Often, when people are starting a weight loss journey, they immediately think of the big sweeping changes they need to make to their lifestyle. Of course, this scares many from even taking that first leap. However, one of the things I learned throughout my own weight loss journey is it’s not necessarily about huge lifestyle changes but more about small daily weight loss habits. Those small daily habits, when done consistently, will result in big changes.
Over the years I’ve experienced that some weight loss habits produce bigger results than others. Meaning when I do them I feel better and look better almost immediately.
Also, I can count on the scale going down when I’m focused on these weight loss habits. So whether you’re just starting a weight loss journey, or got off track, I believe these 5 small habits can produce big weight loss results when each one becomes a part of your daily routine.
Weight Loss Habits That Equal Big Results
Reduce your daily calories by 500.
No matter how you cut, slice, or dice it in order to lose weight you must burn more calories than you eat. You need to have a calorie deficit.
Without going into the whole calorie counting strategy – because I don’t want to overwhelm you – I think you can start seeing results on the scale by simple cutting 500 calories a day from your diet.
Don’t worry, this is a lot easier than you think. However, it will require you to read some labels and possibly measure out something.
When I first started my weight loss journey I thought I ate healthy. Seriously, I didn’t understand why I was just under 180lbs. Well, once I began to track calories I realized very quickly the reason I was overweight. I was eating 3-4 thousand calories a day without even trying.
At first, I didn’t make any big sweeping changes to my diet. I simply reduced my calories. I started to measure out things like salad dressing and coffee creamer instead of just dumping it in. I paid attention to the slices of cheese I’d use. I portioned out pretzels or other snacks I wanted. Essentially, I reduced my calories without even putting in a lot of effort.
Honestly, I saved about 500 calories a day just getting my coffee habit under control.
My advice is take a look at the food you’re eating everyday. Is there anywhere you can cut calories without it being a big deal? For example, can you measure out creamer instead of blindly pouring it into your coffee. Can you eliminate a sugary afternoon snack and replace it with a healthier alternative? Maybe use 1 slice of cheese instead of 2 – by the way this would save 100 calories!
Check out this post on I put together on how to count calories.
Drink more water
Before I started drinking healthy smoothies, and focusing on my water consumption, I had no idea I was dehydrated. I thought my exhaustion, brain fog, and bloated belly was because of something else. Without sounding too dramatic, filling my body with water and smoothies, completely changed my life. Within the first week, I couldn’t believe the way I felt. I had so much energy, was alert, could focus, and my stomach went way down. Honestly, it was amazing.
I truly didn’t know drinking water could help with that. Staying hydrated keeps to your body functioning properly. So, if you struggle with any of the symptoms I mentioned before then start drinking water.
I mentioned smoothies because they’re a great way to stay hydrated without having to drink a ton of water. Not to mention all the benefits of consuming fruits, vegetables, and power foods. You can read more about green smoothies in my green smoothie tutorial.
Add strength training to your exercise routine
It’s no secret that I’m a cardio queen – well, more like a running queen. I love to put my ear plugs in and hop on my treadmill for an hour 3-5 times a week. I also enjoy going for runs with my girlfriends. Running is relaxing to me and helps in more ways than simply burning calories.
However, I didn’t see real changes on the scale, or with my body, until I started adding strength training into my exercise routines. I don’t do anything crazy. I keep it simple with resistance bands and 5 lbs weights.
If you’re struggling to push past a weight loss plateau then I highly recommend adding in some basic strength training exercises.
Add more fruits and veggies to your diet
If your diet is high in processed carbs and meats then it’s safe to say that you feel tired and bloated a lot of the time. Am I right?
Increasing fruits and vegetables daily will do your body good! First, the fiber will get the pipes moving. No need for a weird detox product when your body is filled with all that fruit and roughage. This alone will have you feeling like a million bucks. I know this is TMI but it’s true.
Second, you can eat a lot of fruits and vegetables without breaking the calorie bank. Basically, for every twinkie you can eat 3-4 apples. Just say, I know apples aren’t twinkies but who’s full from one Twinkie? Barely anyone. 1 apple, with a tablespoon of peanut butter, will keep you full between meals without the sugar crash.
So you can eat more food when you focus on fruits and veggies. When you eat more fruits and veggies, and less of the other junk, then you’ll naturally reduce your calories. You know what this means? Yep, weight loss!
Real quick. Back to smoothies. If you’re really not a big fruit and vegetable person. For example, you can’t see yourself consuming an apple, cup of frozen berries, 1 banana, and 1 cup of spinach in one sitting then throw it in a blender and drink it. To be honest, before smoothies I would never eat that much fruit. Now, I drink that much in a daily smoothie.
Mason jar salads are another great way to add extra veggies into your daily diet.
Sodium can play big tricks on you. Seriously! One salty meal can cause 1-5lb + increase on the scale the next day. Salt causes us to retain water which makes us weigh more.
Salty foods also makes us crave other salty foods. And…we are more likely to binge eat foods higher in salt. I get that! Put a box of Cheez It’s in front of me and it’s over! I love all things salty!
Of course, I’m not saying you need to remove everything. Just make a few small changes to keep sodium under control. For example, do you eat a lot of processed food and snacks? Those are the highest in sodium so try cutting some of that out. Or maybe you eat at restaurants often? Lots of sodium there too. Take a look at your overall a diet and see where you can make some small tweaks.
I’m not saying some of these weight loss habits won’t require more effort than others. For example, if your diet consist mostly of fast food then switching over to daily green smoothies might seem daunting.
However, you don’t need to change everything in one day. Take it one weight loss habit at a time. Every week commit to another small change. Remember success is made up of small daily habits. What you do daily matters!
What other small weight loss habits would you recommend to see big results on the scale?