Let’s be honest: We all want to lose weight and see positive changes to our bodies as quickly as physically possible, but unfortunately, that just isn’t the way it works. Weight loss happens over time, and one hour-long session at the gym is not going to take off the five pounds we desperately want to shed. These 20 small changes, however, will help you to notice results instantly and help reduce the numbers you see on the scale in just days thanks to some key tricks. Lose weight in a week alone? Sign us up.
1. Plan meals and keep healthy snacks on hand.
The more you plan ahead of time and have a solid approach in place, the less likely you’ll be tempted to grab fast food on the fly or seek out unhealthy snacks like chips or candy just because you’re starving and they’re easily accessible. Try starting out the week on Sunday by prepping healthy meals ahead of time so that you don’t even have to think about it when dinnertime rolls around.
2. Drink plenty of water.
It’s the oldest trick in the book, but we can’t emphasize enough just how important it is to hydrate. It keeps your entire body in check, ensuring that everything works the way it’s supposed to. Don’t skimp!
3. Cut back on salt.
Salt isn’t actually responsible for weight gain, but it will raise the numbers you see on the scale as excess sodium results in an increase in water retention. Reducing your salt intake flushes out that so-called “water weight,” thereby eliminating bloating.
4. Start with soup or salad.
Starting a meal off with a small soup or salad before the main course will cause you to eat less of everything overall because it’ll help you fill up faster. Plus, if you eat your salad first, you’re less likely to skip it at the end of the meal because you’re already full, so you’re guaranteed to get the nutrients out of your greens.
5. Move more, sit less.
In this age of jobs that bind us to the computer screen for hours at a time, it’s all too common that we find ourselves moving way less than we should. Make a point of getting out for walks during the day and staying active whenever you find the time.
6. Take a walk before dinner.
A short walk before what often ends up being our largest meal of the day works to make you feel less ravenous in the long run. It’ll satisfy you in differenthealthier!ways and reduce stress, not to mention it’s an easy, low-impact way to burn calories and stay active.
7. Eat at home.
Even when we order what we believe to be a healthier option out at restaurants, it’s rare that we actually know exactly what’s in it. Cooking your own meals means that you have total control over what goes into your food, so you don’t have to worry about hidden calories.
8. Eat water-rich foods.
Fruits and vegetables that have a high water content fill you up faster and keep you hydrated without adding tons of calories or carbs.
9. Fill up on veggies.
When you sit down to eat, go straight to the veggies before you chow down on the rest of the meal. If you eat them first, you’re more likely to consume more of them, so you’ll get more of the nutrients you need.
10. Cut out the white stuff.
White bread, sugar, dairyas delicious as they are, they’re all but proven to mess with your eating habits and result in weight gain when you eat too much of them, not to mention the insane cravings you get when they’re the cornerstone of your diet. You don’t have to eliminate them entirely, but steering clear of them and focusing on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins instead will result in effortless weight loss. Seriously.
11. Just sweat.
It doesn’t matter what you do to get your heart pumping, just do it. Five minutes of exercise, even if it’s a slow jog or jumping jacks, is better than none, and it creates a habit that lends itself to healthier habits overall.
12. Meditate or do yoga.
Meditation can be hugely beneficial in helping to balance and center your body and mind and keep them working together rather than pitted against one another. We understand that the concept of meditation sounds kind of ridiculous and New Age at first, but it actually has true benefits that we promise are grounded in reality, especially when it comes to really thinking about your eating and health habits rather than performing them as rote.
13. Drink coffee.
Preferably decaf, but whatever gets the job done. A good cup of coffee with a little bit of low-fat milk will make you feel like you’re having a treat, and it’ll keep your mind and hands occupied so that you don’t eat out of boredom or just because you want something.
14. Buy a pedometer.
A pedometer isn’t only a good way to keep track of how much you’re actually movingit’ll also encourage you to challenge yourself. Once you start seeing the numbers, you’ll want to keep doing better and better.
15. Pay attention.
It can be so easy to just eat mindlessly, but that’s one of the biggest causes of weight gain because you totally lose track of what you’re actually consuming. Avoid eating in front of the TV or at your desk if possible so that you can just take a minute to eat rather than multitask and overeat.
16. Think ahead.
Thinking ahead is definitely one of the most important healthy habits to commit toif you think of the times you eat junk food or skip working out, you may notice that they all have something in common, which is that you haven’t planned sufficiently. If you work late, plan to go to the gym in the morning or on the weekends, which is more realistic than aiming to go after work when you know you’ll be tired.
17. Eat breakfast.
They call it the most important meal of the day for a reason. Eating whole grains and healthy proteins in the morning will help you avoid that ravenous feeling by noon, making you more likely to choose a light salad over Chinese food.
18. Take the stairs.
Stairs are basically built-in exercise, so take advantage of them!
19. Work on your posture.
Not only will better posture make you look thinner, but holding yourself upright burns more calories and encourages better digestion than slouching.
20. Make small changes.
Tiny tweaks are so much easier to commit to than attempting a full lifestyle overhaul all at once. Start by adding things to your routine rather than take them away, and you’ll be losing weight and noticing encouraging changes in no time that will make you want to continue.
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