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Easy Nudges to Help Lose Weight

Updated: Oct 19, 2023

While losing weight without noticing is the dream for many, it is possible to do some DIY nudging without too much effort, says psychologist David Halpern, who advises the UK Government.

Weight scale and a measuring tape

Dietitians will tell you that what you eat, when you eat, how your body digests food, the state of your overall health, and even your genes can all affect whether you lose or gain weight, given a specific number of daily calories. Still, there’s no harm in applying a little light maths to our diets, if we want to improve our figures, reports The Telegraph.

Swap whole milk for skimmed

This is the basic dairy do-over: a simple way to save roughly those recommended daily 38 calories by swapping full fat milk for skimmed milk. Assuming you use about 120ml of milk a day in tea and coffee, it’s an easy swap to make. Result: 4lb weight loss per year.

No butter on sandwiches

Spreading butter, or margarine, on two average slices of bread accounts for about 100-150 calories, depending on how thick you spread it. If you eat one sandwich five times a week that adds up to 39,000 calories over a year. Result: 14lb weight loss per year.

Eat an organge, rathing than drinking OJ

The average orange contains 54 kcals compared to a 200ml glass of juice at 88 kcals. When you eat the whole fruit, your body gets the message that you are satiated and the natural fibre helps to fill you up, whereas the juice, stripped of much of its fibre content, is so high in fructose it has the potential to cause a spike in your blood sugars. You could save 12,410 cals a year here. Result: 3.5lb weight loss per year.

Swap your chocolate

Let’s say you like a Twix or a Snickers on a weekday afternoon - just to get you through the slump. By swapping a high calorie bar like these (about 300 cals a bar) to a small treat like a Milky Way (c. 100 kcals), you could save 1,000 calories a week. Result: 15lb weight loss per year.

Stop that nightly glass of wine

According to wine expert Beverley Blanning in Decanter magazine, wine weighs in at a hefty seven calories per gram, which is only two calories fewer than pure fat. Drinking four bottles of wine a month adds up to a yearly consumption of around 27,000 kcal, says the NHS. Result: 3.5lb weight loss per year.


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