5 Habits That Will Help You Lose Weight

We all know losing weight is hard. Sometimes it seems like the only way to drop those pounds is by heavily restricting your calories and spending your life at the gym. Thankfully, you don’t have to go to those extremes. Losing weight healthfully is best achieved via small changes to your lifestyle. Incorporating these five habits into your everyday routine can help you lose weight without having to overhaul your entire lifestyle.

Eat Breakfast

They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing. After a long night without food, your body needs to refuel in order to get your metabolism going and give you energy for the rest of the day. Research has shown that dieters are more successful at shedding pounds and keeping them off when they eat breakfast.

Drink Water

Drinking a couple of glasses of water before a meal can help you feel full sooner, allowing you to eat less without feeling deprived. It’s also a good idea to drink water throughout the day because symptoms of dehydration mask themselves as signs of hunger. So, when you reach for that mid-morning snack, you may mistake signs of thirst for hunger. Sipping all day long can help prevent mid-meal snacking. If you’re not keen on drinking plain water, check out these creative ways to incorporate more water into your day.

Eat Mindfully

Most of us rush through our meals with our minds elsewhere, hardly tasting what we’re eating. By slowing down and eating mindfully, not only will you enjoy your food more, you’ll naturally eat less. It takes about 20 minutes for our stomach to tell the brain that its full. If you wolf down your sandwich in five minutes, you’re probably eating more than you need to be satisfied, because your brain hasn’t caught up. So, put your fork down between bites and concentrate on the food in your mouth. Really taste it, and chew thoroughly. Stop when you’re no longer hungry. Don’t feel that you have to eat everything on your plate. Make your meal an event by sitting at a table, without distractions. Doing so will make the meal more memorable and satisfying.

Get Plenty of Sleep

Getting a good night’s rest is a good way to encourage weight loss. Without adequate sleep, the hormones leptin and ghrelin — the ones that trigger hunger—  become imbalanced, and that can lead to an increased appetite. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults aim for seven to nine hours a night.

Use Smaller Plates

We eat as much with our eyes as with our mouths. When you look at the same amount of food on a larger plate vs a small one, your eyes will convince you that there’s more food on the small plate. When something is surrounded by a lot of white space, it can make the object look smaller, leading you to think you’re eating less than you really are. Cutting back on the plate space around your food will convince your brain that you’re eating a bigger portion. Try using salad plates instead of regular dinner plates.

When it comes to weight loss, it’s the little things that add up to make a big difference. Try these 5 tips, along with a little more patience, and see where you are in a few months.