Now that we have a working knowledge about SMART goals, it’s time to focus on the baby steps to meeting your goals. Some people lose weight through intermittent fasting and adopting new diets. Others try to make such major changes, but they start missing their afternoon candy bar or go-to snacks. Pretty soon, they revert to old habits and wind up gaining back the pounds they lost and more.
If you’re tired of watching your weight fluctuate, you may need a more gradual approach. Little changes add up, until you see a big difference on your bathroom scale. In fact, minor adjustments are often more sustainable because they suit your lifestyle. See how easy it can be to slim down, starting with these simple things to incorporate into your diet and workouts.
- Cook more. Preparing your own food allows you to control the ingredients. Restaurant meals tend to have more calories, salt, and sugar. That’s true whether you’re eating at a fast-food outlet or a fancy bistro.
- Plan your meals. Write out a menu for your daily meals and snacks. You’ll be able to tell at a glance if you’re getting all your required nutrients, and you’ll probably eat less.
- Stock your kitchen. Keep healthy snacks on hand, along with staples for light meals. You can make room for good things by getting rid of junk food.
- Increase your fiber. Some studies suggest that eating more fiber is the single most significant change you can make in your diet. The top sources include split peas, lentils, and black beans.
- Boost your protein. Foods rich in protein fill you up and recharge your metabolism. Plus, your body has to burn more calories to digest them, compared to carbohydrates and fats. Include some protein in each meal and snack.
- Eat breakfast. Refueling in the morning helps to prevent excessive eating later in the day. Start out with something hearty and nutritious, like Greek yogurt with berries and nuts or a bean burrito.
- Control portions. Forbidden foods can become so tantalizing that they lure you off your diet. Reduce your serving sizes so you can enjoy your favorite treats without any guilt.
- Focus on whole foods. Make vegetables, fruits, and other natural foods the core of your diet. Cutting back on packaged items will eliminate the most empty calories.
- Drink water. Quench your thirst with plain water and tea, instead of beverages loaded with calories. Staying hydrated facilitates digestion.
- Be mindful. Slow down and pay attention to what you’re putting on your plate. Your food will be more enjoyable. You will likely notice when you’re full instead of continuing to eat more than you planned.
Small Workout Habits That Help You Lose Weight
- Be consistent. A successful exercise plan is one that you can stick to. Select preferred activities, and invite a friend to join you. Aim for at least 250 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week if you’re trying to lose weight. That translates into about 35 minutes each day.
- Build muscle. Increasing your muscle mass enables you to burn more calories even when you’re at rest. Lift weights or do squats, and pushups with your body weight.
- Move your whole body. Speaking of squats and pushups, devote most of your workout sessions to exercises that target your whole body. They’ll burn more calories than smaller movements like bicep curls.
- Train in intervals. High-intensity interval training pays off. Alternate between brief bursts of intense activity and even briefer rest periods. For example, run for a few minutes while you’re taking a walk.
Eat healthier one small step at a time. You can shed weight without disrupting your life or feeling deprived.
Until the next post,