To lose weight you have to burn more calories than you consume. And to burn calories, you need a proper balanced diet with a regular workout or exercise routine. But even if you don’t have the time or you lack motivation to be physically active, you can still lose weight by following a lot of simple but highly effective strategies.

Here are 9 strategies that can help you lose weight:

1. Buy Ready-to-eat snacks Having snacks in between your 3 big meals help you curb your appetite. Select healthy snacks that help you feel full. Snacks which include complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber and good fats. For eg. you can opt for roasted channa/chickpeas, fruits, vegetables, yoghurt, nuts and seeds, etc. These provide bulk to your appetite and are easily available.

2. Shorten your shopping trip Eat before going shopping, as this will help you to keep a check on your cravings. And will also help you purchase only the required items on your list. Select healthy options like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, multi-grains, wheat flour, etc.

3. Eat slowly and learn portion control Controlling your portion size is key to weight loss. Always be a smart selector while filling up your plate. Eat in small plates, chew slowly and stop eating once you feel full. Fill your plate with healthy options. For e.g., fill half of the plate with fresh fruits and veggies. You can consume rice, but instead of 1 cup, serve yourself ½ a cup. Or even better, choose brown rice.

4. Balanced meals A healthy diet will control your appetite by providing you all the essential nutrients. It should include all the basic essential nutrients required for optimum functioning of the body.

5. Keep yourself hydrated Drinking water is good for general health. Water is also known to fill you up and keep you from overeating. Dehydration or not drinking enough water can be responsible for slowing down your metabolism. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water a day to help remove toxins from your body and boost your metabolism naturally.

6. Watch the oil and butter Use nonstick cookware to lessen the amount of butter and oil while cooking. It will help you cut down on calories and preparation time.

7. Sufficient and deep sleep Lack of sleep lowers levels of leptin in your body, with the result being that you feel hungrier. Canadian researchers observed the connection between sleep patterns and obesity and found that people who slept 5 to 6 hours a night gained 4.5 pounds more than those who slept for 7 to 8 hours. So a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep is necessary. With sufficient sleep, it is even easier to control unnecessary food cravings.

8. Savor a night time snack There is nothing wrong with a post dinner snack. The problem only arises when the snack is unhealthy. Choose healthy and filling snacks. For eg., air-popped popcorn (without butter and oil) is filling and is packed with whole grains, antioxidants and fiber. High fiber helps you keep your blood sugar in control and hence you feel fuller for long durations.

9. Exercise is important Exercise helps you curb your cravings and lose weight in a healthy way. It increases the energy expenditure and burns calories and even adjusts the signals of satiety to reduce food intake.

The above strategies will not just help you lose weight, but will even boost your immunity and keep away diseases. Ideally, if you can even exercise along with following the above mentioned strategies, the benefits will multiply for your health and overall fitness.