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10 Small Changes You Can Make to Lose Weight

The first step to successful weight loss is believing in yourself and understanding how small changes over time yield big results. Improving your habits slowly and steadily increases the likelihood they’re sustainable and prevents yo-yo dieting.



Rather than drastically overhauling your lifestyle, these small but effective weight loss tips will help you make seamless changes that naturally fit into your day-to-day.


1. SKIP THE SNOOZE BUTTON


The first step to starting your day off on a healthier foot is actually getting out of bed. Regularly hitting the snooze button signals sleep deprivation, which is linked to weight gain. Science shows avoiding the snooze button also leads to a better mood. To break your dependence on an alarm, gradually start going to bed earlier until you wake up before it goes off.


2. DRINK A TALL GLASS OF WATER WHEN YOU WAKE UP


When you’re dehydrated early in the morning, your body might mistake thirst for hunger, leading you to overeat at breakfast. Research shows drinking two 8-ounce glasses of water before meals can help people lose more weight.


3. EAT A BALANCED BREAKFAST


Give your body a little nutrition to get things going. If eating a bigger breakfast works for you, then that’s great, as research shows we burn more calories as the day progresses. Instead of skipping breakfast to ‘save your appetite’ (which can lead to binge eating later on), lean into foods high in protein and fibre like Greek yoghurt or eggs with whole grain bread.


4. THINK SAVOURY OVER SWEET


Leaning into sweet treats in the morning can lead to cravings throughout the day. The more sugar you eat, the more you may want to eat. If you’re going to go sweet, make sure it’s naturally sweet and not processed. This could mean a piece of fruit with a savoury breakfast like eggs, toast or oatmeal.


5. MOVE YOUR BODY


Research shows fat oxidation (i.e., burning fat as a fuel source) increased over a 24-hour period when exercise was performed before a morning meal. Starting your day with a workout can also support your metabolism for more efficient muscle building and serve as a pick-me-up to help you feel alert and ready to tackle the day. Another reason to love morning workouts: You’ll get it out of the way and have a sense of accomplishment that keeps you motivated to stick with healthy habits the rest of the day.


6. HAVE A POST-LUNCH SNACK


If you’re avoiding snacking for weight loss, you could be making a big mistake. Consuming too few calories can slow your metabolism and increase hunger. Opt for dietician-approved snacks with a combination of protein and healthy fats to help you feel satiated, longer, like an apple with peanut butter or veggies with hummus. If you’re in a hurry and looking at grab-and-go picks like protein bars, be sure to read the nutrition labels so you know what you’re putting into your body since some are loaded with artificial ingredients and added sugars.


Bonus tip: Pre-portion your snacks to avoid overeating.


7. EMBRACE MEAL PREP


Weekend afternoons are ideal for meal prep — a strategy that’s proven to aid weight loss and one that I recommend to my clients. When you have a plan, you’ll be less likely to eat on impulse. That means less frozen pizza and impromptu Indian takeaways. Pre-planning your meals also helps you be more mindful of nutrition and getting in proteins, healthy fats and complex carbs. Batch cooking veggies, proteins and whole grains is a great place to start so you can easily mix-and-match grain bowls for quick, nutrient-dense meals.


8. AVOID EATING TOO LATE


When you sleep, the body, in general, slows down all its functions, including metabolism. Not allowing the body to digest and absorb all the food you had for dinner can result in the extra calories being stored in the body as fat. If your schedule requires eating late at night, keep portion sizes small and try to eat a bigger lunch or afternoon snack instead.


9. WEAR BLUE LIGHT BLOCKING GLASSES


Blue light from your devices, including your cell phone, iPad and computer, can mess with your sleep cycle, especially when you’re using them closer to bedtime. Wearing blue light glasses an hour before bed can help minimise those harmful blue rays. It’s also a good idea to put your phone on the yellow light setting and limit your screen time. Even better, reach for a book. This gets your brain even more ready for bed and can help you get to sleep sooner.


10. SCHEDULE YOUR BEDTIME


Just like scheduling your meals, picking the ideal time to get into bed can help you give your body the time it needs to recover and ultimately lose weight. Not getting enough sleep can put a dent in your weight loss efforts, as hormone shifts cause a surge in hunger and cravings. Stick to a bedtime routine that allows for 7–8 hours of good quality sleep.

THE TAKEAWAYS

Start with implementing a few of these small but effective changes into your routine and you'll see how much of a difference it makes. Make sure any of the changes you make fit with your current lifestyle and can be done consistently to maintain progress. The simpler, the better.

If you would like support in your weight loss journey, book your free consultation with me today. As an award-winning weight loss coach and fitness trainer, I help busy women lose weight for good without severe restriction or dieting. You can learn more about my services here.


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