Weight loss can seem like a huge obstacle, but a few small changes to your lifestyle plan can make a difference. While some may tell you that you have to go on a strict diet plan to lose the extra pounds, there may be smaller changes you can make that will have a great effect. Often a very restrictive diet plan will leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied, and therefore, it will not last long. Follow these five healthy habits for weight loss and good health.
- Eat Breakfast Every Morning
You’ve heard the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it is true. Breakfast helps to refuel and re-energize your body after a long night’s rest. In other words, it gets your metabolism going so that your body can start burning calories throughout your day. In addition, it has been shown that those who skip breakfast, often eat more either at lunch or before lunch because they are starving. They can rationalize the extra calories because they had none for breakfast, but often the splurge far outweighs the calories they would have eaten for breakfast.
- Watch What You Drink
Sugary drinks such as soda and fruit juices may seem to fill you up, but, water can have the same effect without all of the added calories. Drink a full glass of water before each meal to help fill your stomach and avoid overeating. Several more glasses of water during the day will not only hydrate you well, but curb cravings and improve your digestion. Coffee and tea, without added sugar, may also be good choices for some since the caffeine can be an appetite suppressant.
- Exercise Doesn’t Have to Be Time Consuming
Even the little things you do on a daily basis can help you get more exercise. For example, when you go to the grocery store, park at one of the furthest spots and walk the extra steps into the store. While you are there, take an extra walk around the perimeter of the store for more steps. Another option for exercise might include taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Still others will find that they can turn dog walking into a daily stroll that may get a little longer over time. Finally, if you sit a lot in the office, you should try to take a short break every now and then to walk around. Each time you sit back down, do a squat over your chair before actually sitting for added benefit.
- Watch Portion Sizes
Calorie counting can be difficult and time consuming, but cutting down on portion size can be simple to do. The first step may be to measure the quantities of food before putting them on your plate. Use regular measuring cups and a food scale to do this. Another trick to cutting portion sizes is to use smaller plates or even bowls. Putting your food on a smaller plate allows your eyes to see a full plate while you are really giving yourself less food. Moreover, restaurant portions are known to be oversized. Before even starting to eat food in a restaurant, cut each portion in half and move it to the side of the plate. Eat only half of the food and you will have a whole extra meal to take home.
- Eat Real Food
Real foods are whole, unprocessed foods like beef and chicken, fruits and veggies, and whole grains. The more processed the foods are, the less healthy they probably are. In other words, if it comes in a box or a bag, like pasta meal “helpers” or snack foods, it is probably not a good choice. Instead use whole wheat pastas and sauces made from fresh fruits and veggies such as tomatoes for a healthier meal. Not only will it be less processed, it will likely have less sugar, less fat, and taste better too.
With just a few small changes in your daily habits, you can take off some extra pounds. Weight loss will be slow and steady, the healthiest way to go. Not only will you lose the pounds, but you will gain good practices that will last a lifetime.