Five Tiny Lifestyle Tweaks to Lose Weight and Feel Great
by Jamie Gibbs
One of the most popular reasons that people give for not living a healthy lifestyle is, “I have no time”. No time to exercise, no time to make a healthy meal plan, and no time to keep track of your health.
We are living in such a fast-paced society that there is barely enough time to do anything in our day, and so convenience is the buzz word of the day.
With that in mind, here are some small tweaks that you can make to your lifestyle that won’t take up too much of your time but could be of great benefit to you.
The Ten Minute Tweak
When you wake up, before you’ve had breakfast, before you’ve had a shower, before you’ve even had your morning cup of coffee, set a timer on your phone for ten minutes. No more, no less.
In those ten minutes you can do some stretches, or maybe a couple of push-ups, or jog around your apartment. Ten minutes is nothing, right? The beauty of this is that it kick-starts both your brain and your body into action, so you’ll feel more motivated and healthier right off the bat.
If you make it the first thing you do each day, you won’t give yourself time to object to it, and before you know it you’ll have done a workout without putting so much as a dent into your day.
What makes this tweak even better is that once you’ve done ten minutes you may want to carry on and do fifteen, maybe even twenty. If the mood takes you, don’t fight it.
H2O Before a Meal
I have two problems when I eat: I eat larger portions than I should, and I eat much faster than I should. Before I know it, I’ve shovelled away more than my fair share in the time it takes someone else to butter their bread.
A good way of cutting your calorie intake is to drink two glasses of water before you eat. Because you’re filling your stomach with a zero calorie liquid, you’re tricking your body into thinking that it’s fuller than it is.
This means that you’ll be able to slow down when you eat, you’ll feel full faster and so will eat smaller portions.
Beat Your Own Stair Record
A common piece of advice is to take the stairs everywhere rather than use the elevator. Whilst this is good advice, climbing the stairs to your desk every morning can be time consuming and boring.
Next time, time yourself and see how long it takes you to take the stairs. The next day, shave a second or two off that time. Do it again the next day, and then the next.
You’ll soon find yourself able to power walk or even jog up the stairs without breaking a sweat, and by challenging yourself and giving yourself a record to beat you’ll break the monotony of it all.
Keep a Record
A lot of the time, people have bad diets because they simply don’t realise how much they eat. Whenever you eat, even if it’s just a few pieces of candy, write it down in a notebook, or better yet, take a quick snapshot of it with your camera phone.
Having a visual record of what you eat will make you see where you can cut back on snacks or portion sizes.
If you’re feeling particularly daring, post the photo of each food item you eat to your social networking site – the added pressure of having other people know exactly what you’re eating could be enough of a motivator to eat healthier.
Get Smaller Plates
Whether or not you’re conscious of it, we tend to eat most of what is on our plate regardless of its size. If you want to control your portion sizes in order to keep a balanced diet, then downgrading your plate size will force you to make smaller meals.
A drop from a 12-inch to a 10-inch plate means you will eat about 15 per cent less, so this is especially useful if weight loss is your goal. Drop the inches on the plates, and you’ll drop them from your waistline too.
All of these tweaks take mere seconds or minutes out of your day, and within a few weeks of doing them, they’ll become a habit and you’ll end up doing them without thinking. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be challenging, but the rewards are most definitely worth it.
(This guest post was written by Jamie Gibbs of Confused.com, the life insurance comparison site. He has a passion for ‘life hacking’ – the little things you can change to improve your lifestyle. He’s also on the lookout for any tips and tricks that save yourself time and money.)