Close to zero-effort painless weight loss? If you’re desperately trying to squeeze in workouts and avoid your favorite high-calorie treats, it can seem like there’s nothing pain-free or effortless about it.
Yet while eating healthier and slipping in exercise does take some work, it really doesn’t have to require heroic effort. Making just a few simple lifestyle changes can pack a big weight loss punch over time. Here are 13 top tips on how to lose weight without sweating it too much.
1. Stop restricting your food intake.
Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them. Adding in really works, taking away never does – but do remember to keep an eye on overall calories. Add in healthy goodies you really love, like deep-red cherries, juicy grapes, or crunchy snow peas. Slip those favorite fruits into your bag lunch and breakfast cereal; add the veggies into soups, stews, and sauces.
And don’t forget to add in something physical, too, whether it’s doing a few dance moves before dinner, shooting hoops, or taking a quick stroll.
2. Forget about exercise.
If the word “exercise” inspires you to avoid it at all costs, then avoid it. Maybe the trick to enjoying a workout may be to never call it working out. Once you start your not-calling-it-exercise plan, you’ll discover the way good health feels – and it will knock down the roadblocks that were preventing you from exercising in the first place.
So burn calories and invigorate muscles by beachcombing, riding bikes, grass skiing, making snow angels, hiking, washing the car, playing Frisbee, chasing the dog around the yard, or even enjoying great sex.
3. Walk everywhere.
Walking when the weather’s nice is a super-easy way to keep fit. A five minute walk is a five minute walk—and a five minute burns calories. Try these tips for slipping in more steps:
- Use a push version lawn mower
- Park your car way at the back of the lot.
- Sweep the drive or rake the leaves instead of using a leaf-blower.
- Get off the bus a few stops earlier.
- Hike the mall, being sure to hit all the levels.
- Take the stairs every chance you get.
It all adds up. If you walk twice a day for 10 minutes and try a few of these tips, you may find yourself with a low-impact, 30-minute workout easily tucked under your belt.
4. Eat the lower calorie versions.
One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling denied is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you crave. A pizza tastes just as good with reduced-fat cheese, and when you garnish low-fat ice cream with your favorite toppers, who notices those missing calories?
And while you’re trimming fat calories, keep an eye on boosting fiber. Fiber helps you feel satisfied longer, so while you lighten family favorites, you can easily amp up the fiber by adding a cup of whole wheat flour to your pizza dough, or toss a handful of red bell peppers on the pie.
Also, don’t forget to lighten the drinks going with that meal. Try switching from high-calorie favorites to diet soda or light beer, or maybe add a spritz of seltzer to your wine. If you hate low-cal drinks, then mix your preferred drinks with a splash of the low-cal option, then increase the ratio as your taste buds adjust. And don’t forget to keep pouring that ultimate beverage – WATER!
5. Drink water all the time.
Down some water before a meal and you won’t feel so famished. Drinking a glass of water before a meal helps watch what you eat. … you will find that you won’t be hogging everything, since you’re not THAT hungry.
For all you compulsive snacker it’s a great idea to keep the no-calorie beverage water at hand as a way to keep your mouth busy and less likely to snack on junk food.
Lastly, keeping your body refreshed with plenty of water may also help your workout. Staying hydrated means you can exercise more, and longer, than if you don’t drink water.
6. Don’t just share your food.
With the massive meals served at so many American restaurants, you should be opened to sharing your plates. That way, you don’t feel stuffed, and you also get to save some money.
While you’re in a sharing mood, why not double up on a bicycle built for two? Go halves on the cost of a personal trainer? Maybe split a gym membership?
When you’re trying to eat better or get more exercise, you can be more successful if you do it with a partner or group. The community, the partnership, whether online or in person, it really helps. Twice the motivation, without twice the effort — a steal of a deal.
7. Tone up while tuning in.
We all love television. But at the same time, we need to get more exercise. So why not combine the two? Makes sense, right? Try dancing to the music when you tune into your favorite music show, or practice some stress-relieving cardio boxing when your least favorite reality contestant is on camera.
During commercials pedal your stationery bike, walk the treadmill, or slip in a little strength training doing bicep curls with cans of your favorite fizzy beverage as weights. Or get inspired to really focus: Put in a high-energy exercise DVD and get motivated by the pros onscreen.
It doesn’t matter exactly what you do, so long as you’re up and active. Aim for at least 15 minutes. And who knows? If you get really engrossed, you just might outlast the last survivor.
8. Downsize your dinnerware.
Eating less without feeling denied is as close as your dinnerware. That’s because while a small portion served on a large plate can leave you craving more, a smaller plate gives the visual signal that you already have more.
People go by physical cues when they eat. We know we’ve had enough because we see the bottom of our bowl or plate. A smaller plate full of food just feels more satisfying than a large plate with that same amount of food on it.
And don’t forget smaller bowls, cups, and spoons. For example, try savoring a bowl of ice cream with a baby spoon. Not only does the pleasure last longer, but your body has time to register the food you’ve eaten.
9. Eat without any distractions.
When your weight loss efforts lead to boredom or too much self-focus, get occupied with something else. We all eat more if we’re bored, especially if you’re eating in front of the TV.
So take a break from the siren-call of the tube, and get occupied with things that have nothing to do with food. For some, that might mean becoming involved with local politics, discovering yoga, or enjoying painting. Or maybe you want to help a child with a science project, repaint the bedroom, or take a class. The key: Have a life outside of weight loss.
Already busy enough? Then at least eat your meals at the table. The TV is distracting, and you’re just not conscious of eating. Once you’re at the table, with a place setting, you will much more aware of what you’re eating.
10. Eat at the same time every day.
Sure you can’t do this all the time, but some people find that knowing when to expect their next meal or snack makes them a lot less likely to graze. Our body appreciates rhythms, from seasons to tides, so why not give it what it craves?
11. Prepare only one meal for the whole family.
Instead of making something high-calorie for the family and low-calorie for yourself, get everyone on the same healthy-eating page. Weight loss and maintenance is easier when everyone’s eating the same thing — and you’re not tempted to taste someone else’s calorie-dense food.
12. Little things add up.
So keep eating a little fruit here, some veggies there, continue grabbing 10 minute walks between meetings. Weight loss is a journey guided by your unique needs, so hook into what works for you — and do it!
13. Lose It Today, Keep It Off Tomorrow
Lastly, be patient. While cultivating that virtue isn’t exactly effortless or painless, it may help to know that keeping weight off generally gets easier over time.
Constantly obsessing over losing weight can become counterproductive. And stress does crazy things to your body causing you to have a harder time losing weight. So stay calm, eat clean, and move more. If you need a sensible guide on eating clean, eating whole and living skinny, there is a little-known diet plan called the 2 Week Diet which will teach you these things. Getting your eating habits and lifestyle in check will increase your metabolism—allowing you to shed weight and shed it fast.
Women who have followed the 2 Week Diet reported losing up to 20 pounds and 2-4 inches from their waist in just a matter of 2 weeks—the methods in the 2 Week Diet are all backed by science. Check out this video on the 2 Week Diet now to learn more about how to follow the diet—and get to your ideal weight in 14 days.