Trust me, I know you’re wondering if painless weight loss is really possible, especially if you’ve been desperately denying yourself of your favorite treats, and working out to no end.
But there is hope. No matter what your weight loss goal is, losing weight really doesn’t have to require heroic effort, just making just a few small lifestyle changes (and sticking to them) can yield you great weight loss rewards over time.
Forget diet deprivation, instead try experimenting with some healthy goodies (especially fruits and vegetables) until you figure out what really enjoy. Then slip your favorite fruits and veggies into your cereal, lunch, and even into your soups, stews, and sauces. I’ve found adding in really works, taking away never does (for long), but do remember to keep an eye on your overall calories.
2. Lighten Up the Foods You Already Love
One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling deprived is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you already love. A pizza tastes just as good with reduced-fat cheese and/or toppings, who really notices those missing calories? And while you’re trimming fat calories, keep an eye on boosting fiber. Fiber helps you feel satisfied longer, so while you lighten up your favorites, you can easily toss a handful of red bell peppers on your pizza. Remember to lighten up the drinks going with your meals. While nothing is better than the great H2O, if your craving something else, then try switching from your high-calorie favorites to diet/light versions, or maybe even sugar-free flavored drinks (the premixed travel packs are great for on the go).
Eating less without feeling deprived is as close as the dishes in your kitchen cabinet. That’s because people go by physical cues when they eat, while a small portion served on a large plate can leave you wanting more, a smaller plate gives the visual signal that you already have more. Really, a smaller plate full of food feels just as satisfying as a large plate with that same amount of food on it. And remember to use smaller bowls, cups, and spoons too. One benefit of eating with smaller utensils is that the pleasure last longer, and your body has time to process the food you’ve eaten.
4. Get Involved, Or Get to a Table
I find that my weight loss/weight mantanence efforts are in vein when I’m bored or occupied with something else. I know I eat more when I’m bored and when I’m distracted (by television particularly). So make it a habit to not eat in front of the television and make it a point to get occupied with things that have nothing to do with food and/or weight loss. For some, that might mean developing a passion, or simply enjoying a day at the museum. Or maybe you want to help a child with a project, start a small project of your own, or take a class. The key here is to have a life/passion outside of weight loss. And, in case you’re saying you’re busy enough already then at least eat your meals at the table without the television on, so you that you can be less distracted and more aware of what and how much you’re eating.
5. Get Moving
Walking is an easy way to keep fit, and the cool thing about walking is that it requires no equipment or special effort…you just do it! If weather or having no sidewalks are an issue for you then here are some tips for slipping in more steps:
- Park further from your destination.
- Get away from your desk and walk during your breaks/lunch.
- Get off the bus a few stops earlier.
- Walk the mall.
- Take the stairs every chance you get.
- Sign up for charity walks
- Turn up the MP3/IPpod adn get your heart rate up the next time you’re cleaning the house
It all adds up, even if you walk twice a day for 10 minutes and incorporate a few of these tips, you may find yourself with a 30-minute, low-impact workout easily.
6. Get Into the Rhythm
Eat your meals at the same times every day (snacks too). I’m sure you can’t do this all the time, but some people find that knowing when to expect their next meal or snack makes them a lot less likely to graze and crave unhealthy (or even unnecessary) food . Our body appreciates rhythms, so why not give it what it wants?