The 5-Minute Tricks That Will Help You Lose Weight Even If You've Got Zero Time

That alone is kind of intimidating—especially if your schedule is already jam-packed.

No calorie counting or hour-long workouts required.

It’s pretty much a given that, for the majority of people, weight loss is not an easy thing to achieve. After all, it usually involves a combo of working out regularly and eating well, and it takes time and effort to do both.
That alone is kind of intimidating—especially if your schedule is already jam-packed. But, while you have to invest a little time in your weight-loss efforts, experts say it’s not as much as you think.

Taking on small changes (read: things that aren’t a total time suck) can actually help you reach your goal better than making a bunch of drastic changes at once, says Sonya Angelone, R.D., a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Not only are little changes more manageable than completely altering your lifestyle in one go, they make it easier to see how much progress you’re making, says Albert Matheny, R.D., C.S.C.S., of SoHo Strength Lab and Promix Nutrition. And that can help you figure out which changes are working for you, and which you need to ditch ASAP.

Making little tweaks to your lifestyle is better for your body, too. Drastic changes can actually mess with your thyroid function and make it tough for you to keep the weight off, Angelone says.

So, making little tweaks is good; spending tons of time and effort on crazy changes is bad. “Losing weight is just a series of small changes,” Matheny says.

Here, experts share six quick ways to lose weight. They each take five minutes or less (some will steal absolutely zero time from your day!), but can make a huge impact on your weight-loss results. (Speed up your progress towards your weight-loss goals with Women's Health's Look Better Naked DVD.)



Start Your Day with Water

Most of us wake up dehydrated... and then spend the rest of the day pretty dehydrated, too. Apart from the fact that dehydration can slow the body's metabolism, it's easy to mistake thirst for hunger. The result: You end up overeating when all you really need is a glass of H2O. Making sure you’re well hydrated lowers the odds this will happen to you. Start first thing in the morning. Good news: Research shows that coffee doesn't dehydrate you! It can actually hydrate you just as well as water.


Do Jumping Jacks Before You Shower

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Squeezing in some jumping jacks while your water warms up (just don't perform them in the shower) will get your heart rate up and make you feel awake, so you can take on even more activity throughout the day, Matheny say. Plus, it burns extra calories.

Related: 9 Quick Ways to Lose Your Thigh Fat


Fill Your Plate with Fruits and Veggies First

When you go to have a meal, fill up half of your plate with minimally-processed vegetables or fruits first, Angelone says. That does two important things: It makes sure you’re getting enough of your daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies, and also fills you up on the good stuff. Stick with low-prep veggies like lettuce, avocado, and frozen fruits and veggies. 2017 research shows that they often contain more nutrients than their "fresh" counterparts.

Related: 7 Supplements That Melt Fat



Seriously, it’s legit. While meditation itself isn’t going to make you lose weight, it can have an indirect impact on your weight-loss efforts. “This will help cut down on anxiety or stress-related eating—a biggie for some people,” Angelone says. One study published in the Journal of Obesity, for example, found that overweight people were able to avoid gaining weight when they meditated for 30 minutes a day, while a group of people who didn’t meditate actually gained weight. Fortunately, you don't have to devote a full 30 minutes to meditation in order to lose weight. Even a few minutes when you're feeling stressed can help. Just close your eyes and focus your attention on your breath.

Eat a Mid-Afternoon Snack

Eating something with protein and healthy fat or unrefined grains like oat bran, chia, or flaxseed meal will help you fill up and make you less like to overeat at the next meal, Angelone says. And it doesn't take much time. You can quickly pull together some Greek yogurt with some berries or cottage cheese with salsa and a third of an avocado. As a bonus, the snack will make you feel more alert. Protein raises levels of dopamine, the alertness neurotransmitter, in your body, Angelone says. In the end, that may mean more activity throughout your day.

Related: 7 Women Share How They Lost Weight Without Counting a Single Calorie


Train Harder (not Longer)

This last (but not least) quick way to lose weight is so fast that it actually saves time. It's all about increasing the intensity of your workouts. Greater efforts mean better results, Matheny says. So, instead of performing isolation exercises with little-bitty weights and lots and lots of reps, focus on performing total-body exercises with heavier levels of resistance for fewer reps (think six to 12), which will help you build lean muscle, raise your metabolism, and lose more fat, he says. The key is to push yourself with each exercise.


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Women's Magazine: The 5-Minute Tricks That Will Help You Lose Weight Even If You've Got Zero Time
The 5-Minute Tricks That Will Help You Lose Weight Even If You've Got Zero Time
That alone is kind of intimidating—especially if your schedule is already jam-packed.
Women's Magazine
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