If you want a quick fix for your excess body fat, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet.
The good news is that we know how to get you lean and healthy. You just don’t want to do the things that make it happen! Here are ten fat loss habits that can help you lose fat and keep it off. Why not actually give them a try?
#1: Do An Honest Food Journal
Underestimating how many calories you are eating is easily one of the most common reasons people don’t lose fat even though they think they are doing everything right. If you can’t face up to how much you’re eating, you’ll never be able to overcome bad eating habits. Food journals work because they allow you to identify weak spots in your diet and come up with solutions so that your eating doesn’t deteriorate due to outside cues or changing emotions.
#2: Chew Your Food
When you thoroughly chew your food, you get a greater increase in appetite reducing gut hormones so that you eat fewer calories overall. It’s the perfect portion monitoring tool, without having to consciously limit food intake. Work up to 10 to 15 chews per bite.
#3: Use Smaller Plates
A full plate sends the signal that you’re eating a full meal, whereas a partially full plate looks like a skimpy meal, regardless of the actual quantity of food. Research shows that using smaller plates and filling them up is a simple way to reduce calorie intake for easier fat loss.
#4: Eat Vegetables First
The food you put in your mouth first is the food you will eat the most of at that meal. Starting meals with low-calorie, fiber-rich foods like steamed or sautéed veggies instead of calorie packed bread or appetizers can make up the bulk of the meal and reduce overall calorie intake. It works because as long as you see and eat the same volume of food, you are likely to feel full and satisfied despite the fewer calories.
#5: Plan Meals Around Protein
Refined carbs make up the center of many people’s favorite foods. This is a problem because refined carbs trigger food intake so you eat more calories overall. By planning meals around protein, you reduce hunger because protein increases hormones that keep you satiated. Plus, protein foods contain tyrosine, which is an amino acid that has been shown to reduce the desire to eat.
#6: Stop Eating In Front Of A Screen
You probably laugh at this one, but being exposed to the blue light emitted from your phone during a meal leads people to eat significantly more calories. Plus, mindful eating goes out the window and people are more likely to ignore “stop eating” cues from their brain in favor of outside cues such as the end of a show or once they finish scrolling through social media.
#7: Stop Being Sedentary
This is a big one that has a huge impact on both health and metabolic rate. Unfortunately, it’s especially hard to do because not only does it require you to always be in an active state of mind, but you have to overcome social conventions that make lying around the way to be. Get a pedometer, take frequent walks, take the stairs, but whatever you do, you’ve got to get yourself active throughout the day.
#8: Don’t Buy Crap
It's amazing how much junk food most people have in their houses. We can come up with all sorts of rationalizations to buy food we don’t really want to eat, whether it’s for the kids or for a special occasion. This always backfires, because if it’s there, the chances increase exponentially that it’s going to get eaten.
#9: Keep A Fruit Bowl But Hide All Junk Food Including Cereal
Studies show that people who have cereal or cookies on their counter tend to be significantly fatter than those who have a bowl of fruit. The best solution is to not buy that stuff in the first place, but if you can’t eliminate it from your house, at least keep it hidden. Out of sight out of mind!
#10: Watch Out For Social Cues That Trigger Overeating
Humans are extremely susceptible to social cues when it comes to eating. How many times have you been pressured to eat junk food or cake at work when you didn’t really want to? Research shows that something as simple as eating with a companion who makes unhealthy food choices makes us do the same. Fight it by being conscious about what you put in your mouth and how much you’re eating when out with others.