Most people who start their weight loss journey believe that making drastic changes is the best way to lose weight. However, research suggests small lifestyle changes, such as mindful eating and increasing physical activity, can lead to sustained long-term benefits. As we know, change is hard! When we make too many big changes in a short span of time, it is hard to sustain them, and we tend to give up and fall back into old patterns. Therefore, making small changes and not deviating, too drastically from your usual lifestyle can sustain long-term change, and encourage new healthier habits to form. This can lead to not just weight loss but, more importantly, can help to keep the weight off!
Some small changes that one can try to incorporate are mentioned below:
1. Smaller portion size. Most of us have grown up with our parents telling us to finish our plate; however, this can lead to over-eating. A way to incorporate smaller portion sizes is by using smaller plates, so to the eye, it still looks like you have a plateful of food; however, you tend to eat less.
2. Eat slower and chew your food well. It takes 20 minutes for the stomach to signal to the brain that you are full. So, aim to take 20-30 minutes to enjoy your meal and appreciate each mouthful. That will help you to be more mindful and prevent over-eating.
3. Healthier swaps. To eat healthier, you don’t need to change your diet completely; making a few healthier swaps can lead to fewer calories consumed.
4. Plan your meals. Planning your meals can save you time, money, and prevent you from overeating, giving you more control over your life. Being prepared when going shopping with a list can prevent you from buying things you don’t need. In this way you can also reduce food waste. Also, another key point, is to try not to go shopping when you’re hungry or tired as you tend to over-buy, especially the foods that are higher in sugar and fat.
5. Increase the intake of fiber and liquids. Fiber is essential for good gut health and can help one feel fuller for longer, aim to incorporate a small salad with each meal composed of carrot, cucumber, and green leaves like kale Furthermore, with respect to liquids, our brain, often confuses hunger with thirst. So, drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day, by having a water bottle nearby, can help you, not eat unnecessarily, when you are thirsty.
6. Incorporate physical activity in your daily life. A 30-minute brisk walk, five times per week, improves your cardiac health, lowers your blood pressure, and can help with weight loss. You could even split the 30 minutes into bouts of 10 minutes or more, perhaps by walking during lunch or by even having a dance-off with the kids in the evening, even simple changes, such as taking the stairs rather than the elevator, can increase your physical activity.
The health and fitness app, “Health Click Away” can help you achieve your health goals. It tracks your calorie requirements, water intake, and footsteps. It lets you organize your meals by automatically creating your grocery list based on your meal pattern and helps remind you when it’s time for your next meal. All this makes it much easier to make small changes to achieve your goals.
“Wear good health as an outfit; you will look stylish and confident”-by Ruchika Gupta (CEO, Health Click Away).