Different foods affect hunger and hormones in different ways. And all calories are NOT equal.
The truth is… there are many things you can do to lose weight, without ever counting a single calorie.
Here are 7 proven ways to put fat loss on “autopilot.”
1. Using smaller plates can make you think that you are actually eating more
The human brain is the most complex object in the universe. It tends to work in mysterious ways… and the control of eating behavior is incredibly complicated.
It is the brain that ultimately determines whether we should or should not eat.
Interestingly, there is one neat thing you can do to “trick” your brain into thinking that it has eaten more food.
This is using smaller plates.
The larger your plates or bowls, the less your brain thinks you have eaten. By using smaller plates, you trick your brain into feeling more satisfied with fewer calories.
It sounds weird right?… but why not give it a trial.
2. Eating low energy density foods and lots of fiber makes you feel more full with fewer calories
Another way to feel more satisfied with fewer calories is to eat foods that have a low energy density. This includes foods that have a high water content, such as vegetables and some fruits.
Studies consistently show that dieters who eat less energy dense foods lose more weight than those who eat foods with a high energy density.
In one study, women who ate soup (low energy density) lost 50% more weight than women who ate an energy dense snack.
Vegetables are also rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to cause weight loss in some studies.
Another benefit of soluble fiber is that it gets broken down by bacteria in the digestive tract to produce a fatty acid called butyrate, which is believed to have significant anti-obesity effect.
Combining animals (high in protein) with a bunch of plants (low energy density) is a recipe for success.
3. Replacing cooking fats/oil with coconut oil boost metabolism and cuts down appetite
Coconut oil has some unique properties that can help reduce appetite and increase fat burning. It is loaded with fats called Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs).
These fatty acids get metabolized differently compared to other fats… they go straight to the liver where they are either used for energy or turned into ketone bodies.
This doesn’t mean that your normal cooking oil is bad or that you should stop using them. Hence, if you can reach coconut oil, do replace your cooking oil with it.
Two small studies show that eating these medium chain fats can make people eat fewer calories, one of them showing a reduction of 256 calories per day.
Consuming 30 mL (about 1 ounce) of coconut oil may cause significant reductions in BMI and waist circumference, a marker for abdominal fat.
Now… I’m not suggesting that you gobble down massive amounts of coconut oil, but replacing your current cooking fats with it could have a noticeable effect.
But, if you can’t access coconut oil, no problems. Continue with your normal cooking oil. However, do reduce the quantity you use…because you don’t really need all those fat in your system!
4. Fit in protein into your breakfast especially eggs
Losing weight can be as simple as changing your breakfast. Two separate studies have shown that eating eggs in the morning can help you lose fat without trying.
Another awesome benefit of eating eggs is that they are among the healthiest foods in the world. New studies show that they do NOT raise your bad cholesterol or give you heart disease, like previously believed.
If you think you don’t have time to cook a healthy breakfast, think again. Preparing a breakfast with some eggs and veggies doesn’t have to take any longer than 5-10 minutes.
Just set your alarm clock a few minutes earlier… problem solved.
5. Eating more protein can reduce appetite and increase fat burning
There is a lot of evidence that protein can increase fat burning and reduce hunger, leading to automatic weight loss.
In fact, studies show that protein boosts metabolism more than any other macronutrient.
One of the reasons for that is that it takes the body more calories to digest and make use of protein, than it does fat and carbs.
Protein also increases satiety, leading to significantly reduced hunger.
Protein can also help you gain more muscle, especially if you also lift weights. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning that it burns a small amount of calories, even at rest.
The best way to get in more protein is to eat more animal foods like meat, fish and eggs… preferably at every meal.
6. Cutting carbs makes you lose weight fast
Probably the best way to start losing weight without calorie counting or portion control is to reduce your carbohydrate intake.
People who eat less carbohydrates, automatically start to eat less calories and lose weight without any major effort.
The best way to cut carbs is to reduce or eliminate major carbs sources from your diet like sugars, sweets, sodas, as well as starchy foods like bread, pasta, potatoes, etc.
Getting into the range of 100-150 gram carbs per day can be useful. If you want to lose weight fast, then going under 50 grams per day can be extremely effective.
Another great benefit of reducing carbs… it lowers your insulin levels, which makes the kidneys start shedding excess sodium and water from the body, significantly reducing bloat and water weight.
7. Making time for quality sleep and avoiding stress can optimize the function of key hormones
Two things that often get ignored when discussing health (and weight) are sleep and stress levels.
Both are incredibly important for the optimal function of your body and hormones.
Inadequate sleep is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity… short sleep duration raising the risk by 89% in children and 55% in adults.
Poor sleep can increase hunger and cravings and cause a biochemical tendency for weight gain by disrupting hunger hormones like ghrelin and leptin.
Excess stress can increase your levels of the hormone cortisol, which is known to increase belly fat accumulation.
For these reasons, it is very important to make time for quality sleep, as well as avoiding unnecessary stressors in your life.
Feel free to leave a comment if you wish to add to the list or have any question!