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Cut Calories With Ease: 10 Old Fashioned Weight Loss Tips and Tricks to Fix Your Diet

Updated on July 13, 2013

1. Take a DEXA Scan

The DEXA scan is a far more accurate way to measure your body fat, compared to an old fashioned skin caliper. Basically a DEXA scan is a type of x-ray that can measure the composition of your body. DEXA scans are mainly used to analyze for bone problems but you can also use a DEXA scan to gauge what your body fat percentile is. Everyone's frame is different and knowing your exact body fat percentile can help you to find out if you're healthy or not. If you're thinking about going on a diet or weight loss plan, you may want to consider getting a DEXA scan as a first step to see where you stand.

Many people have odd perceptions of their own bodies (some skinny people believe they are fat for some reason, and vice versa) so it helps to have some objective evidence. If you have health insurance, you may be able to get your insurance company to cover the expenses if you're clinically overweight or if you are at risk for osteoporosis. Even if you have to foot the bill yourself, a DEXA scan will cost you $100 or less. If you can afford that, it may be worth your while to get scanned.

2. Get More Sleep

Losing weight isn't all about sweat. Getting a few extra winks every night will help you lose weight. If you're tired, your body will urge you to eat more sugars and carbs in order to obtain more energy. Many Americans suffer from lack of sleep, and many experts have theorized that this may be one of the main reasons why America is one of the fattest countries in the world.

Zzzzzzz | Source

3. Eat Negative Calorie Foods

Grapefruit, broccoli, celery, cabbage and lemon are all considered to be negative calorie foods. Negative calorie foods are usually rich in nutrients and supposedly force your body to burn more calories during the digestion process than they contain. Though some experts have questioned whether or not negative calorie foods truly cause people to burn more than they cost in calories, the fact remains that eating fruits and vegetables is a good idea. Negative calorie foods often contain large amounts of fiber, which will help you feel full. Nobody ever became obese from developing a cabbage eating problem-- so go ahead and indulge.

4. Stay Active

Living a sedentary lifestyle will cause your body to shut down. If you have a job that requires you to sit down for eight hours, take a break every now and then and at least go walk around. Even if you don't have time to hit the gym, adding additional activity to your daily routine will help. Ideally you'll want to do some vigorous exercises multiple times throughout the day to keep the metabolism in peak condition. Recent studies have questioned whether or not a mere 30 minutes of physical activity per day is healthy or not. Get creative and find ways to make your body work. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a few blocks down from the office where you work.


5. Drink Water

Staying hydrated should be an integral part of any weight loss strategy. Your body is largely composed of water. Often, those who feel hungry are actually thirsty. The next time you feel hungry, drink a bottle of water and see how your body reacts.

Staying lubricated will also help flush out any germs residing in your body. Extra glasses of water can help you recover from colds, urinary tract infections or almost any other type of infectious disease.

6. Don't Drink Diet Soda

Recent studies have suggested that there may be a link between diet soda and obesity. Experts believe that ingesting the artificial sweeteners contained in diet soda may cause future cravings for sugary foods and candy. Also, carbonated beverages tend to dry out the body. Substitute moderate amounts of juice for diet soda to satisfy your cravings for sweet drinks. Just make sure that you drink juices labeled as 100% juice products. Oftentimes, manufacturers will add sugar to drinks in order to make them more desirable and addictive.

7. Kick the "Eat All Day" Habit

In the early 2000s, people thought that eating several small meals throughout the day would help maintain an active metabolism. That's wrong.

Snacking all day long could ruin your diet. Here are the results of some follow up research that was done on the "snack all day" fad:

  • Snacking all day does not improve metabolism
  • Snacking all day does not curb appetite (it encourages overeating)
  • Snacking all day does not help diabetes
  • Snacking all day does not help build muscle mass

Read more about how we went wrong in the early 2000s with this fad diet here.

With that being said, don't starve yourself. Starving your body will cause your body to go into alert mode and shutdown. If that happens, your body will convert any incoming carbs directly into fat. You'll also feel lethargic and irritable.

8. Change Your Drinking Habits

Alcohol and unhealthy food is a bad combo. If you do drink, try to avoid eating and stay away from beer and wine. Beer and wine contain extra calories. Low calorie liquors like gin or vodka are a better choice because they contain barely any calories.

Oh so you like breakfast, eh?

If you enjoy kicking off your day with a delicious breakfast meal, then you're going to love this:

It's Going to Be a Beautiful Breakfast

9. Never Skip Breakfast

I mentioned above that you should be eating small meals throughout the day if you're on a diet. If you do miss a meal, though, don't let it be breakfast. A recent study has shown that people who skip breakfast are more likely to become obese. Also, if you consume most of your calories earlier in the day you have a better chance of burning them off.

10. Add Spice

Spicy meals improve the metabolism. Capsaicin, which is found in many types of peppers, raises the body temperature. You're also going to feel full after eating spicy food-- probably because you'll also be drinking plenty of water with it. Besides helping you lose weight, spicy food also has other healthy side effects. It thins the blood, which improves blood pressure and reduces risks of blood clots throughout the circulatory system. If you don't like pepper, ginger and cinnamon have similar thermogenic effects on the body.

A delicious, healthy snack!

Thanks for reading!

If you liked this hub, check this one out: A quick, easy, healthy... and CHEAP pineapple treat


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    • mercuryservices profile image

      Alex Munkachy 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Thanks Jean. Sometimes I drop alcohol for a while if my belt is getting tight. Walking is an often overlooked activity that also gets the writing portion of the brain flowing, according to a recent study I saw the other day. Thanks for the feedback.


    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey

      I lost 60 pounds about 5 years ago, and many of these are great tips. I drink a lot of water, and also plain seltzer water, as I quit drinking alcohol because of the empty calories. Any exercise at all is good if you are completely sedentary, and many people don't realize how sedentary they really are! Walking is free and clears your head too, like a moving meditation. Smaller portions are good too, we often eat more than we need. Great advice!

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I miss it terribly.

    • mercuryservices profile image

      Alex Munkachy 4 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Thanks Austinstar! Hawaii is great :)

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Very well written hub with lots of great information. I use all of these tips except the exercise one (I tend to hibernate in the winter). But I do step up the activity in the spring, summer and fall. Wish I still lived in Hawaii. I was active all the time there. They say it is the healthiest state in the nation.

      My only suggestion would be to shorten the videos. Anything over 6 minutes is too long for hub viewers. But other than that, great layout and formatting.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Excellent common sense approach and sensible suggestions that we can all follow to be healthier and lose weight. I appreciate that this is not one of those "just eat blueberries and hominy' crazy diets. :) Sharing

    • profile image

      Soha 5 years ago

      We almost hear to tell the people I want to reduce my weight. But they don't make implements their planning into action. Here is included latest information how to reduce weight. This is useful tips and effective. I hope, you will provide up grate information again and again.

    • profile image

      emase 5 years ago

      I would have to say I love spicy food and couldn't recommend sleep enough to people. I mean while you are sleeping you are definitely not eating. If you need help losing weight visit my blog!

    • howtolossweigth profile image

      koya samuel olayinka 5 years ago from ibadan,oyo state nigeria

      i love the hub.. this kind of hub will help me to develop more on my research on the niche... you can check here for better understating about how to loss weight here or for medical specialist here at

    • profile image

      Casimiro 5 years ago

      Great hub, great tips. Love that you put in lots of references, and of course, the video is a great touch.