5 Simple Ways to Lose Weight at EVERY Meal

When it comes to losing weight and getting healthy, we all know that the “one size fits all” rule does NOT apply.  How can one rigid system work for millions of different people with different bodies, different needs, and different lifestyles?  Each person is unique and will have to make unique changes in their life to achieve their goals.

There are, however, a few tips that can help you make those changes. Here are five of my favorite tips that will work for everyone, no matter what your body type or dieting preference may be.

1. Enjoy the process.  Set a timer for 45 minutes and put it near the dining room table.  Once you serve dinner, put the serving dishes away, sit down for the meal, and start the timer.  The rules…no second helpings, dessert, or leaving the table until the time is up.  This teaches you to do something many of us have forgotten how to do when it comes to eating: Enjoy it! The focus of dinner shouldn’t just be on the food – it should be on the conversation and time spent together as well.  This trick also gets you to slow down the actual eating process – taking smaller bites, really chewing and savoring them instead of just chowing down and moving on.

2.  End the meal. Dessert can actually be a tool that helps aid your weight loss.  Sometimes just a little something sweet can signify that the meal is over.  The trick is to make that dessert count.  Skip the packaged and processed junk and go for something really delicious and gourmet – just make sure the portions are kept nice and small so that you can have a few bites, savor each yummy morsel, and put a sweet end to that meal.

3. Hydrate for the journey.  Before you sit down for a meal, have 2 full glasses of water.  You’ll be amazed at how effective this little trick can be to help you stave off cravings, and eat less than you normally would.  Sometimes you’re just downright hungry – and sometimes that feeling you thought was “hunger” might have just been a little bit of dehydration.

4. Don’t quit your vices.  Yes, you read that correctly.  And by “vices,” of course, I’m referring to your favorite edible delight.  You don’t have to give up everything you love in order to lose weight – but you may have to make some substitutions.  Say you love hot chocolate and cannot make it through a winter’s day without a cup.  No problem!  Just read the labels next time you grocery shop and you’ll be amazed at how many lower-calorie, lower-sugar hot chocolate options are out there that still offer all that creamy warm sweetness you crave. You don’t always have to eliminate your “vice” completely – just seek out a lower-calorie version of it.

5. Cheat the System.  This is especially good advice for those “Loosey Gooseys” out there.  You don’t always have to start an extreme exercise regimen or join a brand new gym to start changing your body.  Start by simply incorporating some exercise – any exercise – into your day, every day.  One of the best parts about exercise (if you’re weary of cutting back on calories) is that it creates a deficit in your day’s eating.  For example:  Say you’ve calculated that in order to meet your weight loss goals, you need to eat 500 fewer calories every day.  Sound impossible?  Try this:  Cut back on just 250 calories a day, and add in a 30 minute walk to your daily routine.  Those walks will burn off roughly the additional 250 calories you need to meet your goal.