Regimented diet plans can be challenging to stick to for prolonged periods. It can also be hard to find the time to exercise. Is it possible to lose weight without doing either?
There are several proven tips that can help you eat fewer calories with ease.
These are effective ways to reduce your weight, as well as to prevent weight gain in the future.
Ways to lose weight without diet or exercise
1. Chew more and slowly
Your brain needs time to process that you've had enough to eat.
After having a bite, savor it by chewing longer and then put your spoon or fork down and stop eating for a moment.
Chewing or mastication initiates the process of digestion. Some preliminary research found that chewing each mouthful thoroughly and prolonging meal duration reduced food intake.
2. Eat Plenty of Protein
Instead of dieting, try eating more protein in place of other high carbohydrate foods. Protein keeps you full longer, thus reducing hunger and caloric intake for the day. This may be because protein affects several hormones that play a role in hunger and fullness, including ghrelin and GLP-1.
For example, eating eggs instead of a bagel in the morning is shown to keep you full longer and as a result, you eat few calories for the day.
3. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
In addition to increasing your protein intake, epidemiologic studies show that increasing your fiber intake also helps you lose weight.
Studies also indicate that one type of fiber, viscous fiber, is particularly helpful for weight loss. It increases fullness and reduces food intake.
Fiber is different than other foods because the body does not digest it in the small intestine. Instead, the food moves to the large intestine, where fermentation occurs.
This benefits people by:
slowing down digestion
increasing food transit time and nutrient absorption
4. Use Smaller Plates for Unhealthy Foods
When people serve food onto a plate, they tend to finish all the food on that plate. They could lower their calories with minimal effort by reducing the size of their plate or how much food they put on it.
Some studies show that larger plates make food servings look smaller, causing you to add more food to the plate.
You can use this to your advantage by serving healthy food on bigger plates and less healthy food on smaller plates.
5. Hydrate with Water
Drinking water can help you eat less and lose weight, especially if you drink it before a meal.
Studies have shown that drinking a couple of 8 oz glasses of water one half hour before a meal cuts down on the number of calories people eat.
6. Start meals with smaller portions
Serving yourself larger portions or ordering excess food has been shown to stimulate overeating.
To avoid overeating, start your meal with smaller portions and wait several minutes before eating more as larger portions encourage people to eat more and have been linked to an increase in weight gain and obesity.
One study divided single meals into smaller portions to test whether people expected to feel fuller after eating the same amount of food in separate units. They found that by dividing foods into three or six separate portions, the participants’ expected level of fullness was greater.
7. Cut out sugary beverages
The worst things you can drink in place of water are beverages full of added sugars. Drinking beverages loaded with sugar means you are taking in an excess of calories.
Sugary beverages like soda have been associated with an increased risk of many diseases.
It's very easy to consume excess calories from sugary drinks because liquid calories don't affect fullness the way solid food does.
There are many healthful alternatives to soft drinks. Plain water with fresh mint, ginger, berries, or cucumber is refreshing and contains very few calories. People can also add lime or lemon to sparkling water.
Herbal, green, and black teas are also suitable. Many teas come with additional health benefits.
Instead of drinking fruit juices, eat whole fruit with high fiber.
8. Keep Unhealthy Foods out of Sight
Storing unhealthy foods where you can see them may increase hunger and cravings, causing you to eat more, which can lead to weight gain.
Rather than keeping junk food on the countertop, store it away in the back of the cabinet or the back of the refrigerator.
Displaying healthy foods in bowls on the counter or in Tupperware in front of the refrigerator may also help prevent weight gain.
9. Get more sleep
Getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night can increase a person’s risk of being overweight or obese.
Simply getting enough quality sleep can help you lose weight. Quality sleep ensures that the hormones that regulate your appetite stay balanced and on track.
Hormones linked to appetite include leptin and ghrelin. When levels of these hormones are disrupted, your appetite may increase causing you to crave unhealthy high calorie foods.
10. Reduce stress
Raised stress levels can also disrupt hormonal balance. When a person is stressed, their body produces hormones called glucocorticoids. Too many glucocorticoids can increase a person’s appetite, leading to weight gain.
Managing stress levels hence can help you lose weight.
11. Eat Without Distractions
Eating or snacking while watching TV, checking email, or surfing the web leads to “autopilot” eating. Meaning you unconsciously eat more because you aren’t paying attention.
Additionally, absent-mindedness during a meal has an even greater influence on your intake later in the day. People who were distracted at a meal ate 25% more calories at later meals than those who were present.
Sitting down with a plate of food and eliminating distractions also helps you focus on portion control, so “unplug” while you eat.