Looking for how to slim down without working out? Me too! Of course I know exercise is good for me on many different levels and I’d love to have unlimited time to go to a yoga class, aerobics class, go for a long power walk or bike ride every day or work out at the gym, but the reality is I don’t have unlimited time and it seems those activities always get put off. While I will strive to keep getting in as much physical activity and exercise as I can, there are other tips for how to slim down that we can all use.
This relates to eating your meals slower and to living your life with less stress. Overeating is often caused by eating too fast. Your brain and stomach are not communicating well as to when you are full. When eating, pay attention to what you are eating, how it tastes, smells, and feels instead of rushing through your meal. Chew each bite slowly and take the time to enjoy the food. Pause occasionally when eating and notice if your hunger has subsided. Many people are conditioned to eat until they are full or until their plate is clean. Start letting your body lead you to a different type of thinking in this regard and begin to notice when hunger is satisfied instead of being full.
Stress is known to contribute to weight gain. Find ways to deal with stress and slow your life down. This may mean prioritizing what is really important to you and saying no to other things. Or it may just mean you need to make time for that yoga class or meditation time for stress relief. See what works for you and make the commitment to slow down.
Get Some Extra ZZ’s
A research study from the University of Michigan reported that 14 pounds a year could be lost just by getting an extra hour of sleep each night. Other studies show that the appetite is stimulated by not getting enough sleep. Less than 7 hours a night has been reported to increase appetite.
What Are You Eating?
Give some thought to where and what you are eating. How often do you eat out? How often do you eat vegetables, whole grains and fruits, versus how often do you eat fried, sugary, simple carbs and processed foods? You can eat more fruits and veggies with their fiber and water filling you up without the high calories. Whole grains are another way to get filled up with less calories. If you eat out, order an appetizer as your meal, order the half order size of a meal that many restaurants offer, see if you can order a child’s sized meal or get the whole adult meal, but ask for a doggie bag at the beginning of the meal rather than the end. That way you can go ahead and put half away for lunch or dinner the next day. Another natural solution to how to slim down is to eat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than the traditional 3 big meals.
Meals with veggies, beans, lentils and legumes have lots of fiber that fill you up and don’t have the fats found in meats. Magazines and the internet are filled with vegetarian recipes these days. Plan several days a week to have meatless meals. This might include doing breakfast without any sausage or bacon, having a sandwich with cheese and a variety of veggies, having grilled eggplant instead of meatballs with your spaghetti or eating a veggie burger instead of a hamburger.
Actually changing the glasses and plates you use can be a way of how to slim down. Sugary drinks and alcoholic beverages are best to be avoided all together when trying to lose weight, but if you’re not ready to let these go completely, use a smaller glass or a taller, skinnier glass. A smaller glass obviously means drinking less, but according to Brian Wansink, PhD at Cornell University, using a tall, thin glass causes people to pour less liquid into it. He also finds that using a smaller plate causes people to fill it with less food without feeling hungry or deprived.
When working on how to slim down, good digestion is a must. If food doesn’t keep moving through the digestive system, it can become stuck which causes belly fat. Probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus help your body process and digest the foods you eat and keep them moving through the digestive system. Adding enzymes to your diet is another way to support digestion, keep your metabolism high and your fat content low. Taking a high quality enzyme supplement at meals and in between meals, gives your metabolism a boost, burns fat and cleans waste out of the body.
Adding antioxidant foods high in flavonoids to your diet can help improve metabolism and prevent belly fat. Green tea, dark chocolate, berries, pears, apples, onions, leeks, peppers and other bright colored veggies are good sources of antioxidants.
If you need a snack between meals, reach for a piece of fruit, a low sugar yogurt or a green smoothie instead of a candy bar or chips. Popcorn is also a good alternative, but hold the butter and avoid the microwave varieties. My favorite healthy snack is this bar with blue green algae and sprouted grains. Delicious, convenient on the go and loaded with “good for me” nutrition.
Getting exercise is definitely good for weight loss as well as a wide range of other health concerns, but if you find yourself needing more help in the how to slim down department and just can’t get in enough exercise time to get those extra pounds off, give some of these tips a try. You’ve nothing to lose by trying them out… except that extra fat.
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