Try these out-of-the-box weight loss tips

Try these out-of-the-box weight loss tips

Have you tried the trendy weight loss tips but wanted more? Or are you looking for a couple of small tweaks in your lifestyle to shed those last few pounds?

Elizabeth Zawila, a registered dietitian at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital’s Health and Wellness Center in Downers Grove, Ill., frequently works with her clients to improve not just their diet, but their overall wellness to meet their fitness and health goals.

Beyond her usual advice of eating fewer processed foods, cutting back on sugar and high-fat foods and exercising frequently, Zawila recommends a few outside-the-box but common-sense suggestions:

Get to bed

We get our energy from two places: food and sleep. When we are low on one energy source, we often turn to another, Zawila says – which is frequently higher energy, carb and sugar-loaded foods. Chalk up another whole-body benefit to getting plenty of sleep, she says.

“Getting to bed at a reasonable time can do wonders for how a person feels. Waking up refreshed and well-rested can help us make healthier food choices, eat more reasonable portions and have energy for physical activity. Additionally, it can help us avoid the mindless eating that often accompanies being tired and stressed.”

Sit down and slow down

The tip doesn’t refer to your activity level – instead, it should be your mantra when eating, Zawila says. That goes beyond not shoveling down your food and finishing your plate before your body realizes it is full.

“So often, we multitask while eating, which keeps us from feeling fully satisfied from our meal. Eating at the table or sitting down in a relaxed setting can help us feel satisfied with a sensible portion of food,” says Zawila.

Go to bed ready to eat

Zawila isn’t recommending you go to bed hungry. Instead, ward off nighttime nibbling by planning out a tasty breakfast the next day that you can eat right when you wake up.

“Instead of raiding the pantry after dinner looking for snacks, you can remind yourself that you’ve got something delicious planned for first thing in the morning, thus making it easier to talk yourself out of mindless night-time snacking.”

Plus, it helps make sure you eat the all-important first meal of the day, which jumpstarts your metabolism, makes sure you don’t overeat at lunch and gives you the energy to start your day.

Drink more water

This tip is two-fold – first, your body frequently confuses thirst with hunger. Before snacking or deciding to impulse-order delivery food, grab a glass of water and see if that helps curb your cravings.

Second, sugary beverages can add a lot of calories without satisfying your appetite or leaving you feel 200-300 calories fuller.

“Drinking 300 calories of pop before lunch usually won’t decrease the amount we eat at lunch, whereas eating a 300-calorie snack before lunch would. This is why sugary beverages are so troublesome. A taste for unsweetened beverages is something we can actually work at acquiring. It could be as simple as drinking more water, or it could be developing a taste for unsweetened tea or seltzer water,” says Zawila.

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About the Author

Nathan Lurz
Nathan Lurz

Nathan Lurz, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital. He has nearly a decade of professional news experience as a reporter and editor, and a lifetime of experience as an enthusiastic learner. On the side, he enjoys writing even more, tabletop games, reading, running and explaining that his dog is actually the cutest dog, not yours, sorry.