Every year, 45 million Americans go on a diet.
Was one of your New Year’s resolutions to start losing weight right away? With the right lifestyle changes and pure dedication, you can make this possible.
Read on for 7 easy tips that will help you shed pounds after the holidays.
1. Eat Your Greens
Your parents always said it, if you’re a parent it’s likely you say it a lot too. But, do you actually live by this mantra?
It’s been proven time and time again that cutting out meat and dairy from our diets will make a huge difference to the planet.
But, this lifestyle change would also make a huge difference to our waistlines too.
Rather than cutting out all of the foods you love, instead opt for adding more green, leafy vegetables to your plate first.
Eat your greens before moving onto dessert and you’ll find that you’re a lot more full than you might have expected.
Restricting diets will only see us piling more pounds back on once we get back to “normal”. A healthy diet is one which we know is maintainable for life.
2. Eat Small, Regular Meals
Are you a snacker? Many of us are guilty of reaching for the post lunchtime chocolate bars to give us a little energy perk.
Instead of doing this, plan your meals in advance and make sure you’re eating them when you’re hungry.
Having regular but small meals throughout the day can help snackers from kicking a bad habit.
When dieting or trying to lose weight, forward planning is your best friend. Avoiding those pre-packaged meals full of calories and salt is key.
Now is the time to learn how to cook! Being on a diet isn’t about being hungry, it’s about choosing the routine and foods which are right for YOUR body.
Small, Regular Meal Ideas:
Prepare small snack boxes with healthy foods. Consider having a small breakfast of porridge and coffee when you wake up followed by a morning snack of fruit, such as an apple, and tea at 11 am.
For lunch, have a small lunch box of legumes and whole grains. When those snack cravings kick in at 3 pm, make sure a snack box with nuts and even small pieces of dark chocolate is on hand!
Finally, evening meals can include a small dinner readily made (think curries and soups), before a supper of bananas and tea with honey.
Remember, this is not a strict meal plan. It is just an idea of how sticking to a regular meal plan can help let your stomach know that food is coming. It will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and yet still enable you to “snack”.
4. Still Hungry? Go for Twenty Minute Walks After Eating
If you’ve implemented these small lifestyle changes but are still finding yourself craving a dessert after lunch or dinner, it’s time to go for a walk.
Walking after a meal can help your digestion and improve your blood sugar levels. Your walk can be as short as just 15 minutes.
Better yet, you’ll likely find that once you come back from this walk, you won’t be needing to reach for that dessert any longer as your stomach has realized it’s full.
If you ARE still feeling peckish, then now’s the time to pull out an apple or another piece of fruit.
5. Find a Sport You Love
As well as a post-meal walk, you should also aim to increase your physical activity level.
Most of us view exercise as something we’d do if we had more time or as external to our everyday needs.
But, all of us should be aiming to incorporate exercise into our lives a LOT more. We’re always told to “take the stairs” or “walk on a lunch break”, but do we ever do it? No.
If we all did get more exercise, we’d have huge benefits such as:
- Ability to sleep better and longer
- Enabling our cardiovascular system to work well
- Reduces blood sugar levels
- Releases mood-lifting hormones
- Reduces anxiety, stress, depression
- Helps control weight
- Aiding chronic respiratory diseases
- Sparks your sex life!
As well as making small changes to your life, try to find a sport which you love. Did you play tennis at school? Are you always told you’re the “perfect height to play basketball”? Try out these sports!
If you hate the idea of swimming, running or exercising in front of other people, that’s ok too. There are hundreds of YouTube videos which you can do at home.
Just make sure you’re keeping up with your cardio and weight lifting every day to see huge changes. Read more here.
6. Drink More Water
Now is the time to buy yourself a fancy water bottle which you love so that it reminds you to DRINK!
(Plus, having your own reusable water bottle will help you do your bit for the planet.)
If you don’t like the taste of water, simply add your favorite fruits to your bottle to improve the taste somewhat.
When you start feeling hungry, have a drink. Our bodies are terrible at knowing the difference between thirst and hunger.
After drinking a cup of water and waiting for ten minutes, you’ll know if you were ACTUALLY hungry or if your body was tricking you into more calories.
Do a lot of your daily calories come from expensive lattes? You can use a stainless steel insulated water bottle to bring in tea instead.
Although this transition will take some getting used to, you may be surprised by how much better and more alert you feel for drinking caffeinated tea with less sugar and calories.
7. Cut Down on Alcohol
For many of us, drinking alcohol is one of the best ways to get over a long, hard day. Swapping a glass of wine for a run in the park feels like an impossible change.
But, how about swapping your alcoholic beverage for a night with friends? A cozy film and a cup of tea? Again, not ideal but a slightly easier swap.
Making yourself take a few nights off from alcohol per week will help you see a huge change if your waistline.
Start Losing Weight by Changing Your Lifestyle
When you’re at the beginning of your weight loss journey, it can be impossible to implement all of these changes.
But, start slowly and build up a routine over time. You need to be committed to the process in order to start losing weight.
This could mean focusing for one month on just your eating habits. The next month, when this is finally a true habit, you can focus on your exercise.
Need more health help? Check out our health archives for more information.