Sometimes losing weight seems nearly impossible. You get a few pounds down and then Thanksgiving or Christmas or a busy week at work comes along, and suddenly you fall off the exercise and healthy eating bandwagon and find yourself back where you were. If this sounds familiar, don’t get discouraged. We’ve all been there before, so you’re not alone. Know that you can make the changes in your body and your life that you want to. Here are some tips that can help you make that happen.
Play the Long Game
While it’s tempting to want to lose all the weight right now, weight loss tends to work best when it’s not a sudden and radical life-change, but when it’s a doable part of your entire life. Large changes tend to be temporary: if you suddenly decide today that you’re going to run 10 miles without any warming up or preparation, you’re likely to spend the next week on the couch recovering. If you go one mile today though, you can probably get back out there tomorrow for another walk or run. Making sudden, huge changes through Herculean effort may feel impressive, but it almost never works, and it leads to problems like weight cycling.
If you can instead get the mindset that your weight loss may take a while, and that that’s ok, you will have made a wonderful step toward permanent weight management. Remember, life isn’t a race, and whenever you’re making progress, no matter how slow, you’re winning.
Change the Little Things
There are a lot of little things that can help you to live just a little bit healthier. These things may not seem like they’re going to do a lot, but they add up, and they’re easy to incorporate into your life. You may already be doing some of these. If so, great! Keep up the good work. If you find some tips though that you aren’t doing, consider implementing them into your life.
Cut Back on Calorie-rich Drinks
Drinks are a way that we can get a lot of empty calories fast. Whether you’re drinking pop, diet soda, beer, or creamed coffees, the calories you suck down through a straw can really add up. Try switching to water, which not only helps you to lose weight, but also has a wealth of other health benefits.
Bring Lunches from Home
When you’re working at the office, it’s awfully easy and tempting to run to the burger joint next door for lunch. Whenever you eat out though, it’s easy to consume a lot more calories than you meant to. If you make yourself a lunch at home and bring it with you, you’ll know exactly what’s in the food you’re eating. It takes a little more time, but it’s worth it for your health. Eating homemade food will probably even help you save money.
Clean Out the Pantry
If you’ve decided you want to eat healthier, try clearing out some of the unhealthy snacks from around your house. You’re far more likely to cheat if you’ve got a lot of undesirable treats lying around. Try to replace them with snacks that are healthier, but that you still enjoy. These days there are plenty of healthy things that can be quite enjoyable. Vegetable chips can be a fun replacement for potato chips, sparkling fruit juices can stand in for sodas, and yogurt can stand in for full-fat ice cream.
Wait Before Having Seconds
If you finish dinner and you want more, try waiting twenty minutes to see if you really want it. Often it takes the brain a little while to catch up with the stomach.
Plan Meals in Advance
Try taking a little time on Sunday to plan out your week’s meals. If you have a plan, you won’t end up trying to decide what to make when you’re already tired and hungry and want to just give up and order burgers or pizza.
Add Five Minutes of Exercise
Hopefully you’ll get more exercise than this, but it’s pretty easy for even the busiest of us to add five minutes of exercise into our day. You can get a lot done in five minutes, especially if you make it high intensity, like with HIIT or tabata training.
Plan When You’ll Have Dessert
Rather than either having dessert every night or trying to cut out sweets entirely, you might try planning when you are going to indulge. If you know that on Friday nights you get to have a serving of dessert (and keep it to just one), then you can look forward to it during the week as something special, but still not have it be something that you always have.
Get Enough Sleep
This one is simple but very important. Without enough sleep, your body doesn’t function as well, you feel more stressed, and you have a harder time losing weight. Get the sleep you need to feel healthier and rested, and it will help you make better choices for your weight all around.