When it comes to health and fitness, sometimes it can feel like you're doing it wrong if your journey’s not marked by blood, sweat and tears. Or so the diet and fitness industry would have you believe. But we’re here to assure you that working towards a weight loss goal doesn’t have to be crazy difficult. These 11 simple tweaks can help the laziest of dieters drop a few pounds without lifting a finger. Stay in your PJs, throw on some Scandal, and feel smug about your slim-slacker status, while the rest of them slave away on the treadmill. And to eat yourself skinny, don't miss these 40 Best Foods to Melt Love Handles.
There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s—as long as you have a way that’s yours. Feasting rituals, research suggests, are a form of “mindful eating, ” which has the power to make food more pleasurable, and may help prevent overeating. Pleasure, according to research published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, catalyzes the relaxation response, promoting parasympathetic and digestive activities. In other words, you’ll metabolize dessert faster if you really, really enjoy eating it. In one study, participants who were assigned to eat a chocolate bar in accordance with a particular breaking and unwrapping ritual found the candy much more enjoyable—and even more flavorful—than a group who ate the bar informally. It's exactly what Kourtney Kardashian was going on and on about with how to eat a Kit Kat. (Meanwhile, her sis Khloe cut this food to cut 11 pounds.)
Are you really hungry, or are you actually just thirsty? A study in the journal Physiology & Behavior suggests people inappropriately respond to thirst over 60 percent of the time by eating instead of drinking. Even if you’re not hankering for a thirst-quencher, preloading meals with plain ol’ calorie-free water can shave hundreds of calories from your daily intake. And if plain water sounds boring, you can add some practically calorie-free fresh citrus to create a health-boosting (and flavorful!) detox water. A study published in the journal Obesity found that people who drank two cups of water before eating consumed 75 to 90 fewer calories over the course of a meal than they would otherwise. This may simply be because water is filling, but researchers note the added H20 may well be displacing calories otherwise spent on calorie-laden beverages.
Out of sight, out of mouth? Simply reorganizing your pantry's “top hits” could translate into serious calorie savings, according to researchers at Google. A study, conducted at the search engine’s New York office dubbed “Project M&M” found that placing chocolate candies in opaque containers as opposed to glass ones, and giving healthier snacks more prominent shelf space, curbed M&M consumption by 3.1 million calories in just seven weeks. A similar study published in the Journal of Marketing found that people are more likely to overeat small treats from transparent packages than from opaque ones. For more easy ways to effortlessly up your willpower, check out these 40 Tips for Motivation—That Actually Work!