After coming home from a long day at work, shedding a few pounds is the last thing I want to think about. Let’s face the facts: losing weight is hard. We spend billions of dollars every single year on weight loss products…but we’re still overweight. The idea behind weight loss is not complex. Simply burn more calories than you eat. But, we all know it isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Nearly 78 million adults deal with the detrimental effects of obesity every day. Obesity is no longer creeping up on us…it’s out in the open, waving a neon sign. We live in a society that values a quick meal for a cheap buck. Our lives our hectic. Our bodies are tired. Do we want to spend time cooking a nutritious meal of veggies, or do we want to chow down on some leftover Chinese and a beer?
I’m not saying that you can’t indulge every now and again, but what if there were a few small changes you could make to get yourself back on track? I’ve made a list of 10 tips to help the lazy, exhausted, busy, tired, overwhelmed, [insert adjective here] girl make some healthier choices and drop a few pounds.
*Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. I only share products that I trust and believe in.
1. Use smaller plates.
Although it sounds too good to be true, using smaller a smaller plate tricks your mind into thinking you’re eating more food. You can fill your plate to the brim and you’ll still be eating less calories than if you used larger dinnerware. If you’re feeling really motivated, go for small red plates. One study published in the journal, Appetite, concluded that people tend to eat less food when using red plates, compared to white and blue. I’m in love these Cranberry Red stone plates from Rachel Ray!
2. Drink a glass of water before meals.
When you’re trying to drop a few pounds, it is easy for your body to confuse thirst with hunger. Before reaching in the fridge, take a step back and drink a full glass of cold water. If you’re still feeling hungry, then reach for a snack. Filling up on water will also make you feel fuller quicker so you are less likely to much on endless calories.
3. Learn to love green tea.
I am a huge fan of green tea, so this one was easy for me! Green tea comes from the Camellia sinensis plant. Unlike black tea, green tea is made from leaves that haven’t been fermented yet – this means they contain the highest level of antioxidants. Aside from improving cognition and reducing the risk of heart disease, green tea helps to stabilize blood sugar levels in the body. The catechins in this tasty drink also increase metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day. For fat burning results, aim for 3-4 cups of green tea every day.
All green tea is not created equal. For the best results, purchase high-quality tea leaves. Make sure to heat the water, but don’t boil – this will damage the delicate compounds found in green tea. If you’re not a big fan of the bitter taste, add a teaspoon of raw honey for some sweetness. My absolute favorite green tea is Yogi Pure Green Tea, but I also love Numi Gunpowder Green. With a quality brand, you can’t really go wrong.
4. Go window shopping.
Winters in New York are cold. That bitter wind chill is the last thing you want blowing across your face while you’re trying to get some exercise. My solution? Window shopping in the mall…and it works. You don’t need to show up at 8am with the old ladies and their dumbbells. But you should take a few quick laps around the mall before slowing down and wandering through the shops. Pick out reward items for yourself. Mentally set aside a new blouse when you hit that 10 pound mark. Or maybe a new pair of sneakers when you drop another stubborn 15. The goal is to keep moving…and not spend too much cash along the way!
5. Listen to music while you clean.
Everyone needs to clean the house at some point. If you’re trying to burn a few more calories, why not make it fun? Choose what music speaks to you, but keep it upbeat with a quick tempo. Whether you’re making the bed or mopping the kitchen floor, try to do everything with a pep in your step. You would be surprised at how quickly you break a sweat! Pump up the volume and feel free to take a dance solo (or two).
6. Reach out for help.
We are constantly receiving mixed messages, and we are constantly being bombarded with the “latest & greatest” weight loss solution. Without a background in nutrition or healthcare, it can be so hard to know what foods are best for our body type. This is where professional help can save you time and inches on your waist line.
Every body is different – especially when you’re a woman. And, this is why some people have success with certain food choices while others don’t. Whether you want to balance your hormones, develop better eating patterns or simply drop a few pounds, professional guidance can make all the difference. My favorite resource comes from Kasey Willson. She is a nutritionist focused on helping women nourish the body and balance out hormones causing weight gain, fatigue, mood swings and acne. Her eBook bundle, 21 Day Summer Detox, will equip you with vital diet, lifestyle and detox guidance to support you in your wellness journey. She also offers a FREE guideline for developing healthy habits while dining out, as well as a FREE online essential oils class. Personally, I love her eBook, Balanced. It is an awesome guide for getting your hormones back in check and dropping that last 5 pounds (that just won’t seem to budge). I love her eBooks and I know you will too!! Click here to see what else she has to offer or click the photo below if you’re ready to make the leap and drop those extra pounds before bikini season.
7. Stop chewing gum.
If you reach for gum in lieu of your favorite sweet and salty snacks, you aren’t doing your waistline any favors. When you chew gum, your body actually thinks you’re eating something delicious – not just chewing it. This triggers the reward center in the brain. Your body will continue to crave high-calorie, sweet foods until it gets what it wants. If you must chew gum, stay away from minty flavors. Scientists from the Ohio State University found that the chemical responsible for the minty flavor of gum actually makes fruits and vegetables taste more unpleasant!
8. Get more sleep.
Does this sound counterintuitive? Trust me, that isn’t the case. Your body needs sleep to heal and recuperate. Sleep and metabolism are actually controlled by the same parts of the brain. When you don’t get enough rest, your hunger-driven hormones will skyrocket, leaving you searching for satiety that is hard to achieve. A rested body is also more equipped to handle stress. The body’s stress hormone, cortisol, skyrockets when you don’t get enough sleep. Cortisol heightens feelings of anxiety and causes fat storage around the stomach.
This is where I tend to fall short. Constantly switching between day shift and night shift, my sleep schedule is always out of whack. To get enough rest, I swear by Bucky’s 40 Blinks Eye Mask (lightweight, blackout and super comfy) and my InnoGear Bluetooth Speaker Essential Oils Diffuser with calming lavender oil.
InnoGear Bluetooth Speaker Essential Oils Diffusor, $29.99
9. Go low-carb two days a week.
I’m not going to tell you to completely cut out carbs (because who would ever want to do that?!), but see if you can stick to a very low-carb diet for 2 days out of the week. British researchers found that women who essentially gave up carbs 2 days a week for 4 weeks, dropped an average of 9 pounds. Go for healthy fats and lean proteins, skipping the bread, pasta and potatoes. Unlike a strict no-carb diet or calorie restricted meals, you have much more freedom. You’ll be better equipped to handle those carb cravings on days when you’re truly trying to cut back. As long as you don’t overindulge when you return to eating normally, your overall carb and calorie intake should be less throughout the week.
10. Watch some comedy.
This may be the most enjoyable way to lose a few pounds! Genuine laughter increases metabolism by 20%, helping you burn more calories. This means that a 15 minute laugh-fest could result in an extra 170 calories burned! But don’t let this be your excuse to sit on the couch all night. Try listening to your favorite comedians while taking a walk. My go-to is Brain Regan – he is hilarious! You’ll be burning calories all night long.