10 Healthy Meal Hacks to Help You Lose Weight
Weight loss goals can be really hard to hit when you have a busy life. These healthy meal hacks to help you lose weight will save you time and calories!
Many of our biggest diet mistakes come from needing to eat in a hurry or being too tired to figure out what to eat.
It’s easy to stop by a fast food place on your way home from work or grab a bag of chips instead of lunch. The key is to make it as easy as possible for yourself to eat healthy.
By shaving off a few calories here or swapping out an unhealthy choice for foods that support weight loss, you can reboot your diet.
You don’t have to do a total diet overhaul to drop a few pounds.
Here are 10 brilliant meal hacks that are going to help you find your slim, sexy self again!
10 Healthy Meal Hacks to Help You Lose Weight
Sprinkle a Little Black Pepper on It
Black pepper doesn’t just add a little zing to a meal, it’s a serious fat fighter for more than one reason.
It has a compound in it called piperine that interferes with the formation of new fat cells. Using a teaspoon in your food can help shrink your waistline and cholesterol levels.
Piperine also aids digestion because it helps the stomach produce more hydrochloric acid, which is necessary for breaking down proteins.
Another great thing about black pepper is that it helps enhance bio-availability, which is a fancy word that means it helps your body absorb nutrients.
Fill Up on Fiber First
Fiber fights fat fantastically. Say that 10 times fast!
Fiber is a carbohydrate found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that your body has a hard time digesting, and it does a couple of awesome things.
It can help you feel full without adding extra calories, so you’re not going to eat as much. It also lowers insulin levels, which makes your body less likely to store unwanted fat.
Eat foods with high fiber at the beginning of your meal, so you’re less likely to overeat. Some great high fiber foods to try are chia seeds, carrots, black beans, lentils, and berries.
Instead of Pasta, Eat Zoodles
If you’ve never had zoodles, then what are you still doing reading this? Go grab a zucchini, run it through a spiralizer, and make yourself some zoodles right now!
Replacing noodles with veggies is a wonderful way to rack up health points while satisfying pasta cravings and they are also DELICIOUS!
Here’s just a few you can try:
- Zoodles – Zucchini noodles
- Poodles – Parsnip noodles
- Swoodles – Sweet Potato Noodles
- Toodles – Turnip noodles
- Coodles – Carrot Noodles
- Boodles – Broccoli Stem noodles
Use Smaller Plates
Replace your plates and bowls with small, colorful dinnerware to create the illusion that you’re eating more food than you are. Believe it or not, research shows that this works!
A combination of over 50 studies found that people ate 30% less and felt as satisfied when they ate food from smaller plates as they did from larger plates.
Brightly colored tableware also makes a difference because it creates a contrast between your food and the plate, which also tricks the brain into thinking you have more than you do.
Sprinkle Some Cinnamon on It
Mmm, cinnamon. Its aromatic scent reminds me of the holiday season, but it’s used in many dishes all year long. I personally LOVE it on sweet potatoes with some sea salt – a little sweet and salty!
You can find it sprinkled everywhere; from a Chai latte to pumpkin pie. It’s even used extensively in Indian cooking.
Cinnamon is known to slow blood sugar levels when eaten with carbohydrates, and it also lowers the level of cholesterol and unhealthy fats in the blood stream.
Sadly, the cinnamon in Cinnabons doesn’t make them a healthy breakfast option, in case you were wondering.
Cinnamon is also one of our selected spices for weight loss!
Order Salad Dressing on the Side
The best way to sabotage a diet is to order a salad at a restaurant that’s topped with a high fat, high-calorie dressing. The problem isn’t usually the dressing itself, but how much is on it.
Eating salad can really do a Jedi mind trick on us. Everyone knows that most salad ingredients are low calorie and low fat, so we don’t generally feel bad about sprinkling a little extra dressing to excite our taste buds.
At restaurants, they don’t practice portion control when it comes to slathering on the dressing. One famous chain serves a salad whose dressing adds an additional 317 calories and 40 grams of fat to the meal.
Ask for dressing on the side, or better yet, see if they will bring some olive oil and balsamic to the table.
Prep Meals in Advance
Many of the diet programs that include frozen meal plans are popular because they take the brain out of the picture when it comes to choosing what to make and dealing with portion control.
When you come home tired and hungry, you’re less likely to scarf down a bag of chips if you don’t have to think about what you’re going to eat.
Prepping meals in advance is an awesome strategy for keeping yourself on track with your diet. There’s a yummy, portion-controlled option in the fridge that’s there to greet you when it’s mealtime.
We have a whole article on how to bulk-cook healthy meals that you might find helpful!
Sip a Little Soup Before a Meal
Soup is a comforting meal itself, but did you know that there are many studies that show if you snuggle up to a cup before a meal, you’ll eat fewer calories?
Studies also show that people who eat soup before the main course are less likely to be obese.
The best soups to eat are broth based with vegetables or pureed veggies without cream. It’s also best to have your soup about 30 minutes before a meal, so your tummy has time to register that it has something in it.
Find a few staple weight loss soups to rotate throughout the week!
Drink a Glass of Water 30 Minutes Before Eating
I know, you’ve heard it before, but it can’t be said enough; drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal will help you lose weight.
You’ll eat less and it will aid in digestion. If you aren’t already doing this, here’s a friendly reminder.
It really does help. It also doesn’t have to be PLAIN water either! Spruce it up with some lemon, lime, or fruit.
You can also do carbonated water that is flavored as long as it doesn’t have any sweeteners (artificial or not). La Croix is a great brand and it really helps to fight cravings!
I actually like to do this after dinner as well when I’m thinking about dessert. If I chug a fairly large glass of water soon after I eat, I really don’t have ROOM for dessert!
Double the Amount of Vegetables in a Recipe
This is perhaps my favorite hack. The trouble with most diets is that we tend to FEEL like we are on a diet because we aren’t eating enough of the right foods.
Plant-based diets are all rage right now for a reason. The more veggies you eat, the better you will feel and look.
We tend to load up on starchy carbs because they make us feel satisfied quickly. Carb loading is great for runners because carbs contain so much energy, but not so great for us normal folk who sit at desks all day (or anyone that doesn’t work out very often).
If you aren’t planning on doing a triathlon today, consider decreasing your carbs and increasing your veggies.
When you eat the right foods, you won’t have to think about portion control or being hungry an hour after you eat a meal.
This is what our 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge is all about.
The diet plan inside the program is composed of a healthy balance of protein, vegetable, and carb sources that you leave you feeling full and satiated far longer than you are used to.
In fact, many of our clients tell us that they actually have a little trouble getting in all of the daily food requirements. So… the OPPOSITE of a starvation diet! We specifically chose the foods in the program because you’ll find it very difficult to over-consume at meals.
Our fast weight loss program is designed to help you break your addiction and dependence on less-than-healthy convenience foods and snacks like the ones described above and create new habits and relationships with whole foods that are loaded with nutrients!
On top of that, our clients lose an average of 10-21 pounds in just the first round of the Challenge, which is 21 days. Got more weight to lose? No problem!
Many of our clients are over 200 pounds and complete the Challenge in multiple rounds for continued weight loss. We’ve had tons of clients lose 30, 40, 50, and even 60+ pounds with our 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge!
Lauren at Avocadu
Latest posts by Lauren at Avocadu (see all)
- 5 Yoga Workouts for Beginners to Improve Balance - February 14, 2018
- Activated Charcoal Benefits for Teeth, Skin, Digestion, and More - January 30, 2018
- 8 Yoga Asanas to Strengthen Your Back - January 22, 2018