If you have big weight loss goals that seem overwhelming, focus on setting small, tangible goals to help you reach your end goal. Weight loss is simple in theory: eat less junk, move your body more, but putting this into practical decisions in everyday life can be challenging.
What can seem hard is shifting your environment to consistently make the healthy choice your first choice. However, choosing to shift small things in your environment can lead to big weight loss.
Here are 5 clever tips that are small goals to help you with big weight loss.
#1 – Load UP with fruits and vegetables
Often weight loss is associated with starvation or deprivation. However, the key to long-term success with weight loss is eating a high volume of healthy, low energy dense foods so you aren’t hungry all the time.
Fruits and vegetables are high in many nutrients including fiber. Eating a diet high in fiber is inversely associated with body fat, and according to a 2005 review article on fiber and body weight increasing fruits and vegetables is important for fighting obesity.
Fill up at least half your plate with fruits and vegetables at meal times. Most people think they eat enough fruits and vegetables, but challenge yourself to eat 5-9 different servings per day.
Eating more fruits and vegetables will help you feel full and can help with your weight loss efforts.
Eat fruits and vegetables as your first option, and if you still want to eat other high calorie foods allow yourself to eat a smaller portion. That way you will get the satisfaction from the food you crave, but you don’t need to eat a large quantity.
#2 – Eat vegetable based soups before a meal
Eating a soup before a meal can actually lower your total calorie intake. Broth based, vegetable rich soups are high in volume but low in calories. Eating a serving of soup before a meal can mean there’s less room for higher calorie foods eaten later in the meal.
A 2007 study found when subjects were given a vegetable based soup then given a meal 15 minutes later, their food intake was significantly less than when they ate a meal without eating a soup first.
To get the biggest benefit from soup, choose soups that are broth based instead of cream based. Also, choose soups that are high in vegetable content and not just starches and meats.
#3 – Don’t multi-task when you eat
This may be one of the hardest tips for weight loss because the typical Western society is so accustomed to eating in front of a computer, phone or television.
When you eat a meal and focus just on the food, you tend to recognize when you are full sooner than when you are eating distracted.
Whether it’s sitting at your desk working through lunch or eating dinner in front of the television, eating while distracted can promote a higher food intake.
Try unplugging when you are eating and take the time to really enjoy the food you are eating. You may think this would promote over eating, but it can actually do the opposite.
#4 – Leave food on your plate
A clever tip for big weight loss is getting out of the mentality that you have to eat everything on your plate. Many people are taught from childhood that they need to clean their plate before they can leave the table.
While this may be done through good intentions of parents, if someone keeps this mindset through adulthood it could have a negative impact on weight. Get used to leaving food on the plate and gaging when you are done eating by when you are full, not when the food is gone from your plate.
If you don’t want to waste food, you can think of this tip as another way. Instead of serving yourself your usual portions, serve yourself slightly smaller portion.
You can even use smaller plates so your brain doesn’t notice the smaller amount of food. This can really work to help scale back food intake without feeling like you are starving.
If you are eating out, ask for half your meal to be put in a to go container before your meal is served to you.
#5 – Keep junk food out of sight
This is probably one of the simplest ways to help yourself choose healthy options. Whatever your food weakness is, don’t bring it home.
Some people think they need to buy junk food for other family members and then struggle to resist eating that food while it’s in the house.
A simpler approach is simply don’t buy the junk food and don’t keep it in your home. That way you are not tempted to eat it!
At work, keep candy jars or sweets out of plain sight. If it’s out of sight, it does become out of mind.
Make getting to junk food or sweets a hassle instead of easy. Don’t bring them home or keep them on the top shelf out of plain sight. Keep healthier foods in plain view and easy to get at.
There are many ways you can shift your environment to make healthier living an easier choice and help making weight loss successful.
Load up on fruits and vegetables at meal times and before you reach for other higher calorie foods. Making high fiber, low energy dense foods your base for eating can help keep you full.
Instead of multi-tasking when you eat, focus on your food without being distracted. You will notice when you get full sooner than if you are trying to work or watch television while eating.
Keeping junk food out of plain sight and don’t even bring it home can take out the battle of willing yourself not to foods or if you will give in to temptation.
References used in this article