Integrate these simple tweaks to avoid calories and lose belly fat—without ever feeling hungry. When you decide it’s time to really get down to business and seriously take on your health goals, you might be hit with a feeling of “so what do I do now?” If you’re looking to slim down, the “low and slow” method is the best way to banish those unwanted pounds. And that all comes down to making (super easy) changes in your everyday habits and meals.
1. Buy Plain Yogurt
The benefits of yogurt are immense, but many of these bonuses are undone by cartons full of fruit-flavored, gummy messes. Grab a carton of Chobani’s non-fat plain yogurt, which rings in at 80 calories, over their fruit-on-the-bottom mango, a mix that serves up 140 calories and 12 extra grams of added sugar.
2. Switch Your Cut Of Meat
Next time you find yourself craving a cut of beef, ask your butcher for a sirloin tip side steak instead of the filet mignon. Although the former isn’t naturally as tender as the latter, it’s a very flavorful cut of protein that your taste buds will love. Plus, the swap saves you 132 calories every 3.5-ounce serving! Use a chef’s secret and salt your meat for an hour at room temperature before cooking it.
3. Eat Only Fresh Fruit
Not only are fruit juices lacking in belly-filling fiber, they also are high in hunger-inducing simple sugars—which means you’re twice as likely to be left with a rumbling stomach after sipping a glass. Harvard researchers found that swapping out three glasses of fruit juice with three servings of whole fruit a week was associated with a 7 percent reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes.
4. Sub A Side Salad
The small order of spuds that you grab with your burger at McDonald’s tacks on an extra 220 calories to your meal. Swap out a side salad to save you the calories. And if you really need those fries, you could even eat your salad and switch to the kid-sized version.
5. Go Meatless At Lunch
Not only will swapping out a 288-calorie, 80/20 beef burger for a 24-calorie portabella mushroom save you 264 calories on the spot, a study conducted by Penn State researchers suggests that you may save 350 calories more throughout the course of the day! That’s because their study found that those who consume main dishes with veggies consume that many fewer calories daily than those who eat their produce as a side dish, likely because vegan foods boost the amount of satiating fiber on your plate while also adding bulk.
6. Break A Sweat Before Breakfast
Everyone knows switching to a healthy diet is one of the most effective ways to lose weight, but so is exercise! And it doesn’t only matter that you exercise, it also matters when: According to a recent Japanese study, when you exercise before your morning meal, you’ll metabolize about 280 more calories throughout the day compared to doing the same workout in the evening.