Making small incremental changes or big, meaningful shifts can result in more sustainable weight-loss without affecting quality of life compared to making a sudden, full-on lifestyle alteration. When you make a dramatic lifestyle modification, such as getting on the treadmill every day or engaging in a juice-cleanse for the next 21 days, what usually happens is life will sneak up on you, and before you know it, you are no longer sticking to your weight-loss plan, which can become very demoralizing and could lead to reverting back to doing nothing. On the other hand, when you make less restrictive commitments and slowly add additional ones, then you will be better able to adjust and include the change as part of your regular routine, and this will be more manageable and maintainable long-term. When you succeed at a small goal instead of failing at a big one, you will feel more motivated and empowered to take on more goals, which will add up to big changes over time.
Just as the weight-loss journey is different for everyone, there is no one small change that will work for every single person 100% of the time. However, below are some small ideas for you to try to start implementing to get a step closer to your big results.
Start the day with protein! According to a 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, protein intake supports weight-loss as well as weight maintenance. A protein-rich breakfast increases your satiety and allows your blood sugar levels to remain within a healthy range. This will result in less food cravings and unhealthy snacking later in the day. Example: Frittata is a great way to use dinner leftovers for breakfast. Just combine eggs, non-fat cheese, and chopped vegetables and bake. Refrigerate and reheat in the morning to enjoy. If you are in a rush, grab a protein shake.
Focus on the positive! Instead of dwelling on the foods that you cannot eat, like cookies or chips, just think of all leafy greens you can have. You can enjoy unlimited amounts of beet greens, collard greens, endive, escarole, iceberg, kohlrabi, mustard greens, turnip greens, romaine, watercress, spinach, and the list goes on! According to the Mayo Clinic, the virtually unlimited aspect is psychologically very powerful. If focusing on vegetables does not appeal to you, focus on other positives, such as all new clothes you can buy or all the pleasant compliments that you will get as you near your weight-loss goals.
Use your scale daily! According to a 2015 study in the Journal of Obesity, people who weigh themselves every day lost more weight and kept it off more successfully than people who did not. Weighing yourself each night will affect your decisions for the next day. Or, if you weigh yourself every morning, it would serve as a friendly reminder to choose wisely throughout the day.
Drink water! You probably have heard this before – that, a lot of times, hunger and thirst signals are confused. So, the next time you feel hungry, pause, and drink a glass of water first before resorting to grabbing a bag of candies. Moreover, drinking water regularly throughout the day will fill your stomach, which creates a sense of satiety. The result is you will naturally eat less during your main meals, and you will be one step closer to your weight-loss goal!