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If you're ready to lose weight and keep it off, studies show that much of your success will depend upon your ability to slow-roll healthier habits into your life and make them permanent. In other words: If your plan includes starting an extreme new diet and a crazy-hard new fitness regimen all at once, you're setting yourself up for failure. "Yes, you should limit dairy, limit wheat, limit sugar, limit white potatoes, limit alcohol—especially mixers, beer, and wine—but you should start by limiting one of these at a time," says Brian Brown, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, PMHNP-BC. "Over time, pick another to eliminate."
But that's not the only simple decision you can make right now to set you down a really successful weight loss path. You can also hack your fridge to be healthier, trick your body to be fitter, and say a few choice words out loud every now and then that are guaranteed to boost your mood and have you feeling way more positive about your awesome, newly attained self-discipline. Curious about these tips and more? Read on for some of the simplest ways to lose weight starting now. And for more amazing weight loss tips, be sure you're aware of The Foods That Drive the Most Weight Loss for Women.
01. Don't Put Healthy Things in Your Fridge Drawers
"When you open the fridge, the first thing you see isn't a vegetable—why?!," asks Candice Seti, Psy.D., CPT, CNC. "Because your veggies are hidden away in those drawers at the bottom! So when you open the fridge looking for a snack, you are way less likely to go for veggies. We tend to focus on what's at eye level. So, you are most likely to go for a snack that is at eye level in your fridge."
For this same reason, she says, you shouldn't hide away your healthy snacks in opaque containers. "You are much more likely to choose things you can see, meaning wrapped in saran wrap or clear Tupperware, not things hidden in tinfoil. So keep your veggies and healthy food options in clear containers and hide the junk away in the drawers." And for more handy info that can help you lose weight, make sure you're fully aware of the Sneaky Ways You're Gaining Weight and Don't Know It.
02. Play Tricks on Your Mind
Successful dieters are often experts at deploying one of the oldest tricks in the weight loss book: the art of self-deception. And one of the best methods for tricking yourself into eating less is to try and make your meal look as big as possible. "If you're eating some cheese, be sure to grate it and spread it to cover a larger surface area versus slicing," advises Shena Jaramillo MS, RD, noting a couple of great tricks you can try. "If you're having salad dressing, use a small amount and shake up the salad in a Tupperware versus letting it all sit on top." And for more clever hacks you can try, don't miss these list of Sneaky Weight Loss Tricks That Totally Work!
03. Establish a Kitchen Closure Time
"Limiting your kitchen access can help cut down on unnecessary eating at night, and you can do this by enforcing a kitchen closure time," says Seti. "Just like a restaurant closes at a certain time, your kitchen can, too! So if you feel you are no longer hungry after 9pm and any eating you do after that is just mindless grazing or boredom eating, 9pm could be your kitchen closure time."
04. Eat Some Vegetables Before Going Out to Eat
"One tip I like to give my clients is to start each meal by eating the vegetables," says Sunny Brigham, MBA, MS, CNS, a Board-Certified Clinical and Integrative Nutritionist. "Ensure they're the star role of each meal and consume them first."
Vegetables are obviously filled with nutrients that feed your metabolism. "And, they take up more space in the belly pouch," says Brigham. "Because they contain fiber, they digest a bit slower leaving you feeling fuller for longer. If you're going out to eat, heat up some frozen vegetables and eat one-to-two cups before leaving the house. By the time you get seated and are ready to order, your hunger is not longer dictating your meal choices. You'll make better choices and eat less of the not-so-healthy foods when outside the home."
05. Eat More Resistant Starch
"Resistant starch is a type of starch that—as the name suggests—resists digestion and makes its way to the gut where it specifically fuels the good gut bacteria, acting more similarly to fiber in that it helps you feel very satisfied," says Kara Landau, RD. "So much so, that science has shown that when you consume protein and resistant starch together at one meal, you actually end up eating far less at your next meal, leading to greater feelings of satiety, as well as having increased fat oxidation, which can aid in overall weight loss."
06. Trick Yourself into Exercising
"Set a timer on your phone or watch and walk away from your home for 'ten minutes,'" says Brown. "This simple hack fools the brain into a 20-minute walk. It's a type of motivational psychology that I call quick-win psychology. It's most prominently used in business circles, but works beautifully with wellness goals. Start with three days-per-week and add days as you see fit."
07. Celebrate Small Accomplishments
"Celebrating your small victories will build self-confidence and lead you to make bigger goals and accomplishments," says Lisa Reed, MS, CSCS, USAW. "Enjoy the journey! Even if you tackle one flight of stairs or one push-up—pat yourself on the back. Never forget that enthusiasm breeds more enthusiasm!"
08. Eat a Protein-Heavy Breakfast
"Put together a breakfast that focuses on protein to keep you fueled until lunchtime," advises Christa Brown, MS, RDN. "A recent study suggests that a high protein breakfast drastically improves the desire to splurge on random snacks throughout the day. Let's face it, our snacking is usually our favorite chips or candy, which are not filling, and doesn't provide quality calories with vitamins and minerals. If you're not hungry, and want something cool and light, put together an 8-ounce smoothie with Kefir or Yogurt as the base!"
09. Eat "B.A.S." Every Day for Lunch
"That's a 'Big Audacious Salad,'" says Brown. "Keep it clean and green—mixed field greens, raw spinach, basil, cilantro, radishes, cucumber, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, carrots, cabbage of any color, and pretty much any other veggie you want."
His no-nos include cheeses, meats, and high saturated fat and sugary dressings. "Feel free to add in an extra kick of protein, add black beans, red beans, or chickpeas," he says. "This is amazing for detoxification of the liver and cleansing the colon, not to mention it keeps glycemic impact lower, which means you have more energy and don't store your food as fat."
10. Smile More Often
"As you walk about your day, smile," says Reed. "Appreciate the ability to instantly change your mood when you smile or laugh. When you smile, be sure to talk health and happiness to everyone you meet, and you'll notice how much happier your days are and how much better you look and feel because of it!"
When you make others feel good, you feel good, says Reed. "When you feel good, you will be better at taking care of yourself. For those who have a negative thought pop in, catch it before it rules you. If you say something negative, say seven positive things out loud to make up for it." And for more great advice, check out the 38 Tips You Must Follow to Lose Weight, Say Dietitians.