7 Pain-Free Weight Loss Tips for MenArticle posted in: Nutrisystem for Men
Guys: Want to lose weight and get healthy, but don’t want to resort to plates of celery and hours at the gym?
Don’t sweat it! You don’t have to overhaul your whole life just to lose weight—tweaking it is usually enough to tip the scales in your favor. Use these strategies to make losing feel less like a hard-fought battle, and more like an easy victory:
1. Slow Down!
If you plow through your plate before your dinner companions even put their napkins in their laps, you’re sabotaging your satiety. Japanese researchers reviewed 23 different studies and found that people who eat quickly were twice as likely to be obese.
Struggle with slowing down? Try putting your fork down between each bite to chew thoroughly. In a small Chinese study, men who chewed each bite 40 times ate 12 percent fewer calories at a meal after a 12-hour fast than those who chewed 15 times. Another benefit: The 40-chew group produced less ghrelin, a hormone that is related to feeling hungry.
2. Play Tetris on Your Phone
Not while you eat—turning off the TV and other distractions can help you eat less overall. But when you feel a hunger pang, fire up the classic Russian game and you could stave off a craving. In a 2014 study from the UK, researchers found that playing the game for just three minutes reduced cravings for food, caffeine and nicotine by 24 percent.
How? The researchers say the game’s vivid imagery and colors of falling blocks replaces the vivid imagery of delicious foods like cheeseburgers, helping to cloud the reward you’d get from chowing down.
3. Use Your Hand to Make Sure You Don’t Eat Too Much
You probably think you’re eating way less than you actually are: In a study of 2,000 guys, participants underestimated the number of calories in popular food items by half—meaning in some situations they were eating double what they thought. The lesson: Serving sizes are hard.
Unless you use your hand. While measuring cups and food scales aren’t always available, you’ve got your hands with you at all times—and they’re perfect for portioning. Here’s a quick guide:
- Lean proteins like chicken, turkey and fish should be eaten in 2- or 3-ounce servings (check your Grocery Guide for the exacts). A 3-ounce serving of meat is about the size of your palm; 2-ounce servings, slightly smaller.
- Nuts or pretzels usually come in a 1-2 ounce serving, which should be about a heaping handful.
- A cup of anything will be about the size of your fist.
- A half-cup of cooked rice or pasta is equal to about a tennis ball’s worth held in your hand.
4. Eat a Salad… or At Least More Vegetables
Chances are, you aren’t eating enough vegetables. Depending on the study, you’re supposed to be getting between five and eight servings of veggies per day to stave off heart disease and stay healthy—but surveys show most guys are eating four or fewer servings. There are weight loss benefits, too, of course: The fiber in vegetables makes you feel full, and then keeps you feeling full by controlling the speed of your digestion.
But if you don’t like vegetables, it may seem tough to eat your recommended 38 grams of fiber each day. Then skip the salad and try adding greens to your protein shakes. You’ll get the added nutrient boost without even tasting them. Not into the whole shake thing? Try snacking on kale chips: They’re salty, crunchy and you can eat as many as you want without worrying about overeating. To make them, cut a bunch of kale into one-inch strips and spread them evenly on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Bake them at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the edges turn brown and crispy. And then eat them right away: They won’t stay crunchy overnight. Nutrisystem note: Non-starchy veggies are unlimited on the program.
5. Snack on Pistachios
The shells can help you eat less. A 2011 study found that students who were given bowls of pistachios still inside their shells ate 41 percent fewer calories during a lecture than those given nuts already freed from their shells. And the group that ate less felt just as full and satisfied. Researchers theorized that the growing mountain of shells was a visual cue to how much the students had eaten. So crack some nuts and save a few calories when you snack. Nutrisystem note: Two tablespoons of pistachios counts as one PowerFuel.
6. Eat Fish Twice a Week
You’ll get much needed lean protein, which makes you fuller and builds lean muscle, plus Omega-3 fatty acids, which can help keep your heart healthy. While their effectiveness has come under some scrutiny in recent years, a 2014 study in Japan found that men who ate a high amount of Omega-3s had a lower incidence of hardening arteries than white American men who ate less.
That’s why doctors and the American Heart Association recommend eating fatty fish like salmon twice per week. And it will give you leaner, cleaner protein: A three-ounce serving of salmon delivers 21 grams of protein, compared with 15 grams for the same amount of 80 percent lean ground beef. Nutrisystem note: A 2-ounce serving of canned salmon fulfills one PowerFuel requirement on Nutrisystem.
7. Brush Your Teeth After Lunch… or Chew Some Gum
First of all, your breath could use the boost. But brushing can also help stave off unnecessary snacking—just like orange juice sounds really unappealing after a brush-up, other foods can seem less desirable because of the minty taste in your mouth.
And the smell of the mint can help, too: In a West Virginia study, participants who sniffed peppermint every two hours consumed 1,800 fewer calories during a 5-day period than when they didn’t smell the herb.
Can’t brush? Chew some gum. In addition to the minty flavor and smell, the act of chewing can make your brain think you’re actually eating, not just gnawing away.