When talking about weight loss, the two pillars of losing weight – diet and exercise – always get center stage. And that’s for good reason. Maintaining a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity are essential to maintaining a healthy weight.
But you know this already. So, what else can you be doing to amplify your lifestyle changes and increase your odds of success?
Let’s look at some tips that go beyond diet and exercise:
1. Spend time with people who encourage you
Exposing yourself to people who support you with positive reinforcement can help keep you motivated. We are influenced by the habits of the people around us, so spending more time with people who exert more self-control around food can help reduce temptation to stray from your healthy diet. And finally, having a group of friends you can exercise with can make working out a fun, social activity. And when you’re having fun and surrounding yourself with positive people, you’re more likely to maintain your lifestyle changes long-term.
2. Chew your food
Make an effort to chew your food thoroughly and eat at a slower pace. Overall, this will help you reduce your calorie intake, because it gives your body more time to register when you’re full. Stop eating when you feel 80% full, rather than when you’re stuffed and ready to unbutton a button on your pants.
3. Eliminate soda from your diet
Cutting out soda from your diet is a quick way to cut a lot of excess calories and artificial sugar from your diet. Water is the best drink for your body, but if you find yourself craving the carbonation of soda, you can try drinking sparkling water.
4. Get rested
Did you know that sleep deprivation is linked to weight gain? When you’re tired, you’re more likely to skip exercise, eat out, and have late-night cravings. Getting rested and recharged regularly is an important part of achieving your weight loss goals.
5. Don’t shop while hungry
Have you ever shopped while hungry? Chances are, you end up buying more junk food than if you had eaten a healthy snack beforehand. Avoid shopping while hungry and you will likely make smarter choices at the grocery store.
6. Eat from a plate, and preferably a smaller one
This is part of being conscious of how much you’re eating. If you’re eating something directly from the package, you could easily eat more than you intended without realizing it. Instead, portion out how much you want to eat onto a plate before enjoying it.
There are also some visual tricks you can try to control your portion size. First, try eating from a smaller plate. Your portion of food will look larger, which tricks you into thinking you’re eating more than you actually are. In fact, according to research done at Cornell, eating from a 10-inch plate instead of a 12-inch plate could help you eat 22% less. Additionally, using a plate that is different from the color of your food increases the contrast and helps keep you aware of how much you’re eating. So, choose a small plate that’s a different color than your meal!
7. Put the junk food away and bring the healthy foods out
If you have junk food in the house, try putting them into colored containers and placing them behind healthier options in the pantry. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Additionally, put your healthy food in front of the junk food and in plain sight, so you see them first. At least you’ll think twice before making the extra effort to reach the junk food.
Hopefully these tips can help live a healthier lifestyle, and increase the likelihood of success of your diet and exercise programs.
Do you have another weight loss tip that we didn’t cover here? Let us know in the comments below!