Sometimes the simplest changes in lifestyle can make a big difference. Here are a few easy lifestyle tweaks that make a big difference individually, but have synergistic effects when paired together.
Keep a food journal
Many times being overweight is a case of not realizing how much (or what) a person eats in a day. Writing down everything puts it in perspective. According to a recent study, people who kept a food journal lost twice as much weight as those who did not – on average 13 pounds in 6 months.
Eat healthy food
Not only does eating junk or unhealthy food pack on the calories, but it is also high in saturated and trans fat – both of which are bad for your health and lead to some serious health issues. Instead, opt for more fresh vegetables, whole grain, and lean meats. Not only will it reduce the number of calories consumed, but reduce the bad fats. If at all possible, refrain from eating processed fast food and opt for a healthy bag lunch that you prepare at home.
Get more exercise
It’s so easy to do without adding hardly any more time to your day. For example, instead of parking close to the store, park at the far end of the parking lot and walk in the rest of the way. If you take public transportation, get off a stop or two before your normal stop, and walk to your destination. Once inside the building, take the stairs (at least partway up) instead of the elevator. During your lunch break, take a walk, returning with enough time left to eat your healthy bag lunch.
Another way to sneak in exercise is to only watch your favorite Netflix series while you are exercising. It will prevent you from binge-watching and possibly avoiding lounging in bed or your couch for an entire day. This is great for short episodes (30 min long episodes) – you get your work out in while you indulge yourself getting caught up in your favorite show. Another way is to listen to your favorite podcast or an audiobook while you are working out or walking/running. You burn some calories while you get absorbed in your favorite podcast or audiobook.
Wear a fitness tracker
Counting the number of steps taken during the day raises your exercise awareness. When you have that information at hand, you’ll find yourself comparing how many steps you have taken to your daily goal and put in the extra effort to reach your goal. In a recent study, people who walked only 2,500 steps more per day than the control group, burnt off the equivalent of 10 pounds over a the one-year study.
Get enough sleep
In another study, participants were asked to sleep 10 hours a night for two nights, followed by five nights of less sleep and four nights of recovery. The results? After 11 days, the study group had gained almost 3 pounds each compared to the well-rested control group.
All of these lifestyle tweaks are easy to implement. Once they have established habits, and you start to see weight loss results, you’ll wonder why you had not started doing them sooner.