Adopt just ONE of these habits and change nothing else about your diet or lifestyle, you’ll begin improving your body right away. Adopt a handful of changes—all of which take less time than it takes you to read this sentence—you could drop as much as 40 pounds in ONE year!
1. Drink before you eat – Drink two big glasses of water before you sit down to eat. If you can remember to wash your hands before you start a meal, you can remember to guzzle some water. It’ll make you feel more sated and far less likely to overeat. Participants in a British study who drank 16 ounces of water before they ate lost an average of 2.87 pounds in 90 days. That’s almost 11.5 pounds in a year if you keep up the habit!
2. Drink tea – If you’re not drinking green tea with your workouts, you might be wasting your time at that pilates class. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that after just two weeks, exercisers who sipped four to five cups of green tea each day and logged 25-minutes at the gym or on a walk lost more belly fat than their non-tea-drinking counterparts. What makes the drink so powerful? It contains catechins, an antioxidant that hinders the storage of belly fat and aids rapid weight loss.
3. Take a deep breath – according to an Ohio State University study, which found that in the 7 hours following a stressful event, women burn 104 fewer calories than more relaxed ladies after eating a high-fat meal.
4. Saute with broth instead of oil – save 119 calories when sauteing veggies, leave the 120-calorie-per-tablespoon Crisco on the counter, add a couple tablespoons of low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth.
5. Sit up straight – Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy, Ph.D., MA, believes you can actually boost your mood by partaking in certain “power poses,” like sitting up straight in your chair. Great news as a mood boost can help decrease levels of the fat-storing stress hormone, cortisol. Plus, instead of slouching at your desk, by sitting up straight with your shoulders back and your abs tight you’ll engage more muscles and may burn a few more calories.
6. Dab your pizza – A recent study found that a dabbed pizza slice has 40 fewer calories than one that hasn’t been blotted. Since the average American eats 23 pounds of pizza annually, if you dab all your slices, you could lose two pounds in a year.
7. Press pause when munching – A study published in the journal Food Quality and Preference found that people who listened to music with headphones actually ate more of the exact same food compared to those who weren’t jamming out while eating. The simple solution is to press pause on your TV remote or Spotify playlist during your meals.
8. Put a mirror in your kitchen – Research has shown that keeping a mirror near the fridge or pantry can trick us into eating better and losing weight. Why? It forces us to pause and reflect before making food choices.
9. Don’t eat if you’re not hungry – A trip to the movie theater or office kitchen that has a box of donuts aren’t signals to eat. Hunger is the best signifier of when it’s time to eat. Obey your hunger cues and make the decision to avoid eating for the sheer reason that there’s food in front of you to help cut unnecessary calories.
10. Invest in a set of 10-inch-plates – Cornell University professor and head of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab Brian Wansink showed that using 10-inch-diameter plates instead of the traditional 12-inch-diameter plates decreases the amount of food people eat without having an effect on their fullness or satisfaction.