Time Your Meals
Set a timer for 20 minutes and reinvent yourself as a slow eater. This is one of the top habits for slimming down without a complicated diet plan. Savor each bite and make them last until the bell chimes.
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Paced meals offer great pleasure from smaller portions and trigger the body’s fullness hormones. When you wolf your food down in a hurry, your stomach doesn’t have time to tell your brain it’s full. That leads to overeating.
Sleep More, Weigh Less
Sleeping an extra hour a night could help a person drop 14 pounds in a year, according to a University of Michigan researcher who ran the numbers for a 2,500 calorie per day intake. His scenario shows that when sleep replaces idle activities — and the usual mindless snacking — you can effortlessly cut calories by 6%. Results would vary for each person, but sleep may help in another way, too. There’s evidence that getting less than 7 hours of sleep revs up your appetite, making you uncommonly hungry.
Serve More, Eat More Veggies
Serve three vegetables with dinner tonight, instead of just one, and you’ll eat more without really trying. Greater variety tricks people into eating more food — and eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to lose weight. The high fiber and water content fills you up with fewer calories. Cook them without added fat. And season with lemon juice and herbs rather than drowning their goodness in high-fat sauces or dressings.
When Soup’s On, Weight Comes Off
Add a broth-based soup to your day and you’ll fill up on fewer calories. Think minestrone, tortilla soup, or Chinese won-ton. Soup’s especially handy at the beginning of a meal because it slows your eating and curbs your appetite. Start with a low-sodium broth or canned soup, add fresh or frozen vegetables and simmer. Beware of creamy soups, which can be high in fat and calories.
Go for Whole Grains
Whole grains such as brown rice, barley, oats, buckwheat, and whole wheat also belong in your stealthy weight loss strategy. They help fill you up with fewer calories and may improve your cholesterol, too. Whole grains are now in many products including waffles, pizza crust, English muffins, pasta, and soft “white” whole-wheat bread.
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Eyeball Your Skinny Clothes
Hang an old favorite dress, skirt, or a smokin’ pair of jeans where you’ll see them every day. This keeps your eyes on the prize. Choose an item that’s just a little too snug, so you reach this reward in a relatively short time. Then pull out last year’s cocktail dress for your next small, attainable goal.
Skip the Bacon
Pass on those two strips of bacon at breakfast or in your sandwich at lunch time. This simple move saves about 100 calories, which can add up to a 10 pound weight loss over a year. Other sandwich fixings can replace the flavor with fewer calories. Think about tomato slices, banana peppers, roasted red bell peppers, grainy mustard, or a light spread of herbed goat cheese.
Build a Better Slice of Pizza
Choose vegetable toppings for pizza instead of meat and you may be able to shave 100 calories from your meal. Other skinny pizza tricks: Go light on the cheese or use reduced-fat cheese and choose a thin, bread-like crust made with just a touch of olive oil.