Most experts tell us that a healthy way of losing weight is through a combination of a healthy and a balanced diet alongside regular exercise. However, not many people like to work out. Injury, health issues and busy schedules tend to keep one from exercising regularly. So, is it possible to lose weight through diet control alone? Also, does that mean starving or eliminating food groups? The answer is much simpler than you’d expect: yes, it is possible to lose weight through diet and no: it does not mean depriving yourself of food. Let us take a look at 13 easy tips to lose weight through diet alone:
1. Eat fewer carbs
It always comes down to this simple rule: carbohydrates ultimately get converted into sugar and all kinds of sugar, including the natural type found in fruits, leads to blood sugar spikes and a glycemic overload that causes fat deposits. So you must eat fewer carbs which means cutting back on pastas, breads, white rice and sugary fruit juices. Choose lean meat, oats, fruits and vegetables (with low carbohydrate content) brown rice etc. (We have discussed some smart switches and wiser food choices later in this guide).
2. Drink more water
Often, we mistaken thirst for hunger which leads to binge eating and weight gain. Drink more water –keep a bottle handy at your workplace (or better still, walk to the water cooler to drink). Try to consume at least 8-10 glasses of water every day. This will detoxify your system and help you prevent unhealthy snacking as well.
3. Use Green tea to burn fat
Research shows that green tea does help in reducing belly fat. However, you need to consume large quantities of it and it does contain caffeine, too much of which is not always a good thing. So limit your intake to 2 cups per day, no more.
4. Avoid sweetened beverages
Avoid drinking sodas, packaged fruit juices and energy drinks as they have tons of sugar. Replace them with water as far as possible. Even diet soda has tons of sugar which triggers cravings. Instead, go for carbonated water with a splash of juice or flavor.
5. Eat good fats
Good fats are filled with omega 3 essential fatty acids which can regulate metabolism and reduce unhealthy food cravings. Opt for walnuts, avocados, seeds, olive oil and fatty fish like salmon etc to get your Omegas.
6. Make smart ‘switches’
Here are some wiser food choices or ‘smart switches’ which can limit your intake of unhealthy carbs:
- Instead of chips, pretzels and crackers or cookies, snack on popcorn, nuts and seeds,.
- Go for water in place of alcohol, soda and colas.
- Replace butter and margarine with healthy oils like coconut or olive oil. Ghee or clarified butter is also a good replacement.
- Eat fruits instead of ice cream and other sugary desserts.
- Switch from dairy to alternatives like soy, almond, rice milk etc. You can also replace whole milk with low fat milk.
- Replace white rice with brown rice and refined flour breads and pasta with whole wheat varieties.
- Do not use too much salt to season your food, instead choose spices and herbs.
- Switch to cereals without sugar; enhance their taste by adding fruits to them.
- Opt for healthier cooking methods-Instead of deep frying food, go for baking, steaming, grilling, sautéing and poaching. Avoid breaded chicken, fried vegetables etc. Replace them with par boiled veggies and shallow fried lean meat.
7. Start your meals with soups and salads
Fill up on soups and salads so you eat lesser of the entrées. Add more vegetables and lean meat to your rice and pasta dishes and less of the pasta and rice.
8. Be mindful when eating
Do not eat in front of the TV or while driving. Be mindful of what you eat. Stop eating as soon as you feel full although your ‘heart might demand more’. Brush your teeth as soon as you are done eating to get the taste of food from the tongue.
9. Practice portion control
Fill your plate with smaller portions so you get to eat a bit of everything. You can use smaller bowls, cups and plates to measure out food. Special portion control containers are also available online and offline.
10. Cook your own meals
Control your calorie intake by carrying meals packed from home to work. Avoid eating out as far as possible. Cook your meals so you can control what goes inside them. Plan your meals and snacks ahead in the week so you can stick to healthy ones and avoid unhealthy eating.
11. Eat a heavy breakfast but a light dinner
Eating earlier during the day helps you consume fewer calories throughout the day and also lets you burn the calories through the day. So the old adage, eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper is true. Also eat an early dinner so you fast for at least 14 hours before breakfast. Giving your digestive system a long break may aid in boosting metabolism and weight loss.
12. Shop smart
Avoid shopping while hungry and limit keeping unhealthy snacks in your pantry. Get your family members on board about healthy eating.
13. A bit of exercise is a must
Lack time for a workout? Then go for three 10-minute bursts of exercise in place of a 30 minute workout. These will give you the same results.
These tips will definitely help you lose weight with diet alone.