Dieting to lose weight? Try making small changes instead

Are you frustrated by the prospect of losing weight? When it comes to weight loss, most people think they have to drastically overhaul their diet. Not so. Radical dietary changes can be difficult to stick with. That’s why diets that limit too many foods or cut too many calories don’t work.

How many times have you tried to lose weight by “dieting” and ended up feeling frustrated and deprived?

You may be able to deal with drastic changes in the way you eat for a few days, but it’s likely you’ll eventually revert back to your regular eating habits. Too much change too quickly is challenging – but maybe there’s a better way.

To lose weight, start by making small changes

If you find yourself drifting from diet plan to diet plan and are unable to stick with any of them, drop the “diet” mentality. Start by becoming more aware of what you’re eating and making small, incremental changes to your diet. Small changes add up to significant weight loss over time, and they don’t require you to drastically alter your lifestyle and eating habits. You won’t lose weight as rapidly, but the weight you do lose will be more sustainable because you’ll be developing an eating plan you can live without feeling deprived.

Small changes add up to big calorie savings

Some people drink too many of their calories. One simple change that works is to substitute water or unsweetened iced tea for sugar-sweetened drinks. If you’re accustomed to drinking three soft drinks daily, you’ll save over 300 calories a day. That adds up to half a kilogram of weight loss every 12 days even if you change nothing else. Chances are you won’t miss those soft drinks after a week or two, but you’ll sure enjoy feeling your jeans get looser. Consider all of the other negative health effects of drinking soft drinks, and you’ll see what a good thing you’re doing when you give them up.

Do you always have a snack before bedtime? Instead of munching on high-calorie treats, sip a cup of herbal tea or skip the snack entirely and take a walk in the cool evening air before heading off to bed. When you sip a cup of coffee, skip the half-and-half and use low-fat milk instead. After a few weeks you won’t notice the difference but you’ll notice you’re lighter when you step on the scale. When you eat a sandwich, remove the top piece of bread, and eat it open faced. Skip the potato, and eat vegetables with your main course. Those calorie savings add up to lost kilograms over time if you do them consistently.

These changes won’t leave you feeling deprived, but doing them consistently will painlessly shave calories off of your daily total, and that will show up as weight loss over time. It’s a healthier way to shed weight, and it won’t leave you feeling hungry and frustrated.

Keep a food diary
To find out what simple changes you can make to your diet, keep a food diary for a few weeks. This will make you more aware of mindless snacking that you can eliminate once you’re aware of it. Make one small change every few weeks. By doing this, you’ll incrementally change how you eat, and you won’t feel frustrated and deprived. You may not lose 10 kilos in a month this way, but the weight loss you achieve will be sustainable. Isn’t that the way it should be?

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