WebMD archives content after 2 years to ensure our readers can easily find the most timely content.Sure, you can lose weight quickly. There are plenty…
Painless weight loss? If you’re desperately trying to squeeze in workouts and avoid your favorite high-calorie treats, it can seem like there’s nothing pain-free about it.
Yet while eating healthier and slipping in exercise does take some work, it really doesn’t have to require heroic effort. Making just a few simple lifestyle changes can pack a big weight loss punch over time. Here are our 10 Painless Ways to Lose Weight.
Add, Don’t Subtract
Forget diet denial: Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them.
Add in healthy goodies you really love, like deep-red cherries, juicy grapes, or crunchy snow peas. Slip those favorite fruits into your bag lunch and breakfast cereal; add the veggies into soups, stews, and sauces.
Forget About Working Out
If the word “exercise” inspires you to creative avoidance, then avoid it. Maybe the trick to enjoying a workout may be to never call it working out.
So burn calories and invigorate muscles by beachcombing, riding bikes, grass skiing, making snow angels, hiking, washing the car, playing Frisbee, chasing the dog around the yard, or even enjoying great sex. After all, a rose by any other name …
Walking when the weathers nice is a super-easy way to keep fit, “Even a five-minute walk is a five-minute walk.”
- Trade your power mower for a push version.
- Park your car at the back of the lot.
- Get out of the office building and enjoy walking meetings.
- Sweep the drive or rake the leaves instead of using a leaf-blower.
- Get off the bus a few stops earlier.
- Hike the mall, being sure to hit all the levels.
- Take the stairs every chance you get.
- Sign up for charity walks.
- Crank the music and get your heart rate up the next time you mop or vacuum.
It all adds up. If you walk twice a day for 10 minutes and try a few of these tips, you may find yourself with a low-impact, 30-minute workout easily tucked under your belt.
Lighten the Foods You Already Love
One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling denied is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you crave. A pizza tastes just as good with reduced-fat cheese, and when you garnish low-fat ice cream with your favorite toppers, who notices those missing calories?
Fiber helps you feel satisfied longer, so while you lighten family favorites, you can easily amp up the fiber by adding a cup of whole wheat flour to your pizza dough or toss a handful of red bell peppers on the pie.
Don’t forget to lighten the drinks going with that meal. Try switching from high-calorie favorites to diet soda or light beer, or maybe add a spritz of seltzer to your wine.
Hate low-cal drinks? Mix your preferred drinks with a splash of the low-cal option, then increase the ratio as your taste buds adjust. And don’t forget to keep pouring that ultimate beverage
Because Hydration Helps Really!
“Drinking a glass of water before a meal helps me watch what I eat. … I don’t just hog everything since I’m not so hungry.”
Going to a party? Grab a low-cal drink in one hand and keep it there. Not only does it make it harder to graze the buffet, but you’ll also be less tempted to sip endless cocktails, too.
Share and Share Alike
With the massive meals served at so many American restaurants, it’s easy to go Dutch — with the dinner plate.
You can share more than just a meal out. Why not double up on a bicycle built for two? Go halves on the cost of a personal trainer? Maybe split a gym membership?
“When you’re trying to eat better or get more exercise, you can be more successful if you do it with a partner or group,”
Tune In, Tone Up
The American Heart Association knows what we love: television. And they also know we need to get more exercise. So why not combine the two, they ask?
Try dancing to the music when you tune into your favorite music show or practice some stress-relieving cardio boxing when your least favorite reality contestant is on camera.
During commercials pedal, your stationery bike, walk the treadmill or slip in a little strength training doing bicep curls with cans of your favorite fizzy beverage as weights. Or get inspired to really focus: Put in a high-energy exercise DVD and get motivated by the pros onscreen.
It doesn’t matter exactly what you do, so long as you’re up and active. Aim for at least 15 minutes, But who knows? If you get really engrossed, you just might outlast the last survivor.
Eating less without feeling denied is as close as your dinnerware.
That’s because while a small portion served on a large plate can leave you craving more, a smaller plate gives the visual signal that you already have more.
And don’t forget smaller bowls, cups, and spoons. For example, try savoring a bowl of ice cream with a baby spoon. Not only does the pleasure last longer, but your body has time to register the food you’ve eaten.
Get Involved, or at Least Get to the Table
When your weight loss efforts lead to boredom or too much self-focus, get occupied with something else. “I eat more if I’m bored,”
So take a break from the siren-call of the tube, and get occupied with things that have nothing to do with food.
For some, that might mean becoming involved with local politics, discovering yoga, or enjoying painting. Or maybe you want to help a child with a science project, repaint the bedroom, or take a class. The key: Have a life outside of weight loss.
Lose It Today, Keep It Off Tomorrow
Finally, be patient. While cultivating that virtue isn’t exactly painless, it may help to know that keeping weight off generally gets easier over time.
That’s the result of a study published in Obesity Research, where researchers found that for people who had lost at least 30 pounds — and kept it off for at least two years — maintaining that weight loss required less effort as time went on.
So if you crave the results reported by successful “losers” like these — improved self-confidence, a boost in mood, and better health — cultivate patience. You may find your way to sweet (and nearly painless) weight loss success.
- Eat at the same times every day (including snacks). Sure you can’t do this all the time, but some people find that knowing when to expect their next meal or snack makes them a lot less likely to graze. Our body appreciates rhythms, from seasons to tides, so why not give it what it craves?
- Make only one meal. Instead of making something high-cal for the family and low-cal for yourself, get everyone on the same healthy-eating page. Weight loss and maintenance is easier when everyone’s eating the same thing — and you’re not tempted to taste someone else’s calorie-dense food.
- Remember that little things add up. So keep eating a little fruit here, some veggies there, continue grabbing 10 minute walks between meetings. Weight loss is a journey guided by your unique needs, so hook into what works for you — and do it!