Diet-Free Weight Loss

6 Simple Daily Tweaks that Lead to Diet-Free Weight Loss

March 22, 2023

6 Simple Daily Tweaks that Lead to Diet-Free Weight Loss: Dieting sucks. We all know. It’s filled with restriction and deprivation, cravings and desires. It’s frustrating and anger-inducing and….it almost never works! In fact, 98% of the time it completely fails. Sure, we may lose weight for a few weeks, but then we hit our threshold and break it completely and gain back all the weight we lost, and sometimes even more! So, why do we put ourselves through that? Well, for lack of a better answer, it’s really all we know how to do when we want to achieve weight loss.

The reality is that we don’t actually need to diet in order to lose weight. And we can actually achieve it in a much more sustainable way by being more mindful about our actions and behaviors and implementing small and achievable changes that don’t leave us feeling deprived and ‘hangry!’ Here are some of my favorite tweaks that you can implement daily to achieve weight loss. And the best part is that they are all easy to implement and relatively stress-free!

6 Simple Daily Tweaks that Lead to Diet-Free Weight Loss


Put Away Extras Before You Sit Down to a Meal

Generally, there are two ways people approach filling their plate at mealtime.  Option 1 is they put serving dishes on the table and fill their plate at the table. Option 2 is they fill their plate from the stove or counter and leave the extras sitting there until after the meal. Either way, both options set you up to eat more than you need. What happens when serving platters are on the table? Well, we mindlessly pick at the food as long as we are sitting there. Or we refill our plate with seconds simply because we see the food and it’s within hands reach. What happens when food is left out on the counter or stove? We may get up and make another plate. Or we may pick at the leftover food after dinner while putting it away. Both options lead to a lot of extra, unnecessary eating. 

The best approach to reduce unnecessary extra eating at mealtime is to put away all the extra food BEFORE the meal. Yup, you heard that right--BEFORE YOU SIT DOWN TO EAT. Make your plate (and maybe plates for kids or others), then put everything in Tupperware and in the fridge. 

The biggest pushback I get from people on this idea is that the food is going to get cold. Well, how long do you think it takes to put food away? Less than 60 seconds! AND research has shown that by doing this, you reduce your chances of unnecessary extra eating by 85%! That’s worth it!


Eat Your Greens First

Here’s an interesting fact about digestion: Salad wants to move through the body faster than denser food. So, putting raw, water-packed vegetables into the body first helps lubricate your digestive path, and acts as “an enzymatic spark,” that makes it easier to move heavier food through the body. This is key to reducing indigestion, gas, and stomach pain, which can build up when raw veggies follow a slow-moving sandwich.

Another bonus? Eating a salad before your meal may help reduce your total caloric intake during that meal, which can clearly be beneficial for weight loss.  And eating a salad before a meal doesn’t just reduce your caloric intake during that meal; it reduces your caloric intake over the course of the entire day!


Shrink Your Plate

We all have a general expectation that a dinner plate should be 12 inches. But why? Have you ever stopped to question why your plates are that size? Probably not- it’s just automatic. And changing that automatic thought has significant benefits. Consider ditching your traditional 12-inch plates for 10-inch ones (salad size). Making this change could also help you ditch up to 20% of your calories at each meal! Now that’s a change that can really add up to big benefits! Why is this? Well, we like to fill our plates. So, whatever the size of our plate, we decide appropriate portions based on what fills the plate. So if we are filling a smaller plate, we feel confident with a smaller portion. Simple as that!


Start Meals with Water

We all know water is essential to almost every bodily function. Yet most of us don’t get nearly enough. But water has an important impact on weight as well. First, most of us can't distinguish the initial feelings of thirst from hunger. So we often end up eating when a simple glass of water would have done the trick. Also, water takes up space in our stomach and can help us feel fuller sooner. So, drinking water before meals can resolve both problems: it can help you avoid thirst so you are not eating when you are simply thirsty. And it can help you eat less at mealtimes.

Not a huge water fan? Try adding some lemon, cucumbers, watermelon, or strawberries to make your water more enjoyable! Try drinking a big glass of water before sitting down to every meal and see how it impacts you. Want to make your own “spa water?” Check out some of my favorite spa water recipes!


Eat a Smaller Dinner Earlier

Here’s another interesting thing to know about our bodies: Our circadian system prepares the body to be more efficient at digesting, absorbing, and metabolizing food earlier in the day when melatonin levels are low. For instance, diet-induced thermogenesis (or the calorie burn that takes place from eating) is 2.5 times higher after breakfast than after dinner. Also, insulin secretion and sensitivity (needed to regulate blood sugar) is greater in the morning. So, because of this, larger meals (and especially high-carb meals) are processed better when eaten in the first half of the day.

Conversely, since melatonin (released at night) reduces insulin release, the body is not able to process glucose properly when you eat late at night, because melatonin is high and it inhibits this process. Therefore, eating larger meals earlier in the day and avoiding food for a few hours prior to bedtime may have some significant health benefits. Worth a shot, right?


Establish a Kitchen Closure Time

Sometimes access to our kitchen (and the food in it) is enough to make us eat, even when we are not hungry. This is especially true at night when we are more likely to be hanging around at home with no real agenda or meaningful distraction. Limiting your kitchen access can help cut down on this unnecessary eating at night, and you can do this by enforcing a kitchen closure time. Just like a restaurant closes at a certain time, your kitchen can too! For example, if you feel you are no longer hungry after 9 pm and any eating you do after that is just mindless grazing or boredom eating, 9 pm could be your kitchen closure time. 

And there you have, simple, easy to implement, and incredibly effective! Try out one or two (or all!) of these tweaks that lead to diet-free weight loss for yourself and see how impactful they can be!

Dr. Candice Seti, Psy.D., of Me Only Better is known in the community as "The Weight Loss Therapist."

Diet-Free Weight Loss
Candice Seti


Dr. Candice Seti, Psy.D., of Me Only Better is known in the community as "The Weight Loss Therapist." Dr. Seti is renowned for her expertise in applying cognitive therapy to weight loss and weight management and extensive knowledge of nutrition and exercise applications to a weight management program. This is an area Dr. Seti has been passionate about for many years after her own weight loss experience. Read more articles by Dr. Seti!