Are you trying to shed a few extra pounds? Don’t worry that you will have to starve yourself or do grueling workouts. Studies show these efforts may help shave off the pounds quickly. The best way to take off weight is by making small adjustments in the way you eat and live.
Here are 5 simple strategies that can help melt away your fat:
1. Stop Skipping Meals
Skipping one meal per day from your menu seems like a logical way to shed off a few pounds. For instance, if you stop eating breakfast (typically 500 calories), you will cut 3500 calories in seven days, roughly the amount needed to burn off one pound.
The problem is, what you miss at one meal often more than make up for at the next. Obesity specialist, Dr C. Wayne Callaway says skipping any meal can lower metabolism, which normally speeds up to help digest food. Let’s say your body at rest burns 1600 calories daily. If you skip breakfast, you use up 80 fewer calories per day. But if you eat breakfast, your sluggish metabolism revs up to burn those 80 calories. After about 15 months, you could burn an extra 35,000 calories, the equivalent of ten pounds.
2. The One-to-One Rule
A lot of fat-free and reduced fat foods have a high calorie count. The solution is to employ the one-to-one substitution rule. That is, when you replace a regular brownie with a fat-free one, eat the same portion – not a bigger piece. If you cut back each day from fat-free sandwich cookies (200 calories) to two (100 calories), you can lose ten pounds in 10 or 12 months.
3. Go Vegetarian Twice a Week
You do not need to become a vegetarian to lose weight. Start by replacing meat in two meals per week. Two meatless meals a week could save you 500 or more calories per week – ten pound in 16 months.
4. Beware of Finger Foods
It is Monday and you have already had breakfast. But how much difference can two mini-doughnuts (120 calories) at the office make? On Tuesday you filch a few cream sandwiches cookies (160 calories) before supper. And it goes on, all week long.
You might not think twice about eating these snacks but snitching just 100 extra calories a day can make you gain ten pounds in a year.If you can’t give up on finger foods, why not replace high-calorie items with low-calorie ones? Some options are baby carrots (4 calories each), celery (6 calories per stalk) and air-popped popcorn (30 calories a cup).
If you eat 75 fewer calories a day, you can lose ten pounds in about 12 months.
5. Skip Late-Night Munchies
A key obstacle to dropping extra pounds is after-dinner snacking. If you can’t distract yourself from eating, try noshing on a low-calorie snack like a piece of fresh fruit.
Cutting a few fistfuls of potato chips (300 calories) or a candy bar (250 calories) could save you close to 600 calories per week. In six weeks, you will have lost one pound, in 15 months you will have lost ten.