Most people who start their weight loss journey may think making drastic changes is the best way to lose weight. When research suggests small lifestyle changes, such as mindful eating and increasing physical activity, can provide a means for sustained long-term benefits. As we know, change is hard! When we make too big and too many changes in a short space of time, it is hard to sustain them, and we tend to give up and fall back into old patterns. Therefore, not deviating from your usual lifestyle too drastically via making small changes can sustain long-term change, forming new, healthier habits. That can lead to not just weight loss but, more importantly, can help to keep the weight off!
Some small changes you can try to incorporate include:
1. Smaller portion size. Most of us grew 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 prevents 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, which also reduces food waste. Also, 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 can help us feel fuller for longer, and it is also essential for good gut health. Aim to incorporate a small salad with each meal such as a carrot, cucumber, and green leaves like kale can help you achieve this. Furthermore, regarding liquids, often, our brain confuses hunger with thirst. So, drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day, by having a water bottle near, can help you not eat when you are thirsty.
6. Incorporating 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 even a dance-off with the kids in the evening, can be ways to incorporate this. 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 reminding 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).