When people decide to lose weight, a lot of the time they'll make big lifestyle changes that can be hard to maintain. Huge alterations in your diet and exercise routines, like severe calorie restriction and intense physical activity, can quickly lead to burnout. You don't have to commit to large changes to see weight loss results, though. Instead, try implementing some of these small adjustments to shed some pounds and keep them gone.
1. Limit eating out
After a long day at work, sometimes all you want to do is go home and relax without worrying about dinner. This might even drive you to stop at a fast food restaurant on your way home. There's nothing wrong with doing this every now and then, but it's easy for dining out to become a habit.
Now, don't feel like you need to cut restaurants from your diet completely. Instead, try to cut back on the number of times you go each week. For example, if you find yourself eating out every day of the week, try to limit this to every other day. Instead, find a recipe you like and make yourself a home-cooked meal.
In addition to avoiding dining out for dinner, pack a sack lunch with you for work. Don't fall into the trap of running to the nearest restaurant during your lunch break every day. It can be both unhealthy and expensive.
2. Avoid late-night snacking
Late-night snacking is something everyone is guilty of doing. If you have dinner at 5 p.m. and don't go to bed until 9 or 10 at night, it's understandable why you'd want to eat. However, eating right before going to sleep can be bad for your body. First, if you have heartburn, eating before bed can cause acid reflux to occur while you sleep, which makes for a poor night's rest. In addition, if you're consuming high caloric foods right before lying down, it means you're body isn't getting the chance to work off any of those extra calories.
A few ways you can reduce the effects of late-night snacking include eating dinner a bit later and choosing healthy foods. For example, if you normally eat dinner at 5 p.m., try pushing it back an hour to 6 p.m. This way you won't be awake as long before it's time for bed and you likely won't feel as hungry. Another option would simply be to pick healthy snacks like fruit or veggies. Most people tend to nibble on chips or cakes late at night, but avoid these foods and choose a healthier alternative.
At the very least, it's important not to eat anything for at least an hour before bed. This way your body has time to digest and let the food settle before you sleep. Some good snacks to eat if you're feeling peckish after dinner include cheese and crackers, fruit or a nutrition bar.
3. Buy a water bottle (and use it)
Sometimes when you think you're hungry, you're really experiencing thirst. You should be consuming about eight cups of water everyday, but a lot of people don't meet this amount. Find yourself a water bottle that you like and keep it with you, especially at work. Sip on this water throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Along with ensuring your body has plenty of fluids, a water bottle has several other benefits. The liquid filling your stomach works to stave off hunger cravings for a while, and you'll get an opportunity to stretch your legs at work every time you need to refill the container.
4. Find small ways to move
Adding a little bit of exercising to your day is a wonderful way to boost your weight-loss efforts. This doesn't mean you have to start running a mile a day. It can be something as simple as taking the stairs up to your third floor office instead of riding the elevator. Your body will enjoy the extra movement, and it's a place you have to go every day anyway.
Another easy way to get moving is to go for a short walk every day, or however many times a week you choose. For example, during your lunch break, instead of eating inside, you could take a short walk to a nearby park and eat there. You'll get the chance to soak up some vitamin D from the sun and you'll get a brief walk in.
If you don't have time to leave the office for lunch, then ask your spouse or a friend to go for a walk after work. This is a wonderful way to de-stress and spend some quality time with a person you love.
5. Keep a food and weight-loss journal
Writing down what you consume every day will quickly make you more aware of what exactly you're putting into your body. You've probably never realized before how many grams of sugar or fat sweet treats actually contain. Being aware of the nutritional values in different meals will make you more likely to choose a healthier option the next time you sit down to eat.
In addition, a weight-loss journal can be motivational and help you stay on track with your goals. It's easy to forget why you're trying to lose weight or to become discouraged, but a notebook can help inspire you to continue your efforts.