You’re dieting wrong: 10 no-fuss nutrition hacks that will help you shed pounds fast

When it comes to the slim-down secrets of the stars, there’s a buffet of techniques. Kim K is back to her pre-baby weight after strictly following the Atkins diet. Adele recently dropped 30 pounds by having her meals delivered. Britney’s trainer apparently has her doing a “skateboard workout.” But you don’t have to follow any of these trendy diets or workouts to lose weight (if that’s what you’re after). Cutting calories could be as easy as changing the colour of your plate or using a different utensil. Do I have your attention? Here are 10 easy, no-fuss nutrition hacks you can incorporate into your life today.

Red Plate
What comes to mind when you think of the colour red? Stop, right? Well, that’s the imagery researchers claim cause us to eat significantly fewer calories when using red dishes. Sounds bizarre, but studies show that when we eat with red plates, we tend to eat a whopping 40 per cent less than on a plate of any other shade.

This next one excites me, mostly because I just decorated my dining room with a big-ass mirror. Apparently when we eat while looking at our reflection we make healthier choices. In fact, a recent study done at the University of Florida shows that mirrors actually make junk food to taste less satisfying, causing us to reach for more nutritious, diet-conscious options. #Winning

Order First
Even though we’re total badass boss-ladies in life, when it comes to ordering food with friends, I’m afraid we turn into followers. Even if we have the intention of ordering a salad, when a pal requests the lobster mac and cheese—well, we have the tendency to follow suit. This is why it’s essential to order first at a restaurant. That way we can stick to our OG game plan without temptation.

Good Company
Stats show that fast eaters are three times as likely to be overweight. That’s because eating quickly tends to lead to eating too much. The solution? Well, eating slower, obviously. But how? According to reports, eating with a chatty pal can significantly reduce our eating speed. We’re busy talking and also usually don’t want to be seen as the fast eater.

Fork It
Did you know that eating with a spoon causes us to overeat? Random, I know, but data shows that spoon-feeding causes us to taste food more gradually, leading us to perceive the bites as smaller then they really are. The experts say that forks allow us to taste our treats in real time, causing us to overestimate the amount of calories we’re eating and reach for smaller portions as a result.

Small Plates
Do you ever walk up to the buffet with the intention of only filling half your plate? How did that work out for you? Probably same as me: total. fail. Well, apparently half full is just not in our nature. A 2012 study proved that the majority of us prefer a plate that is 70 per cent full. That means as the size of the plate grows, so too does our portion. Smaller plate; smaller portion; problem solved.

Reason #33989 to drink more water: According to the nutrition authorities, drinking a glass of water 30 minutes before mealtime causes us to consume far less calories. A UK study confirmed this theory: Those who drank water before eating lost nearly five more pounds in a month than those who didn’t. Bottoms up.

Remember the days of pre-drinking? Well, those days might be over, but the pre-party is still alive and well—the only difference is instead of drinking before we go out, experts say we should be eating. One study found that if we arrive to an event hungry we’re more than twice as likely to reach for starchy, greasy foods and also destined to consume a lot more calories—almost 50 per cent more. Having a small, healthy snack—like a protein shake, handful of nuts or piece of fruit—allows us to make smart, controlled choices when we head out for the night.

Get Sweaty
You don’t need another lecture on all the reasons why regular exercise is so beneficial for health and weight loss, but did you know that exercise actually makes us less hungry? It seems counter intuitive, but researchers say that it’s a combo of being distracted by the workout and also the impact the exertion has on our hormones: reducing ghrelin, the hunger chemical. But that’s not all: When we rise and grind, we’re also more likely to make better choices when it comes to what we eat throughout the day.

Indulge…a little
What happens when I tell you not to think of the red boat? You’re picturing it now, aren’t you? We’re rebellious by nature—the more we feel we can’t do something, the more we want it. (That’s probably why I spent so many years chasing emotionally unavailable men.) Point is, when we put certain foods on our “no list,” it’s all-consuming. By the time we bend our rules, we’re more likely to lose control and binge on the bad stuff. The solution? Indulging, just a little. By having a taste of the goodies while we’re still in control, it leads to a far better outcome than when we deprive ourselves. Go ahead, have a bite, enjoy every blissful flavour and then walk away.

Plus: Learn about why you might want to pass on this fad diet; 4 scientifically proven reasons diets suck; and 5 healthy foods that are actually messing up your diet.