Losing weight can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing drastic overhaul. Making small, sustainable changes to your eating and exercise habits can set you up for safe, effective weight loss. Here are realistic tips for getting started:
When we eat mindlessly or don’t really take the time to focus on what we’re eating, we can experience ‘portion distortion’. We don’t realize how much food we’re eating or we try to ‘eyeball’ it for portion size but our assessment is a little…or a lot…off.
To easily eat smaller portions, use smaller plates, weigh portions, and eat sitting down without distractions to better evaluate proper serving sizes. Take modest portions of calorie-dense foods.
Swap out higher calorie ingredients less nourishing foods or ingredients for lower calorie options. Use avocado or hummus instead of mayo, choose lean proteins, fill half your plate with vegetables.
Carry a water bottle and aim to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Sometimes we mistake thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated helps you feel satisfied and also helps with energy and clear thinking. When you’re dehydrated, your cells dry out throughout your body. This includes brain and muscle cells. For everything to perform optimally, you need to drink plenty of water.
Look for ways to sneak in extra movement throughout your day. Take the stairs, park further from entrances, pace when on the phone, and go for short walks. IF you work in an office building, seek out the restroom in a different area of the building. If you drink the recommended amounts of water, you will be visiting that restroom frequently, thus adding more steps to your day.
Prep healthy snacks and meals in advance for the week. This prevents grabbing fast food or convenience snacks when hunger strikes. Make extra servings of your healthy dinner so you have enough for lunch the next day. Pre-make breakfast the night before so you don’t grab for empty calories in the form of refined carbs and sugary, greasy pastries.
A protein-rich breakfast with fiber keeps you full and curbs cravings later in the day. Try eggs, oatmeal with nuts or nut butter and fruit, or unsweetened plain Greek yogurt with fruit.
Mark exercise time on your calendar and treat it with the same importance as other obligations. Consistency is key, even if workouts are short. Starting your day with exercise can set you up for more energy, clearer thinking, better food choices.
I find when I start my day with exercise, I am more likely to choice healthier food options throughout the day. I don’t want to ‘undo’ the good I did with my morning exercise.
Aim for 7-9 hours per night. Lack of sufficient sleep disrupts hormones that regulate hunger and metabolism. Turn off all electronics at least an hour before bedtime so as not to disrupt your melatonin production. Try to maintain a regular bed and waking time every day, including weekends to regulate your circadian rhythm.
Implementing one or two of these manageable tips at a time can kickstart your weight loss journey. Small, incremental changes really do lead to big impacts over time!
Need help choosing small steps to make the biggest impact? I’m happy to help.
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