There are easy ways to lose 5 pounds without making huge changes to your lifestyle. Even small changes can significantly effect your weight loss efforts. You may be doing things that you don’t realize are sabotaging your success. Here are some ideas for making small lifestyle changes that can make a difference on the scale.
Strategy #1: Ditch your diet soda
More and more studies are coming out linking diet soda to weight gain. Researchers conclude that those who drank two or more diet soft drinks a day have the largest waistline increases. Artificial sweeteners are addictive, and cause you to crave sugary foods. Cut diet soda out of your daily routine, and replace it with water. Not thrilled by plane water? Add some lemon wedges or crushed mint leaves.
Strategy #2: Get enough Sleep
Research shows that sleeping less than six hours a night not only prevents weight loss, it can lead to a higher risk of obesity. When you don’t get enough sleep, hormones that tell your brain that you are full, decrease, and hormones that tell your body that it’s hungry, increase. Yikes! So, get your ZZZZZs to avoid the extra LBs.
Strategy #3: Use smaller plates
Many people have their mother’s voice in their head saying, “clean your plate.” Plate sizes in American continue to grow, and we are famous for the all-you-can-eat buffet. Beat the bulge by using lunch or dessert plates (usually 7-9 inches wide) instead of dinner plates (11+ inches wide). You can eat as much as 30 percent less food as a result. Feel less guilty when you “clean” a smaller plate (which is filled with healthy foods, right?) Take a look at these great portion control plates, for example.
Strategy #4: Don’t let yourself get too hungry
Be sure you eat regularly to avoid major fluctuations in blood sugar, which can lead to “snack attacks” where you’ll eat anything without giving it much thought. Be prepared with snacks when you’re on the go. Carry a piece of fruit, crackers, string cheese, or yogurt. Tucking away something ahead of time will keep you from being tempted by fast food or vending machines.
Strategy #5: Trade Slow Cardio for Interval Training
In order to really make your workout more effective, you need to turn up the intensity. If you love the treadmill, then do a series of sprints throughout your workout. If you’re a swimmer, then push yourself extra hard every other lap. Amp up your workouts with bouts of intense cardio and watch as the fat starts to disappear.
Before you know it, you’ll see those pounds start to slip away on the scale. What other strategies do you use to lose weight?