There's no doubt about it: dieting sucks. Not only because you feel hungry all the time and deprive yourself of your favorite foods—dieting's also unsustainable in the long-term.
No matter how much weight you want to lose, a better approach is to make healthy eating part of your overall lifestyle, rather than a temporary punishment. Do this, and watch as the weight drops off naturally, without ever going on a diet.
Here are 5 tips to lose weight without trying:
1. Fill up on veggies at every meal.
It’s all in your head. Either that, or you’ve just never had them cooked right. Canned, over-sauced veggies aren't on anyone's list of delicious foods. But fresh, just ripened, seasonal veggies? I’d (almost) choose them over fresh fruit, they’re so good.
And there are so many awesome ones to choose from: brussels sprouts, carrots, red peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, kale… the list goes on.
Once you find a few you like, start incorporating them at every meal (or at least two out of three). Toss them in a salad, steam them, or bake them, then aim to vegetables about two thirds of your plate.
Because when you fill up on veggies, you're less likely you'll overeat on other, unhealthier foods—making it easier to lose weight and keep it off.
2. Eat 30 grams of protein for breakfast.
Protein is what keeps you full, fuels your muscles, and helps you lose weight or maintain weight loss. Plus, since protein is harder for your body to break down than carbohydrates, you’ll actually increase your metabolism when you eat a meal high in protein versus one full of mostly carbs.
Getting in 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking can not only speed up fat loss, it can also make you feel fuller, less snacky, and feel satisfied for longer. Not sure how to get this much protein in one day? Some ideas:
- Five egg whites
- One and a third cups of greek yogurt, or one cup of greek yogurt and a small handful of nuts
- About one cup of cottage cheese
- A protein shake with protein powder, nut butter and berries
- One serving of super simple protein pancakes
3. Make your own food as often as possible.
When you eat at home rather than grabbing something from a fast food joint or eating out at a restaurant, it helps you know exactly what's going into your food without having to guess.
That means you can decide how much butter, oil, cheese, and other high calorie additions go into your meals, making it easier to eat healthier without having to work too hard. Plus, cooking at home means you can easily load your plate up with veggies rather than unhealthier sides like fries, coleslaws and mashed potatoes.
4. Skip the nonfat.
You know that healthy fats are good for you, but if you're like most people, you still reach for nonfat whenever possible. It's a habit that many of us picked up when lowfat diets were the craze in the 90s—and it's been a tough one for people to break.
See, when most people think of eating fat, they think it will make them fat. But surprisingly, it's really just the opposite. Because not only will eating fat make your skin softer, hair and nails healthier and cushion your joints, it's also what helps you get full at a meal, gives you long-term energy and keeps you from craving unhealthy stuff an hour after you last ate.
Include more healthy fats like avocados, nuts, olive oil, and coconut into your diet, and you'll soon find your cravings decreasing, your appetite normalizing and weight loss becoming more effortless than ever.
5. Allow yourself treats on a regular basis.
One of the worst things about dieting is that more often than not, you're forced to stop eating all your favorite foods. And not only does this make you feel deprived, it often leads to a binge of those very same foods when you're at a moment of willpower weakness.
But if you're exercising regularly keep a healthy diet the majority of the time, allowing yourself a few small treats here and there will not only make you happier, it will also make it more likely to stick with healthy eating in the long-term.
Because life is supposed to be enjoyed, right? And if you start incorporating these tips into your daily life, life will not only become more enjoyable—you'll begin to see how easy it is to lose weight without really trying.
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