Last week I was listening to the radio (wow–do people still listen to the radio? I do!) and I heard them say there’s a new study that says people will lose more weight making one small change to their lifestyle than doing a strict regimen. I have no idea if that is really true, but I think over the long term, it probably is. It’s very hard to keep up a strict healthy lifestyle, and more often than not, people will go off the rails and sometimes binge eat when they do. Oh I’m sorry, did I say People? I meant me.
Right now I keep wanting to start doing a strict diet plan but it feels like my body won’t let me. A couple weeks ago I dropped most refined carbs from my diet in order to help me to be less addicted to them. It was working great for a few days, but then my acid reflux came at me with a vengeance. And in the past, the only thing that has curbed it was junk food! It’s very weird. I can take tons of antacids or I could just eat a granola bar and only the granola bar actually makes it feel better. Sucky.
So of course I ended up on the wrong side of that diet plan and it failed. Once that went away, my kids got sick. And then I got sick. So here I sit, with a fresh cold, not wanting to do anything related to counting calories or exercise. Plus it’s still so freaking cold outside! Where are you spring??
Back to the radio thing. So what I have decided to do is to just try to make a couple small changes to my lifestyle and it should help me overall. My two changes:
1) Go to bed before 11 PM every night.
2) Don’t eat anything after 8 PM every night.
The going to bed thing needs to happen, since I am quite a night owl. Last night I almost made it, being in bed by 11:18. But since my body wasn’t used to it, I didn’t fall asleep until about 1. It takes time to adjust. And the nighttime snacking moratorium should really help me lose weight, since the majority of food and BAD food I eat is after dinner. I am a stress eater–meaning that after a stressful day with my kids, I will eat my feelings once they’ve gone to bed.
I’m inviting everyone else to follow along and make one small change with me! This challenge runs for the entire month of April, and it’s going to be hard for me since April is one of my most stressful months. But it’s just small changes so it’s totally doable, right? I’m going to post my progress on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook and you can follow along with the hashtag #onesmallchange. I would get so motivated to keep going if others are doing it with me!
Some other small changes you can make:
- Take the stairs to your office
- Park far away from the stores you go to
- Drink your coffee black (without cream or sugar)
- Get up and walk around during commercials when watching TV
- Cut out a daily treat you have (a cookie, a soda, an alcoholic drink, etc)
- Make your meals last at least 20 minutes (how long it takes your brain to recognize you’re full)
- Find any way to move around for 20 extra minutes a day (or 4 five-minute increments)
- Replace one serving of something bad for vegetables
- Replace liquid calories (juice, soda, alcohol, etc) for water
- Eat more meals at home (pack a lunch for work, home-cooked dinners)
- Use smaller dishes: Put dinner on a salad plate and a drink in a tall skinny glass. This tricks you into thinking you have more food than you do!)
- Portion control: Take half of what you would normally serve yourself.
- Condition your body to eat until you’re only 80% full, not stuffed.
- When eating out, split an entree.
Let’s make these lifestyle changes together and see how much it helps us! There is low pressure here, so you should be able to do it! And don’t feel like if you don’t succeed for a day or two you should give up! It’s not about perfection, it’s about the effort. I know I won’t be perfect. These small changes go against all our basic animal urges, so it will be a battle. But we will come out a little bit better. Please join me!