Weight Loss: Small steps create big results
When it comes to weight loss let’s face it, we’re afraid to let go of the things we find comfort in and this can commonly be food. Foods help nourish and comfort us but for many people this becomes an unhealthy problem which can impede their weight loss or even lead to obesity. Many people are afraid of not having the comfort that accompanies their favorite foods which can lead to poor nutritional habits. These habits can take quite a bit of time to change but change you can slowly and surely!
Small steps = weight loss
Steps going forward, no matter how small, still beat sitting on the sideline
That quote holds a lot of truth when it comes to weight loss. For many, you need to think of weight loss as a journey not a sprint, start the journey no matter how long it might be! Start cutting out useless calories little by little and eventually it will add up to substantial weight loss!
Here are 4 ways to break your bad habits, cut down your calories, and start losing weight.
I really feel like this is the tipping point. If you can harness the will power to give up soda you will have the will power to carry on your journey. Soda is addictive; people love this sugary stuff but it’s empty calories, meaning it really does nothing good for you in terms of nutrition.
When breaking habits, don’t cut out soda completely but try to cut your consumption in half for a week and then carry on from there, remember this is a journey not a sprint.
For instance, if you drink 2 Cokes a day (12 ounce = ~140 calories each) cut that down to only one soda a day, you will have consumed almost 1000 fewer calories a week; that’s substantial! Just cutting out the calories of one soda a day (Classic Coke [12oz] ~140 calories) adds up to over 51,000 calories a year or over 14.5lbs worth of calories… holy crap!
Even the smallest healthy habits really add up in terms of weight loss! If you can’t completely switch over to water (or other drinks), try flavoring your water with Crystal Light or Mio to still get a flavored drink!
After you have cut down on your soda consumption try to avoid over-snacking. Don’t get me wrong, I snack as well but you need to keep it healthy and don’t overdo it! Just because you aren’t drinking soda anymore doesn’t mean you have free-rein to eat constantly; like the artificial sweetener mindset.
It doesn’t work like that; you shouldn’t reward yourself for giving up soda by eating a doughnut!
It’s not so much the frequency of eating; it’s the quality of the eating. If you were eating carrots for snacks there would be no harm but your bad food choices have probably gotten you to where you are now. Replace your snacks with foods like hummus or fruits.
Fruits are a great way to start eating healthy because unlike vegetables (which some people hate), fruits taste great because they are sweet as well. Here’s a comparison of a piece of fruit (peach) compared to a normal snack food (potato chips):
- 2oz bag of potato chips= 70 total grams consumed: 310 calories, 21g fat, 3.75g protein, 28g carbs, 2.5g fiber
- Extra large peach= 224 total grams consumed: 87 calories, 1g fat, 2g protein, 22g carbs, 3g fiber
The numbers don’t lie, you consume more grams of actual food in the peach while consuming substantially fewer calories.
You consume fewer calories but stay full longer! You need to make smart food choices! Start swapping some convenient fruits like bananas, kiwis, or peaches with your normal highly processed foods; baby-steps!
This may be one of the harder one’s for many to part with. Desserts are hard for many people to give-up because they are many times regarded as personal rewards.
For instance, you had a bad day so you reward yourself (or make up for it) with dessert. But desserts pack a punch when it comes to calories. Try cutting back to only one dessert per day, then per week, then none!
Let’s do the math: cutting out one dessert a day like a cup of chocolate ice cream (286 calories) can have you consuming over 2000 fewer calories a week!
Get this; that can add up to over 104,000 calories a year or almost 30lbs worth of calories!
As I said, this is a weight loss journey so progression will be slow, make sure to work on the soda consumption and snacking before moving on. One-step at a time. You didn’t get to the weight you are at in one day, it took months to years so don’t expect to be able to reverse those habits in the matter of days.
4. Green Face
This is a brilliant concept I borrowed from Jonathan Goodman of the Personal Trainer Development Center (PTDC) it basically means evolving your diet around foods that are either green (along with any vegetable) or at one time had a face (or a quality source of protein).
Basically eating plenty of high quality veggies and proteins and staying away from highly processed foods (crap food). Green Face mentality means getting back to the basics of quality proteins that aren’t highly processed (like hotdogs) and consuming plenty of vegetables. Go Green Face!
When it comes to vegetables many people don’t understand how big of a tool they can be in keeping your appetite under control and you losing weight! Check out the power of vegetables vs a highly processed meat like chicken nuggets:
- 200 calories of McDonald’s’ McNuggets = 69 total grams consumed: 13g fat, 10.8g protein, 11.88g carbs, 1g fiber (that’s barely over 4 nuggets)
- 200 calories of cooked broccoli = 706 total grams consumed: 0g fat, 23g protein, 38.5g carbs, 23g fiber (that’s over 4 cups)
You eat way more food, get more fiber, more protein, and more nutrients when consuming broccoli; it’s hands down the way to go! I realize vegetables may be a scary word for many of you because you don’t think they taste good but there are ways to make them delicious.
For instance, if you just can’t stand vegetables, try eating them with ranch dressing or smothered in cheese. I realize this might not be the healthiest thing possible but if it gets you eating them that’s the main thing.
Eventually you will start cutting back on the toppings until you enjoy eating just steamed veggies. Remember Green Face when planning your meals and it will help you eat healthier!
Don’t forget it’s a long journey, even if you are moving in baby-steps. Make progress towards your goals; it will not happen overnight! As you slowly break the bad habits you’ve gained over the years be proud of how far you’ve come!
The reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have gotten.
Start your weight loss journey by implementing these 4 steps, one at a time:
1. Cut soda consumption in half
2. Fruits for snacks
3. One less dessert per day
4. Eat Green Face
By implementing these steps and consuming one less soda and dessert (or unhealthy snack) a day, you can hypothetically cut out over 44-45lbs worth of calories in a year while actually eating more high quality, appetite satiating foods!