A whopping 68 percent of women believe that willpower is the most important factor for losing weight, according to a new Institute for Wellness Education report. And while there’s no denying that willpower plays a role in eating right and resisting temptation, perhaps the easiest way to lose weight is not to test your willpower in the first place. After all, the more you try your willpower, the sooner it will give out.
Want to lose weight without struggling with temptation? These seven tricks will remove willpower from the equation so you don’t have to give healthy eating a second thought:
Cook Once a Week
Whether it’s chopping veggies, assembling salads, hard-boiling eggs, or pre-roasting chicken, preparing your meals ahead of time can eliminate the guesswork (and temptations) throughout the week. All you have to do is grab, go, and eat. Learn how to cook once, eat for the week.
Keep Healthy Snacks On You At All Times
Your desk, your purse, your gym bag, it doesn’t matter. Wherever you go, so should healthy snacks. That way, when hunger strikes, you have a healthy option right at your fingertips and won’t have to fight the urge to fill up on less-than-healthy options. Here are 42 portable healthy snacks to load up on.
Keep Junk Food Out of Reach
News flash: People are inherently lazy. A recent study from St. Bonaventure University in New York found that if you actually have to get up to grab a food, you’ll eat less of it—no matter how much you love it. Your move: If you bring an unhealthy treat into your house, put it in a high cabinet where you can’t see it. That way, you’ll naturally eat less of it.
Cut Up Your Food
The little-kid tactic will help you eat less and feel fuller, per Arizona State University research. Cutting your food into smaller pieces makes foods seem bigger overall—which is why it works better with larger foods like steak and sandwiches than with small ones like grapes or curly fries.
Every. Single. Day. It will help keep your blood sugar levels in check so you don’t get ravenous and overeat later in the day. Check out these seven research-backed breakfast tips for faster weight loss.
Downsize Your Plates
Sure, they fit less food—but smaller dishes also make you think you’re eating more! According to Cornell research, people who eat off of six-inch plates think they’re eating about 18 percent more food than they actually are. There’s no need to be drastic about it: According to researchers, a two-inch reduction in plate diameter would cut your calories consumed by 22 percent—the equivalent of about 18 pounds lost in a single year. And if you’re really serious about dropping pounds, you might want to consider investing in these cute portion-control dishes.
Stay Out of Supermarkets
If you head to the supermarket with a healthy list, only to leave with a stockpile of sweet treats, consider making someone else do your shopping. Many cities offer grocery-delivery services like Peapod and Instacart that eliminate the need for you to ever enter the mecca of temptation. Bonus: With one less errand to run, you’ll have more time to get cooking!
*This story was originally published on WomensHealth.com.