If you’re looking to lose weight, making a few small changes can actually be easier than one or two big changes, and it’s more likely that you’ll be able to stick with it. Making healthy changes can be hard, and it can be made harder if you set unrealistic goals. Small changes mean you're more likely to stick to your plan, so here are our tips to help you throughout the day.
Switch to low-fat or non-dairy milk
Using lower-fat milk or milk alternatives is a really easy change that you will hardly notice. If you eat cereal or drink a lot of milky hot drinks, you can save many calories in a week, just by switching from whole milk to skim milk for example.
Many foods can contain high amounts of added sugar and salt, so make sure you check the labels and don’t fall for any claims on the packaging like added vitamins without looking at the full list of ingredients. Look out for things like whole grains and no added sugars.
Switch out your bread
Choosing wheat or gluten-free bread is much better for you than white bread. You can also make your breakfast healthier by switching out butter for a reduced-fat spread or choosing toppings such as a poached egg, tomatoes, or even mushrooms.
Switch to healthier snacks
One easy change to make is to switch out chips for something like unsalted nuts. Nuts can contain nutrients like iron and zinc and are better for you. You could even switch out for an even healthier snack like carrot or cucumber sticks.
Add more fruits and vegetables
Adding in some fruits or vegetables to every meal helps to make you healthier. Think about which you like, and add them to your meal, perhaps a side salad in your lunch, or some berries or a banana as dessert. Vegetables especially are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and also can lower your risk of heart disease
Choosing leaner meat
Meat can contain varying amounts of fat. Choosing leaner or lower-fat versions can really help to reduce your saturated fat intake. Removing visible fat like skin and rinds, and also grilling meat, can help to reduce your fat intake.
Try going veggie
Choosing a vegetarian option such as beans, lentils, instead of meat can help to reduce your saturated fat intake, and help to add healthy fibers to your diet. Also, you can change from meat to fish, for a healthier choice.
Switch your carbs up
Switch to whole-wheat versions of bread and pasta to add more fiber to your diet. Also, checking your portion sizes is a great way to stay healthy, with starchy carbs ideally making up around a third of your food.
Make your hot drinks healthier
Instead of ordering a usually full-fat latte, or milk heavy drink, try a cappuccino or a skinny latte, which will reduce your fat intake without you really noticing. Alternatively, try black coffee, such as a filter coffee or an americano, to really reduce your fat intake. And always try and say no to things like whipped cream, syrups, and toppings which can really add up the calories to a hot drink, as well as increase your sugar intake.
Even better, reduce your sugar intake by switching to a low-calorie or natural sweetener. Experiment to find one you like the taste of, as they can all taste a bit different. You can also gradually reduce the amount of sugar you use, till you get used to a less sweet taste and you can skip it entirely.
Cut out sugary drinks
Drinks like fruit juice are a great source of vitamins, but they are very high in natural sugars - this means that natural sugars are released from the cells of the fruit in the juicing process. Try to stick to a small amount, or even better, eat fruit instead of drinking juice. You can also switch to no-added sugar fizzy drinks to reduce your sugar intake.
Drink more water
When you don’t drink enough water each day, your body can confuse your thirst with hunger. Increasing your intake of water can have a huge impact on how much you eat during the day. Try to carry a water bottle so you have a reminder of how much water you need to drink on a regular basis, and set goals for yourself to drink some water a while before you eat, to help curb your appetite.
Look at the texture of your food
Did you know the texture of food can influence how much of it you eat? Soft foods like ice cream are easy to overdo, as the texture is very soft and easy to keep eating. Foods that you have to chew for longer are harder to overeat, so be mindful of the texture of your food while you eat it, and watch how much you eat.
Get enough sleep
Finally, the level of sleep you get can influence your weight. Not getting enough sleep can increase stress levels, which can increase the likelihood of gaining weight. Additionally, the less time you spend asleep, the longer you are awake and the more time there is to eat. Try and get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
By Amy Cavill
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