You won’t believe these simple diet tweaks that will help you shred serious pounds with minimal effort – from DailyMail.com’s brilliant new columnists The Nutrition Twins

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Written By Maya Cantina

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  • DailyMail.com’s new columnists share their tips for shedding weight quickly
  • Send YOUR health questions to the Nutrition Twins at health@dailymail.com 

Cindy’s joy was infectious – in the three months of working with her, we’d never seen her this happy. 

After 25 years of miserable dieting, the 45 year-old had finally shifted the stubborn 20 pounds that put her in the ‘overweight’ bracket. 

And she’d done it in three months – without fad dieting, pounding the treadmill or even thinking about her diet very much.

Cindy is one of the hundreds of clients we’ve helped to transform their lives over the years, with our no-nonsense weight-loss plans.

As registered dietitians who’ve worked in the wellness world for more than 20 years, we’ve seen every diet trend come and go. 

Tammy and Lyssie Lakatos – the Nutrition Twins – share their top hacks for losing weight quickly with minimal effort

The Nutrition Twins have a unique approach to diet advice, veering away from fad regimens and instead recommending simple hacks you barely notice.

The Nutrition Twins have a unique approach to diet advice, veering away from fad regimens and instead recommending simple hacks you barely notice.

From cutting out sugar, to existing on raw meat alone, to old-fashioned carb-free – the results are always the same. They work for a few weeks, and then clients pile the weight right back on – and more.

Our experience has led us to the conclusion that the most effective methods are often the little things that are so easy to do, you hardly notice them.

And these tweaks to your daily routine will keep the pounds off for good.

We’re talking about seemingly small changes, like adding salads or veggies to your meals, and hot drinks, which keep you fuller for longer. 

In our sparkling new column for DailyMail.com, we’ll be letting you in on these secrets, which we’ve collected nearly 20 years in the diet and fitness world. 

Importantly, our hacks and tweaks are only for those who are overweight and want to do something about it – or have to lose pounds for health reasons.

Always consult your physician before embarking on change to your diet; everyone is different and our advice may not be relevant to your personal circumstances.

However, with around 40 percent of Americans in the obesity category, there will be millions who will benefit enormously from our insider knowledge.

To begin, here’s five simple hacks that take minutes to do, but will keep you full for hours – removing that temptation to reach for the junk.

SOME SNACKS ARE FINE…BUT MAKE SURE THEY’RE FROZEN

We're biologically programmed to want sweets after dinner, but freezing them can help you eat more slowly

We’re biologically programmed to want sweets after dinner, but freezing them can help you eat more slowly

There’s no point telling a client to ditch all snacks. Life is busy and not always organized, which means, although not ideal, it is common to accidentally go for long periods between meals, and become overwrought with hunger pangs.

But the snack you choose is important. For example, fruit, vegetables, nuts, chickpeas, and certain cereal bars made with oats are high in fiber, which takes longer to digest, making these foods more satiating.

You could add some low-fat yogurt for protein, which would give a boost of protein – further increasing fullness.

But if you find yourself craving sweet things after your evening meal, don’t feel guilty – we’re biologically programed this way.   

It’s all because of a phenomenon known as sensory-specific satiety. 

This is when your tastebuds get bored, so, after a while, you lose appetite for savoury foods. 

But when you start eating a food that tastes and feels completely different in the mouth, you’ll find your tastebuds perk up – and you can eat more.

But here’s a neat trick to stop you over-doing the sweet snacks: keep them in the freezer. 

When a treat is frozen, it slows the rate at which you eat it, giving you more of a chance to notice fullness signals sent by your stomach to your brain.

Think about it this way: you can’t bite into a chocolate bar that’s been in the freezer, unless you want to break a tooth.

DITCH FIZZY SODA…HAVE WARM DRINKS WITH MEALS INSTEAD

Warm drinks like tea have L-theanine, which brings on a sense of calmness that can quell anxious eating

Warm drinks like tea have L-theanine, which brings on a sense of calmness that can quell anxious eating

Playing around with temperatures of food is a useful trick that could help reduce big appetites. 

Some of our overweight clients who often find themselves going back for multiple portions benefit from having a warm tea just before they start their meal, as it helps to reduce an insatiable hunger.

There are some small studies that suggest certain teas – such as green, black, and oolong – could reduce ‘stress eating’, due to the presence of the amino acid L-theanine.

When L-theanine crosses the blood-brain barrier, it brings on a sense of calmness and alertness. Many of us tend to overeat when we’re feeling anxious, so quelling those feelings could help you avoid this. 

Starting your meals with a L-theanine rich drink, therefore, could help you limit your portions. 

Warm drinks like lemon water and tea also help give your digestive system an edge by helping the stomach absorb nutrients.

‘GRAZING’ IS FINE…BUT HAVE ‘LABOR-INTENSIVE’ VEGGIES AT THE READY

Food that takes a little bit of work to eat, like crunchy veggies, gives the stomach enough time to tell the brain that it's full

Food that takes a little bit of work to eat, like crunchy veggies, gives the stomach enough time to tell the brain that it’s full

If you work at home, it’s quite likely that you’ll be milling around the kitchen, looking for easy food to grab for a quick snack.

The most popular choices are easily accessible, tasty goods – like chips, pretzels and candy. But try something that doesn’t go from hand to lips quite as easily. 

This could be peeling an orange, munching on raw veggies like broccoli, or nuts with shells like pistachios. 

The goal isn’t to make eating harder. It is instead to slow your eating behaviors, and keep you from absent mindedly finishing a whole bag of chips. 

If you have to take the time to peel something or crack open a shell, this slows you down and gives you time to notice if you feel full.

The standard American diet is full of soft foods like fries, mashed potatoes, pasta, cereal, which take no time to chew, making us more likely to keep eating until our stomachs finally catch up and say otherwise. 

One study, for instance, looked at 30 healthy women who ate their food at different paces. The researchers found that women who are more slowly consumed significantly less food while still feeling fuller than those who ate quicker. 

Crunchy veggies in particular are also packed with fiber, which our bodies need to keep our digestive system working smoothly and regulate sugars. These foods are digested more slowly, meaning they cause a gradual rise in blood sugar and keep us full for longer. 

CHOOSE A SMALLER PLATE…AND MAKE IT BLUE

Studies show that eating from a smaller, blue plate can help with portion control by tricking the brain and bringing on feelings of calm

Studies show that eating from a smaller, blue plate can help with portion control by tricking the brain and bringing on feelings of calm

Research shows that you’re not just imagining it: dinner plates have gotten bigger. 

In fact, recent research found that the average dinner plate size has increased by nearly 23 percent since 1900.

While that might not seem like much, bigger plates could lead to overeating since people tend to fill up their plates and eat most of what’s on it. 

However, just because dinnerware is getting bigger doesn’t make you have to use it. A smaller plate or bowl, such as a salad plate, is a good alternative. 

This basically works by tricking your brain into thinking you’re eating the same portion size as you would on a larger plate. It’s a phenomenon called the Delboeuf Illusion, or thinking that the same portion size is bigger on a smaller surface versus a larger one. 

A study out of Georgia Tech, for example, found that when students were asked to serve the same amount of soup in one small dish and one large dish, they put more soup in the larger dish. 

Bonus points if your plate is blue. A study in the journal Appetite found people who used a blue plate ate less food than those who consumed it from a white or red plate. 

Researchers believe it’s because blue isn’t associated with the colors of desirable food, and doesn’t trigger appetite. 

However, it’s been shown that restaurants emphasize colors like red and yellow to stimulate feelings of happiness and excitement, which makes us eat more. 

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