7 quick and easy steps to a healthier you

When it comes to weight loss, it’s the little things that can really add up to make a big difference. When it comes to lasting weight loss, research shows you are better off making small, incremental changes rather than aiming for a restrictive diet or challenging exercise regime. The key is that the changes are practical and sustainable so that you can permanently adopt these new habits into your everyday life. In one study, people who made tiny adjustments to their eating habits were able to stick to their new routines—and had more success losing weight.

To help shed those unwanted extra pounds, without making any huge restrictive changes, follow these seven easy steps for weight loss success.

1. Eat breakfast every day

Research shows dieters are more successful at losing weight—and keeping it off—when they eat breakfast. If you don’t already eat breakfast, start. If you are already a breakfast eater, try eating the same breakfast multiple days each week. According to research repeating the same meals can help you shed pounds. We suggest going for a quick and easy breakfast that is preferably portable so you don’t have to use the “I don’t have time for breakfast” excuse.

2. Downsize your dish

Studies show that we eat less when we use smaller dinnerware. The theory is that our eyes get tricked into thinking we are eating more because our plate is full, making the food portions look bigger. The result: we are satisfied with less food. Try eating your meals on salad plates instead of larger dinner plates.

3. Trade up your fork

It sounds counter intuitive, but research shows using a bigger fork and subsequently taking bigger bites can actually lead to eating less (apparently seeing yourself making a larger dent in the food on your plate can cue you to stop eating sooner). You’ll increase the benefit by holding the fork with your non-dominant hand to slow you down. Eating slower helps you consume fewer calories without you even realizing it.

4. Drink lots of water

You’ve probably heard it before but this is one diet-friendly adage that’s tried and true, so start hydrating. Drinking two cups of water before eating a meal can help you lose weight. The water helps you feel full sooner, so you eat less and in turn lose weight quicker.

5. Keep fruits and vegetables on show

You know the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”? Not what you want when it comes to eating more fruits and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables deliver lots of nutrients but not a lot of calories. Plus, they’re packed with fibre, which helps fill you up. Don’t shove your beautiful apples to the back of the cupboard, or bury your carrots behind the snacks. Try keeping fruit in a fruit bowl where they’ll be in plain sight. You’ll also be more likely to reach for diet-friendly fruits and veggies if they’re ready for easy snacking. In fact, when Google moved their fruit bowl to the front of the cafeteria, employees’ fruit consumption increased by two thirds in just one month.

6. Snack on yogurt

Yogurt has been identified as a top weight-loss-promoting food by Harvard University. It’s high in protein, which, gram for gram, fills you up more than carbs. Stick to plain, low-fat or non-fat yogurt for a healthy snack, without extra sugar or saturated fat. Research also shows that the probiotics in yogurt may help you burn fat.

7. Enjoy a small treat

Don’t banish all your favourite foods. Doing so may lead to a dieting disaster. A drastically limited diet is not sustainable, and feeling deprived may eventually cause you to overeat. Savouring a small treat daily really won’t sabotage your weight-loss efforts. Keep the treats small—aim for about 150 calories or less. This is one habit most of us can stick with for the long haul.

Good luck with your new healthier habits. Share you experiences over on our Facebook page.