The promise of spring often turns our attention to the winter weight many of us have gained during the last few months. Between cold weather and a lack of motivation, the pounds seem to sneak their way onto the scale. However, all is not lost. There are little lifestyle changes you can make to your everyday routines that can have a huge impact on your ability to lose weight safely and effectively.
Start by looking at your daily routine. Do you tend to eat out more than cooking at home? Are you more likely to take the elevator than the stairs? Do you drive out of convenience when you could walk? Here are ten little ways to lose big weight this spring.
- Eat Breakfast – You think you’re doing yourself a favor by skipping this meal, but all that does is make you ravenous and more likely to snack later in the day. Aim for about 300 calories and a healthy mix of whole grains and protein.
- Spring Clean Your Pantry – Take some time to clean out your pantry. Eliminate those tempting snacks and replace them with healthier options. Do a little prep work and make some baggies of healthy snacks you can grab on the go, like almonds and dried fruit.
- Try a New Exercise – Everyone gets into fitness ruts. Sometimes all it takes is trying something new to get you back on track. Convince a friend to join a class with you. Try something different – out of your comfort zone – Zumba, kickboxing or even ballroom dancing can you get moving!
- Update Your Order – If you eat out frequently, swapping just one big meal for a healthier salad can make a huge difference. If your regular restaurants don’t have as many healthy options, consider looking for some new places. Chains like Cava and Chopt offer a quick, healthier alternative to fast food.
- Don’t Supersize – Speaking of eating out, our American portions have been growing steadily along with our waistlines. With options to “supersize” just about everything, it’s not hard to see how we got here. Small sizes are still available – you just need to order them.
- Shop the Perimeter – While grocery shopping, stick to the perimeter of the store. That’s where you’ll find the produce, meat and fresh foods. The aisles usually contain the chips, snacks, and soda – processed foods you definitely don’t need! No time to shop? There are plenty of grocery delivery options available. Taking the time to create your list online helps avoid those impulse purchases that are so tempting when you’re in the store.
- Healthy Hour – Instead of gathering with your friends for a few drinks after work, meet up at the gym or go for a walk.
- Say “No” to Nighttime Snacking – Telling yourself “The kitchen is closed.” after a certain time – say 7:00pm – can help put a stop to nighttime snacking. We’re much more likely to binge eat in the late hours while watching TV and unwinding, so simply taking that food out of your routine can have a big effect.
- Relax – We are stressed and busy and that often leads to overeating. Do something to help you relax. Whether it’s yoga, meditation or just setting aside some time to read a book or touch base with a friend, that downtime is crucial.
- Treat Yourself – Any time you’re trying to lose weight, you must allow yourself room for treats. By denying yourself something, you are more likely to obsess over it until, instead of a few cookies; you’ve eaten the whole package. Not to mention, it’s important to recognize your success. If you set a goal of exercising three times during the week and you achieve that goal, then treat yourself to a little something to celebrate!