Here are 5 simple tips to help you lose weight without dieting. "Eating healthy" and "exercising more" are great truisms, and I whole-heartedly believe in them, but sometimes people just want to know what they can do without shifting their lifestyle too much - something that doesn't require a complete overhaul. I'm a BIG believer in starting slow rather than jumping in with both feet.
Below are a few small steps you can take to not just shed a few pounds, but get a lot healthier, too. Try to commit to one or two of these tips for a few weeks without changing anything else. Don't be surprised if you see a shift on the scale in the right direction!
A recent study conducted at the University of Chicago looked at two groups of people, both on a low-calorie diet. One group slept 5.5 hours a night, and another group slept 8.5 hours a night. Interestingly enough, both groups lost the same amount of weight (7 pounds), but the sleep-deprived group lost mostly muscle in comparison to the rested group that lost mostly fat. <----This study was only conducted over a two week period!Bottom line: if you want to have a leaner, less fat body, get a full night of sleep.
2. Eat Fermented Foods
Fermented foods, like homemade sauerkraut, kimchi, homemade yogurt, kombucha, miso or this cool recipe I found for fermented lemon jello contain incredible amounts of good bacteria. If you've taken antibiotics in the past few years or have eaten a fair share of sugary foods lately, then it's highly likely that you have too much good bacteria and too little bad bacteria. Probiotics are good bugs that help even the playing field in your gut. Without them, our immune system begins to fall apart, leading to an increase in allergies, colds and even arthritic conditions. What's more, your body won't be able to get rid of toxins through elimination as easily. All of this can lead to weight gain, or at the very least, inhibit weight loss. If you can't eat fermented foods today, then go to the store and buy a bottle of probiotics right away.
According to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who consumed fermented milk products (yogurt, kefir, lassi) for 12 weeks, showed a 4.6 %reduction in abdominal fat. It’s not an enormous number, but it’s nothing to roll your eyes at either.
3. Eat No Later Than 6pm
The release of our digestive enzymes and the function of our entire digestive tract slows when we hit the sack. In fact, our metabolism slows significantly. We need less energy, and we definitely don't need a belly full of food. If you can wrap up dinner by six bells, or within three hours of bedtime, it's highly unlikely that you'll wake up with that bloated I-ate-too-much-last-night feeling. In fact, most of the foods you had for dinner should be pretty well digested.
4. Follow Tip 3, Then Don't Eat Breakfast Until 10AM This advice kind of flies in the face of "eat breakfast first thing in the morning," but if you have no metabolic or blood sugar concerns, you may want to consider fasting from 6pm (dinner) until 9 or 10am (breakfast) a few days a week. Why? Intermittent fasting, or infrequent and usually short periods of going without food, have shown to elevate levels of human growth hormone (HGH). An increase in HGH, especially over the age of 25 or so, can really work wonders on increasing lean muscle mass and diminishing fat.
I just want to clarify that water is good during any length of fast. Drink it up. Flush those toxins out. Juices, smoothies, coffee drinks or other non-food items should not be consumed.
5. Supplement With A Teaspoon of Gelatin At Bedtime
If you're a vegetarian, this isn't for you, but if you're open to taking a teaspoon of gelatin at bedtime, you'll be happy to know that not only can it improve metabolism, but can also improve your skin's elasticity. Think of it as better-than-botox. Gelatin is a collagen supplement that contains 18 amino acids, some of which are essential, meaning our body can't make them. Since amino acids are the building blocks of protein, people often notice improved muscle tone with long term supplementation. I recommend grass-fed gelatin, and not a product like Knox.