Getting ready for your summer beach holiday isn't always fun. But when it comes to easy ways to lose weight, we'll let you in on a little secret – it's not as hard as you may think. Research shows that for many of us, making big changes to our lifestyle (like a complete diet overhaul or swearing off entire food groups) often ends in failure. That's because small changes are more likely to become part of our everyday routing, whereas an all-or-nothing approach is often too hard to follow meaning that we give up and give in. Instead, a few minor changes to our diet and fitness routines can have a big impact and lead to serious weight loss.
So forget about swearing off all treats or spending hours at the gym. We've got 10 easy ways to lose weight that will help you move more, eat more healthily and feel your best, just in time for bikini season. These fuss-free, easy ways to lose weight can easily be incorporated into your life and will soon become part of your daily routine. Bring on the bikini!
1. Downsize your dinnerware
It turns out that losing weight could be as easy as switching plates! Studies show that we actually end up eating less when we eat off smaller plates. Why? The theory is that smaller plates trick the mind into thinking that you're actually eating more, because the plate looks so full. In fact, one Cambridge study found that reducing plate size could slash up to 159 calories a day! What could be simpler than that?
2. Eat breakfast every day
Skipping meals might seem like an easy way to cut calories, but research shows that you're actually more likely to binge eat later. Instead, start every day with a nutritious breakfast that will fill you up and get your energy levels going. Try two scrambled eggs or some Greek yoghurt with fresh fruit – both are high in protein, which has been proven to ward off hunger pangs.
3. Work out as you watch
Use those boring television adverts to your advantage! Every advert break, get up and get moving. Try running in place, skipping or even putting some music on and dancing. Anything that gets your heart rate up for a minute or two is great and could lead to serious weight loss, plus isn't it more fun to dance around than it is to watch another advert? You could even get the whole family involved for some friendly competition to see who can do the most jumping jacks in two minutes!
4. Are you hungry?
Ask yourself this question every time you reach for the biscuit tin - 'am I REALLY hungry?' If you've just eaten then wait 20 minutes before grabbing more food or try having a glass of water and see if that satisfies that grumbling in your belly. Often when our bodies are thirsty, we mistake it for hunger. Still hungry? Go ahead and grab a healthy snack, like a piece of fruit or some lean protein.
5. Get some sleep
People who get seven to eight hours of sleep per night are slimmer than those who sleep only five or six hours, according to Canadian researchers. That's because when you're sleep-deprived, your body produces more stress hormones which can lead to an increase in appetite. So make sure you get to bed early and snooze for at least seven hours each night – your waistline will thank you! Here are 9 clever tips to ensure you get a good night's sleep tonight.
6. Pick up a pen
Mindless eating can add up on the scales as we often forget or don't really realise how much we eat throughout the day, especially if it's just a small handful of crisps here or a bite or two of the kid's dinner there. Try writing down what you eat every day. By actually seeing how much and when you eat, you'll be more likely to practice sensible portion control and shed those extra pounds. Writing down what you eat is also a great way to identify any unhealthy patterns in your diet – do you always reach for the biscuit tin at 3pm? Do you skip meals? Try it for a week and you'll be amazed to discover what you're really eating.
7. Treat yourself
Allow yourself to indulge in the occasional treat, guilt-free. Just don't go overboard (that means one or two squares of dark chocolate, not the entire bar!). By giving in to your cravings on occasion, you'll be less likely to binge eat later on. Better yet, opt for declicious treats that come with serious health benefits like dark chocolate and red wine, both of which are full of good-for-you antioxidants.
8. Drink up
Water, that is! Not only can good old H20 help you avoid overeating (see tip 4 above) but drinking water also means that you're not drinking other unhealthy beverages like sugary soft drinks and dessert-like coffees. Aim for at least 8 glasses a day to keep your body healthy and happy.
9. Cut back on sugar
You know the drill – sugar is your weight loss enemy. Not only does it increase calorie consumption and cause bloating, but it's highly addictive and can sneak its way into so many foods. But the good news is that by cutting back on your sugar intake, the pounds will fall off as well. That means no cakes, biscuits, sweets or sugary drinks. Satify your sweet tooth with fresh fruit instead. While you're at it, cut back on bloat-inducing salt too. Instead, try flavouring foods with fresh herbs, spices and lemon juice.
10. Healthy swaps
Did you know that by swapping just one tablespoon of mayonnaise for mashed avocado, you could save an easy 72 calories? Plus get an extra portion of healthy fats. Losing weight doesn't have to mean sacrificing on taste. All you need is a few savvy food swaps to eat delicious and more nutiritious meals. Find more healthy food swaps here.
Find everything you need for a healthy diet at Asda Groceries.