Contrary to what internet advertisements and late-night infomercials would have you believe, there is no "secret" to losing weight: A combination of working out and eating healthy will eventually result in a slimmer waistline and a lower number on the scale. But what if you don't necessarily want to take time out of your busy schedule to work out and eat healthy?
Between long hours at work, spending time with family, and catching up with friends, preparing fresh, home-cooked meals and hitting the gym three times a week can prove to be too much. Fortunately, there are a few simple habits you can adopt in lieu of a full-blown diet and exercise regimen. According to Prevention, the following three life hacks will help you lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle, minimal effort required:
It turns out eating a healthy snack before heading to the grocery store can subconsciously affect what you buy. According to a recent Cornell study, shoppers who snacked on a piece of fruit before buying groceries for the week ended up buying 28% more produce, and significantly less junk food, than those who ate a cookie. A simple life adjustment like this can be the difference between healthy and unhealthy lunches for an entire week.
But seriously. Taking selfies—full-body selfies, to be exact—could help you shed up to 2.6 percent of your body weight in four months, according to a study from the University of Alicante. The researchers believe that "watching your waist whittle down week by week helps serve as a reminder that eating right and hitting the gym are worth it," writes Prevention.
Right around two or three in the afternoon, you're going to feel hungry. Rather than deny this fact and end up sprinting to your office snack cabinet, prepare for the inevitable and stash almonds in your desk drawer. While this may seem like a minor adjustment, replacing your mid-afternoon muffin with almonds can "help you drop nearly a centimeter from your belly in six weeks," writes Prevention, per research from the American Heart Association.