You’ve decided you want to lose weight, but are stuck trying to choose a diet from among the heaps of options that positively guarantee results. Low-carb, low-fat, Keto, Paleo, Weight Watchers, DASH…they each come with a set of complex rules that can be totally mind-boggling. You may lose weight simply because you can’t tell what is okay to eat!
But here’s a secret: diets don’t really work. Any program that places a ban on certain types of foods or involves a labyrinthine protocol for what and when you can eat is not going to be sustainable over the long haul. What you need is a permanent shift in the way you eat and take care of yourself.
Now don’t panic! We’re talking about easy changes that can be made one at a time. Going for a total, instantaneous revolution is a sure road to misery, but a gradual lifestyle shift feels more like personal growth. Here are ten great ways to grow self esteem while shedding pounds.
- Go to bed one hour earlier.
Experts agree that getting enough sleep is just as important as diet and exercise when you need to lose weight. Not clocking sufficient zzz’s affects you negatively in several ways. First, it’s easy to use being tired as an excuse not to exercise or cook fresh meals at home.
When you’re tired, your brain ramps up cravings for something to make you feel energetic, typically sugar. It’s much harder to resist those cravings when you’re exhausted.
Finally, too little sleep triggers the stress hormone cortisol, which signals the body to conserve energy in the form of fat. So before you worry about skipping dessert, try building more sleep into your routine.
- Cut your weekly takeout meals in half.
It’s no secret that takeout meals are not very healthy. They are often loaded with extra fat, sugar, and salt to get you hooked and coming back for more.
But when your morning is too rushed to pack a lunch, let alone eat a healthy breakfast, and the kids have 20 different activities in the evening, it’s common for folks to rely on takeout too much.
However, if you can carve out a just two hours a week for pre-planning and prepping meals you would otherwise get from takeout, you will begin to shed pounds effortlessly.
Portion out fruit, nuts, and veggies for snacks, pre-cook oatmeal or scrambled eggs for breakfast, and chop and freeze the ingredients for an easy dinner. Your waist and your wallet will thank you for this!
- Drink more water.
Simple, right? It’s a rare person who hates water, so adding more into your daily routine should not be painful. What might be slightly uncomfortable is substituting water for the soda, syrupy coffee drinks, and juices you may have favored before.
Just remember that one of these sweetened beverages can exceed your daily recommended intake of sugar, and each one you avoid is a huge step toward your weight loss goal.
Drinking water before meals also helps you to feel full and helps prevent overeating or unhealthy snacking. Plus, being properly hydrated can improve the quality of your skin. That’s a little esteem boosting reward that can help you stay the course on your other lifestyle changes.