If you’re just starting out in your weight loss journey, it can be extremely overwhelming to think about all of the changes you “should” make. Honestly the reason most people are unsuccessful is because they think they need to overhaul their entire diet at once. They think they need to “eat clean” for all 3 meals, cut out all snacks, and exercise 5-7x a week all at once. Of course that’s overwhelming!! You’d maybe stick with it for a few weeks, but then it would get too challenging and you’d give up completely. So let me tell you a little secret…you don’t need to make all of those changes in order to start losing weight! In fact, I recommend you do not make all of those changes! Instead, I encourage you to make small changes. Small changes are easier to implement and maintain, and they really do add up to some big results! So here are 5 small changes to make when starting a weight loss journey…
1. Decrease Drinks with Calories
Notice that I didn’t say eliminate. Step one is to decrease the quantity of drinks that you consume that have calories. For example, if you’re a big soda drinker, try reducing your intake to 1 can just 2x a week. Or if you love wine, try to limit yourself to 1 glass on the weekends only. Trying to eliminate these drinks all together would be extremely difficult, and usually unnecessary at first. By drastically decreasing your consumption, you are also drastically decreasing your caloric intake! For example if you normally drink a can of soda everyday, if you decrease this down to just 2 cans a week you’re cutting out 750 calories!
2. Check your Snacking
This doesn’t mean to eliminate your snacking, it just means to check to see if there could be little changes to make. For example could you sub your morning muffin snack for a piece of fruit? Not only is it less calories, but it contains more nutrients as well. Or if you typically like to have a big bowl of ice cream at night, could you either cut back the portion each night? Or just only have it 2 nights a week?
Another way to make your snacking smarter, is to simply decrease the portion size. Instead of pouring out a large bowl of chips with your sandwich, take an extra second to measure out one single serving. You might just be surprised how much you’re usually eating. And most of the time you’ll still be just as satisfied with the smaller portion.
3. Drink More Water
I know we already talked about decreasing your consumption of high calorie beverages, but now it’s time to add in more of something! Water is crucial for your overall health, but it can also help with weight loss too. Typically most unhealthy diets are high in sodium, which leads to water retention and bloating. And when your body is retaining water, the scale doesn’t budge. Most people are usually pleasantly surprised when they start intentionally drinking more water. They feel much less “puffy” and have more energy.
So how much do you need? There’s not magic number, but a good place to start is by consuming half of your body weight in ounces. So if you weight 200lbs, then you should aim to drink 100oz of water each day.
4. Move More
You don’t need to exercise 7 days a week in order to see results. If you’re currently not exercising at all, I’d recommending aiming to exercise 3x a week for 30-60 minutes. This can be anything that you enjoy, such as walking outside, taking a zumba class, or doing an exercise DVD. There’s no reason to think you can’t get in a great workout without a gym membership!
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5. Focus on Protein
As a whole, most people are not consuming enough protein. And protein is really important when trying to lose weight. So when you’re first starting out, I encourage you to focus on centering each meal around protein. This can be having eggs or Greek yogurt at breakfast, having grilled chicken in your wrap at lunch, and then having ground turkey meat sauce with your pasta at dinner. You don’t necessarily need to change all of your meals, instead just see where you can add in some protein, or maybe even just increase the quantity of your protein intake. For example if you’re having BBQ chicken, potatoes and corn for dinner, try increasing your portion of the chicken and then decreasing your portion of the potatoes and corn. This simply change can really add up over time!
How to Get Started
So now that you’ve learned my 5 secrets to success, it’s time to start implementing them! I recommend focusing on one step for 1-2 weeks before adding in another step. This will make these small changes even easier to make!
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