Lose Weight Without Dieting

Photo Credit: Evan Swigart CC-BY-2.0
One of the most difficult things about dieting is feeling deprived. Starvation diets don’t work. In fact, they have the opposite effect because deprivation causes the metabolism to slow down so that your body stores more food as fat instead of burning it for energy. Fad diets can be dangerous because you may not get all the nutrients you need from the food you are permitted to eat while on the diet. The best way to lose weight without depriving yourself, or endangering your health, is to eat smaller portions, avoid sugars and fats and exercise. Some minor changes in your lifestyle and in your eating habits can make all the difference in weight loss.
Eat home-cooked meals at least 5 to 6 days each week. Some restaurants provide calorie and fat content information for menu items, but most do not. Use fresh vegetables if possible, but frozen vegetables are just as nutritious. Those with a busy lifestyle can cook on weekends to prepare meals for the upcoming week. Frozen dinners often contain large amounts of sodium, sugars, fats and preservatives. Even frozen diet meals may contain too much salt. Cook your own meals from fresh ingredients to avoid hidden calories in your meals. Slow down and eat more slowly. Savor your food instead of gobbling it down in a hurry. When you eat fast, your brain and stomach do not have time to communicate with each other, which can lead to overeating.
Serve more vegetables with each of your meals. If you normally eat one vegetable side dish at dinner, add a second vegetable. The high fiber content of most vegetables will fill you up faster without adding calories. Avoid adding cream or cheese sauces, which adds fat and calories to your food. Cook with herbs and seasonings instead of sauces. 
Switch your white bread and rolls for high fiber, calorie busting whole grains instead. The next time you reach for a soda, pour yourself a glass of water or tea. Replacing one soda with a glass of water each day can help you avoid about 10 teaspoons of sugar every day. Add lemon, fresh strawberries or lime juice to your water for flavor. 

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