Forget fad diets that promise to melt fat in days, counting every single calorie, or overdosing on hours at the gym. When it comes to losing weight, it’s the little things that really make all the difference. While some diets may well shed the pounds quickly, many are impossible to stick to and the weight will soon creep back on.

Why is it so hard to lose weight? Here are 4 reasons.

The good news is, you can shed weight without even trying, simply by making small day-to-day changes. Studies show that it takes more than two months for a new habit to become automatic. By practicing these lifestyle changes for a period of time, you’ll gradually see yourself slim down and be able to continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

Here are our top 5 daily tricks to wake up slimmer – and all without the diet.

Eat mindfully

Your brain takes around 20 minutes to register that it’s full. By eating your food sitting down, without distractions, and consciously enjoying your meals, you’ll sharpen those internal cues that signal hunger and feeling full. Try putting your fork down between bites to chew your food properly and drink plenty of water with your meals.

Eat breakfast

There’s plenty of evidence to show that eating breakfast can help us lose weight. When we skip breakfast – whether it’s due to lack of time or simply not feeling hungry early in the morning. We usually become starved by mid-morning and lunchtime. You’ll snack mindlessly and end up bingeing at tea time. Put simply, by missing breakfast, you’re setting yourself up for failure for the day.

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Make healthy swaps

Picking foods that are fewer in calories, fat, sugar and salt is the easiest, simplest way to lose weight without dieting. For example, swap white breads for wholegrain, sodas to fizzy water, and salted nuts to unsalted nuts.

Downsize your dinner plate

If we can see that our plate is full, it makes our meal look bigger. Therefore, by scaling down the size of our dinnerware, we can trick our eyes and brain into thinking we’re eating more. The result? We’re satisfied with less food.

Walk five minutes more

Get off the bus a stop earlier or take the stairs instead of the lift. There are plenty of little things you can do each day that burn calories and help you lose weight faster. By increasing daily activities a little bit at a time, you won’t feel overwhelmed upping your goal to at least 30 minutes of exercise every day (which burns of around 120 extra calories every day, by the way).

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