Our dated obsession with counting calories still continues to be the hallmark of every diet plan and the advice spewed out on blogs and from experts alike. The rule of expending more calories than you eat has undoubtedly been used as a successful strategy by several people.
However, if you’ve ever religiously tried it you would know that it can be quite a daunting and time-consuming task.
Trying to meticulously count calories and make a note from every morsel of food can a quite a restrictive and stressful activity, especially because a lot of foods, like fresh produce don’t come with a label attached on it.
Here are smart weight loss strategies that will have you cutting back your calories and losing weight without an effort to count a single calorie.
#1. Just slowing down the pace at which you eat can burn 2,000 extra every month (without you having to count)
Perhaps what is missing is the need to become ‘mindful’ of not just what we eat but how we eat. Chewing longer and pausing between bites instead of wolfing down your food has shown to reduce the number of calories you consume. In fact, a study published in the journal Obesity revealed that taking that extra time to chew your food ends up burning an additional 2,000 calories every month!
#2. Have eggs for breakfast instead of cereal
The journal Nutrition research states that people who consumed eggs were less hungry three hours later and consumed fewer calories for the next 24 hours! Another study which compared people who ate bread in the morning versus eggs. People who had eggs ended up losing 65 percent more weight, had a 34 percent reduction in their waistline and a 16 percent reduction in body fat percentage in just eight weeks.
#3. Using a smaller plate fills tricks your brain into eating less
It’s not just the proportion of food; the size of the plates can also impact the quantity of food we consume. Using a salad-sized plate instead of a big plate can result in a 30 percent reduction of the food you consume. The larger your plate or bowl the less your brain thinks that you’ve eaten. Comparatively, using smaller plates increases your satiety with far lesser calories.
#4. Adding a chunk of protein to every meal can increase fat burning and reduce hunger pangs
Various studies, such as one published in the British Journal of Nutrition reveals that consuming protein-rich meals leaves you fuller for longer. Load 20-30 percent of your plate with protein in the form of a diary, lean meats or plant-based proteins to every meal for increased satiety; more than carbs or even fat, claims the American Journal of Nutrition.
#5. Prepare homemade snacks that are also nutrient dense, if meals are a task
Just as counting calories can be an overwhelming task so can be preparing and eating 5-6 meals in a day. As they say, 70 percent of your abs are made in the kitchen and 20 percent are made in the gym, so skipping meals is not an option. Swap a meal with a ready-to-have protein shake or a cup of low-fat yoghurt and berries (1 cup (170-200 grams approximately); Protein: 14 grams; Carbs: 36 grams; Fat: 3 grams).
#6. Eating foods with a low-calorie density and higher fibre may help you lose 50 percent more weight
Apart from filling your plate with protein you also need to fill include a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables in your diet, as these low calories but are dense in nature. In other words, they fill you up without putting on any weight on you. In fact, one study revealed that women who substitute a calorie-dense-snacks regularly with soup ended up losing 50 percent more weight!
#7. Making quality time for sleep can cut the risk obesity
Your sleep and stress levels are important for keeping your hormones in sync and body functioning optimally. Inadequate sleep is one of the major risk factors for obesity. Several studies have shown the link between inadequate sleep and obesity in children and adults alike. One of the reasons is the fact that poor sleep increases hunger and cravings because of disruption in the hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin.