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13 Easy Ways to Lose a Pound a Week
By Kristin Kirkpatrick July 10, 2014 11:16 AM
If your New Year’s Resolution faded five months ago, and your “swimsuit body” still hasn’t arrived, you may start to give up hope on weight-loss efforts. Perhaps it was the approach you took in the first place to lose the weight that caused the failure. Per haps you dove into the “d” work on January 1 with a goal of losing 25 pounds by summer, but realized early on that your efforts didn’t match the numbers on the scale. The truth is, most diets don’t work — they rarely lead to long-term weight loss, and some may cause us to gain even more weight. Despite this knowledge, Americans still spend billions of dollars a year in the quest to achieve the “perfect” body. Certain diets can cause individuals to starve themselves, eliminate food groups or even take pills that could harm their health. At the end of the day, depravation prevails over weight loss and individuals go back to their old bad habits. What if there was an easier way? What if you could make just a few minor changes every day and still lose weight?
The first step towards this includes making realistic goals and keeping them in a range instead of big “high end” number. A 2013 study found that individuals who gave themselves a low range and a high range in their goal setting were more likely to maintain weight loss over time. Once your realistic range is calculated, it’s time to start your healthy eating plan.
Adhering to the following tips may help you lose up to one pound per week in a delicious, yet non-depriving way, simply by making swaps, taking out a few ingredients here and there, and being more mindful. Keep in mind that 1 pound = 3,500 calories. Given this, you’ll have to either burn an additional 500 calories through exercise or cut 500 calories from your diet.
1. Hide your veggies.
Calorie savings: up to 360 calories. A recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that adding pureed cauliflower, squash or carrots to bread, casserole and pasta recipes (at least 25 percent of the total volume) resulted in fiber increases and calorie deficits — without changes in taste or texture.
2. Use hummus in place of other high-fat dips and spreads (think ranch dip, mayonnaise and even high-sugar ketchup).
Calorie savings: Not only will hummus up your daily fiber content (thus making you fuller for longer) it will save you an average of 250 calories.
3. Remove the cheese from your sandwiches.
Calorie savings: 70 to 120 calories for one sandwich. Although cheese is a common staple on a variety of sandwiches, removing it does not significantly alter the taste of the sandwich. Skip it for a week and save almost 500 calories!
4. Substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream.
Calorie savings: 175 calories per half cup. Purchase the low fat, plain version of Greek yogurt for a great sour cream taste without all the calories and fat.
5. Limit your calories to only those that are chewed.
Calorie savings: Eliminating your daily smoothie, specialty coffee drinks or soda can save, on average, between 500 to 700 calories a day!
6. Change the color of your coffee back to black.
Calorie savings: Up to 200 calories can be saved by forgoing half-and-half or non-dairy creamers in your coffee. Nix the sugar as well for an additional 100 calorie savings.
7. Embrace the child inside by ordering the “kid’s size” when eating out.
Calorie savings: Ordering children’s menu items from fast-food restaurants and “kiddie cups” from the ice-cream parlor can save you up to 500 calories.
8. Don’t eat out.
Calorie savings: Making all your meals at home can save up to 1,000 calories a day (depending how often you eat). Just think about it! Many restaurants serve portions much larger than current dietary recommendations suggest, and those portions are often much higher in fat, sugar, sodium and refined grains than home-cooked meals.
9. If you must eat out, add “on the side, please” to your regular vocabulary.
Calorie savings: Requesting salad dressings and sauces on the side (where you can control the amount added to your food) can save you up to 400 calories.
10. Use cooking spray in place of butter or oil.
Calorie savings: 100 calories. If you do cook at home, reduce the amount of fat you’re using in your pan for significant calorie reduction.
11. Make balsamic vinegar the star of your salad, with oil providing the supporting role.
Calorie savings: 200 calories can be saved by reducing the amount of oil you add to your oil and vinegar dressing. Balsamic vinegar is full of flavor, not calories! And chances are, you won’t notice a difference.
12. Use your grandmother’s plates.
Calorie savings: up to 300 to 600 calories. Over time, Americans’ waists and plates have increased in side. Switching from a 12-inch plate to a 9-inch plate will trick your eye into believing you’re eating more. This, in turn, will cause you to eat less at every meal.
13. Talk to yourself.
Calorie savings: The sky is the limit. Sometimes, our choice to eat has nothing to do with the physiological response of hunger. Instead, we are bored, thirsty or stressed. Take a few minutes before you eat and ask yourself if you’re truly hungry. The answer may surprise you!
Weight loss is hard, and weight maintenance is even harder. Adhering to these following tips may help you push the envelope to the level where you start seeing actual results. Couple this with stress management, portion control and a regular exercise routine, and next year’s swimsuit body may be exactly what you wished for.