As the weather starts to get warmer and the shorts and summer dresses return to the wardrobe, you may decide to lose some weight: the key is to do it the healthy way! Avoid calorie counting with these seven easy sneaky tips that will help you shed unwanted pounds, so you can be confident strutting your stuff in the summer.

How to lose weight without counting calories

1) Size matters

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The size of your plates can make a big difference in how much food you consume. Research shows that people will serve more on a bigger plate, solely because they don’t like seeing a lot of empty space. Use a dessert plate instead of a dinner plate to trick your mind into thinking you are eating more, while you actually decrease your portion sizes.

2) Admit to having “Clean Your Plate” Syndrome

Many of us have this syndrome likely because we were told, “you can’t have dessert until you clean your plate.” This may have propelled us to clean our plate not because we were actually hungry, but because it has become a habit. Start by leaving one bite on your plate (no matter how good it is).

3) Don’t deny yourself

If you always have a snack after dinner do not stop cold turkey. Instead, plan out a healthier but satisfying option to avoid bingeing on unhealthier snacks later. Try cutting a banana in half with a dollop of whipped cream topped and a few chocolate chips or chopped nuts. When you have a little treat like this worked into your meal plan, you will be happier sticking to healthier eating habits.

bananas dessert  -  healthy eating - diet - calories

4) Slow it down

Take 20-30 minutes to enjoy your meal. With such busy schedules and stress it’s no wonder why many of us consume our plate in the blink of an eye. Try slowing down and enjoying every bite. Not only will slowing down help you with monitoring your intake but it will also help determining when you are truly full.

5) Rate your hunger

People eat and snack for many reasons, so this sneaky trick may help you determine whether you really need to eat. Rate your hunger on a scale from 1-10 before and after you eat. Avoid waiting until you are too hungry (0, 1, 2) because then you are more likely to overeat and become too full (8, 9, 10). If you determine that you are a 5, try waiting 20 minutes and occupy yourself by doing something else to keep yourself from eating due to boredom.

7 sneaky ways6) Color your plate

Base your meals with colorful vegetables, but change things up and keep your pallet from getting bored of the same old steamed veggies every day. Channel your inner chef and spice them up! Try sautéing mushrooms with lemon juice, garlic and thyme, or make a mixed veggie Asian based stir fry with fresh ginger, and sesame seeds.

7) Never be hungry

If you’re hungry you are not eating enough of the right foods. Make sure to include a healthy protein (fish, tofu, nut butters, eggs, yogurt, skin milk or milk alternative, 99% fat free poultry, 99% fat free beef) at every meal and snack. Starving yourself temporarily will not help you lose the weight for good.

Using a smaller plate, eating slower, leaving a bite on every plate, paying attention to your hunger scale, adding more color to your plate, and adding a healthy protein to every meal and snack can all help you lose weight in a healthy way.  Try incorporating one or all of these tips into your plan to help start or continue your weight loss journey. Most importantly, when losing weight remember to keep yourself positive and make all your meals enjoyable.

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