If your goal is to lose weight and exercise more, forget the highly
restrictive diet and daily long intensive workouts. Research has shown
that taking small steps—not giant leaps—is the best way to achieve long
When you focus on just a couple of small changes at a time, you begin to
fully adopt some healthy habits that last a lifetime – rather than
trying an all-or-nothing approach that more often than not fails because
it’s too hard to keep up.
So, here are 12 simple habits that have proven to make you lose weight
for good. These habits will help you move more, eat less, and look
sexier than before. How you should start: Add only one or two of the
small changes below a week to your regular routine. Once these healthy
habits become second nature, they’ll benefit you for a lifetime.
1. Limit foods that have high-fat content
Take note of the high-fat and high-calorie foods that are typically your
favorite (my top five: cakes, chocolate bars, ice cream, potato chips,
and fries) and gradually decrease the intake. If you’re eating six of
these foods a week, try to go down to five. Each week, drop another
until you’re at no more than one or two; at the same time, add to your
plates more good-for-you choices like carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges,
avocados and other fresh fruits and veggies.
2. Walk 5 minutes more a day
A recent research found that women who increased their daily activity
levels by just a few minutes at a time were able to lose weight faster
than women who just went on a diet. Your goal should be to do at least
30 minutes of physical activity a day (which can help burn off about 120
extra calories daily, or equivalent to 12½ pounds a year), but take it 5
minutes at a time – it doesn’t have to be all at once.
3. Drink water
One of the most under-appreciated magic fat-burning elixirs is water. As
soon as you wake up in the morning, grab a glass. Every time you eat,
drink a full glass of water before and during bites. The more water you
drink, the fuller you will feel, the easier it is to cut back on
unnecessary calories. That’s an essential element of weight and fat
loss. Remember, every chemical reaction in your body needs water and
even if you’re just mildly dehydrated, that could affect your fat
metabolism and your performance in the gym.
4. Bring a packed lunch to work
You’ll not only save thousands of calories over the course of a year but
also hundreds of dollars. When you make and eat your own food, you not
only control the quality and portion sizes but also reduce the amount of
sugar, salt, and fat that you consume – which is guaranteed to be
significantly higher in take-out or restaurant food.
5. Skip the fruit juice, eat the whole fruit instead
You’ll not only get more heart-healthy fiber in your diet, you’ll also
stay satisfied, longer. When you chew food, you generate more saliva,
which in turn carries a message to the brain that your gut needs to get
ready for digestion. Drinking doesn’t require such digestion, so the
body doesn’t register that it’s full as quickly.
6. Get more sleep
Make a point of turning in earlier and you’ll see weight loss within a
week. Even just a few nights of sleep deprivation can lead to almost
immediate weight gain. A recent study asked participants to sleep about
10 hours a night for two days, followed by five nights of sleep
restriction and four nights of recovery. After the 11 days, the
sleep-deprived group gained almost 3 pounds, compared with a well-rested
7. Eat a big balanced breakfast
A morning meal made up mostly of carbs and protein with some fat keeps
blood-sugar levels steady and hunger pangs away so you’re not
susceptible to pigging out come lunch, studies show. Opt for something
satisfying for your stomach and taste buds — like egg whites and turkey
bacon with whole-wheat toast.
8. Watch your alcohol intake
One innocent-looking margarita or cosmopolitan can rack up hundreds of
calories that do nothing to quench your appetite. Treat yourself just on
the weekends and cut back somewhere else or stick to a glass of wine,
light beer, or vodka and soda — three drinks that each has about 100
calories per serving.
9. Eat without any distractions
Dining while watching tv can make you take in 40 percent more calories
than usual, according to a recent study. And texting, driving, or any
other distracting activity during a meal can also result in you
consuming more food than you need. Make each meal something you put on a
plate, and then sit down to finish it – and even if you’re eating by
10. Snack with healthy foods
Grazing between meals used to be a faux pas. But nutritionists now know
that it’s better to satisfy a craving with healthy grub than ignoring it
and risk a junk-food binge later. The best picks are filling,
protein-packed snacks – a stick of string cheese, a tablespoon of peanut
butter on a piece of fruit, or my favorite – a bowl of edamame.
11. Build your muscles
Doing 5 minutes each of push-ups, lunges, and squats (in 30-second
intervals) will help build and maintain muscle mass. The more muscle you
have, the higher your metabolism will be, so you’ll torch more calories
as you go about your day.
12. Stop obsessing over weight loss
Obsessing over losing weight is counterproductive! Making yourself
stressful does crazy things to your body and you will ultimately have a
harder time losing weight. So, don’t think too much and over complicate
things—with weight loss, more often than not, simplicity is best.
If you think you’ll find it hard to incorporate the above mini changes
to your daily life and require more structure and discipline to losing
weight, then consider using The 2 Week Diet plan. The 2 Week Diet plan
teaches you how to eat and live skinny and only has a few smart,
easy-to-follow guidelines that are most effective for superior results.
Once you get your eating habits and lifestyle in check, your metabolism
will increase—and your body will shed weight and shed it fast.