What would you say if I told you that there are 7 small and simple weight loss hacks that you can start today?
It’s no secret that as a population, we’re fatter and unhappier than ever before.
When you take a look at how we got to this point, you’ll realize that there are small and incredibly simple changes we can make to improve our health and well-being.
When you read the stories behind these life hacks for losing weight, you might be shocked at how we got here.
The good news is that we can change. We just need to know what to do and where to start.
Read on for the top weight loss hacks to help you shed pounds fast.
1. Use Smaller Plates
Did you know that our plate sizes grew over the years?
It’s true, plates and bowls have gotten larger. They’ve actually grown by 25% since 1900. In the 1980s, the average diameter was 9 inches.
By 2000, that grew to 12 inches.
Now it could be that we just got lazy and got bigger plates so we wouldn’t have to get up for seconds.
The thing is, we eat 92% of what’s on our plate. The bigger the plate, the more calories you consume.
Smaller plates = less calories.
What size plate should you have?
If you have 12-13 inch plates, cut that down to 9 or 10 inches. Going from a 12-inch plate to a 10-inch plate means that you’ll consume 22% less calories.
That’s assuming you don’t go for seconds. Even still, that’s a big difference.
2. Chew Your Food
We love to shovel our food. We’re usually in a hurry, in between appointments or to-dos when we eat.
How many times have you had to eat at your desk or in your car?
I’m a notoriously fast eater. I don’t know why I’m that way, I just am. I eat a lot and I eat fast.
It happens normally on busy days when I have 20 different projects running through my mind. When I catch myself and slow down, I eat less and I have more fun enjoying the food that I eat.
There are a ton of benefits of eating slowly. Your digestion is improved, and you’ll eat less. A study done at the University of Rhode Island showed that if you eat fast, you can eat 3.1 ounces of food per minute. Compare that to a slow eater, who takes in 2 ounces of food per minute.
That same study showed that people eat fewer calories and take in more water, so they’re hydrated.
What you need to remember is that by taking your time when you chew your food, you become more present to what you’re doing.
It’s a way to practice meditation and mindfulness. Your mind isn’t wandering to the 20 things you have to do. You’re focused on what you’re putting into your body.
If you’re a fast eater, is it possible to break the habit? It is, but it will take some work. One place to start is to put your fork down in between bites.
You can start to count how many times you chew your food, just to bring awareness to how you’re eating, too.
3. Eat Foods With High Water Content
Hydration has an impact on performance. If you’re dehydrated by 2%, your performance and focus will decline.
The impact of hydration runs deeper, too. People who have a higher BMI tend to be less hydrated.
On the surface, you’d look at this and say, well, I’ll drink more water, so I’ll lose weight.
That’s only part of the equation.
Part of the reason is because of the food that you’re eating. If you’re eating fattier foods, they won’t have a lot of water content. They’re most likely to be higher in sodium, which will affect hydration.
Eating foods that have a high-water content have fewer calories, so you’ll feel sharper, perform better, and lose weight.
If you want to put this weight loss hack into effect, what are good foods to eat?
If your first guess was watermelon, you’re right!
Cucumber, iceberg lettuce, radishes, celery, spinach, strawberries, cantaloupe, baby carrots, tomatoes, grapefruit, broccoli, and cauliflower are foods that will fill you up, keep you hydrated and help you lose weight.
4. Clean Your Cabinets
This is one of my favorite life hacks to do with clients. It’s an opportunity to get rid of old stuff and make room for the new.
This is a fun project to do on a rainy day and you want to get some Spring or Fall cleaning done.
You’re going to clean out your refrigerator and cabinets. You’re going to throw out anything that is expired and over-processed.
You’ll go through everything a few times. The first time, chuck anything that’s expired or obviously not good for you. Chips, candy, soda, and even fruit juice (think tons of added sugar).
Get rid of them all.
On the second go, read the labels of anything that is questionable. Check the serving size, the number of calories per serving, sodium, and fat.
Then look at the ingredients. If you see things like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or other artificial sweeteners, listed first, toss it.
You might be surprised about those organic frozen burritos or frozen pizza. If you have something that’s over 400 calories per serving, you will want to get rid of it. That’s actually considered high.
Take a little bit of time on this one, because once you start, you won’t want to stop until the project is complete.
If you have a hard time throwing things away, you can donate food to a pantry or shelter. Just make sure that you’re donating non-perishable items.
5. Eat at the Dining Room Table
How often do you eat standing up?
“But I’m burning calories when I’m standing, right?”
You’re actually making yourself fat. When you eat standing up, you tend to think of your meal as a snack.
If you’re having just a snack, you’ll eat a little more later on. Those calories will add up to 50% more calories than if you ate at the dining room table.
The same goes for sitting down to eat in front of the TV.
Eating in front of the TV does turn into mindless eating, so you’ll wind up eating 10-25% more calories.
6. Keep a Food Journal
This is one of the hardest things to do because you have to confront the fact that you’ve been eating crap for however long.
When you keep a food journal you come face to face with the behaviors that have been keeping you fat.
It’s not a time for judgment or to beat yourself up. It is a time to see where the opportunities are to make changes.
Once you get through it, you can see that you can make simple adjustments to your eating habits and this weight loss life hack could lead to significant weight loss.
7. Don’t Underestimate Sleep
Out of all of the weight loss hacks on this list, this is the one that’s overlooked the most.
How many times have you reached for chocolate or overate because you’re tired and you’re sleepwalking through the day?
It’s proven that you’re more likely to snack late at night and reach for unhealthy snacks when you’re tired.
The area of the brain that’s responsible for making decisions take a vacation when you’re tired. That results in bad choices that add up.
You’re probably too tired to go to the gym, especially if you have a long day ahead.
Not only that, sleep impacts your metabolism. The bottom line is that your diet impacts your sleep, and your sleep impacts your diet.
How can you improve your sleep?
The first thing is to keep a regular schedule. Turn off all electronics or put them away for about an hour before you go to sleep. Get off of Twitter, Facebook, and email.
Start a nighttime ritual that allows you to wind down and get a good night’s sleep.
That will help you get the good night’s sleep you need to lose weight.
Bonus Hack to Lose Weight: Don’t Listen to Your Mother
If you’re like me, you grew up in a household where the big saying of the day was “don’t let that go to waste” or “there’s only a couple of bites left, go ahead and finish that up.”
I’ve been programmed to eat more, even though I was way past full and I knew that I didn’t want to eat anymore.
Think of it this way, our parents and grandparents grew up during the Depression. They literally could not afford to let anything go to waste.
That mentality stayed with us for generations, all the while our plates got bigger, our portion sizes got massive, and our waistlines kept growing.
Like most decisions, we’re not even aware that we’re doing this.
The first thing to do is to become aware and catch yourself when you’re eating when you’re not full or you’re saying these old, tired lines about food going to waste.
It’s weird to throw food away or to pack up a couple of bites worth of food, trust me, I get it.
However, you also have to remember that it’s in these decisions that will help you lose weight naturally. It’s in these decisions
I love my mom, and I listen to her about 99% of the time. On this point, I’ll choose to go in another direction.
I hope you do too.
Weight Loss Hacks Anyone Can Do
The thing about these weight loss hacks isn’t that they’re complex. They’re really not.
Where you get into trouble is creating small changes in your life. Start with changing one thing at a time. Let it stick for a few weeks, then move on to the next hack.
It gives you time to adjust and integrate the changes. Once you get used to one change, you can then incorporate the next.
That’s how you create changes that last.
Want to know more about creating long-lasting change in your diet to lose weight? Check out this guide for starting a new workout routine.