Hoping to slim down a bit, but dreading the big changes required to make it happen? Well then you’re going to love this!
Shedding a few stubborn pounds, without having to follow some strict new diet plan, just got easier than ever with our list of four weirdly effective ways to lose weight without even trying.
Effortlessly slimmer with 4 simple dieting hacks
The truth is, losing weight doesn’t always require making huge sacrifices. In fact, making just a few small changes could help you painlessly drop a few pounds with almost zero effort.
1. Use smaller plates:
Switch to serving yourself meals on a smaller plate. When you leave the dinner plate in the cabinet and serve up supper on a bread-and-butter sized plate instead, you end up feeling more satisfied, eating less and losing weight.
This one may seem almost too simple to be true, but it turns out our brains are essentially wired for it to work. This dieting hack harnesses the power of an optical illusion to help us shed the weight. The Delboeuf Illusion is what makes us think things are smaller when we compare them to bigger things.1 And it’s why the same modest meal served on a big plate looks like it could never fill us up, but on a small plate feels like a feast.2
Dinner plate sizes have been getting bigger and bigger—growing 23 percent since 1900—which means we’ve been eating more and more without even knowing it. In one experiment, switching from a 12-inch plate down to a 10-inch one led to a 22 percent drop in calories.3 In other words, if your typical meal is 800 calories you’d be eating around 176 calories less at each sitting, which could easily translate to you shedding up to 10 pounds within a year without even trying!
2. Eat more almonds:
If you’re still avoiding eating nuts because you think they’re full of too much fat you’re not alone. For years we were warned eating fat-rich foods, such as nuts, would cause us to pack on the pounds. But it turns out that old diet advice is just plain nuts.
In fact, research has revealed that folks who eat a modest amount of nuts live longer, healthier lives, and may even have less risk for certain diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.4,5 And studies show nuts—which are rich in healthy unsaturated fat—can help us lose weight. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, folks who include nuts, such as almonds, in their diet are more likely to stick to a healthy eating plan. But nuts don’t only make you feel less deprived, they’re also rich in fat-burning L-arginine and blood-sugar friendly magnesium.6,7,8
3. Switch to coconut oil:
Making the switch from common vegetable oils to metabolism-boosting coconut instead, could help you get rid of those last few hard to lose pounds. Studies show that coconut oil can help you lose fat, especially that jiggly belly fat we all hate the most.
You see, unlike many other oils coconut oil is rich in medium chain fatty acids, which are absorbed more easily by your digestive tract so they’re shuttled straight to your liver. There, instead of being stored as fat, they’re quickly metabolized (burned) for fuel, or converted into fat-burning ketones.9,10,11,12 Plus medium chain fatty acids are naturally lower in calories than the long chain variety.
4. Take a mid-meal pause:
You’ve probably heard before that it takes a little time for your brain to realize that your stomach is full. Well, it turns out there’s a lot of truth to that old wives’ tale. Which means making a habit of pausing mid meal for at least 10 minutes, to give your body time to figure out if you’ve eaten enough, may be able to help you lose weight.
Wondering why it works? Feeling full and satisfied isn’t just about your stomach being filled up. Your brain gets in on the act too. Your gut uses digestive hormones, such as leptin, to send signals to your brain saying, “I’m full. I feel satisfied.” But if you eat too quickly you may not be giving your body enough time to relay these messages.13
Taking a break while eating your meals can fix that. Fill the time with some good conversation while you sip on a beverage of your choice. You’ll often find that by the time your break is over, you no longer feel like eating.
1. Barile, Margherita. “Delboeuf Illusion.” From MathWorld–A Wolfram Web Resource, created by Eric W. Weisstein. matworld.wolfram.com
2. “Plate Size and Color Suggestibility: The Delboeuf Illusion’s Bias on Serving and Eating Behavior,” Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 39, No. 2 (August 2012), pp. 215-228
3. “Portion size me: plate-size induced consumption norms and win-win solutions for reducing food intake and waste,” J Exp Psychol Appl. 2013 Dec;19(4):320-32
4. “Regular Consumption of Nuts Is Associated with a Lower Risk of Cardiovascular Disease in Women with Type 2 Diabetes,” J Nutr. 2009 Jul; 139(7): 1333–1338.
5. “Possible Benefit of Nuts in Type 2 Diabetes,” J. Nutr. September 2008, vol. 138 no. 9 1752S-1756S
6. “L-Arginine for the Treatment of Centrally Obese Subjects: A Pilot Study,” Journal of Dietary Supplements, Volume 11, 2014 – Issue 1
7. “Regulatory roles for L-arginine in reducing white adipose tissue,” Front Biosci. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2012 Aug 20.
8. “Higher Magnesium Intake Is Associated with Lower Fasting Glucose and Insulin,” J. Nutr. March 1, 2013, vol. 143 no. 3 345-353
9. “Medium chain fatty acid metabolism and energy expenditure: obesity treatment implications,” Life Sci. 1998;62(14):1203-15.
10. “Enhanced thermogenesis and diminished deposition of fat in response to overfeeding with diets containing medium chain triglycerides,” J Am Soc Clin Nutrition, 1981, 34: 624
11. “Swimming endurance capacity of mice is increased by chronic consumption of medium-chain triglycerides,” J Nutr 1995 Mar;125(3):531-9.
12. “Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs),” Nutrition Review, April 22, 2013, nutritionreview.org
13. “Brain regulation of appetite and satiety,” Endocrinol Metab Clin North Am. 2008 Dec; 37(4): 811–823
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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