Healthy habits can go out the window when we have no time for the gym and few options besides Seamless. Losing weight is not easy—and doing it in a healthy, sustainable way can make the task feel even harder.
Making small changes each day is one best way to get started, but it’s important to remember that just because a weight-loss strategy works for someone else, it may not work for you. From drinking more water to turning up the music.
Here are our favorite weight-loss tips.
Yes, there’s a reason restaurants use the plates they do: They want the food to look amazing. And when the food looks better—you guessed it—you eat more. Research says to avoid plates that match the food served on them (think: a deep red plate with a greasy slice of pizza), because there is less of a contrast, which may prompt us to eat more.
Eat more snacks.
Skipping snack-time won’t eventually lead to weight loss: Low calorie consumption can actually slow metabolism. Eating less than three times a day may benefit those who are obese, but research shows skipping meals throughout the day and eating one large meal at night can lead to some undesirable outcomes (like delayed insulin response) which may increase the risk of diabetes. Instead of forgoing breakfast or lunch, stick to a few meals a day with healthy snacks between them.
Peruse the perimeter.
Next time you need groceries, circle the perimeter of the store before going up and down every aisle. Why? You’ll load up on the healthy stuff first. The edges of grocery stores generally house fresh produce, meat, and fish, while the inner aisles hold more pre-packaged, processed foods. Browsing the perimeter can help control how many unwanted additives are in your basket.
Stock your fridge.
Make an effort to fill your fridge with healthy produce and proteins. And when the crisper is empty, make sure the freezer is stocked with frozen veggie mixes or berries (and don’t forget to grab the bags that are sans added sauces or sugar). You may be less apt to order out when you’ve got the makings of a healthy dinner right at home. More good news: Healthy food doesn’t always have to be pricey.
Science-Backed Ways to Lose Weight
Eat in the A.M.
Skipping breakfast in order to “save your appetite” for dinner probably isn’t a safety shield for late-night noshing. While there’s still debate on how important breakfast really is, not eating until the afternoon may lead to binge-eating later (think: a massive dinner because you’re starving). Stick to a reasonably-sized breakfast with plenty of protein, so you’re not tempted to eat unhealthy snacks mid-morning.
Get busy in the kitchen.
We promise cooking doesn’t take long! Your fave Seamless order—or any local restaurant—is likely an oversized portion, which can result in increased caloric intake. Start small by making one of these healthy meals in just 12 minutes or less (we’re talking: quesadillas, stir-fry, and burgers).
Prioritize your pantry.
Take time to toss the junk. If you’ve got favorite not-so-great items you’d like to save as a treat, tuck them in the back of the pantry with healthier items, like whole grain pasta, rice, beans, and nuts up front. We know that just because the bag of lentils are right in front doesn’t mean you’ll forget about the brownie mix, but it can help. Just seeing or smelling food can stimulate cravings, and increase hunger (especially for junk food).
Serve restaurant style.
Instead of lining up the breadbasket, casserole, and salad on the table, leave food in the kitchen (out of reach). When you’ve cleaned your plate, take a breather then decide if you really want seconds. Changing up the environment in which your food is served can help reduce intake.
Use smaller plates.
Plate sizes have increased over the past millennium. When it’s time to sit down for dinner, choose a size-appropriate plate or bowl. Using a smaller plate (eight to 10 inches) instead of a tray-like plate (12 inches or more) can make us feel fuller with the same amount of food. How does that work? The brain may associate any white space on your plate with less food. Plus, smaller plates generally lead to smaller portions.
Science-Backed Ways to Lose Weight
Snack before dining out.
Grabbing an apple or a small cup of yogurt before meeting friends for dinner can help ensure you’ll eat a reasonable amount of that enormous entrée. And be sure to reach for the protein—research shows that an afternoon snack of Greek yogurt can lead to reduced hunger, increased fullness, and less eating come dinner time.