Eat less, exercise more – check. Cut your portions in half – check. Look in the mirror – love handles are still bulging from the sides of what could have been your perfect waist.
We’ve heard so many weight loss suggestions, went through every meal plan possible, bumped up exercise, and the unwanted fat is still there. Exhausted and running low on motivation many tend to give up and just make peace with their new oversized bodies. But wait, hold on just a bit longer; there might be a solution on the horizon. You’re probably doing everything right, but there are a few tricks that you might have forgotten to implement that could change your results.
1. Hydrate more
Drinking water is a natural need of every human being since 67% of our bodies are made of water. An average person takes in one or two cups per day which is far from enough. Eight cups are the ideal number, but you can start with less, for example, three cups daily, and then work your habits up. Drinking water is especially important 30 minutes before every meal. It is scientifically proven in the studies that people who drank water before eating lost more weight than the ones who skipped this step. Water will fill your belly, leaving less space for food while still giving you that feeling of fulness. Less food means fewer calories to burn later, too. Besides helping with weight loss, hydration is important for your skin, blood flow, and digestive system.
2. Eat before eating
This phrase was repeated by many nutritionists over and over for years. Before you dig into your main course, have a starter like a bowl of soup or a salad. Soup will take longer to eat which will give your body time to adjust and register how much more food you need. Salads are also great since they are great sources of vitamins and minerals, and as a bonus, it will somewhat fill you up. These small and healthy meals can help you eat smarter and intake less fat and carbs. Tricking your belly is a clever way of staying off of that chocolate cake dessert.
3. Spice it up
If you love spicy food go for it big time. Chilly peppers are a great addition to every meal. You can add it to the salad, soup, or even dice it in your tuna sandwich. Add a bit of fire to your plate because these hotties will speed up your metabolism by almost 10%. Combining it with moderate exercise could do wonders for your digestive tract, thus speeding up the process of burning fat. However, don’t overdo it. Like with everything else, use your common sense to eat spicy food moderately and in combination with other ingredients. Eating too much spicy food can cause cramps, indigestion, and diarrhea. Use spices wisely and adequately.
4. Choose healthy snacks
Snacks are part of every food plan, just not the ones you like. Potato chips are one of the worst, fatty, high-calorie snacks that you can nib on. But don’t go nuts! Actually, do go nuts – hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios, and almonds are a great replacement to keep your hands busy without adding more fat. Still, some self-control has to be in place even with healthy snacks. Small portions, like a couple of ounces, is quite enough. Nuts are also loaded with oils, which, in large quantities are going to make you gain more weight. Be reasonable, snack slower, chew more times before grabbing another one. And stay away from the chips, pretzels, and popcorn.
You might think that you’ve just had a coffee when in reality you just swallowed hundreds of empty calories. Flavored coffees, like mocha and latte, can have up to 500 calories that will take you hours to burn. Since you probably don’t have that much time to dedicate to your workout, just skip sugary drinks. Sodas are also well-known as the enemy of a slim waist, along with fruit juices and sweet teas. Instead, drink water, green tea, and black coffee. Adding milk will significantly increase the fat and carb intake, so skip this too. It’s just a habit that you need to kick, and if you’re not willing to do it cold-turkey, try gradually lowering the amount of sugar in your beverages. Eventually, you’ll get used to it and maybe even begin to enjoy it.
6. Switch up
Here’s how it works. Instead of ice cream topped with fresh strawberries, make a bowl of fresh strawberries topped with one scoop of ice cream. Or, instead of pasta with veggies, eat a bunch of vegetables with a couple of ounces of pasta. The combinations are endless, get creative! You will still get your daily dose of carbs only a healthier version. If you’re not a veggie lover, click here to find out how you can add some natural supplements into your diet to replace the lack of vitamins and boost your metabolism. Your body and soul will be satisfied and your reflection in the mirror will make you smile.
7. Watch the clock
There is no such thing as a healthy late-night dinner. Any meal after 6 pm will add more pounds to your frame. In case you go to bed late, there is a rule that you shouldn’t eat at least 3 hours before sleep, so account for that. Trust me, even if you eat one lettuce leaf in the middle of the night, it’s going to show on your thighs later. So, refrain from any late-night snack, dinner, nibbling, or drinking. Your body needs to rest from the daily work and prepare for the next one.
8. Sleep more
I know that you wish that there are more hours in the day, but you’ll have to work with what you have. Just because you didn’t get everything done doesn’t mean that you should cut on sleep. Your body needs time to recharge so that you feel fresh like a daisy the next day. There is a close link between lack of sleep and weight gain. Here’s the logic behind it: when you don’t get enough sleep, you will start the day tired and low on energy, which will make you eat more, probably fatty and sugary foods, to pick you up and get you through the day. You must admit that it makes perfect sense. So, make sure to get full 7 hours of sleep every night.
9. Just eat!
When you’re having a meal let your focus be on food. Don’t make a call, send an email, cook, write notes, or anything else that might distract you. Keeping concentrated on the meal will give you a better insight into what you’re eating, and you’ll instantly recognize the signal from your body that you’re full. People who multitask while having a meal are probably going to eat more without even noticing it.
10. Keep a journal
Writing down everything you eat is going to give you a good perspective on the things you’re doing right, and the ones you need to work on more. The insight is especially priceless for people who snack all day long, unaware of how much they’ve actually eaten. Keeping tabs on every bite will help you stay on track with your meal plan. Further, you can write down your workouts and see how long you’ve come in time. This can massively boost self-confidence and the necessary motivation for success.