One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they’re trying to change their lives is to try an all-or-nothing approach. I’m talking about those crazy insane diets or work out plans that take everything out of a person. But think about it: how do you go from couch potato to working out 6x a week, cutting all alcohol, saying no to sugar, carbs, fats and basically everything you’re used to consuming and expect to stick with it?
The answer? You don’t. You’re actually more likely to give up on health and fitness because it seems too hard for you to commit to. Instead of diving in, in such an extreme manner, it makes more sense to make small changes to your lifestyle that help you to internalize healthy habits which you’ll end up practicing for the rest of your life. There are great guides out there that you can follow that serve as amazing starting points for your journey. But there are also small changes that you can make right now which will help you to become healthier. Check out these 7 easy ways!
1. Drink all the water you can!
Water is good for you, let’s just start with that. Now, join me for a little story: when I started putting on my ‘freshman 15’ last year, one of the first things I did to get back on track was to cut all drinks except water from my diet. By only drinking water, I was able to save on a lot of empty calories. When you’re drinking 3 glasses of cola a day, the number really tends to go up. So when you cut that, it plays a role in helping you get the results you want. As you know, water has 0 calories, plus if you drink it before meals, it has the effect of filling you up, making you eat less during the day and lowering your chances of overeating.
2. Choose high protein snacks
Who doesn’t love snacks? I tend to need one around 4pm each day when I’m working and another one later on in the evening when I just get an urge to chew on something quickly. I know you can probably relate. One easy way to help with your healthy efforts is to swap those snacks with little-to-no nutritional value for fiber-rich, high protein ones. Snacks like chips and cheap chocolates increase the amount of calories you’re putting on that day, but do nothing to fill you up. High protein snacks, instead, actually give you a feeling of being full because it takes longer for your body to break down the proteins. It’ll keep your cravings satisfied and lead to you making better diet related decisions!
3. Keep a food log
Being aware of how you spend your time and how you treat your body is next on this list of 7 easy ways to becoming healthier. I suggest keeping an overall health log where you take note of your daily food intake, exercise, and feelings. This is a great tool for you to track your progress and also see the reasons why you are (or are not) seeing the results you are getting. Plus, the visibility it allows has a sort of psychological effect in that it makes you more critical to your behavior. You might not realize how sedentary you are, or how much unnecessary foods you fill your body with until you actually see it!
4. Get enough sleep
Studies have shown that when you’re not sleeping enough, this can lead to you feeling hungry even if you’re full, and it also affects your metabolism. Without enough sleep, your body has difficulty breaking down carbs, and leads to these carbs being turned into fat. On top of that, getting enough sleep makes sure that you feel fresh each morning so that you’re in the right mood to workout and do meal-preps.
5. Get active in any way possible
The small things always add up. Instead of taking the car to work, opt for biking or walking. Instead of taking the elevator, why not go for the stairs? Try to be physically active as much as you can during the day and make it fun! When you want to hang out with your friends, suggest taking a dance class together or going for a hike and having an amazing picnic. There are so many small ways to be more active like parking further away from a store so that you walk just a little bit more, playing more with your children or pets, or doing mini-workouts during commercials when you’re watching television.
6. Try a guide
One of the hardest things for people is getting started, so it’s totally understandable that you would want to use a guide to help you out! But, you need a guide that’s not going to put you on an intense regimen without explaining why you’re eating or exercising in a particular way. Instead, find an educational guide that gives you all the tools you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. It doesn’t make sense to lose 20 pounds in a month if you’re just going to put it back on as soon as you’re done because you’re lost after you complete it. I have to, naturally, recommend our guide if you’re looking for one that teaches you everything you need to know!
7. Use smaller plates
The smaller your plate, the smaller your portions turn out to be. This is because of an optical illusion called the Delboeuf Illusion. The premise is simple: we think things are smaller when we compare them to things that are bigger. When you start putting portions into a large plate, your mind feels like you’re not getting enough food, and you’ll end up filling up the plate more. But, if you put your food on a smaller plate, your mind gets the visual that you are eating a large amount, causing you to stop putting food on to your plate. So choosing to use smaller plates will help you to stop overeating, while still feeling satisfied at the same time.
Try out these 7 easy ways to start losing weight now and get ready to lose in a healthy and sustainable manner. It’s time to stop yoyo-ing back and forth with being healthy and letting it all go. You’ve got this!