Losing weight too often means dieting. But did you know that to lose weight, it is not necessary to deprive ? A few tips will help you lose weight without dieting and, above all, without frustration.
1 – Eat at the right time
Eating well is the key to losing a few pounds and it starts by listening to your body’s biological needs. This is the principle of Chrono nutrition. Depending on the time of day, your body does not assimilate food in the same way. For example, fats and sugars are not stored if they are taken in the morning. On the other hand, this is, unfortunately, the case in the evening. At breakfast, you can eat fat and protein. Lunch should consist of a single dish of protein with starchy foods. Dinner is light, preferably based on vegetables and lean meat. As for snacking, it is an important moment of the day, as it allows you to get through the day without succumbing to the temptation of snacking: fresh and dried fruit and dark chocolate should be preferred to the usual sweets.
2 – Eat a real breakfast
All too often, breakfast is overlooked or rushed or simply eliminated from the busy morning schedule. Strange as it may seem, losing weight starts with eating well in the morning. That first meal of the day should provide 20 to 25% of the day’s calories and keep you going until noon without cravings. Ideally, it includes:
- A drink (hot or cold, the main thing is that it is not too sweet)
- A cereal food (prefer wholemeal bread or cereals, sources of energy and fiber)
- A dairy product (yogurt, milk, cheese…)
- A fruit
If you don’t have time to eat breakfast before you leave for work, or if you don’t feel hungry when you wake up, you can split your meals or eat when you get to the office.
3 – Take the time to eat and chew
It’s such a simple trick to put in place to lose weight without dieting: take the time to eat and chew your aliments ! It takes 20 minutes for the brain to receive the satiety signals. A meal lasting less than that is too fast. There is a risk that you will eat much more food than you need and, at the same time, cause digestive problems (gastric reflux, bloating, gas). Start by getting into the habit of settling down at the table and avoid meals on the run as much as possible. To force yourself to take your time, put your fork down between each bite. Then eat slowly. To do this, you need to chew your food well. This is the key to assimilating and, above all, digesting it well (1). The ideal is to keep them in your mouth until you reach 32 chews.
4 – Use small plates
Here’s a singular trick designed to fool our brain and very effective for losing weight without dieting: eat in smaller containers. Serving yourself on a large plate automatically leads to eating more than the normal amount, because you’ll tend to want to fill it up. However, reducing the size of the plate does not mean depriving yourself. At equal portions, food placed in a smaller dish sends the brain information that there is a lot of it, whereas placed in a larger container, the opposite effect occurs. This is Delboeuf’s illusion (2). When the brain sees a full plate of food, it thinks that the body is going to be satiated and this is enough to trigger the satiety mechanism.
5 – Avoid skipping meals
Do you think that by skipping a meal once in a while you’re going to lose some pounds ? Unfortunately, you are wrong and in the long run, this practice can even lead to eating disorders and weight gain. By deliberately skipping a meal or because you don’t have time to take your lunch break, you are starving yourself. The risk, at the next meal, is to compensate by ingesting larger quantities of food more quickly since you will be very hungry. Your brain will not detect the feeling of satiety. On the other hand, if at mealtime you do not feel hungry, there is no point in forcing yourself to eat, as this would be tantamount to snacking. The best way to lose a few pounds is still to listen to your physiological needs.
6 – Favour a diet rich in plants
Monitoring your diet is the basis for anyone who wants to lose weight. However, without dieting, it is possible to lose a few pounds by paying attention to the composition of your meals. Certain types of food should be favored and others avoided. For a long time, red meat has been sacred, providing the body with essential nutrients, but eaten in too large quantities, it leads to weight gain. It should, therefore, be included in your menus in moderation, just like delicatessen meats. Therefore, choose a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, starchy foods and vegetable proteins (wholegrain cereals, legumes, and soya).
7 – Playing sports
Exercise is an indispensable factor in weight loss. If you can, take part in sports. Running, cycling and swimming are all sports that allow the body to burn calories, fat, and toxins. As a complement to a healthy diet, it is the best way to lose weight without dieting. By doing sports, in addition to doing good for your body, you feel good because you produce endorphins, the happiness hormone. If physical activity is not recommended, get out of the house and walk for at least 30 minutes. You may not realize it, but you’re also using up energy.
8 – Sleep properly and avoid stressful situations
Sleeping well is important in the process of losing weight. Scientific studies have highlighted the link between obesity and sleep deprivation (3). While you sleep, you produce leptin, a hormone responsible for the feeling of satiety that helps metabolize fat. On the other hand, when you are awake, you secrete another one, ghrelin, which causes a feeling of hunger with a dangerous penchant for fatty and sweet products. Weight gain is assured. To sleep well, avoid taking stimulants after 3 pm.
As for stress, its undesirable effects on the body are well known. Concerning weight, a persistent feeling of anxiety leads to high levels of cortisol and adrenaline, which affect the hormones that manage satiety and hunger. The hormonal system is disrupted, with an irrepressible desire to consume fat and sugar.
9 – Eating without electronic distraction
Do you eat while checking your e-mails or watching your favorite series ? Bad habit and here’s why. While you’re focused on your screen, you don’t pay attention to the food you’re eating. Your brain doesn’t absorb the information and doesn’t get the feeling of fullness you expect. The result of it is that you finish your meal with a certain surprise that you have already finished it and a feeling of hunger that is still there (4). So when you are at the table, avoid electronic distractions as much as possible and focus on your plate.
10 – Drink water regularly
The last tip to lose weight without dieting, drink water regularly throughout the day (5). When you are hungry, your body sends a signal to your brain that is the same as thirst. Drinking a little water helps fight against hunger and acts as an appetite suppressant. Besides, it gives your body extra energy to function, thus burning calories, which are eliminated more efficiently. To try the appetite suppressant effect of water, you can drink one or two glasses about 20 to 30 minutes before eating. Of course, it should be pure water and not water-based drinks (tea, coffee, flavored water…). Otherwise, the benefits would not be that attends !
Losing weight without dieting: the conclusion
How simple lifestyle habits can help you lose weight without dieting: you can use smaller plates, eat more slowly, drink water and avoid eating in front of the TV, smartphone or computer. Favoring plant-rich foods can also help.
However, it’s probably best not to shake up all your habits at once. Put one trick in place for a while and if it suits you, try another.
Sources and References