The cumulative effect of small changes are key to improving both your health and fitness level. Most people are looking for the home run or the secret “ingredient” or new diet when it comes to trying lose weight or improve their fitness level. As an alternative approach, begin to develop new habits with just a few small changes throughout your day that can be added to your workout and diet. When this is done consistently for about 2-4 weeks you will start to notice changes in the way you look and feel.
“Setting the right goals is an important first step. Most people trying to lose weight focus on just that one goal: weight loss. However, the most productive areas to focus on are the dietary and physical activity changes that will lead to long-term weight change. Successful weight managers are those who select two or three goals at a time that are manageable.”
– National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
Here are a few examples that you could start with.
-Drink more water first thing in the morning
-Make sure you eat breakfast
-Try squeezing in some activity like walking/hiking or a specific exercise (i.e. plank/bridge combo)
-Workout at lunch time if your able and if not, go for a 20-minute walk
-Add more protein to your lunch and avoid bread and fried foods
-Stand more at work rather than sitting for 6-8 hrs (make a standing work station)
-Make dinner your smallest meal of the day
-No eating within 3-4 hours of going to bed
-Cut down on your TV and screen time especially before you go to sleep
Finally, throughout the Morning/Afternoon/Evening watch your “added” sugar intake – this one simple tip will pay back big dividends in no time! If you’re a female work on consuming 100 calories a day of added sugar (25 grams/day) and if you’re a male work on taking in 150 calories a day (38 grams/day). Another tip, eat the same number of grams of fiber/day that is mentioned for added sugar.
If you can add a few of these changes in with your weekly strength and cardio routine, over the course of the next month, it will give you that boost that you have been looking for especially during the remaining winter months!