10 ways to lose weight without dieting

Get a better body without cutting out your favourite foods

Diets – most of us have tried them, few of us have loved them, and almost all of us have ditched them at some point in our lives. Rather than embarking on yet another tedious diet plan, check out these 10 simple ways to lose weight without cutting out your favourite treats.

Get more sleep

If you want to lose weight without any effort, the good news is getting more sleep can help you to stay slim. Lack of sleep stimulates the production of our hunger hormone and lowers levels of leptin; the hormone that makes you feel full. A study by Columbia University found that those who get enough sleep eat almost 300 fewer calories than those who are sleep-deprived.

Eat breakfast

Although you may be tempted to skip breakfast to cut calories, eating a filling breakfast can help to stop you from snacking throughout the day. Researchers from Tel Aviv University found that participants who ate a 600-calorie breakfast and a lighter lunch and evening meal lost an average of 40lbs more than those who started their day with a 300-calorie meal. This is because the metabolism is believed to be more efficient in the morning and because having a bigger breakfast can help to banish cravings for the rest of the day.

Try the 80:20 rule

Embarking on a new diet can be stressful and daunting; however, you don’t need to cut out all of your favourite foods in order to lose weight. Rather than completely cutting out treats, try following the 80/20 rule; eating healthily 80 per cent of the time and being less strict for the other 20 per cent. This way you can cut back on calories without feeling as though you are missing out.

Eat more ‘good’ fats

Many people think that healthy food is low fat food (and vice versa), however you needn’t cut out all fats in order to lose weight. In fact, monounsaturated fats found in avocados, olive oil and nuts –can actually help weight loss. While it is still important to monitor your consumption of fat, studies have shown that eating a diet rich in monounsaturated (and low in saturated) fats can help to promote weight loss, particularly in the abdominal area.

Choose filling foods

Many people make the mistake of eating too little when on a diet and then giving up when the feeling of hunger gets too much. However, following a healthy eating plan should never leave you feeling hungry. To stay feeling full without loading up on calories, make sure your meals and snacks are packed with filling foods such as potatoes, fish, oats, apples, beans and popcorn.

Eat more slowly

Rather than focusing on how much you are eating at meals, try to concentrate instead on how quickly you eat them. It generally takes a minimum of 20 minutes to start feeling full, so slowing down the speed in which you eat will mean that you start feeling full after less. Research results published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that those who chewed each mouthful 40 times ate nearly 12 per cent fewer calories than those who chewed just 15 times, proving that taking your time over each mouthful could have huge benefits for your waistline.

Concentrate on your meals

As well as taking your time over your meals, concentrating on what you are eating can help you to eat less while enjoying your meals more. According to research findings published in the British Journal of Nutrition, eating when distracted can cause you to ignore signals from your body that you’ve had enough, so try to focus on your food rather than the television while eating.

Cut out unnecessary extras

Rather than cutting down on the meals you eat, you can easily lose pounds simply by cutting back on those extras you barely even notice you’re eating. Try replacing oily and sugary salad dressings with balsamic vinegar to significantly reduce the calorie count, and cut out calorie-rich dips and sauces or swap for a small portion of fresh tomato salsa. Cooking with oils can also add hundreds of calories on to a meal without contributing vastly to its taste, so invest in a non-stick pan, which requires much less oil, to cut down on unnecessary calories.

Eat more frequently

While increasing the number of meals you eat may sound counter-productive, eating five small meals (rather than three larger ones) can actually help you to lose weight. This is largely because eating frequent meals helps to keep your hunger at bay, meaning that you are less likely to over-indulge at your next meal and more likely to consume fewer calories over the course of the day.

Start a fitness program

The most obvious way to lose weight without changing your diet is by embarking on a fitness routine. Not only will regular exercise help to burn off the calories you consume, it will also help to tone up and improve the shape of your body. To help shed the pounds, try taking part in regular cardio workouts such as running, cycling and team sports. Exercises that use large muscle groups of the body – the thighs and bottom, chest and back – boost your calorie burn, as do those that are weight bearing, such as running and walking.

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