Forget about strict diets and exhausting workouts. Our body is a very flexible system that quickly responds to the slightest changes in the usual way of life. So losing a few pounds is not that difficult. Here is the list of 5 most effective strategies to reduce the food cravings and lose extra pounds without depriving yourself of food.

1. Eat Slowly

Most of us spend our days in a constant race, even eating usually takes place in a hurry, and more often on the go. It turns out that an unhealthy way of eating foods affects our health and appearance no less than eating fast food. The study shows that slow eating has a number of health benefits: the body absorbs nutrients better, the feeling of satiety comes faster and lasts longer while significantly fewer calories are absorbed. The thing is that a feeling of fullness comes to a person 15 to 20 minutes after the meal. So, people who tend to eat fast get the signal of fullness too late, which leads in most cases to overeating and gaining extra pounds. The statistics show that people who eat on the go are 3 times more likely to be overweight than those who eat slowly. Here are some tips that will help you get rid of this unhealthy habit:

• Try to chew food thoroughly, making up to 30 - 40 chewing movements at a time.

• Do not read newspapers, magazines and refuse watching TV at the dining table, as you won't even notice the hundreds or thousands of calories you just consumed;

• Take short breaks during meals, savor dishes and enjoy their taste.

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2. Eat More Protein, Especially at Breakfast

The recent study has shown that eating protein help losing weight and boost exercise training performance. Most fitness experts recommend eating protein as it naturally lowers daily total calorie intake, and even reduce the daily hunger. The thing is that protein gives us a feeling of satiety and prevents us from overeating. The research shows that breakfast is the most important time of the day to get the needed amount of protein as it may prevent fat gain lowering a feeling of hunger during the day.

3. Optimize Your Fluid Intake

Make sure to drink enough water it not only will hydrate your body but will also help you lose extra pounds. When the stomach is full, it sends a signal of satiety to the brain. Thus, water in the stomach helps eat less than you could - that is why a glass of water before meals will always be a great idea. Moreover, dehydration has negative effects on the proper functioning of the body, it may lead to such symptoms like irritability, fatigue, lack of focus, and decreased exercise performance. Moreover, dehydration increases the feeling of hunger which results in overeating. The research shows that drinking pure water helps you to consume fewer calories at mealtime and lead to significant weight loss. The study was based on the experiment that has shown that drinking 500mL of water before meals over a 12 week period resulted in a 44% decline in weight over the non-water group. So, drink pure water and lose weight. And don't forget to replace soda, juice and other sugar-sweetened drinks as they will lead to weight gain.

4. Eat Higher Volume Foods

An interesting fact is that our stomach is kind of a "volume container" instead of a "calorie" one. Our body is much more responsive to the portion size of food than is to the actual amount of energy it gives. This way, you can just trick your brain and eat higher volume foods with a low-calorie density, it will speed the process of weight loss. So, the main point is to swap out more calorie-dense foods ( chocolate, fast food, fried food, bread) in exchange for low energy-dense foods. You can eat fruit, vegetables, berries, unprocessed meats, fish, sugar-free yogurt, beans, and legumes. These foods will not only help you lose extra pounds but will also boost your health as they are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary for the proper functioning of the body.

5. Improve Sleep and Rest More

Sleep is one of the most important components of a healthy lifestyle, it affects not only our mood and energy but also is responsible for the work of most body systems. The study shows that a lack of night sleep leads to constant feelings of hunger that result in overeating. A chronically sleep-deprived person consumes on average almost 40% more calories per day than is required. The thing is that poor sleep disrupts the proper production of hormones in our body (ghrelin and leptin) which increases the food cravings throughout the day. Moreover, sleeping disorder increases the production of cortisol, a hormone of stress, which boosts the accumulate of body fat. So, be sure to get a good night's sleep and remember that it's not only about your beauty but health as well.

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