5 small habits that can help you lose weight
If you’re trying to lose weight, it can be frustrating to feel like you’re doing everything you can, but the scale refuses to budge. It’s tempting to just give up and reach for the donuts, but it’s important to remember that your small daily habits do matter. For most people, gaining weight is the result of small choices over time, and losing weight works the same way. And research shows that it’s more effective to adopt small, consistent habits than to attempt a major dietary overhaul. If your weight-loss progress has stalled, try adopting these 5 easy habits.
1. Eat a healthy breakfast
You’ve probably heard the widespread belief that skipping breakfast slows down your metabolism and leads to weight gain. Some research indicates that skipping breakfast can trick your brain into craving higher-calorie foods later in the day. But another study found that when a group of overweight adults was told to skip breakfast, they lost just as much weight over a 16-week period> as participants who ate breakfast. Why the discrepancy? The way that your body metabolizes and responds to different foods is largely influenced by your individual genetic makeup. So rather than worrying about if and when you should eat, focus on eating plant foods, protein, and healthy fats in every meal. Make a power-packed green smoothie if you can (it only takes a minute!), but if your only option for breakfast are the donuts that a coworker brought in to the office, you’re better off waiting to eat until you can grab something healthy for lunch.
2. Drink lots of water
Staying hydrated is important for many reasons, and drinking more water can even help you lose weight. Water keeps everything in your body running smoothly, and that includes your metabolism and your elimination system. Thirst can also masquerade as hunger, so if you’re experiencing food cravings, reach for a big glass of water before you start snacking. You may just find that the craving goes away. And drinking water can keep you from drinking other unhealthy beverages, such as soda, which are linked to weight gain.
3. Keep healthy foods within easy reach
If you keep produce and other healthy foods where you can see them, you’re more likely to eat them, so don’t shove all your fruits and veggies to the back of the fridge. Keep bananas and oranges in a bowl on the counter. When Google moved its fruit bowl to the front of the cafeteria, employees ate two-thirds more fruit in just one month. And making healthy foods easy to snack on makes you even more likely to reach for them, so cut up apples, bell peppers, celery, and other produce ahead of time and keep them in convenient bags in your fridge.
4. Eat more slowly
Eating mindlessly is one of the biggest contributors to weight gain — whether we’re eating in front of the TV or in the car or glued to our phones. Start paying more attention to what you’re eating. Chew slowly and put your fork down in between bites. After several minutes, ask yourself if you’re still hungry. Continue eating only if the answer is yes. You may find yourself eating much less food than you normally do.
5. Use smaller plates
We tend to fill up whatever plate we’re given, and studies show that people eat less when using smaller plates. Try eating your dinner on a salad plate instead — you can always get more food if you’re genuinely still hungry but chances are, you’ll find that you’re satisfied with less.
Learning how your individual body responds to different kinds of foods can help you make more changes that will improve your health and help you lose weight. Download a sample report from Vivaliti DNA to see how your personalized genetic blueprint can help you choose the best foods and exercise programs that work with your unique genetic makeup!