It’s the New Year’s Day; you flounder your way towards the nearest gymnasium all the while cursing that moment of unimaginable determination last night when you declared in front of all your friends that ‘Losing Weight’ is your new year’s resolution. With heavy feet you enter the gym only to see a dozen more people glancing furtively all around the place and eyeing the elliptical machine as if it is going to coerce them to run on it.
That is the general scenario of all gymnasiums around the start of the year, where the trainers sit on the threshold with fishing rods trying to lure in as many puffer-fishes (no offence) as possible with lucrative offers on gym memberships.
As the pages get ripped off from the calendar, the attendance is merely reduced to those who regularly visited plus a handful of newbies who somehow found their ‘Eye of the Tiger’.
Herein lays the key to losing weight: Determination. You don’t need to spend wads of cash on memberships and training personnel; you just need to retain the determination you felt when you first declared ‘I am going to lose weight’. Here are some simple tips that are known to work if you practice these regularly.
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19. Think Positive
It is really difficult to change your thought process and it gets infinitely more gruelling when you start but it is definitely the first step to achieve anything in this world.
- In this first step you need to stop thinking that ‘I can’t skip dessert today’ and start thinking ‘I will skip dessert today’.
- It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe what you think, you just keep repeating it over and over to yourself and the believe starts building up from within and before you even know it these positive thoughts start coming naturally to you.
- Once you succeed in skipping desserts and fast foods via this mantra, move on to going on a walk daily to doing some lightweight crunches at home.
This may seem unorthodox at first but it worked wonders for me when I was stuck in a loop of eating my way through the high-cholesterol dish and then feeling bad.
- What you do is that you keep a log of all the things that you eat or drink during the day, whether it be a small cupcake or a soft drink and to read it from the start till the end.
- You will then feel bad about your weight and start to reconsider before eating something because you will have to write it down and it will make you regret later.
- Studies also suggest that keeping a food journal helps you look at your diet objectively and encourages you to eat healthy. It inculcates a sense of accountability in you.
17. Watch Your Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and studies suggest that people who eat breakfast daily tend to be leaner and more successful in losing weight. The key is to eat breakfast that is rich in Resistant Starch also known as the super-food for our digestive system.
It is absolutely imperative to include fibre in your first meal of the day because it helps in regulating your digestive schedule. It is also known to reduce your appetite and the best way is to add fibre raw oats, cereal, raw potatoes and unripe bananas that are rich in Resistant Starch.
16. Drink Lots Of Water
This is one thing that everybody takes for granted, but drinking water up to a certain amount can single-handedly make you lose weight. Experts are of the opinion that people sometimes confuse thirst with hunger.
- A simple solution is to drink a glass of water whenever you feel hungry unexpectedly; chances are that the craving will disappear. Plus, it also means that you are drinking water instead of carbonated fizzy drinks that are bubbling with calories and are bad for your health.
- That doesn’t mean that you go about guzzling water mindlessly because excess of everything is bad. For this, most nutritionists recommend that a normal person should drink 8 glasses of water throughout the day, though this number can be increased if you exercise or sweat heavily.
15. Say NO To Elevators & Escalators
Although it may seem tiring at the start, this habit is something that can be adopted by everyone quite easily. People take elevators and escalators for granted and don’t even glance in the direction of stairs not knowing that they can provide you with rigorous exercise at almost no expense.
Of course this habit may be overlooked if the floor you are going to is the 13th or if you may have to look your best for a meeting, because climbing stairs may make you look dishevelled.
14. Eat At Home
There is nothing more healthy and nutritious than eating food that is prepared at home because you don’t know about the quality of ingredients being used at the restaurant and it can adversely affect your health.
Also, the food available at restaurants tends to contain higher calories than normal and is the leading reason for obesity. Besides, it also saves a lot of money.
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13. Keep Busy
It has been proven that a lot of people simply eat out of boredom without even feeling the need to satisfy their stomach, so much in fact that most people can’t really differentiate between physical hunger and eating out of boredom. And herein lies the problem!
- A simple solution is to keep yourself busy; adopt a hobby that involves physical exercise, keeps you involved mentally and keeps you away from food; it’s like killing two birds with one stone.
- Conversely, studies have also proven that watching television can also help contribute to your weight. The combination of late night binge while watching a serial and having seemingly harmless snacks can really put on the pounds and makes it difficult for you to lose weight.
12. Let Your Stomach Rumble First
This just follows logically from the above point, don’t just eat when you feel the slightest bit hungry; let yourself starve for some time and then eat until you have some space left in your stomach.
This prevents you from eating regularly after short durations which disturbs your digestive cycle and makes you gain weight.
