Need to prepare family dinners without ruining your healthy lifestyle? Trying to lose a few pounds but worried about the cost of healthy foods? Here are some great weight loss hacks that can help you feed your family without extending your waistline!

1) Put the food you prepare on another counter or table top away from the dinner table. This forces everyone to get out of their seat to fill their plate. Once you’re done with your first plate, don’t get up for seconds. When food is in front of you, you’re more likely to keep picking at it and ruining your daily calorie count.

2) Use smaller dinner plates. This makes your portions look bigger while tricking your body into feeling the same “full” and satisfied feeling.

3) Prepare less food; or, if you want to plan on eating leftovers, divide and refrigerate the food to be eaten later before you begin eating. If you have less food in front of you at the beginning, you can’t eat as much.

4) Drink more water! Often your body mistakes the feeling of thirst with hunger. After you are done with your plate, drink a full glass of water and wait 10 minutes. It takes longer than you think for your stomach to communicate to your brain about how full you actually are.

5) Eat dinner earlier. If you have family dinner right before you go to bed, your body will have trouble digesting while you sleep. Make dinner earlier, then go on an evening walk to stimulate your digestive system.

6) Think eating healthier for weight loss is more expensive? Think again. Losing weight entails eating significantly fewer calories. By buying less food at the grocery store, you can use the money you save to make healthier and possibly more expensive purchases. It’s like an energy savings plan for your diet!

7) Go vegetarian once a week. This will add fiber to your diet, and healthy vegetarian options tend to be lower in calories.

8) Just say no to soda. The more sweetened, sugary beverages you consume, the more weight you gain (this includes diet soda: studies show you are more likely to consume greater quantities of food than normal after drinking these beverages). Those who cut out soda can lose up to 10 pounds a year from that change alone.

9) If you hate bland water, slice up lemons or strawberries and put them in your water pitcher. This provides a refreshing taste without extra refined sugars.

10) Exchange the potatoes (or other sides) for a side salad. You make any salad taste great if you just get creative! Try spinach with strawberries, mandarin oranges, almonds, and other sweet, healthy foods. You don’t have to sacrifice taste for health.