Many times when people want to lose weight they think “diet program” and “complicated rules”. How about starting to lose weight right now, at this very moment, with a couple of cute little tricks?
What If I Told You…
If you recognize that line as coming from the movie Matrix, you get extra geek points from me. But what if I really told you you could start losing weight today and it won’t take a Herculean effort?
Weight loss simply means that you burn more calories than you eat (here is the long explanation). You can achieve that by starting over from scratch and going through a meticulous diet program. Or you make small changes, that one by one make a big change.
You can start on any of these now, at this very moment, and it won’t hurt very much:
1. Have a glass of water before you eat
Our bodies aren’t exactly good at telling what is filling up the stomach. If you drink a glass of water before you eat you get the “dude, full!” signal send to your brain earlier.
2. Use smaller plates
Imagine a single pea sitting on a plate from a dollhouse – it looks like a mountain. Now imagine that pea on your regular plates, all lost and lonely as a pea can be. Extreme example, but it shows the principle: the smaller your plate is, the more it seems you are eating.
3. Switch to water
It’s water once more and coming from a question I have seen so often, I lost count: “I ate this, and this, and this, but I’m not losing weight, why ist that?” I then ask, well, what did you drink? Liquid calories are calories nonetheless and they can make a big difference in your daily calorie budget. One can of cola, for example, is about 140 kcal. Two of them and you drank a cheeseburger.
Cutting these calories by drinking water can get you in the golden land of caloric deficit. If water is too bland for you, try unsweetened teas. They’re available in very many flavors.
4. Brush your teeth after dinner
It’s an oldie but goodie: Many people are unlikely to snack in front of the TV if they brush their teeth shortly after dinner. Toothpaste makers of the world, rejoice!
5. Hide snacks and sweets
If you have snacks and sweets visibly sitting on the table while watching TV, you are more likely to notice and eat them. The same goes for stuff sitting in your cupboards: when you prepare food and use the ingredient sitting right next to the Bonanza-O-Cheese crackers, you are more likely to grab one of the crackers to tide you over until dinner is ready.
Put all treats on the really high and low shelves out of direct line of sight or keep them in closets. If you want to go true hardcore, don’t have them in the home at all (as is not buying; we don’t want you to start fantasizing about your stacks of sweets sitting in the garden shed).
6. Make a shopping list
The more unplanned our grocery shopping is, the more stuff ends up in our shopping carts that we never meant to buy, including caloric bombs. If you compile a list of what you want to buy and then stick to it like a pre-programmed cruise missile when negotiating your route through the supermarket, your wallet and your waist line will jubilate.
Don’t Burn Out, Do One Step At A Time
If so far traditional diets got you nowhere and counting calories just seems too tedious, then setting the bar a little lower may be what’s needed and the above tricks may work very well. Try to incorporate just one of them right now and see how it works for you. If all goes well, over the next weeks add another and then another. Over time these will add up and slowly but steadily your weight loss should build up. Ideally the change will be so gradual that you almost don’t notice that you changed all that much.
It may take a bit longer, but taking longer is better than not getting there at all, isn’t it? After all, even big landslides often start with a small pebble and when that pebble gets his friends into the action, then those big rocks better watch out.