While it likely took more than a week to gain unwanted fat, most people wish they could lose it quicker than it came on. When it comes to losing weight, simply cutting back on your portion sizes could be the most underrated way to drop pounds. However, if you’re already eating less (and exercising more) and are still stuck, there are little tricks of the trade that can help jumpstart your efforts.
Read on ways to help you naturally speed up weight loss:
Choose healthy snacks
Americans are snacking more than ever, so making smart snacking choices are key to achieving your weight loss goals. Aim for snacks that satisfy by choosing foods that provide a mix of protein and fiber, stabilizing blood sugar levels and keeping hunger at bay. An apple and almond butter, a plain yogurt with berries, or high-fiber crispbread crackers and hummus can all be smart snacking options.
For example, two Wasa Flax Seed crispbread crackers combined with two tablespoons of hummus provide 4 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber for staying power. For an added boost, add a few teaspoons of hot sauce. Research shows spicy foods may help speed up metabolism and curb appetite.
Eat more beans
Beans are an excellent source of slow-release carbohydrates, as well as a good source of protein and fiber, which slow the digestive process to help you stay fuller, longer.
Beans are an excellent source of slow-release carbohydrates, as well as a good source of protein and fiber, which slow the digestive process to help you stay fuller, longer. Research finds that eating just three-quarters of a cup of beans a day for six weeks can help you lose close to six pounds. And if you’re trying to lower your cholesterol, it’s a double win as the soluble fiber in beans helps whisk cholesterol out of your body. You don’t necessarily need to cook dry beans from scratch.
Canned beans are one of the most underrated convenience foods, so keep a rotation of all kinds – like black, pinto, chickpea and cannellini – in your pantry. Try adding beans to your soups and salads, add them minced to meat dishes, enjoy a bean dip like hummus, or toss them in a salad.
Cut out sugary drinks
If you make the right food choices and watch your portions but you find that you’re still struggling to lose weight, don’t forget to consider the calories consumed in your favorite sweetened beverages. Café mocha’s or other popular coffee beverages, sweetened teas, sodas, and fruit drinks can easily add 150 to 500 calories extra to your day and daily consumption can easily foster a pound or more weight gain per week. Stick to water or unsweetened tea and save the sweetened stuff for a special treat.
Be good to your gut
Instead of doing a detox or cleanse in the hopes of resetting your GI system (and speeding up weight loss), boost your gut health naturally with fiber-filled foods. Fiber is a carbohydrate found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, but unlike other forms of carbohydrates, it is harder to digest.
As it passes through your digestive system, it stimulates the receptors that tell your brain you’re full. People who consume more fiber tend to have healthier body weights. If you’re looking for more specific fiber-filled foods to reboot your gut, eat the three P’s: prunes, pulses, and pears.
Prunes help maintain good digestive health and can positively affect the bacteria living in the gut. Pulses, which include lentils, beans, and peas, improve gut health by strengthening the gut barrier. And pears contain prebiotic fiber, which helps promote intestinal health by providing food for beneficial probiotic bacteria.
Close the kitchen
In today’s modern era of 24-hour meal delivery and extra-large food portions, many people are confused about how much and how often to eat. One of the most common questions, How late can I eat dinner and still lose weight? Recently, several studies have shown that avoiding food past certain hours of the day or intermittent fasting can promote weight loss.
A moderate approach that boosts weight loss and comes without apparent side effects for the healthy individual is the 12-hour intermittent fasting approach.
An example is having your first-morning meal no earlier than 7 a.m. and your last evening meal no later than 7 p.m. Thus, 12 hours without food or caloric beverages consumed gives your body time to rest from eating and promotes fat burning without unnecessary hunger that daytime fasting can cause.
Get more sleep
Studies show the fewer minutes you spend asleep, the more likely you are to feel hungrier and make poor food choices the next day.
A commonly overlooked obstacle to eating better (and losing weight) is sleep. While sleep needs vary, according to the National Sleep Foundation, adults require seven to nine hours a night. Unfortunately, two-thirds of people report experiencing sleep problems at least a few nights a week, with women more prone to sleep problems than men.
A review study that looked at 36 studies on sleep and weight gain found short sleep duration was independently linked to weight gain. Studies show the fewer minutes you spend asleep, the more likely you are to feel hungrier and make poor food choices the next day. Make sure you’re getting enough Zzzzs to reap the rewards of your weight loss efforts 🙂 🙂