Picture this: you’re stuck in a weight loss rut and you don’t seem to be making any progress. You’ve changed up your exercise routine, are eating clean and getting enough calories, but still things aren’t changing. Sometimes, regardless of what you’re doing, the body still gets really good at functioning in the way you are asking it too (i.e. on reduced calories and with adequate exercise), and you need to bring in other means of change.
It’s time to pull out a few tricks and take your weight loss steps to the next level to achieve next level success.
Here are my 5 best weight loss tricks:
1. Pay per pound
If you are having a hard time losing weight because you can’t keep on track and keep having slip ups, it’s time to turn to the money! For every pound you gain, you have to pay a dollar into the pay out jar. Before you begin, choose where the money will go – perhaps somewhere you would never want your money to go to, making it even more motivating to stay on track. Better yet, you can turn it into a competition amongst friends and for each pound you gain, you have to put a dollar into each of your friends’ jars and pay them. The addition of money is another motivator to help you stay on track for those times when fitting into new jeans, or your summer dress just aren’t working!
2. Hide your treats
When there are things you know you shouldn’t eat, or that you can’t hold yourself back from eating, it’s best to not have them in the house. Things like cookies, ice cream, candies and chocolate. But if you must (for example, other family members eat them, or it is for a special occasion), you may have to double hide them! Instead of just taking them off the counter and putting them in the cupboard where you see them when you open the door, hide them in a sealed container in the cupboard, and place the container behind other items in your pantry. The idea is that it will be way more effort to try to get them, and long enough for you to remind yourself that you shouldn’t cave, versus just having them in plain sight where it is just instinct to reach for them and you don’t know you are doing it until it is too late. Don’t worry, we’re all guilty of this, so just make it harder for yourself!
3. Portion and put away
You may be struggling with weight loss because you are eating more than you realize. For example, you open up a bag of corn chips to have for appetizers with friends. You portion them out carefully, and then seal up the bag, leaving it on the counter. Later, when you pop back into the kitchen to get a glass of water, you steal one chip. It’s just one. And then you do the same thing an hour later. Come to think of it, you’ve been doing the same thing all day long, with different foods. And while it may seem like just one in that moment, if you do this regularly, by the end of the day, these all add up! Instead, portion out your food and then put the leftovers away – completely out of sight.
4. Substitute with veggies and fruit
There are several vegetables and fruits that you can use that don’t affect the flavor of dishes, but that drastically reduce the calories and fat. For example, in baking, you can use applesauce and banana, reducing the amount of butter and sugar needed in your dish. You can use cooked cauliflower in dishes that you need to be creamy, or in desserts like puddings, and it even works well for bread and pizza crust. Sweet potato is another option for creamy, purreed dishes, and when added to soups makes them thick and delicious! Zucchini is a great vegetable to throw into chocolate baking in things like brownies and cakes, and even works well in smoothies!
5. Use beans for creaminess
Forget about the cream, or the coconut milk, or the cashews. Instead, use beans or lentils for creaminess in your dishes! These legume alternatives are high in protein and fiber, both of which help you feel fuller longer, not to mention, they are much lower in fat and calories than your typical creamy counterparts. Lentils work well in things like chocolate puddings and pureed soups, while you can use white kidney beans for creamy sauces like alfredo, vegan cheese sauce or even sweet toppings like icing and vanilla drizzle!