10 easy weight loss swaps
How to lose a few kilos without going on a crash diet or changing your life too radically.
So you’ve noticed that kilo creep is starting to change your waistline.
You don’t have to commit your life to the gym and follow an extreme diet – a few lifestyle tweaks can help those extra kilos melt away.
- Related story: How fat is lost from the body
Stand up more often
Standing up uses more muscles than sitting, so you burn more fat.
Stay on your feet as much as you can. Take phone calls and watch part of your favourite TV program while standing, use a standing desk and hold meetings on your feet rather than sitting at a table.
- Related story: The real dangers of a desk job
Drink water before each meal
If you think you’re hungry, have a glass of water to check if you need to eat as we often mistake thirst for hunger.
Drinking a glass of water before you eat a meal will take the edge off your appetite.
“There’s a delay between your stomach becoming full and your brain receiving that fullness signal, so you can end up eating too much because you don’t recognise that you are full,” says Sandra Villella, naturopath at Jean Hailes for Women’s Health.
Chew each mouthful 20 to 30 times.
Stick to the outside of your supermarket
Stick to your good intentions by avoiding the middle aisles of the supermarket, where you’ll find the high-kilojoule treats.
Cruise the perimeter and fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish and chicken.
Don’t use big wine glasses
Two large, 250mL glasses of wine contain around 1400kJ so if you are going to drink, go small.
And intersperse each alcoholic drink with a low-kilojoule soft drink or soda water.
Know how much you weigh
A 2014 study found weighing-in regularly provides an early warning of weight gain and can stop kilo creep.
“Women who weighed daily or weekly seemed to do better than women who didn’t weigh themselves,” says researcher Dr Cate Lombard.
Japanese researchers say three 10-minute bursts of skipping each day can reduce appetite by reducing hormones in our body that make us hungry.
“Skipping activates most of the muscles in the body and when you have to move your body, it starts to shed weight to adapt,” says Rob Newton, foundation professor of exercise and sports science at Edith Cowan University in WA.
- Related story: Why mini-workouts can work wonders
Tidy your kitchen
Dr Brian Wansink, of Cornell University Food and Brand Laboratory, says research has found people eat almost half as much food if they eat in a tidy kitchen.
“If you’re in a messy out of control place it gives you an excuse to say ‘whatever’ and to eat more,” he says.
Eat from a medium-size plate
“Eat off a plate between 9 to 10 inches (about 22-25cm) in diameter and you’ll eat about 22 per cent less than if you have a larger plate,” says Dr Wansink.
“But it can’t be too small, or you’ll go back for seconds and thirds.”
Out of sight, out of mind
Wrap tempting leftovers in aluminium foil or put them in a container that you can’t see through.
In most cases you’ll forget about them and they will be thrown away rather than eaten.
Watch Bianca Chatfield go in search of how to lose winter weight gain on House of Wellness TV:
Written by Sarah Marinos