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Quick Tips #8: Easy Ways to Lose Weight with Small Changes


Updated February 15, 2014

Back by popular demand -- our Quick Tips series brings you quick and easy changes that you can starting using today to manage your weight.

  • Slim Down with Spice

    Some like it hot and if you're trying to lose weight, keep things caliente! Did you know eating spicy foods may actually help you eat less?

    A study showed that you may eat less dense foods later on during your meal if you start with something spicy.

    Another bonus? A few years ago, researchers found eating spicy food may actually boost your metabolism a little bit.

  • Breakfast on the Go

    Mornings too hectic for a homemade breakfast? Fast food doesn't have to mean fattening food at a drive-thru. Keep a small, folding table next to your front door; stock a fruit bowl with apples, bananas, and pears and a small basket with healthy breakfast bars or granola bars.

    Then, just grab and go ... and while you're at it, throw something in your bag for an afternoon snack!

  • Evening Exercise is O.K.

    If you shy away from working out when you get home because you think you won't be able to sleep later, don't worry. As long as you get your groove on a few hours before bedtime, it probably won't interrupt your rest.

    A great way to motivate yourself for evening exercise is to Tivo your favorite TV show and then allow yourself to watch it only while trekking on the treadmill or taking a spin on your exercise bike.

  • The Bottom Line

    Ready for another motivator -- how about money? Research has found that obese people saved hundreds of dollars on medical expenses just in the first year after they lost a small amount of body weight -- as little as five percent.

    If you weigh 200 pounds, that's just 10 pounds! Talk about small changes really adding up!

  • Make Fast Food Diet-Friendly

    Get smart about what you order at fast food places:

    • Order a regular hamburger or kid's meal hamburger, rather than any sandwich on the regular menu and you'll save yourself hundreds of calories and lots of fat.
    • Even better than an itty bitty burger? ... Choose eateries that offer grilled or broiled sandwiches. Check the menu for lean meats such as lean roast beef, turkey, chicken (white meat), or ham as alternatives to burgers.
    • Condiments add up to lots of calories. Ask for your sandwiches to be made plain (without toppings, sauces, or mayo), and switch them off for lots of veggies like lettuce, tomato, pickles, etc. If you find your sandwich is too dry, choose mustard (but not honey mustard or Dijon!).
    • A side salad is a smart choice, but be sure to ask for low-cal or reduced-fat dressings. Ask if the salad includes bacon bits, cheese, croutons, seeds, or pasta salad -- if so, ask them to leave those items out so you won't be stuck with picking them off your salad later.

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