In the United States, there are over 100 million people on diets at any time. They typically make four to five attempts throughout each year, but just 1 percent succeed in shedding the pounds permanently.
With so many fad diets and miracle weight loss shakes available, you’d think that losing weight — and keeping it off — would be simple. But the inevitable truth is that we don’t want to give up our favorite foods altogether and as soon as we indulge, our weight loss efforts get put aside.
Instead of trying deprivation diet after diet, try these simple tricks to lose weight while eating the same foods you enjoy. Incorporating these tips into your life may encourage you to eat smarter and healthier, but there is absolutely no restriction — just conscious choices.
1. Rearrange your kitchen. Without restricting yourself from buying or consuming any foods, just do some simple rearranging and decorating to make your kitchen more inviting for making healthy choices. Display your colorful fruit on the counter, put healthy (pre-cut!) veggies at eye level in your fridge and buy fun kitchen accessories! Learn why these tricks work and check out more ways to lose weight with your kitchen here!
2. Let your body be your guide. Do you ever look at the clock and think, “3:30? Time for my afternoon chips!”? Instead of allowing the time to determine your eating schedule, consider whether you’re actually hungry before digging through your bag. Having scheduled (healthy) snacks can be a wise way to ensure you’re eating enough, but sitting down for a large meal when your body isn’t hungry can be detrimental.
Give appetite-regulating snacks a try; once you realize that they’ll stop your tummy from growling during a meeting (embarrassing!), you’ll be more likely to stick with these healthier options. Also, practice eating slowly until you’re 80 percent full, allowing your body to digest the food and prevent overeating. Focusing on your meal rather then eating in front of your computer or TV can also help you eat more mindfully.
>> Read more: 10 Ways to Eat Better at Work
3. Don’t waste your work. Find recipes you love, then plan your meals for the week and prep what you can. If you’re thinking ahead, you’re likely to make healthier meal choices rather than indulging in a time crunch. If you spend all your precious time preparing your food ahead of time, all the work is done and you won’t want to waste the time or money you spent preparing! You’ll be savoring a home-cooked, healthy dinner you love without restricting yourself.
>> Try prepping these 23 freezer-friendly recipe for busy days!
4. Make other wise choices. If eating is your pitfall, commit to changing other small parts of your lifestyle. Drink more water or start a fitness routine to kickstart your healthy habits, then your appetite and cravings will likely jump on board. If you engage in other smart choices, you’ll realize that dumping them for a cookie or two isn’t worth the hard work you’ve put in to feel so healthy and energized.
>> Read more: Become a Better You In 12 Months
When doing this, remember to keep your actions independent of one another. Instead of viewing weight loss as one grouped challenge, keep exercise and nutrition separate and focus on one workout or meal at a time. This is because the second you break your healthy eating habit, you’ll decide that working out isn’t worth it. Instead, Step It Up with Steph’s Stephanie Mansour says, “When you view exercise and dietary choices as independent from one another, you are able to engage your mind and body more fully in the present instead of focusing on how your ate or exercised in the past. That doesn’t matter anymore.”