Clean eating can be challenging, especially for foodies. Whether you have a sweet tooth or hate cooking, you might find it hard to prep your meals and track your macros. In today's hectic world, having the time to do these things is a luxury. What if there was a way to eat clean and stay lean without spending hours in the kitchen? Better yet, what if you would be able to save money in the process? Believe it or not, that's possible. All you need are these diet hacks to burn more fat and build new eating habits:
Eat Protein First
Start every meal with protein. This nutrient keeps your blood sugar stable
and curbs hunger. By eating protein before a high-carb meal, you can dramatically drop post meal blood glucose levels. As a result, your insulin response will improve, making fat loss easier. Protein also stimulates thermogenesis by increasing your body's core temperature. This means you'll burn more calories over the next few hours. Plus, it preserves lean mass, which can help a lot when you're on a diet.
Create a Mealtime Routine
A mealtime routine will ensure that you're only eating when you're actually hungry. First of all, set kitchen hours. For instance, you could take breakfast between 7 and 8 AM, breakfast between 1 and 2 PM, and dinner between 6 and 7 PM. Put some snacks aside to enjoy once every 2-3 hours. Don’t make any extra trips to the kitchen. Clean up as you cook, eat your meal, and then leave the room. This trick does require some willpower, but it works.
Use Smaller Plates
If you tend to overeat, use smaller plates and bowls. This simple habit will give you more control over your portions and prevent binge eating. Plus, you'll consume less food without even realizing it. Research indicates that people tend to eat up to 22 percent more when they use bigger plates. In a study, children who were given large bowls consumed up to 87 percent more cereals than those eating from small bowls. Scientists say that package and portion size may influence our eating habits. This is known as the Delboeuf illusion. Small plates can make a serving of food appear bigger, while large plates make the same amount of food look smaller.
Add Flavor with Fewer Calories
Clean dieting is anything but boring. Nowadays, there are thousands of herbs, spices, ad natural flavors on the store shelves. You can use them to enhance food flavor and make your meals more appealing without adding extra calories. For instance, you can use liquid stevia drops to sweeten pancakes, low-carb muffins, and other treats. Onion powder, garlic powder, mustard, basil, and oregano can turn the blandest meal into a feast. Vanilla essence will make your daily cup of joe taste like an Italian frappe. Get creative and experiment with different spices! Why settle for the old boring chicken breast when you could enjoy a restaurant-style meal? Plus, most spices boast thermogenic properties, so they can increase your metabolism. Cinnamon, for example, lowers blood sugar levels and increases resting metabolic rate
. Basically, it turns on the heat on fat cells and helps you burn more calories. Other natural fat burners include ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cumin, cardamom, and dandelion.
Pile Up on Canned Fish
When it comes to convenience, nothing beats canned tuna, salmon, and sardines. All you need to do is to open the can and enjoy lunch or dinner. It's that easy! Not to mention that canned fish is really cheap, so you'll save money in the long run. Fish not only has a great flavor but it's also high in protein and omega-3s. Both nutrients rev up your metabolism and suppress appetite. Omega-3s essential fats have been shown beneficial for those with high cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory disorders, and cardiovascular problems.
Pour on the Vinegar
To burn more calories, add apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your meals. Vinegar stabilizes blood sugar levels and prevents insulin spikes. Before eating a high-carb meal, drink a glass of water with ACV. This will boost your metabolism and improve insulin sensitivity. Additionally, this superfood aids in digestion and triggers the release of enzymes that break down fat. If you hate the flavor, add a few drops of stevia to your glass of water. Drink it right away. Just make sure you don’t go overboard. Due to its acidic nature, ACV may cause heartburn.
Eat a Big Breakfast
Contrary to popular belief, breakfast doesn’t rev up your metabolism. However, it does suppress hunger and helps reduce your food intake later in the day. In a 12-week study conducted on obese and overweight women with metabolic syndrome, those who ate 700 calories for breakfast and 200 calories for dinner experienced a greater reduction in waist circumference and body weight compared to those who did the opposite. The first group also reported a 33.6 decrease in triglyceride levels. The group who only ate 200 calories for breakfast has a modest 14.6 decrease in triglycerides. Furthermore, having the largest meal in the morning has been linked to a lower body mass index and improved insulin response. The bottom is: eat your biggest meal as soon as you wake up to reduce your food intake later in the day.
Upgrade Your Morning Coffee
Ever wonder why more and more dieters add coconut oil to their coffee? It's because this superfood speeds up their metabolism and keeps hunger at bay. The medium chain triglycerides in coconut oil increase fat burning and provide steady energy. As a result, you'll experience less intense cravings for sugar. Plus, you'll burn more calories over the next few hours. Simply add a tablespoon of coconut oil to your morning cup of joe, mix well, and enjoy! As you see, fat loss doesn’t require major lifestyle changes. It all comes down to the small things you do every day. These diet hacks might be exactly what you need to shed those last few pounds before summer kicks in.