We've all heard that the only real way to lose weight is to consume less calories than we burn. Of course, if you've counted calories, as I have, you'll know what a tedious and time consuming task this can be. It's also highly inconvenient to pull out the scales whenever you want to put something into your mouth -- especially when travelling or dining out with friends! For me, though, a quick and easy way to lose weight fast is the trick of scaling back on my portion sizes and eating five times a day. Why does this work?
The less you eat, the less you need to feel full
Although eating five times a day sounds like a lot, I found that if I ate small portions regularly, I wouldn't get hungry during the day. The added bonus was that my stomach shrank because I wasn't stuffing it three times a day! After switching to smaller, regular meals for a few weeks, I went out to dinner at a restaurant with my family and found that I could barely finish my appetizer without feeling stuffed! Since then, I've found that I actually need very little food to feel full. At first, though, you might be a little hungry between meals until your stomach shrinks, and I found that drinking water or unsweetened tea helped stave it off.
It's easier to keep your diet balanced
Whenever you change something drastically, you need to concentrate on what you are doing. This might sound like a bad thing, but it is not. By focusing on what you are eating at each of your five meals, you can easily ensure that you get a little protein, a little fat, and a little fiber into each serving until it becomes automatic. This will prevent you from mindlessly chomping a candy bar at 3pm out of habit, which is not the quick and easy way to lose weight fast. Instead, when you reach for a fiber-rich apple, you'll be able to stop and wonder where you can get your fat and protein from, and then you'll be able to add some nut butter or yogurt to your snack.
Your metabolism will speed up
Every time you eat something, your metabolism speeds up as your body sorts out the fuel that you have just given it. This is why experts advise against skipping breakfast, the meal that will wake up your metabolism and get it running for the day. However, you can achieve this effect every time you eat something, and by keeping your mini-meals balanced, as discussed above, you can prevent it from slumping. In my case, I find it helpful to eat something every 3 hours. It sounds impossible, but it really does work as a quick and easy way to lose weight fast! My friends always comment that they don't know how I can stay so skinny when I am always eating, but what they don't realize is that I'm never eating a lot at one time.
It's easier to eyeball your portion sizes
It's such a quick and easy way to lose weight fast: five or six meals each consisting of one portion of protein, one portion of fat, and one portion of fiber, and as many vegetables as you like (except for root vegetables). What could be simpler? I know when I say 'portion' that you are busy thinking of your measuring cups in despair, but you can actually tell your portion sizes just by looking at them. Here are a list of single portions and what size they should be:
Fruit -- a tennis ball
Meat -- a bar of soap or deck of cards
Fish -- a checkbook
Peanut butter -- a walnut
Salad dressing -- a shot glass
Butter -- a scrabble tile
Cereal -- a baseball
Rice, pasta, or potato (and other root vegetables) -- a computer mouse
Bread -- 1 slice (of the pre-sliced variety)
Hard Cheese -- a ping pong ball or 4 dice in a row
Mixed nuts -- a golf ball or a cupped palm
Isn't that easy? I know the portions seem small, but remember that you will be eating every three hours and your stomach is going to adjust to the point where it won't get hungry anymore. You might want to double up your dinner portion in the beginning if you are really hungry at night. Rather than reaching for a tub of ice cream, just fill up on vegetables until your body adjusts. Everyone is starting from a different place, but this is a quick and easy way to lose weight fast that will work for anyone!
Here are 5 good ways to lose weight fast:
1. Stop Consuming Soda and High Fructose Corn Syrup
Here in New York State, 60% of us are now considered to be obese.
Our financial situation pretty much sucks too. So, the Gov. actually had a good idea. He has decided that he should impose a new tax on all soda purchases, thus hoping to cut down on the consumption of soda and hoping to capitalize on any that is purchased.
I am not, nor have I ever been a soda drinker. Don't worry, I have other vices I have to word hard to resist.
SO, it isn't hard for me to agree with taxing soda, as well as cigarettes and other things that add no nutritional value but yet people become addicted to.
Soda happens to be the "food" with the highest levels of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), a sweet but highly refined substance that comes from corn. It has now replaced most sugar that used to be in soda.
