If doing one little thing before each meal could increase your weight loss by nearly 50%, you’d do it, right? True, if you want lasting weight loss, you need the basics in place. But little things can have a big impact.
Here’s 6 quick diet hacks that will save you calories, kill hunger, and have you sleeping like a baby log.
Have a Snack Before You Hit the Hay
Eating late in the evening isn’t the diet blasphemy it’s made out to be. The theory goes that if you eat after a certain time, you’ll burst into flames while you sleep. OK, that’s not true, but they do say you’ll just be throwing in calories that won’t be burned. After all, exactly how many calories does lying unconscious for hours actually require?
Well, it turns out quite a lot. The average adult burns around 600 calories overnight, which would explain why we can often wake up ravenous!
But there’s more.
Study after study has shown that getting quality sleep is one of the best things you can do to speed up weight loss, and poor sleep has been shown to increase your risk of obesity by 55%!
See, you don’t lose weight in the gym, you lose it in between sessions when your body is repairing itself, getting fitter and stronger, and ready for your next workout.
Having a carbohydrate-based snack before bed has not only been shown to improve your sleep, but also lower the chances of you waking up ready to eat a scabby donkey, reducing the calories you eat in the morning.
Ditch the Diet Drinks
These days every fizzy drink has a low or no-sugar companion marketed as having all the taste without the calories. Like a party in your mouth without the resulting hang-over your beltline.
Or so we’re told.
Turns out that the science doesn’t back it up. 30 years of studies show that downing the diet fizzies don’t even prevent weight-gain, let alone help you drop the wobbly stuff. Not only that, but the artificial sweeteners have been shown to send hunger signals to your brain… Even if you weren’t hungry in the first place!
So ditch the diet drinks, and just switch to water.
Unless you’re expecting some random eye-candy to take his shirt off when you start chugging a can, in which case I have even more bad news…
Eat Your Breakfast
How many times did your mum tell you it was the most important meal of the day? Turns out she was on to something.
People who miss breakfast tend to eat more for lunch and dinner, leading to more weight gain over time. But not only that, one study showed breakfast boosts dopamine levels which lowers sugar and fat cravings, so skip it and you’re also more likely to reach for the junk food later.
Start Working Proactively, Not Retrospectively
One of the greatest tips you’ll ever get is to keep a food journal. For the 5 minutes it takes to write down what you’re eating, based on a study of 1500 people, this simple habit can double you’re weight loss.
With apps like MyFitnessPal that can even scan the barcodes of the things you eat, even 5 minutes is probably an exaggeration!
But you can ramp this up even more by logging your food the night before. See if you get to the end of your day, then look at your food, you can adjust and fix errors for tomorrow. Log what you’re going to eat the next day, and now you can fix mistakes before they happen.
And on that note…
Pack Away Your Leftovers First
When you serve your meals up, don’t wait to eat then see what’s leftover, plate up and pack away the excess immediately.
Like it or not, we can bang on about 101 tweaks we can make to maximise our results, but ultimately, most of us just eat too much. In one study, more than half of us underestimated how much we were dishing up by as much as 25%.
So by portioning off straight away, it forces us to control our portion size, and by packing them away, you’re less likely to go back for more.
Chug Some Water Before Every Meal
When we’re hungry, often we’re just thirsty. You’ve probably heard this one a hundred times, but most people treat it as one of those throwaways that won’t make an enormous difference.
However, people who drank a glass of water before each meal ate fewer calories increasing weight-loss by 44%. Little change – Big result.
Remember, pennies make pounds. Add just one of these little hacks in to your diet each week, and it’ll only be 6 weeks before your weight loss is thundering along like an espresso-fuelled Cheetah.