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If someone would have told me that I can lose weight naturally without dieting or exercise, I would have told them they are crazy. But it happened to me and I wanted to share how I did it with you.
After having my second baby, I had gained some weight that was not coming off no matter what I did. I was still breastfeeding so I didn’t want to try a diet since it could affect my milk supply or cause my baby to become gassy or constipated. Then I stumbled upon a couple of books that changed how I ate and helped me lose weight naturally.
How to lose weight naturally, without exercise
Below are some tips I used to lose 10 lbs and keep it off without effort while still eating my favorite foods:
Use a salad plate for most of your meals. If using a dinner plate, divide it mentally in half and fill that half with salad or other vegetables (not cooked in butter or oil!). Our eyes tell us when we are full more than our bellies so if you have a small plate filled with food, you are going to feel more satisfied and not overeat. Here’s some research to back it up.
2. Begin with veggies
In my quest to eat more fruits and veggies, I started adding them to my lunches and dinners. I start my lunch with a cup of veggies such as grape tomatoes and baby carrots then eat my lunch and eat a cup of fruit for dessert. All that food fills me up while helping me eat healthier! It’s a great way to lose weight naturally while getting all the benefits of fruits and veggies.
3. Bring your lunch
Bringing your lunch from home is a great way to control what is in your food and also to save some money. I try to bring my lunch most days of the week, including my veggies and fruits. Also, bring healthy snacks such as fruit or nuts. That way you will be less likely to go down and buy some chips when hunger strikes at 3 p.m.
4. Make healthy convenient
Wash and cut up your fruits and veggies and store them in a clear container at your eye level in the refrigerator. That way they are the first thing you see when you open the fridge to look for a snack. Also, keep hummus, yogurt, and peanut butter stocked because they go well with a mix of fruits and veggies to keep you full. Making healthy convenient is another step closer to help you lose weight naturally.
5. Make junk food inconvenient
If there is something you can’t control yourself around, don’t buy it often. I’m looking at you Nutella! For other junk food that you find yourself mindlessly munching, put it out of reach and behind closed doors. For example, put that bag of Cheetos® in the back of the top shelf of the highest cabinet (or top shelf of your pantry). Then put the stepstool somewhere difficult to access such as the garage. This will make you work every time you would like a snack and it will give you time to think before you munch. That leads me to my next point.
6. Portion out a serving
Take a small bowl or cup and serve yourself the snack you would like to eat. This provides automatic portion control while still allowing you to have the foods you would like to eat. Then put the bag of snacks back in the cabinet or pantry on the highest shelf, close the door, put away the stepstool then sit and enjoy your snack. This will make it far less likely that you will go through all of that trouble to get another serving of that snack when you can have something more convenient such as carrots and hummus straight from your fridge. And less junk food means you lose weight naturally since you are eating fewer calories. Yay!
7. Put down your fork between bites
When I was eating, I noticed I kept my fork (or spoon) in my hand at all times, often loaded with my next bite. This caused me to chew quickly and swallow food that was often only partially chewed just so I can get my next bite in my mouth. Then I stopped. I started putting my fork down between bites, which in turn allowed me to chew fully before swallowing since there was no urgency to get to the next bite. It also made me feel fuller quicker since I allowed my stomach time to register that it was full.
8. Avoid walking by food
If you are at a party, load up a plate with food or snacks (preferably lots of fruits and veggies) and walk away. This prevents overeating as you stand there chatting with your cousin Maggie and eating your weight in spinach dip. Ask me how I know this. Same goes for the office – if there are donuts in one of the breakrooms, go to another breakroom to get coffee or fill up your water bottle. The less you are exposed to tempting foods, the less you have to resist eating them.
9. Walk more
Every day when I get to work, I do a few laps on my floor as I head over to the breakroom to get water. I also walk a few laps after lunch to help me relax before heading back to my desk. It all adds up to 10,000 steps a day – and, if I walk the dog in the evening, I can even hit 15,000! The more you move, the more you will burn calories without having to commit to going to the gym. And all those extra calories will help you lose weight naturally.
10. Weigh yourself regularly
I weigh myself almost daily first thing in the morning, sometimes skipping a day or two if I forget. I keep track of my weight on my phone then forget about it. I know my weight can fluctuate from day-to-day based on water retention, the cake I had last night or a stomach bug. And that’s ok. By keeping tabs on my regular weight fluctuations, I can tell when I’m just bloated or when I should probably do some extra laps to offset that third serving of caramel popcorn. Hey, nobody’s perfect!
A final word
In her book, “Secrets from the Eating Lab,” Traci Mann talks about a concept called “lowest livable weight.” That is the weight that you can easily maintain provided you eat healthily and exercise regularly. It’s kind of a default weight, often about 5-15 lbs from your “ideal weight” where you are comfortable and your body is naturally happy. Figure that out and make peace with this weight. It will probably be different in your 40s than it was in your 20s and that’s ok. Figure out what works best for you and your body.
Don’t force yourself to reach that stretch goal weight because it will be very difficult or even impossible to maintain. It’s a sure way to set yourself up for failure and get into a yo-you dieting spiral.
By following the ten guidelines above, I was able to reach my lowest livable weight and maintain it without much effort. When I deviate from them, I can stall as the pounds start to add up and my pants get tight.
I hope these 10 tips help you reach your lowest livable weight too!
What are some of your hacks for easy ways to lose weight naturally? Are there some tips or tricks that help you lose or maintain weight without dieting? Share in the comments.