5 Small Changes That Can Add Up to Big Losses

April 21, 2011

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weight loss successOne thing that I believe keeps many people from tackling their weight issues is the myth that they will have to make huge, uncomfortable, and unpleasant lifestyle changes to make it happen.

While it is true that to get different results, one does need to do things differently, those changes don’t necessarily have to be monumental ones to get results.

Here are five small changes I recommend that can make a big difference:

Sneak In Movement: Increasing your physical activity doesn’t have to mean joining a gym or setting aside an hour a day to workout. Instead, you can get the equivalent of spending 30 minutes on a treadmill by doing things like pacing back and forth as you talk on the phone rather than sit, walking one extra stop on the bus or subway route, or parking in the furthest spot in the parking lot. Those five minutes here and five minutes there throughout the day add up with very little extra effort!

Cook More Creatively: Another place that small changes to your normal routine can really add up is in the kitchen. Simple swaps like replacing cooking with butter with non-stick spray, using herbs in place of fat to add flavor, or bumping up the produce portions in every meal can go a long way toward cutting calories relatively painlessly.

Nix Liquid Calories: Sometimes it’s not what we’re eating that leads to weight gain, it’s what we’re drinking. Research shows people tend to greatly underestimate the number of liquid calories they consume in a day. Specialty coffee drinks, soda pop, whole milk, alcoholic beverages, and even 100 percent fruit juice are all packed with hundreds of easily eliminated calories.

Lighten Up One Meal: Aim to keep one meal a day under 200 calories as part of your plan to cut overall daily calorie intake. While it can be any meal you like, I recommend trying this at breakfast as most people seem to find that meal to be one they can easily lighten up. Think high bulk, low calorie. Make an egg white omelet with ½ cup egg whites, ¼ cup sliced mushrooms, half of a green pepper diced, and 2 tablespoons diced onion paired with one cup of skim milk, for example. Or cook a half cup of oatmeal with water and top it with one cup of sliced berries or other fruit.

Snack on Fruit: If your usual snack consists of something like crackers, chips, or sweets, try replacing that with an apple, a banana, an orange, or a cup of watermelon chunks instead. The fiber in fruit helps keep you feeling full longer, and the fact that many fruits come wrapped in their own package makes them easy to take along on the go. Add an exotic twist by trying out new fruits such as papaya, mango, or kiwi. Once you get in the habit, you’ll likely find that fruit’s naturally sweet taste hits the snacking spot.

There they are – 5 simple ways you can move more and eat less – no torture required!

Dr. Michael Kaplan

Founder and Chief Medical Officer

The Center for Medical Weight Loss

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