Open a pack of gum
University of Rhode Island researchers found that when adults chewed gum for a total of one hour in the morning, they felt significantly less hungry and ate 67 fewer calories at lunch. That number may seem small, but it makes a difference if you chew gum regularly. Choose fragrant peppermint gum, and you may quell hunger pangs even more. Always hungry? Here's why you can't stop eating.
Scan a label for the serving size
Before you indulge in a seemingly low-cal snack, like a small bag of pretzels, chips, or trail mix, see how many servings are in each package. You could be unknowingly doubling or tripling those calories. Check out these food label scams you still fall for.
Pause before you drink
Sticking to a healthy diet but not seeing the results you want? You may not be factoring calories from drinks, like juice, soda, and alcohol. The average American consumes 300 liquid calories every day. Whoa. Try substituting sweetened soft drinks for water flavored with lemon or these other refreshing flavored water recipes.
Then grab a bigger glass
Of water, that is. Staying hydrated can curb your hunger, especially since many people think they’re hungry when they’re actually thirsty. Next time you think you want a snack, drink a glass of water and wait 30 minutes to see if you were actually hungry. These are signs you might be dehydrated.
Pay with cash
Next time you’re tempted to grab a candy bar in the check-out line at the grocery store, pay in cash. According to a study from the Journal of Consumer Research, shoppers are more likely to impulsively buy sugary treats when using a credit or debit card. Paying with cash can result in “pain of payment,” when you enjoy shopping less because you physically give away money. That should make you think twice before buying—and eating—something you might regret.
Step away from the salt shaker
Excess salt in your diet increases water retention and can make you feel bloated. Think twice before seasoning with more salt. That change in water weight means a fast change on the scale. Here are other high-sodium foods you might want to cut back on.
Next time you add jalapenos to your meal, you could burn extra calories while you burn your tongue. Angelo Tremblay at Laval University in Canada discovered that capsaicin, an active compound in jalapeno and cayenne peppers, can increase your adrenaline levels and give your metabolism a boost. Hot peppers can also curb your appetite, so you’re less likely to overeat during a spicy meal.
Say 'no' once a day
It’s a bit overambitious—and unrealistic—to completely revamp your diet in a day. Start small and take one treat out of your diet daily. A couple hundred fewer calories every day can lead to noticeable results if you keep it up. For quick weight loss, top nutritionists also recommend focusing on cutting out binge foods—toss the ones in your kitchen that you are likely to use as a crutch.
Skip the creamer
Coffee creamer is made of only hydrogenated oil, sugar, and thickeners, making it one of the unhealthiest foods in your fridge. Artificial sweeteners in fat-free and sugar-free ones don’t make them any better. If you can’t drink coffee black, cut the unnecessary calories and switch to a small amount of real skim milk.
Eat on a small plate
Ditch your large plates for smaller ones. Researchers at Cornell University gave one group of people large bowls for cereal and another group smaller bowls. Those with large bowls ate 16 percent more, even though they thought they were eating less than the people with small bowls.
Sources: Health.com; Prevention.com, Womenshealthmag.com; Goodhousekeeping.com; Cosmopolitan.com; Foodnetwork.com; Newyorktimes.com