When it comes to weight loss, it’s all about making effective changes here and there and not starving yourself or eating salads 24 x 7 because none of those are going to give you long-lasting results. Researchers say that when we make small changes, they become part of the lifestyle, and in this bargain, you would never ever gain back weight again. The benefits of making tiny changes is that you would no longer be yo-yo dieting, they become habits before you know, and weight loss will be a cakewalk. Dieting and working out can intimidate certain people but you can ease yourself into a healthy weight loss process by making these tiny changes which would add up and make a huge difference. But remember, the tiny changes that you make should be sustainable and you would not be stretching yourself to incorporate them into your life. In this post, we have listed out 32 tiny changes that can result in big weight loss gains.
1. Start your day with a healthy breakfast: Since your body is in a fasting state all through the night, it is only prudent to nourish it with the correct kind of food. Start your day with a healthy breakfast, keeping protein, complex carbs, and fiber content in mind. Follow Rati Beauty diet programs to get an idea of what healthy breakfast should look like.
2. Keep a food journal: People who keep a food journal often find that jotting down every meal into a notebook helps them eliminate potential fattening and unhealthy food. A food journal also helps one set a food routine and the frequency of snacking.
3. Get up from your desk every few minutes: When you are completely immersed in work, it’s often difficult to peel off from the desk, even to fetch a bottle of water. But make it a habit to get up from the work desk every few minutes and once in a while during those breaks, try to include at least one of these – 10 to 15 jumping jacks, one minute plank, or just do some pushups. Also, get up and walk while you are on the phone, this simple activity will help you burn quite a number of calories.
4. Make a list while going for grocery shopping and stick to it: It’s easy to get attracted to colorful packaging of processed food at the supermarket or departmental store. Make it a habit to prepare a list of what you want beforehand (here’s a list of 99 Healthy Grocery Items that every Dietician Would Approve), and stick to it. Grocery outings can be therapeutic for many but make sure you do not add to cart processed food because when you tend to stock packaged, canned, and processed food, it’s easy to get tempted, and indulge in them. Keep packaged and processed food out of sight and that way out of mind, and eventually, these foods which are high in calories, transfat, sugar, and sodium, would not reach your pantry and will not land in your plate either.
5. Eat your meals in well-lit areas: This is a tip you might not have heard before. Certain studies have proven that people who eat in good lighting make healthy food choices and eat lesser calories than compared to people who eat in dim lighting.
6. Practice NEAT technique: NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis and is the energy we use for everything we do in our day-to-day life except for when we are sleeping or exercising. Using the stairs instead of the lift, squatting on the floor to lift something up, walking while talking on the phone, every activity we do while being on our feet, comes under NEAT. All these activities help to burn some amount of calories and these bits of calories spent here and there, add up to a considerable amount when you are trying to lose weight. Read more about how you can include NEAT activities in your daily life here.
7. Do at least 10 reps of pushups, squats, crunches, lunges, and chair dips: All these are compound exercises that activate and work on multiple muscle groups at the same time. Try to do at least one compound exercise in a day to burn fat and also to tone your muscles.
8. Make your own meals: You will save quite a lot of money as well as calories when you prepare your own food. When you cook all by yourself, you have complete control over the amount of oil and salt in your food. It will also save you from the unhealthy taste enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (ajinomoto) that are not only high in calories, they disrupt the hormonal balance and cause metabolic disorders. Also, the relatively plain sandwich that you may order have an unusual amount of mayonnaise and other calorie-rich condiments to add taste to your food. Check out Rati Beauty diet programs for delicious meal ideas that are healthy and a delight to the palate.
9. Chew slowly: People who eat quickly and at a fast pace are usually putting their health at risk and also tend to gain weight compared to those who take their sweet time chewing slowly. When you eat too fast, your brain doesn’t get the signal to stop once you are full. This means that you often eat more than you actually require. Another interesting fact is that the brain takes about 20 minutes to register that you have eaten food and by slowing down, you can actually reach satiation point during the eating process itself and stop yourself from piling on extra pounds.
10. Eat your fruit, do not juice it: Juicing out fruits is like doing injustice to your body because you tend to miss out the precious fiber which is what keeps you full and helps in slow digestion so that the body is able to absorb nutrients from the food better. Eat your fruit raw, stop juicing it.
11. Drink more water: As we have mentioned previously too, most of the times we are just thirsty and not really hungry, so keep yourself hydrated through the day. Do not wait for your throat to go dry to sip on water. Keep having glasses of water all through the day.
