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What’s one of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re trying to lose weight? Definitely trying to make too many (big) habit changes at the same time.
The problem with this approach is this: Our habits are deeply rooted. That’s why breaking habits is not only an incredibly difficult task. Forming new habits also costs a tremendous amount of effort.
Not only that.
It also leads to decision fatigue: You get overwhelmed by all the changes you need to make. And, as a result, don’t know where to start, which leads to indecisiveness.
The result? You end up not making any changes at all.
That’s why there’s a power in keeping things simple. It makes your life a whole easier. And these small changes eventually add up to big results. There’s no better proof of this concept than these 10 small changes you can make for BIG weight loss.
1. Limit your sugar intake
Sugar is one of the biggest enemies of weight loss. Calories from sugar quickly add up. It doesn’t make you feel full. And it causes your blood sugar to spike, which can lead to binge-eating. That’s why limiting your sugar intake is one of the best small changes you can make.
So have a critical look at your diet. Think about ways you can cut sugar out of your diet: Maybe you can cut out sugary beverages?
Maybe you can leave it out of your coffee or tea? Or maybe you can cut it out your salad dressings by using just using vinegar and oil?
2. Eat more vegetables
All vegetables are low calory dense food, meaning they contain minimal calories relative to their weight. That’s why eating more vegetables can satisfy your hunger while consuming far less calories. So, find ways to add more vegetables to your diet.
Consider having a salad or soup with every meal. Or eat more vegetables during dinner while cutting down on carbs.
3. Drink more water
There’s a good chance you’ve heard this recommendation before. But even though most people already know it works, they tend to forget actually implementing it. That’s why I couldn’t leave it off the list.
The best time to drink water is before every meal. Why? Because you will feel fuller before starting every meal, which will result in eating less.
4. Keep a food journal
Keeping a food journal might feel silly at first. Or a tedious task you don’t want to make time for. But I urge you to reconsider. Several studies have proven that those who hold food journals are WAY more successful in losing weight: If you keep a food journal for 6 days a week, you can expect to lose twice as much as those who don’t.
You’re probably wondering WHY keeping a food journal is so powerful. This is because it gives you insight into what, how much, and WHY you’re eating the foods you eat. Being more conscious of your eating habits can help you make changes. And motivate you to make better choices.
Here are some tips for keeping a food journal:
- Don’t write down what you eat at the end of each day. Instead, write it down as you’re done eating something.
- Don’t just write down what you eat. Make sure you also write down your portion sizes.
- Eat at home as much as possible. Eating at home gives you more control over how much you eat.
5. Use a fitness tracker
If you don’t already have a fitness tracker installed on your phone: Why not? Lots of fitness trackers won’t cost you a single dime. It’s a great tool to keep you motivated and accountable. And it helps you work out more effectively.
6. Use smaller dinner plates
Did you know the size of dinner plates have increased by about 22% over the last century? Well, it’s true. And there’s a big problem with this: The more food you put on a plate, the more you tend to it. This has been proven by research. Luckily, you can use this fact to your advantage. Use smaller plates to trick your brain to feeling full with less food. Having plates that have a contrast in color to the food you can eat can also help you eat less.
7. Stop stocking processed foods and snacks
You can’t eat food you don’t have laying around in the house. That’s why one of the most straightforward changes you can make is at the counter of your grocery store. Give whatever you’re buying a second thought: Do I really need this? Or is there a healthier alternative to what I’m buying?
8. Move more often
People have become stale: Sitting behind a computer or tv screen for 8 hours a day is not what the body was designed to do. In fact, research has shown a whopping 80% of adolescents are not moving enough. Which has a lot of disastrous consequences. So take up any change to move:
9. Find a workout partner
When you’re feeling motivated to go to the gym, it’s a great feeling. But here’s the thing: No matter how hard you try to keep yourself motivated, motivation tends to come in spurts: It comes and goes.
A workout partner can help to hold you accountable. Especially on those days where the last thing you want to do is go to the gym. It’s also motivating to have a bit of a friendly rivalry going in the gym. It can help you push yourself a bit harder. And reach new heights.
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10. Only eat in ONE location
What is the place where people tend to eat their snacks? It’s definitely not at the dinner table. Usually, it’s on the couch where you watch tv. On the bed. Or on the computer desk. If you don’t allow yourself to eat at these places, it will help you cut down on snacks. So, consider only having your meals in ONE location.
Trying to make too many changes to your habits at the same almost always ends up in failure. That’s why a better approach is to implement the 10 small changes listed above gradually. It will make your life a whole lot easier. And those small changes will eventually add up to big results.
-Don’t try to overhaul your life overnight. Instead, focus on making one small change at a time. Over time, those small changes will add up to big transformation.”
Founder of EWS. Research writer and test performance hacker, avid intermittent faster, and weight loss specialist. Improve your health and torch fat by downloading the 31 Day Fasting Method.