The problem is, HFCS makes you tired, sick, fat and can lead to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Yum. And eliminating soda is probably my favorite of all the good ways to lose weight fast.
2. Eat More Fruits and Vegetables and Less Processed Foods
Childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years.
40% of kids in NYC alone are now considered obese.
That's why I am happy to see famous Naked Chef, Jamie Oliver, take over the airwaves to help revolutionize the way kids eat in America.
Jamie's new show, Food Revolution, aired this weekend for the first time.
He visited the city in the US deemed most unhealthy in all of America, Huntington, West Virginia, where they are said to have a whopping 50% obesity rate.
Through teaching nutritional lessons and trying to get processed foods in schools replaced by healthy options, Jaime hopes to reverse the sickening childhood obesity rate trend and help kids become healthier and leaner.
3. Control Portion Sizes
There was a really interesting study in the International Journal of Obesity recently that studied portion sizes throughout the last millennium by studying 52 paintings of the Last Supper done during this time.
What they found is that the plate size of Jesus and the Apostles increased 66% over time while the bread size portrayed in the paintings increased 23%.
Even if you are eating all of the "right" foods, it is still possible for you to eat way too much.
You must be aware that we don't really need as much food as we eat or what we are served in restaurants.
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Start reducing portion size by cutting your normal meals in half and see if you still have enough energy to get through the day.
4. Be Aware of What You Are Eating
One of the biggest reasons why we gain weight is that we often eat foods that we have no idea what the nutrition make up is.
This is mostly a problem when we eat out at restaurants and fast food chains.
These companies put nutritional information up on their websites but when was the last time you checked one of their websites before going so you could make a healthy choice when you got there?
So, part of Obama's health care legislation calls for nutritional information to be included on menus and drive through menues at all large restaurant chains.
Now my opinion is that you shouldn't even be eating at those places to begin with if health and weight is an issue for you. But I do realize that cost often prohibits people from going to a restaurant where you have healthy choices.
So, this is a great way to help people be more informed about what they are eating.
And if the large chain restaurants don't like it then too bad. They can make some changes to their menu.
5. Get More Activity - Any Kind!
When it comes to being sedentary vs getting up and doing something, any activity will be better than watching more TV.
According to the National Association For Sport and Physical Education, it is suggested that schools provide a minimum of 20 minutes per day.
Many schools in the US only give their students about 15 minutes per day for recess.
Do you remember how much you had when you were young? I guarantee it was more than 15 minutes.
Only half of the schools in the US give their kids between 16 and 30 minutes per day.
Many people are now thinking that 1 hour per day of recess is what will be needed to combat the growing childhood obesity trend.
Whatever time schools settle on, it is clear that we need more activity not only for our kids but for the adults as well.
If you actually looked at the size of your portion, it will feel normal and just right; however, it is probably way too big. Portion control is the downfall for many people who are looking to lose weight fast naturally. You can eat all of the right things but if you eat too much of it, you will still put on weight! To cut down on your portions and lose weight fast naturally, put your meals on a smaller plate. This will make your brain think that you are getting the same amount of food but you will be lowering your calorie intake.
As well as portion sizes, another big downfall is the speed that people eat. If you want to lose weight fast naturally you must not eat fast. When you eat fast it does not give your body the chance to digest the food. This will give your body the feeling like it is still hungry and will lead you to eating seconds. However, if you eat slowly, your food will digest along the way and you will feel satisfied. Turn off the TV while you eat and have conversations with those eating with you. This will make you chew, swallow and talk before going for the next mouthful.
Eat More Fruit and Vegetables
The main trick to lose weight fast naturally is to eat foods that are low in calories. Fruit and vegetables have next to no calories and will also help to battle the sweet cravings. Another benefit of eating more of your "five a day" is that they are healthy. Fruit and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals that your body needs, not just to lose weight but also to fight infections and diseases.
Do Some Basic Exercise
Exercise is a great thing and something that your body needs. Not only will it help you lose weight fast naturally, it will also help you to build up your muscle and live longer. Just 30 minutes, five times a day is all you need to become healthier and you do not need to do all of that in one go. Take your time to build up slowly and constantly make changes to your exercise regime so your body does not get used to it.