Do you absolutely hate the gym?
Does the thought of going to the public swimming pool fill you with dread?
Perhaps a running track makes you break out in a (cold) sweat – that’s sweat without even putting on a pair of trainers!
Maybe you really want to lose weight but cutting out the calories or resisting a slice of cake is just too hard to bear?
Well, don’t worry.
There are other ways to help you lose a few extra pounds, without resorting to dieting or stepping foot into the gym.
Read on to find our best tips for a trimmer, slimmer body.
1. Are You Retaining Water?
Sometimes, it’s just little, simple tricks that can shift a few pounds.
It could be that you’re carrying excess water around with you.
That leads to bloating and swelling, from your middle right down to your ankles.
Contrary to popular belief, not drinking enough water leads to water retention!
You need to drink to get the fluid to shift and when you drink more water you’ll also notice lots of other benefits such as clearer, smoother skin and better energy levels too because your vital organs need to be hydrated to perform.
It’s best to drink 2 liters daily (if you don’t like the flavor of water, simply add slices of fresh fruit to naturally sweeten it).
Additionally, regularly drinking water will help you to feel fuller for longer so stop you reaching for sugary snacks.
2. Drink Water Before Meals
While on the subject of water, here’s another useful trick that will help you to stop over-eating.
Before sitting down to breakfast, lunch or dinner, drink a tall glass of water.
The added water will line your stomach and help you to feel full so preventing you from finishing everything on your plate or reaching for a second helping.
If you do find you’re still hungry after eating an entire plate of food, just have another tall glass of water.
3. Factor in More Walking Every Day
This is easy to do, even if you hate walking or exercise.
Instead of taking the lift or the escalators, use the stairs.
Instead of taking the bus for the entire length of your journey, walk to the next bus stop or get off a stop before your regular stop.
Walk to the local shops instead of driving. An extra 20 minutes of brisk walking a day will burn 97 calories (depending on your body weight).
Do that three times a week and you’ve almost burned an extra 300 calories, walk every day and that’s nearly 700 extra calories gone!
4. Switch Out Your Tea and Coffee
Change over to Green Tea, this is a natural stimulant that helps to boost metabolism without posing danger (just don’t drink more than 2 ½ cups a day).
Not only does Green Tea taste good, it’s also an anti-oxidant so it helps with cell renewal (great for a clearer skin) and it contains caffeine and catechins (a flavonoid).
Catechins are known to aid the breakdown of excess fat.
Just drinking 2 ½ cups of Green Tea a day could boost your calorie burning by 100 calories daily (depending on your weight and overall body make-up).
5. Up Your Fiber Intake
Fiber is so good for you and it keeps you regular!
It works differently than other food because the body digests it in the large intestine so you feel fuller faster and it slows down digestion.
It also reduces constipation (feeling constipated makes you bloated too).
So make sure you eat fruit and vegetables every day and add whole grains such as brown rice and oats into your diet.
6. Make Some Easy Food Switches
Sometimes all it takes is some easy food switches.
Try the following and you’ll lose a few extra pounds. Switch out white bread for brown, use a very low fat spread instead of full-fat butter, never drink whole milk, instead switch to skim.
A glass of skimmed milk is 70 calories whereas a glass of whole milk equates to 136!
Instead of fried eggs, try a boiled egg (frying adds calories as you use oil or butter – even a low-fat spray oil adds calories you don’t need).
Don’t eat pasta; try spiralizing vegetables such as butternut squash or carrot, this instantly removes the heavy carbs that pasta contains for a much better, far tastier alternative.
7. Pre-prepare Your Snacks
With the best will in the world, if you fancy a snack, it’s hard to resist temptation.
However, if you get your snacks ready beforehand, you can be more strategic.
Fill up Tupperware boxes with healthy snacks such as chopped fruit, mixed berries, a handful of unsalted nuts, sunflower seeds or chopped carrot and celery.
Having several little boxes ready will help you get through your day without needing you to pop out for a calorific, high-fat chocolate bar or a greasy pack of crisps.
8. Eat More Protein
Just keep it lean!
Protein is slower to digest so keeps you fuller for longer plus a grilled piece of fish or cold roast chicken (skin off) contains far fewer calories than a beef burger with a slice of melted cheese and a bun.
You can still enjoy meat; a lean steak (grilled) is perfect served with lots of vegetables.
Just hold the potatoes!
They do add calories although you can still enjoy a small jacket potato two or three times a week, just avoid fatty butter and eat it plain with salt and pepper.
9. Reduce your Alcohol
Maybe you already eat healthily and you even exercise but your weight has plateaued?
In which case perhaps it’s your alcohol intake!
Everyone enjoys a glass of something crisp and cool once in a while but if you find you’re drinking regularly then you’re adding unwanted calories.
You can still have a drink; just stick to something that’s not too fattening.
Switch out that glass of wine (82 calories) for a white wine spritzer (75 calories), instead of a Gin and Tonic (110 calories), try vodka and tonic (97 calories) and always use a slim tonic.
Better still, cut out alcohol – or restrict it to just a couple of drinks at the weekend.
10. Sleep Better
Studies show that those who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night are more likely to be obese.
Feeling sluggish all day makes the body crave sugar to improve energy levels so you’re more likely to overeat, especially sugary snacks.
Sleep is also really important for hormone production, especially when it comes to metabolic rate.
Poor sleep interrupts that hormone regulation and therefore can slow down your metabolism.