A published study in Annals of Behavioural Medicine revealed that making small changes in your eating habits and physical activity every week can help you lose more weight permanently than taking giant leaps.
The participants of the study who started off with making one small but permanent change every week lost twice more belly fat, 2.5 inches from their waistlines and around four times additional weight in the four-month period, in comparison to the those who adhered to strict calorie-restriction and physical activity instructions.
So if you’re someone who likes to set realistic challenges for yourself, here are a few small lifestyle changes you can start with to make a substantial difference in your weighing number:
1. Maintain a food journal
It’s so easy to eat mindlessly when you’re watching TV, are bored, lonely, angry, or are facing any such emotional triggers that often cause people to resort to comfort foods to feel better than deal with the real issue.
Writing down all that you’ve eaten throughout the day lets you be more conscious about what you’re putting in your mouth and exercise portion control too.
You begin to understand your eating habits better and also question if it was really necessary for you to consume so much or to eat so many calories?
You’ll notice if you consume more calorie-laden foods when you’re down, or if you’re skipping too many meals, et al. It sure makes a lot of difference to your diet when you have these facts ready with you.
A recent research showed that people who kept a food log lost twice more weight than the ones who didn’t. When combined with moderate exercise regime and diet, these people lost 13 pounds on an average in the 6-month period.
2. Indulge but only once a week
Restrict your consumption of high-fat foods to only once per week.
Think of any five high-calorie foods that you like the best (for example, fresh fries, candy, potato chips, ice cream, cheese sandwich, and others). You can have one day every week when you are free to eat these foods.
But downsize each of these gradually and drop out one of these foods every week until you are left with only one or two that you absolutely cannot do without.
Don’t forget to include a nutritious add-on, like sautéed broccoli, boiled corns, veggies, etc.
3. Choose your liquids carefully
Sweetened drinks almost always pack in a lot of unwanted calories but do not satiate hunger at all. Always resist the temptation to grab that next glass of fruit juice or cocktail and opt for water instead.
You can also add some lemon in water and have it. Skim milk or low-cal vegetable juices are also great options to try when you feel hungry in between the meals.
Keep a check on your alcohol intake as it adds on calories pretty quickly.
If you have a habit of drinking a glass or two of wine or cocktails on almost a daily basis, limiting it to only the weekends will make a huge difference in your overall calorie intake.
4. Replicate your high-calorie delights at home to cut down on caloric value
Try making your favourite high-calorie snack at home while keeping a check on your add-ons to make sure you’re not feeling deprived but at the same time you’re not packing in a lot of unnecessary calories.
For example, when you buy a chicken Caesar wrap from a restaurant, it has over 600 calories.
More than 40% of the calories in the wrap is because of the fat and 1400+ mg sodium contained in it is again half more than the recommended amount for daily consumption.
On the other hand, if you make one at home with an already sliced chicken breast placed on whole wheat bread and a dash of low-cal mayo and romaine lettuce added to it, it comes out to be only 230 calories.
To remind you, it is not just the calories that you cut down on.
When you prepare the wrap at home, you also reduce almost 500+ mg intake of sodium, which amounts to almost 28-pound of weight loss per year.
On some days when you don’t feel like cooking on your own, you can always order from diet meal delivery services that especially prepare door-to-door meals for weight watchers like you.
You can read more at Weight Loss Triumph for details about such services.
Although it’s the most obvious logic that you must expend more calories than you’re consuming daily, but in some cases it gets a little difficult to cope with this, especially if you’re bed-ridden for a while because of some accident or illness, or when you’re on a holiday and too lazy to be mindful of any of this.
For such times, you can keep some weight loss devices like this handy to maintain a sculpted mid-section at all times.
While it’s great that you’re trying to lose weight, you should know that losing more than 4 pounds a month is not considered healthy.
So instead of being in a hurry to lose weight and making drastic changes that you might not be able to hold onto after a while, try out these small changes and be sure to stick to them for life so that you’re losing weight permanently and the healthy way.
There’s so much that you can do to lose weight without having to go on a strict “diet” or without even having to hit the gym for hours every day. What does your experience say?
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Marcia Calleiro is a vegan and a work-from-home mother. Calleiro usually orders from healthy meal delivery service as they serve fresh, tasty and nutritious food. She combines this with small lifestyle changes to add onto her family’s health and to keep a check on their weight at all times. She is currently a contributor to Women 24 Website, South Africa’s largest community for women. In her free time, she likes square-foot gardening, playing games on her Xbox, and spending time with her family.
Have you ever tried making a successful lifestyle change that took you closer to your weight loss goal? How much did you lose? Share it all with us in the comments section.