There are plenty of fad diets that work to shed pounds rapidly while leaving you feeling hungry and deprived. To keep pounds off permanently, it’s best to lose weight slowly, and many experts say that you can do that without going on a “diet”.
Instead, the key is making simple tweaks to your lifestyle.
One pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. By shaving 500 calories a day through dietary and exercise modifications, you can lose about a pound a week. If you only need to maintain your current weight, shaving 100 calories a day is enough to avoid the extra 1-2 pounds most adults gain each year.
7 Ways to Lose Weight without Dieting
Adopt one or more of these simple, painless strategies to help lose weight without going on a “diet”:
1. Eat breakfast every day.
One habit that’s common to many people who have lost weight and kept it off is eating breakfast every day.
2. Close the kitchen at night.
Establish a time when you’ll stop eating so you won’t give in to the late-night munchies or mindless snacking while watching television.
3. Choose liquid calories wisely.
Sweetened drinks pile on the calories, but they don’t reduce hunger as solid foods do. Satisfy your thirst with water, sparkling water with citrus, skim or low-fat milk or small portions of 100% fruit juice.
4. Eat more produce.
Eating lots of low-calorie, high-volume fruits and vegetables crowds out other foods that are higher in fat and calories. Move the meat off the center of your plate and pile on the vegetables.
5. Go for the grain.
By substituting whole grains for refined grains like white bread, cakes, cookies, and pretzels, you add much-needed fiber and will fill up faster, so you’re more likely to eat a reasonable portion.
6. Have protein at every meal and snack.
Adding a source of lean or low-fat protein to each meal and snack will help keep you feeling full longer, so you’re less likely to overeat.
7. Trim portions.
If you did nothing else but reduce your portions by 10%-20%, you would lose weight. Most of the portions served both in restaurants and at home are bigger than you need.