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Following a conventional diet and exercise plan can be difficult.
However, 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 prevent future weight gain.
Here are 11 ways to lose weight without diet or exercise. They are all based on science.
1. Chew well and slow down
Your brain needs time to process that you have eaten enough.
Chewing your food well slows you down, which is associated with lower food intake, increased fullness, and smaller portions (1, 2, 3).
How quickly you finish your meals can also affect your weight.
A recent review of 23 observational studies reported that faster eaters are more likely to gain weight than slower eaters (4).
To get into the habit of eating more slowly, it can help to count how many times you chew each bite.
Eating your food slowly can help you feel fuller with fewer calories. It is an easy way to lose weight and prevent weight gain.
2. Use smaller plates for unhealthy foods
The typical plate of food is larger today than it was a few decades ago.
This trend could contribute to weight gain, as using a smaller plate can help you eat less by making portions appear larger.
On the other hand, a larger plate can make a serving look smaller, causing you to add more food (5, 6).
You can use this to your advantage by serving healthy foods on larger plates and less healthy foods on smaller plates.
Smaller plates can trick your brain into thinking that you are eating more than you actually are. So it is smart to consume unhealthy foods from smaller plates, causing you to eat less.
3. Eat lots of protein
Protein has powerful effects on appetite. It can increase feelings of fullness, reduce hunger, and help you eat fewer calories (7).
This may be because protein affects several hormones that play a role in hunger and fullness, such as ghrelin and GLP-1 (8).
One study found that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories helped participants eat 441 fewer calories per day and lose 11 pounds over 12 weeks, on average, without intentionally restricting any foods (9 ).
If you are currently eating a grain-based breakfast, you may consider switching to a protein-rich meal, such as eggs.
In one study, overweight or obese women who had eggs for breakfast ate fewer calories during lunch compared to those who ate a grain-based breakfast (10).
Plus, they ended up eating fewer calories for the rest of the day and for the next 36 hours.
Some examples of high-protein foods include chicken breasts, fish, Greek yogurt, lentils, quinoa, and almonds.
Adding protein to your diet has been linked to weight loss, even without exercise or conscious calorie restriction.
4. Keep unhealthy foods out of sight
Storing unhealthy food where you can see it can increase hunger and cravings, causing you to eat more (11).
This is also related to weight gain (12).
A recent study found that if high-calorie foods are more visible in the home, residents are more likely to weigh more than people with only one visible bowl of fruit (12).
Store unhealthy food out of sight, such as in cupboards or cupboards, so you are less likely to be caught when you are hungry.
On the other hand, keep healthy foods visible on your countertops and place them front and center of your refrigerator.
If you keep unhealthy foods on your counter, you are more likely to have an unplanned snack. This is related to weight gain and obesity. It is best to keep healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, in plain sight.
5. Eat foods rich in fiber
Eating foods rich in fiber can increase feelings of fullness and help you feel full longer.
Studies also indicate that one type of fiber, viscous fiber, is particularly helpful for weight loss. Increase fullness and reduce food intake (13).
Viscous fiber forms a gel when it comes into contact with water. This gel increases the absorption time of nutrients and slows down the emptying of your stomach (14).
Viscous fiber is only found in plant foods. Examples include beans, oatmeal cereals, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, oranges, and flax seeds.
A weight loss supplement called glucomannan is also very high in viscous fiber.
Viscous fiber is particularly helpful in reducing appetite and food intake. This fiber forms a gel that slows down digestion.
6. Drink water regularly
Drinking water can help you eat less and lose weight, especially if you drink it before a meal.
One study in adults found that drinking half a liter (17 ounces) of water about 30 minutes before meals reduced appetite and decreased calorie intake (15).
Participants who drank water before a meal lost 44% more weight over a 12-week period compared to those who drank no water.
If you replace calorie-laden drinks, such as sodas or juices, with water, you may experience an even greater effect (16).
Drinking water before meals can help you eat fewer calories. Replacing a sugary drink with water is particularly beneficial.
7. Serve smaller portions
Portion sizes have increased over the past few decades, especially in restaurants.
Larger portions encourage people to eat more and have been linked to increased weight gain and obesity (17, 18, 19, 20, 21).
A study in adults found that doubling the size of a snack for dinner increased calorie intake by 30% (21).
Serving just a little less can help you eat significantly fewer calories. And you probably won't even notice the difference.
Larger servings have been linked to obesity and can encourage children and adults to eat more.
8. Eat without electronic distractions
Paying attention to what you eat can help you consume fewer calories.
People who eat while watching television or playing computer games can lose track of how much they have eaten. This, in turn, can cause overeating.
A review of 24 studies found that people who were distracted at a meal ate about 10% more in that session (22).
Also, distraction during a meal has an even greater influence on your intake later in the day. People who were distracted at one meal ate 25% more calories at meals after the ones they were present (22).
If you regularly eat meals while watching TV or using electronic devices, you could inadvertently be eating more. These extra calories add up and have a massive impact on your weight in the long run.
People who eat while distracted are more likely to overeat. Paying attention to your meals can help you eat less and lose weight.
9. Sleep well and avoid stress
When it comes to health, people often neglect sleep and stress. Both, in fact, have powerful effects on your appetite and weight.
Lack of sleep can alter the appetite regulating hormones, leptin and ghrelin. Another hormone, cortisol, rises when you're stressed (23).
Having these hormones fluctuating can increase your appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods, leading to higher calorie intake (23, 24, 25).
Additionally, chronic sleep deprivation and stress can increase the risk of several diseases, including type 2 diabetes and obesity (26, 27, 28).
Poor sleep and excess stress can throw several important hormones that regulate your appetite out of balance, causing you to eat more.
10. Eliminate sugary drinks
Added sugar may be the worst ingredient in the diet today.
Sugary drinks like soda have been associated with an increased risk of many diseases (29, 30, 31).
It is very easy to consume excess calories from sugary drinks because liquid calories do not affect fullness the way solid food does (32, 33, 34).
Staying away from these beverages can provide huge long-term health benefits. However, keep in mind that you shouldn't replace soda with fruit juice, as it can be so high in sugar (35, 36).
Healthy beverages to drink instead include water, coffee, and green tea.
Sugary drinks have been linked to an increased risk of weight gain and many diseases. Your brain doesn't register liquid calories like it does solid foods, causing you to eat more.
11. Serve unhealthy food on red plates
An unusual strategy is to use red plates to help you eat less. Research indicates that this technique at least seems to work with unhealthy snacks.
One study reported that volunteers ate fewer red plate pretzels than white or blue plate (37).
The explanation may be that we associate the color red with stop signs and other man-made warnings.
Red plates can help you eat fewer unhealthy snacks. This may be because the color red triggers a stop reaction.
The bottom line
Many simple lifestyle habits can help you lose weight. Some have nothing to do with conventional diet or exercise plans.
You can use smaller plates, eat more slowly, drink water, and avoid eating in front of the TV or computer. Prioritizing foods rich in protein and viscous fiber can also help.
However, it is probably best not to try all of these things at once. Experiment with one technique for a while, and if that works well for you, try another.
A few simple changes can have a massive impact on your weight in the long run.
Original article (in English)