You don’t have to overhaul your life to make healthier choices.
When it comes to a weight loss strategy that will be effective in the long term, the key is making small and sustainable changes to your lifestyle. Following a few key habits can help set the stage for success.
• Carry a reusable water bottle. The average can of soda has about 150 calories, and many Americans drink at least one soda per day. When you’re trying to trim extra pounds, keep a water bottle handy to quench your thirst and curb your cravings for soda. A reusable bottle will cut back on waste caused by prepackaged water. If you’re concerned about taste, try a bottle with a built-in filter.
• Write down everything. Before you make any changes to your diet or exercise routine, log how much you eat and when (as well as how much you exercise). Being mindful of the food you eat is a great first step toward making changes because it helps identify why you’re eating. It may not be because you’re hungry.
• Start sleeping more. Did you know lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain? When you don’t get enough rest, the hunger hormones in your body are thrown out of whack and go into overdrive, encouraging overeating. One study found that people who slept less while on a diet lost more muscle than fat. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
• Eat before you shop. Going grocery shopping hungry can result in impulse purchases you don’t need. Make sure your stomach is full and your mind is clear before hitting the aisles.
• Set realistic goals. Don’t expect drastic results in 30 days or less. If you set your goals too high, you may get discouraged quickly and give up. Talk with your physician about reasonable milestones for your weight loss.