When we think about weight loss and how to go about it, the answer seems simple. Eat right and exercise, right? After all, that’s what all the doctors, dietitians and fitness influencers say.Sure, it’s easy in theory, but the reality is that we’re simply just not going to be able to eat right all the time. It’s just not going to happen. There’s always going to be that one especially tempting dish that will have you barreling off the rails and making out with food. While we’ve resigned ourselves to the fact that perfect eating habits just aren’t realistic, what we do believe in is making small changes in your daily life. Making tiny tweaks to the way you live can make a huge impact in your weight loss journey and, eventually, help you lose your monthly goal of five pounds.
Ditch the Alcohol (or at Least Limit It)
Listen, we know exactly how you feel about your favorite alcoholic beverage. There’s nothing quite like sipping on that ice cold beer after a particularly trying week at work and passing on that glass of wine on your girl’s night out can easily make you feel like you’re missing out on life itself. But guess what, if you’re one of those people who has a drink or two a day or has up to four or more drinks during the weekend, you are consuming hundreds and thousands of extra calories to your diet. Not only that, but drinking alcohol can easily send you off the deep end when it comes to food. According to dietitians, in addition of increasing your caloric intake exponentially, alcohol also makes you more likely to give in to that late night craving for French fries or an extra greasy slice of pizza. The next time you’re out with your girlfriends, reach for a low calorie mock-tail instead like a sparkling water with lime. If alcohol is your stress buster, it’s time to try other stress killing activities like an intense session of boxing. If you simply can’t completely give up your alcohol, limit yourself to one drink per week.
Increase Your Fiber Intake
High-fiber foods are absolutely crucial to helping anyone losing weight. You may be wondering why, but the simple is reason is that fiber-rich ingredients are typically low in calories despite their density. Because of this, you can eat until your belly’s about to burst and you’ll still keep your calorie intake relatively low. Fiber is also a huge contributor to regulating your blood sugar levels. Keeping blood sugar levels even and regulated means less energy dips, less cravings and staying full longer. You can increase your fiber intake in several ways, but the best way to feast on high-fiber vegetables and fruits like broccoli, peppers, raw spinach, apples, raspberries and pears. If you absolutely have to have a carbohydrate, choose a complex carbohydrate like whole-grain bread or crisp breads. Beware however, as many so-called wheat breads are actually made with enriched flour, which is still high in sugar and are almost guaranteed to lead to cravings. Don’t forget to drink as much water as you can as well. Water helps to expand the fiber in your stomach, thus keeping you full and also helping the digestion process along. The cherry on top of this high-fiber cake is that you won’t feel bloated and you’ll enjoy higher levels of energy.
Break Up with Added Sugar
Added sugar is a sneaky adversary to anyone trying to lose weight. Not only that, but added sugar has been directly linked to diabetes, obesity and life threatening heart disease. Cutting out added sugar from your diet will have a huge impact on your weight loss journey and on your overall health. One of the easiest ways to rid your diet of added sugar is to keep an eye on your carbohydrates. More often than not, white bread and processed grains have a huge amount of sugar that you simply don’t need. Culprits for excessive added sugar also include cereal, yogurt, crackers, condiments and even pasta sauces. It goes without saying that sweets should also be limited if not removed from your diet for the most part. But the easiest way to truly remove added sugar from your diet is to keep it out of your pantry. When you’re at the grocery, read the ingredient labels of the food items you’re picking up. If you can’t completely give up your sweets, choose healthier sweetener options such as honey, coconut sugar, organic stevia or monk fruit sweetener - plant based sweeteners.
Stop Obsessing About Your Weight Loss
Generally speaking, obsessing over something isn’t healthy for you. Ever. This is especially true when it comes to losing weight. When you obsess over weight loss, it’s easy to start losing sight of why you decided to try losing weight in the first place and start fixating over the number that you see on the scale. When this happen, you’re just one step away from falling into the deep end and begin pursuing unhealthier means to dropping the pounds. When you find yourself beginning to live by the scale, it’s time to pause and examine how you got there in the first place. Oftentimes, it starts by weighting yourself often. If you catch yourself stepping on the scale every day, it’s time to put it away. Try to weigh yourself only once a week or bi-monthly. It’s also a good idea to start tracking your progress through body measurements. You could be burning fat and putting on muscle, which weighs more than fat, or you could be retaining water. If this is the case, you’ll see more telling measurements of progress through losing inches around the weight, hips, chest, arms and legs. It also helps to remind yourself that it’s more about developing healthier habits than anything else. You want this change to be a lifelong, sustainable one and that’s just not going to happen if you’re focusing on a number. Doing so could actually be a detriment to your health more than anything else.