When it comes to losing weight, your approach does not have to be excruciatingly painful to be effective. Let’s go back to the soda example: suppose you drink two sodas per day. Given that one soda contains about 240 calories, switching to water will save you 3,360 calories per week (or, okay, sparkling water). That means that simply giving up soda will cause you to lose nearly a pound or 3,500 calories.
Healthy Habits for Healthy Weight Loss
Even if you don’t drink soda, there are a plethora of simple, everyday habits you can implement to help you lose weight (or continue to maintain the weight you are). Andy Yurechko, R.D., M.S., of Georgia’s Augusta University Medical Center, believes that the most successful dieters avoid fads and instead focus on long-term sustainable practices. Here are the top five of them.
#1. Clear Goal
A clear goal is one that anyone on the planet can measure and comprehend. Write down your goal and keep it somewhere visible as a reminder when you’re about to give up. If you want to lose a specific amount of weight, weigh yourself before you begin. Then, daily, weigh yourself. Daily weigh-ins have been shown in studies to improve weight loss efforts. However, do not live and die by the number. Remember that a scale cannot distinguish between fat and lean body mass—but it can help keep things in check.
#2. Drinking More Water
First and foremost, everyone should drink plenty of water—your body requires it to function properly. And there’s a benefit of doing so for people who want to lose weight. Dr. Brenda Davy and her Virginia Tech University colleagues discovered that giving people 2 cups of water before each meal resulted in a greater fat loss after 12 weeks. The reason is simple: it fills you up so you eat less.
#3. Avoid Processed Carbs and Junk Food
They do nothing for you other than creating an environment conducive to fat gain, including belly fat. If you have trouble controlling certain treats, such as chips, cookies, or peanut butter, keep them out of your home or office cabinets. It’s not a matter of willpower; it’s a matter of being realistic. Instead, stock up on healthy snacks like jerky for your glove compartment or desk drawer so you’re always prepared.
#4. Focus on Fruits & Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are filling, high in fiber, and low in calories. If you’re having trouble incorporating more vegetables into your diet, start each meal with a salad. Salads add bulk to your diet, allowing you to eat fewer calories overall. Alternatively, try this hack to get a day’s worth of healthy greens in just 14 minutes. No need for a smoothie.
#5. Start Weightlifting
Make a workout plan that includes lifting weights. Increase your muscle mass; increase your calorie expenditure. Reduce the amount of time you rest between your training sets. This raises your heart rate, resulting in an increase in calories burned. Use these tips to lift heavy objects carefully.