5 Easy Eating Changes to Lose Weight
Raise your hand if you like dieting. That's what we thought. But, what if there was a way to lose weight without the dreaded calorie-counting, food restrictions, meal plans and battling of wills?
Turns out, there is.
Losing weight is not about willpower—it's about our daily habits. And because we make over 200 eating decisions a day, it's easy to see how those choices can tip the scales (and often, not in our favor).
Cornell researchers recently proved this theory with the launch of the National Mindless Eating Challenge, an online healthy eating and weight loss program that focuses on simple eating habits—not dieting. Participants who wanted to lose weight were sent three customized eating tips to follow for a month to help curb mindless eating behaviors that often lead to overeating.
"For some people, writing in a food diary, counting calories, having reminders on the refrigerator and using a food app can be effective," explains lead researcher Brian Wansink, a professor in Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab and author of "Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More than We Think. "But for most of us, because we're so busy, counting calories is probably not realistic." Instead, he says weight loss is more about rearranging our environment so we enjoy food without feeling hungry or deprived—an area where many diets fall short.
To drop excess pounds, Wansink says we need to avoid what he calls the five "dietary dangers." That includes meal stuffing (overeating), snack grazing, restaurant indulging, party binging and desktop or dashboard eating (chowing down in our cubes or cars). In other words, those instances where we eat and hardly notice what—and how much—we're putting in our mouths.
To avoid these danger zones, Wansink recommends easy behavioral changes like using smaller dinner plates and smaller serving bowls, keeping snacks out of reach and using shorter wine glasses. Think that won't add up to a shrinking waistline? Think again.
In the study, of the 504 participants who adhered to the eating tips, 42 percent lost weight. Those who committed to these changes 25 or more days a month lost an average of two pounds a month. All without dieting. Three cheers for that!
To learn what five changes you can make to your diet to help you lose weight, check out our slideshow above!