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When it comes to a successful weight loss plan, some of the most effective tips are also the simplest to implement. Trying to lose weight doesn’t always have to happen with giant actions, like a marathon or strict crash diet. Small, incremental changes or adjustments to day-to-day habits can have big payoffs.
If you can find a nutrition and exercise plan that works for you, you’ll be more likely to follow it on a consistent basis. Less restrictive approaches will be more manageable over time, helping you to see changes in the long run. Don’t be ashamed to start small. When it comes to losing weight, it really is in the little things.
Here are some small changes that can help you lose weight in a big way:
Fuel up in the morning:
Start your day with a high-protein breakfast to support weight loss and maintenance. Eggs with lean meat is a good combination but if you don’t have the time to cook, Greek yogurt with nuts can also be a good source of protein. Avoid cereals, breakfast bars or pastries high in carbohydrates and sugar. They may give you a surge of energy but will leave you hungry and fatigued by mid-morning.
Be mindful of beverages:
Sodas, energy drinks and fruit juices are full of empty calories and sugar. Replacing them with water will cut hundreds of calories per day. A glass or two of water before a meal can also help you feel full faster, so you won’t overeat. Start looking at the labels when shopping for beverages and avoid sugary drinks. You don’t have to give up your coffee, but cut back sugar, flavorings or cream that you may be used to stirring in.
Make exercise part of your day:
For someone who doesn’t live an active lifestyle, expecting them to hit the gym every day of the week isn’t a realistic goal to maintain. Instead, try incorporating 30 minutes of moderate exercise like walking into your schedule each day. If you find places to add in physical activity without having to change your routine too drastically, you’ll be more likely to stick with these healthy habits. If you work a desk job, get up as much as possible during the workday to walk around. Leading a sedentary lifestyle slows down your metabolism. Any small movements are better than none.
The American Council on Exercise suggests how to combat the negative effects of too much sitting:
- Stand for a few minutes every hour to activate unused muscles.
- Sit on a stability ball for 30 minutes per day to work your core.
- Participate in walking meetings, which will improve your mood, concentration and blood flow.
- Take fitness breaks by performing wall push-ups, squats and calf raises throughout the day.
- Work out or take a walk during your lunch hour.
- Consider biking or walking to work.
- Practice yoga, monitored breathing or meditation to help reduce stress.
Know what’s on the menu:
Not everyone enjoys taking on the chef role in their household but replacing meals eaten in restaurants with home-cooked meals can save you a lot of calories––money too. When you go out to eat or get takeout, you have little control over what’s going in your dish. If you have the time, try spending a weekend shopping and meal prepping for the week with healthier ingredient choices. Home delivery kits make it simple if you don’t enjoy food shopping or need some help with recipes. Even replacing one or two meals you would normally get from a restaurant with a home-cooked meal is a great place to start.
Learn more about weight management programs at Inspira.