Losing weight doesn’t mean you have to go through complicated diets or workouts. Losing a couple of pounds can be done through simple adjustments, and weight loss can happen from long-term behavior changes. Paying a little more attention to the details can help keep you honest with reaching your goals to lose some weight, and remember they still take discipline and consistency.
Tip 1: Move more
Getting more exercise is something most Americans realize they need to do. However, most adults, if they’re honest, do not get the recommended exercise amounts per day. In fact, According to research from Penn State University, most Americans get about half of the recommended exercise guidelines per week.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends about 4 hours of exercise per week with a combination of moderate and vigorous exercise. However, most Americans get about 2 hours of exercise per week.
If you want to lose weight, one of the first places to start is to increase your exercise. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend extra hours at a gym. In order to get more calorie burn through the day, find ways you can add extra walking, stairs or bike riding.
Instead of sitting or having lunch with a friend, walk with them. Instead of driving everywhere, find ways you can bike or walk to cut down on driving amount. While watching tv, do exercises during the commercial breaks. Simple adjustments through the day can increase your calorie burn and help get you to or above the recommended exercise level.
Tip 2: Hold the extra sugar
Sugar is an empty calorie food, meaning we don’t get any nutrients from the calories it provides. Unfortunately, extra sugar is added almost any processed, mass produced foods. Calories from sugar can increase insulin release, cause blood glucose fluctuations and promote fat storage.
Cut out the usual suspects of extra sugar like sweets, sweetened beverages and candy for a quick way to lower excess sugar intake. Other sources of hidden sugar can include: ketchup, dressings, sauces, breads and frozen foods. Spending a little more effort avoiding added sugar can easily save you some extra calories you didn’t know you were getting.
Tip 3: Drink only water
Cutting out sugary drinks can save you calories and can lower the insulin response. Drink only water or unflavored tea for a simple way to cut back on extra empty calories. Avoid sweet coffee drinks, processed smoothies, which can be very high in sugar and even fruit juice.
While artificially sweetened drinks don’t have calories, they may alter other parts of the brain such as the satiety center. This means even though we taste something sweet from the artificial sweeteners, our brain still wants more sugar. This means the signal for eating or drinking something sweet can be intensified with artificial sweeteners which may be harmful.
If you’re trying to lose a few pounds, avoid the sweet drinks including alcohol or coffee drinks. Avoid the temptation to drink artificially sweetened drinks, as this may help lower sweet cravings in general long term.
Tip 4: Eat more fruits and vegetables
When someone is trying to lose weight, the first thing people often think about is cutting out different foods and what they have to give up. While this may be true, depending on what you’re eating, another thing to remember is what TO fill up on. Instead of feeling like you need to be starving all the time, think about what foods you can fill up on and don’t need to cut out.
Loading up with unprocessed fruits and vegetables can give your body many nutrients, fiber and phytochemicals without a lot of empty calories and preservatives. Most Americans do not eat the recommended amount of servings of fruits and vegetables, so most can stand to increase these food groups in general.
By filling up with lower energy dense foods, you won’t have room in your stomach or the desire to snack on higher calorie foods.
Tip 5: Write down what you eat
The human brain can easily lose track of and forget everything that goes into our mouth during the day, especially if we are multi-tasking as we eat. Writing down your food intake, even for a few days, can help you see where extra snacks may be sneaking in that can easily be cut out.
Writing down your food intake also makes you think twice about putting something in your mouth.
By following these simple steps of moving more, cutting excess sugar, drinking only water, filling up on fruits and vegetables and writing down what you eat you may be able to lose a couple of pounds. These simple steps still require change and should be incorporated for the long term and consistently for long term results.