9 Tiny Changes for BIG Weight Loss
Be honest with yourself. Right now, there’s at least one — probably two — small things you could change in your life that you KNOW would help you reach your weight loss goals.
But you also know that the effects won’t be major. And why would you add the nuisance to your life when it’s not enough to help you fit back into your favorite pair of skinny jeans?
If that’s your thought process, don’t worry because you’re not alone. The great news is that those small little changes add up to MASSIVE results when they work as a team.
Below, we’ve put together a list of some very small, simple changes that can easily be worked into your lifestyle. Alone, their effect would be real but nothing crazy. But when you add 2, 3, 6, or better yet all 10 together they add up to HUGE results!
Take the Stairs: We’ve all probably heard this one a million times and brushed it off figuring it couldn’t make that much of a difference, could it?
Wrong! You burn roughly 5 calories for every flight of stairs you climb, meaning that choosing the stairs to head for the sixth floor just three times per day burns an additional 90 calories! Over the next 12 weeks, you could drop 2.3 pounds without making any other changes to your lifestyle!
Use Smaller Plates and Utensils: Size matters! Did you know your eyes could be tricking you into eating more? A study by Cornell University found that those who were served cereal in larger bowls ate 16% more.
Even worse, despite having eaten more, the larger-bowl group still thought they had eaten less than those who had eaten from smaller bowls. Avoid falling for this diet-ruining visual trick by using smaller plates, bowls, and utensils.
Use Blue Plates: Color matters too! Cornell researchers have found that a lack of color contrast between your meal and the plate you serve it on caused people to eat 22% more than those whose plates and meals were of contrasting colors.
What’s that mean? If you’re eating something like pasta with Alfredo sauce, you’d want to avoid using a white plate. If you were eating your pasta with tomato sauce, however, a white plate would work great! Aim for contrast and you’ll be much less likely to over-serve yourself.
Stop Drinking Your Calories: Perfect eating can be ruined in just one gulp. Sodas run about 130 calories per 12 oz can while a cup of orange juice will set you back 112 calories.
And while zero-calorie sodas may not directly cause weight gain, they do play a role. Studies have shown that consuming these artificially-sweetened options tricks our brains into thinking we’re not getting enough sugar. This leads to us to “make up” for it by seeking it out in foods and thus, overeating. Stick to no-worry beverages like water or post-workout protein shakes mixed with skim milk.
Got a Diet Coke habit you just can’t see shaking? Don’t fret! Quitting cold turkey would be best, but this is the real world and that isn’t realistic for most of us. Aim to cut your consumption by 25% per week. By this time next month, you’ll have a MAJOR drag on your diet perfectly under control!
Start Meals With a Glass of Water: University researchers studied obese adults and found that those who drank 2 cups of water 30 minutes before each day’s 3 main meals lost an average of 9.48 pounds over just 12 weeks. Those who did so at only 1 meal still lost 1.76 pounds.
Why? Drinking water before a meal has the obvious effect of filling you up before you eat, but there’s more to it than that. We often confuse hunger and thirst, leading us to overeat when all our body really wants is a cool, refreshing glass of water!
Bring a Snack: No matter how much willpower we think we have, it can quickly go bye bye as we go throughout the day getting more and more tired and more and more stressed.
How do you avoid this wrecking your diet and keeping you from meeting your goals? Keep healthy, low-calorie options in your desk, purse, or backpack. Pretzel sticks are a nice option at just 100 calories per 53 sticks.
Drink Green Tea: Want to kick your fat loss into overdrive? Green tea before a workout has been shown to increase fat oxidation by 17%, meaning you’ll be melting away that fat even faster. It also raises your resting metabolism by 4%, so you’ll burn 80 more calories daily without making any other changes!
Watch Your Toppings: Choosing a healthy, low-cal high-protein option like a salad with grilled chicken is a great start, but can quickly be ruined. Avoid adding toppings like ranch dressing (145 cals per serving), mayonnaise (94 cals/tbsp), or croutons (122 cals & 22g carbs per cup) when finishing off your salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
So am I supposed to eat everything without any toppings??? Of course not! Instead, add things like hot sauce or salsa (which are typically 5 calories or less per serving) or bell peppers, which are about 25-30 calories for an ENTIRE medium-sized pepper.
Keep Fidgeting: Right now, are you tapping your toes? Rocking in your seat? Great! The never-ending need to “fidget” that got you in trouble when you were a child doesn’t need to be avoided any longer.
Research studies have (not surprisingly) found again and again that those of us who seemingly can’t seem to sit still — even when we’re actually sitting — burn far more calories than more sedentary, calm individuals.
These little calorie-burning movements add up MAJOR over the year so the next time you realize you’ve been tapping your fingers, pacing the room, or whatever it is you do, just go with the flow and enjoy. All that nervous energy is working towards a slim, sexy you!
Not so tough, huh? Be sure to pin this article so you’ll be able to refer back to it later!