Most people in the United States struggle to attain and maintain a healthy weight. There are a variety of reasons for this. Those yummy snacks make us feel better immediately, if only temporarily. Giving up sugary and salty treats is painful, and we might not see the benefits for months. It’s an issue of short-term vs. long-term rewards, and giving up that short-term reward is difficult. Fortunately, losing weight can be relatively easy with a few simple changes in lifestyle. Here are some easy changes you can make to bring your weight under control:
1. Weigh yourself each day and make a graph. When things are measured, the things we measure tend to change. Simply weighing yourself every day will make a difference in your weight. Regular feedback will have a positive effect. Then make a graph of your results. * The graph will provide a visual representation of your progress. It’s very motivating and can even be fun to see your progress.
2. Plan meals ahead of time. When you’re hungry is not the time to dig around in the fridge and figure out what’s for dinner. That’s how you end up with a meal of French fries and frozen pizza. Plan healthy, nutritious meals that taste good to you and ensure you have the ingredients on hand.
3. Always have healthy snacks available, too. This means that those need to be planned in advance, as well. The vending machine is your enemy at work. Avoid getting stuck with only options that you’ll later regret.
4. Find healthier alternatives. If you like burgers, maybe you’ll like burgers made out of ground turkey or chicken. Sugar-free gelatin with non-fat whipped cream is a delicious dessert. Maybe baked potato chips instead of the regular fried variety. Find a healthier alternative to the stuff you really like.
5. Slow down, and then wait. Sometimes we eat so fast, we stuff ourselves before our brains can tell us that we’re full. So eat a reasonable portion, slowly. Then wait for 20 minutes. If you’re still hungry, eat some more. If you’re not hungry, stop eating! * If you’ve ever had that “I feel horrible because I ate too much” feeling, this one is especially for you. Think about last Thanksgiving.
6. Stop drinking calories. Our stomachs can hold a lot of liquid. Try to minimize the sugary or carbonated drinks, and your overall caloric intake will drop. Make a habit of drinking more water. If the taste is too bland for you, add a bit of lemon or lime to freshen it up.
7. Read about diet and exercise each day. It might seem odd, but if you can keep healthy eating and exercise in the back of your mind, your behavior will improve.
8. Exercise. Exercise can help a lot and it makes you feel better. Start with just a couple of minutes and add more slowly over time. If you start with 5 minutes and add 5 minutes a week. Within 5weeks or so, you’ll be doing plenty. Don’t scoff at the idea of 5 minutes; small improvements over time have profound effects.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be challenging or miserable. Some simple things can make a huge difference. It doesn’t take a brutal diet and exercise program to get in great shape over time. Follow the tips above and stick with them. Be patient and you’ll have that beach body before you know it.