of calories if you consume a glass or two of wine or a cocktail every day.
Consume More Fruits and Vegetables
Eating a lot of low-calorie, high-volume fruits and vegetables push out high-fat, high-calorie stuff. Place the vegetables on top of the meat and move it away from the center of your dish. Alternatively, Barbara Rolls, Ph.D., author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan, proposes starting lunch or dinner with a vegetable salad or a bowl of broth-based soup. Adults should consume 7-13 cups of produce each day, according to the United States government’s 2005 Dietary Guidelines. Ward thinks it’s not difficult: “Stock your kitchen with plenty of fruits and veggies and incorporate a couple of servings at every meal and snack,” she says. “Your diet will be loaded with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber, and you won’t be hungry if you eat a lot of super-nutritious fruit.”
Go for the Grain
By replacing refined grains like white bread, cakes, pastries, and pretzels with whole grains, you’ll get more fiber and fill up faster, making it easier to eat a reasonable portion. Whole-wheat bread and pasta, brown rice, bran flakes, popcorn, and whole-rye crackers are some of the healthier options.
Control Your Environments
Controlling your environment, from filling your kitchen with plenty of healthy options to choosing the correct eateries, is another simple way to help you lose weight. That means keeping away from all-you-can-eat eateries to prevent temptation. When it comes to events, Ward advises, “have a nutritious snack beforehand so you won’t be hungry, and be selective when filling your plate at the buffet.” Wait at least 15 minutes before returning for more food and drink a large glass of water.
Reduced Your Portions
You could lose weight if you did nothing else except lowering your portions by 10% to 20%. The majority of meals offered in restaurants and at home are larger than you require. Get your measuring cups out to get a handle on your typical portion amounts and focus on reducing them. Use small dishes, plates, and cups to get rapid portion control, suggests Brian Wansink, Ph.D., author of Mindless Eating. You won’t feel deprived because the food will appear to be plenty on delicate serving utensils.
Increase The Number of Steps
Get a pedometer and progressively increase your daily steps until you hit 10,000. Do anything you can to be more active throughout the day, such as pacing while talking on the phone, taking the dog for an extra walk, and marching in place during television commercials. A pedometer serves as a regular reminder and motivator.
Have Protein at Every Meal and Snack
Including a source of lean or low-fat protein in each meal and snack will help you feel fuller for longer, reducing your chances of overeating. Low-fat yogurt, a modest amount of almonds, peanut butter, eggs, legumes, or lean meats are all good options. To keep your blood sugar levels stable and avoid overindulging, experts recommend eating small, frequent meals and snacks (every 3-4 hours).
Switch to Lighter Alternatives
Use low-fat salad dressings, mayonnaise, dairy products, and other goods wherever possible. “If you use low-fat and lighter items, you can easily cut calories, and if the product is mixed in with other components, no one will notice,” explains Magee. More ingenious substitutions: Use salsa or hummus as a dip; use mustard instead of mayo on sandwiches; eat plain roasted sweet potatoes instead of loaded white potatoes; skip the cream in your coffee; skip the cheese on sandwiches, and use a little vinaigrette on your salad instead of heaping it on.