If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, you would already be aware of how difficult it can get. It requires you to have an immense amount of willpower and resilience to avoid your favourite foods that may be unhealthy for you and stick to a fitness routine.
While there are no shortcuts to weight loss, there are some ways you can cheat your way into eating healthier. And no, these don’t involve recruiting your roommate or spouse to wrestle that double chocolate chip muffin out of your hand. Instead, by following these simple tricks, you can make healthier food choices almost effortlessly.
Tap Your Cravings Away
This may sound very absurd at first glance, but it is actually backed by science. Research shows that a quick distraction technique known as tapping can significantly affect appetite and help you control your cravings. All you have to do is tap your forehead with your index finger for 30 seconds whenever you feel a sudden urge.
As pointed out by Jessica Ortner, the author of The Tapping Solution for Weight Loss & Body Confidence, “When we’re really stressed out, food is one of the fastest ways to find relief — it becomes our antianxiety medication. Tapping is a stress-relieving technique that uses acupressure points, and when we lower our stress, we lower our cravings.”
Hide Your Unhealthy Snacks
It seldom works out when you try to go cold turkey on your favourite snacks, no matter how much you know how unhealthy they are. While it would always be a better idea to stop buying unhealthy snacks altogether, not everyone has strong enough willpower to do so. Therefore, a more sustainable solution is to keep these unhealthy snacks out of sight.
If junk foods are lying right in front of you, you will be more likely to eat them even if you aren’t craving them at all – only because they were available. However, if you hide away these snacks in places that aren’t easily accessible, you’ll be able to reduce your consumption significantly.
For instance, if you have to take out a stool to reach the topmost shelf to get a chocolate chip cookie, you’ll likely only reach for it when you really want it and not idly consume it whenever you come across it.
Have A Small Salad Before Dinner
There are two ways this small trick will help you. Firstly, it will encourage you to eat more vegetables. And secondly, it can help you consume fewer calories overall. Most vegetables are very low in calories. Therefore, having a small serving of salad before dinner can help you fill up enough so that you don’t overeat during the actual meal.
A small study by Cornell researchers also found that people who started with a small serving of vegetables before their meals had lower blood glucose levels up two hours after the meal as compared to what they would have had if they just ate a high-carb meal by itself. This can be especially helpful to diabetic patients. Besides, keeping your blood glucose levels in control can prevent long-term damage to your organs and nerves.
Smell an Apple
Wouldn’t it be great if your body naturally craved fresh and healthy fruits instead of brownies loaded with sugar and calories? Well, by doing this one weird thing, you can actually trick your brain into doing that.
According to a study published in the journal Appetite, taking a whiff of fresh fruit before ordering a dessert can enable you to make healthier food choices. Participants who were exposed to the scent of fresh melon or pear for 15 minutes were more likely to skip on the calorie-filled desserts in exchange for something healthy that contained fruits.
Always Have Healthy Snacks with You
It is relatively easier to follow a strict diet and fitness routine when you’re home. However, once you step out that door, it becomes increasingly challenging to avoid unhealthy foods and beverages. And this isn’t your fault – almost everything that you can get on the go is unhealthy and full of calories, sugar, and trans fat.
So, if you feel hungry when you’re out and on a schedule, it is easy to give in to whatever fast food is available. Having some high-protein snacks on you during these hunger pangs can help solve this issue. For instance, jerky, peanuts, almonds, and homemade protein bars are great portable snacks that can help satisfy your appetite without overloading you with calories.
Swap Butter/Mayonnaise for Avocado
A lot of people tend to avoid avocados, not because they dislike the taste, but because they can’t get around the odd texture.
However, it doesn’t take much effort to turn avocado into a smooth and creamy paste-like substance that you can easily swap for butter or mayonnaise while making a sandwich, wrap, or bagel. It is a much healthier alternative, and you may actually enjoy the taste without having to deal with the texture.
One of the most common mistakes people make very regularly is confusing thirst with hunger. Staying hydrated can help keep your cravings at bay to a certain extent. So when you’re suddenly feeling hungry at an odd time or crave a particular food, try drinking a tall glass of water instead.
The chances are that your body was just dehydrated, and you were interpreting those signals as hunger. However, if you still feel hungry after 15 minutes, opt for a healthy snack. Also, drinking more water can enable you to make healthier food choices. According to a study published in the journal Appetite, reaching for a can of soda during mealtime will more likely cause you to pair it with salty, fatty foods like French fries. On the other hand, if you take a glass of water before and during a meal, you will be likely eating more vegetables.
Remember: your weight loss journey shouldn’t be as difficult as some people expect it to be. Sometimes, making small and simple changes to your daily lifestyle can lead to significant future results.