11. Say NO To Prepared Foods
Just skip those aisles that showcase prepared and frozen foods because chances are that they are overflowing with sugar, fructose syrup and unhealthy amount of carbohydrates.
Yes, that means NO to all Lays, noodles, packaged soup and whatnots. It is better to just grab fruits instead which are high in fibre and gives you a more filling sensation.
10. Fool Your Brain
Next time you feel hungry try this: “Grab a fruit from nearby, preferably an apple or banana and sniff it after frequent intervals and you will realize that your hunger disappears.”
This manoeuvre is based on a series of tests carried out on 3000 volunteers by Alan R. Hirsch, M.D., neurological director of the Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago and it was found that sniffing a fruit fools your brain into thinking that you are actually eating it. This may be because smell and taste are very closely related and often are perceived as one by our brain. Now imagine how much weight can be lost by actually sniffing the food and not eating it.
9. Eat Slowly
It is a good practice if you put your spoon or fork down in between bites because it has been proven that our brain is around 20 minutes slower than our stomach in realising that we do not need to eat any more.
- So take frequent breaks between bites, it enables your brain to catch up with your stomach and take a decision before you cross the overeating threshold.
- The breaks should be utilized by talking with your dinner partner or socializing with your family; it is a win-win situation.
8. Do Not Set Dishes On A Table
A person tends to eat more if there is more in front of him so the solution is to fill your plate in the kitchen and then sit down on the table to have your meal, chances are that you would be too lazy to get up for a second helping and end up eating less.
This strategy can be further helped if you use smaller sized plates and glasses to serve yourself food and drinks.
7. Clear Out Your Pantry
Take a day off and remove any and every overindulging food products from your home and replace these with nuts and roasted sunflower seeds, for starters. When you don’t have access to these incriminating foods then you won’t eat these, it’s as simple as that.
Furthermore, a handful of nuts, like almonds, are an awesome way to satisfy your unexpected hunger and it actually helps you lose weight. Other such choices may include raw tomatoes and cucumbers that actually lower your calories after consuming them.
6. Wash Out Your Calories
Washing or scrubbing something is the best exercise you can do while doing something useful. It doesn’t matter if it is the mouldy windows, your bathroom floor or even your car. A 150-pound person will burn about four calories for every minute spent cleaning.
5. Fit In Fifteen
Having a healthy diet is all well and good but to lose weight quickly, a little exercising would never go amiss.
Simple routines such as jumping jacks, burpees, skipping ropes and planking take a maximum of 15 minutes of your time while keeping you healthy and your heart running perfectly.
4. Buy Some Smaller Clothes
This strategy may seem like a waste of money but it provides you with an incentive and determination. Just buy one article of clothing you really like in a size smaller than you usually wear and aim to fit into it. This will help you in adhering to the above guidelines because it would be such a shame to let that awesome shirt go to waste.
3. Brush Your Teeth After Dinner
Make it a habit of brushing your teeth after dinner, if not after every meal, especially if you are a person who sleeps late and occasionally eats during the night.
- This habit sends a signal to your brain that the eating time is over and you need to remind yourself that if you end up eating something then you will have to brush again.
- Also, consider your kitchen to be off-limits after you have had your dinner; studies show that night-time snacks contribute heavily to your weight and should be cut down if you want to lose weight.
2. Throw Away Your Larger Clothes
Once you start to lose weight, throw away those bulky jeans and oversized shirt you used to fit into. If you deprive yourself from the safety net of those oversized clothes then you work extra hard to follow these guidelines because if you don’t you will have to buy new clothes. This will keep you reminded that if you gain weight again, you do not have larger clothes to fit in.
1. Blue In The Face
This may seem superstitious at best but have you ever noticed that no restaurants are themed with the blue color? This is because the color blue is rumored to be an appetite suppressant. So what do you do?
- You wear blue while eating, you buy blue plates and dishes, cover your table with a blue table-cloth; you just basically gift-wrap everything in a blue wrapping paper before you sit down for dinner.
- And off course; avoid red, orange and yellow, these colours encourage eating for some reason or the other.
I know that losing weight can be a hard feat for some people but believe me, once you get there “the End justifies the Means”!
- Munch more on fruits and vegetables so you have lesser space left for foods that are high in calorie.
- Say goodbye to all those fizzy drinks, not just are they bad for health but they also harm your skin.
- Observe dietary weeks like; a week reserved for protein diet, a week reserved for vegetarian diet, etc.
- Opt for fat-free dairy products.
- Get yourself red and black beans. Studies have shown that they contain as much protein as meat with no saturated fats.
- Exercising helps you lose weight, keeps you fit, lets you have a healthy heart and gives you a fresh glowing skin. So all you ladies’ “HIT THE GYM!”