12. Practice Water Preloading: Water preloading is a healthy and almost effortless way to aid weight loss. In this strategy, experts recommend to consume 500 ml of plain water half an hour before each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Such a quantity of water before the meal will significantly stretch your tummy and as a result, there would be lesser release of the hunger hormone “ghrelin.” This means you would feel full with less food and fewer calorie intake. It is an effective strategy to tackle overeating. It’s a fact that most of us do not consume enough water through the day, and most of the times, we are just thirsty and not really hungry. Frequent hunger pangs are most probably caused due to dehydration and if you can provide your body with more H2O, you can lose weight rather effectively. However, if a person suffers from heart or kidney ailment, water preloading should not be practiced without the approval of the doctor because it lead to fluid retention and shortness of breath in such individuals. Read more about this strategy here.
13. Eat from a bowl: Many supermodels use this technique to trick their mind into making food portions looking bigger. Rather than eating from a big plate that has less food, eat from a small bowl with the same amount of food and feel satisfied and full. Also, the bowl’s weight in hand will give you the feeling that you are consuming more food. So, dump that plate and pick that bowl.
14. Try to include at least one form of exercise in the morning: When you workout in the morning, whether it’s 20 minutes of yoga, early morning walk or hitting the gym, and that too on an empty stomach, our body is able to reach out to stored fat. Keep aside at least half an hour to one hour from your busy morning schedule for exercise and lose weight effectively.
15. Swap unhealthy food with these healthy ones: People often complain that there are not many healthy options to choose from; to prove them wrong, here’s a list of 50 Healthy Food Swaps That Everyone Should Absolutely Try.
16. Cover at least half of your plate with vegetables at each meal: Cover half of your plate with vegetables during each meal and this way, your skin would glow, hair would grow healthy, and you would lose weight too.
17. Totally avoid all white food: From white refined sugar to white rice, to maida, weed out all white things except for of course vegetables like cauliflower and dairy. These white things add loads of calories with little to zero nutritional value to your body.
18. Include at least one superfood in your daily diet: Superfoods like chia seeds, sattu, almonds, chickpeas, etc., supply loads of nutrients and help burn at the same time. Here’s a complete list of superfoods that you can include in your daily diet.
19. Practice Portion Control: Portion control is an essential aspect, not only to lose weight but also to maintain optimum health and to prevent diseases such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating result from a loss of portion control. Portion control helps to put the body into calorie deficit. Here’s how you can practice portion control.
20. Never eat directly from the box or packet: It’s easy to lose count of calories when you eating directly from a packet or cereal box. Measure your food and always eat from a bowl or small plate.
21. Read labels and ingredients list: Don’t do grocery shopping when in a rush – take your own time to read the first three ingredients mentioned behind the food packaging as they make the largest part of the product. If the label says, it’s a “corn product” and the ingredients list doesn’t contain corn in the first three list, keep the product back and move forward. Avoid products that contains refined flour which means maida in layman terms, hydrogenated oil, and palm oil. If the ingredients is longer than 2-3 lines, then it suggests that it is highly processed and your body definitely doesn’t need such products. Eat khichdi instead! Here’s how you can read the ingredients of a food product to avoid unhealthy food.
22. Eat colorful vegetables: Here’s the trick – when you choose colorful vegetables – you feed the body with a lot of different nutrients.
23. Protein intake: Include one protein source (fish/chicken for non-vegetarians and beans/nuts/legumes/dal for vegetarians), one vegetable, one whole grain, and one fiber rich food during each meal. If you are eating a plate, fill one quarter of your plate with a healthy protein source and one-quarter of your plate with whole grain (like quinoa, brown rice), and fill half of your plate with vegetables. Protein increases metabolism, keep you fuller for longer, and also helps build muscle.
24. Healthy snacking options: Switch to healthy snacking options such as these.
25. Start every meal with a salad – Including salads is a good idea to feel full with just a little amount of food. No need to whip up a fancy Caesar salad – slicing up just a few cucumbers, tomato, and carrots would suffice.
26. Include metabolism-boosting foods: It’s a good idea to include metabolism-boosting foods to help burn more calories. Here’s a list of 25 Vegetarian Metabolism Boosting Foods for Weight Loss.
27. Don’t go shopping hungry: When you go shopping on a hungry stomach, chances are high that you would indulge in a high-calorie fast food at the shopping mall. Have a snack or healthy meal before shopping or at least carry some nuts with you in a small box to munch on when your stomach makes rumbling sounds.
28. Replace instant oats with rolled oats: No doubts, oats are healthy, but instant oats get digested more quickly than steel-cut or rolled oats, hence these are better options than the former variety.
29. Fidget your legs: Even when you are sitting at the desk, try to fidget your legs because it’s a NEAT activity and will help burn tiny amount of calories.
30. Make an effort to take at least 10,000 steps a day: Make an effort to take at least 10,000 steps in a day because when you move, you burn calories, although it may not be a huge amount, it still counts.