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Whether you want to shed 10lbs or 200lbs, losing weight isn’t easy. Nothing worthwhile in life usually is though, right?
If you’ve got lots of weight to lose, it can seem overwhelming. I mean, it’s one thing to have overindulged over the holidays and have 5lbs to lose. You know what caused your weight gain, and you know exactly what to do to lose it.
It’s a whole different deal when you have 30, 40, 50lbs or more to lose. Those numbers can seem overwhelming. And it’s that overwhelm that often causes people to just try and ignore their weight, pretend like they don’t care, etc.
But here’s the thing – you CAN lose the weight, and it doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you think.
Reframing Your Weight Loss Mindset
Instead of thinking “I have 50lbs to lose, that is SO MUCH, I can’t do it…” you need to reframe your mindset.
Rather than setting your goal to lose 50lbs, you’ll have much better results if you attack your weight loss challenge 10lbs at a time.
Once you’ve reached that 10lb loss, you’ll be riding on a high. You’ll know what you need to do, and then and you can set another 10lb weight loss goal.
This process is often referred to as “chunking” and can be applied to virtually any big goal that you have. For example, say your goal is to run a marathon but you’ve never ran further than to the back of Walmart to grab a cheap TV on Black Friday (and that left you winded.)
To achieve your marathon goal, you need to break your action plan down into smaller chunks. So you might start by brisk walking every evening around your neighborhood. Then you start a Couch to 5k program, and so on.
Weight loss is no different.
Definitely set your big, end goal.
But then break it down into 10lb chunks.
This is a manageable and easily achievable goal, and you’ll only need to make a couple of small changes to achieve it.
Once you’ve reached it, set another goal to lose another 10 pounds, and then keep going until you’ve reached your weight goal.
Losing bigger amounts of weight is going to require bigger lifestyle changes. However, in those initial stages, usually you’ll start to see some weight loss with even just a few small changes.
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10 Small Changes That Will Help You Lose 10 Pounds
1. Stop Drinking Your Calories
If things like soda, frappe’s and juice are a regular part of your diet, you might be surprised to learn that switching them out for water can go a long way towards reaching your goal weight.
A Grande Caramel Frappuccino at Starbucks has 420 calories. The recommended daily calorie intake for a woman who is trying to lose weight is around 1500 calories, so that frappuccino alone makes up over a quarter of your daily caloric intake. And let’s not mention the 66 grams of sugar…
Switch out your high-calorie, high-sugar drinks for water and you’ll save hundreds of calories per day. If you’re not a fan of water, try flavoring it with fresh fruit using an infusion water bottle. Check out my favorite infusion water bottle here. Drinking water is such an important habit that we put together an in-depth guide on how to drink more water.
The human body isn’t designed to sit down all day, or be confined a tiny cubicle – we need to be moving, staying active, using our muscles.
Unfortunately for many of us, sitting down for 8 hours or more every day is the reality we face at our jobs. The fact that so many of us have desk jobs makes it all the more important to stay active outside of work hours.
Of course, structured intentional exercise is recommended, but walking is a great way to stay active and to ease into exercise. Even if you have a regular workout routine, you should still be trying to get in at least 10,000 steps every day.
There are so many ways you can implement walking into your life:
- If you live in a walkable city, walk to the grocery store instead of driving
- Park further away from the entrance when you go to the mall
- Instead of sitting down and watching TV after dinner, go for a walk around the neighborhood
- Go for a walk during your lunch break
- Wake up a bit earlier and walk in the morning before your day starts
- Find a gorgeous walking trail and make walking it a part of your weekend activities
3. Eat Slower
Eating too fast frequently leads to overeating. When you’re not paying attention to what you’re eating, not chewing it thoroughly, watching TV or playing on your phone while you eat, you’re less likely to recognize the cues your body is giving you that it’s full.
Give your meal your undivided attention, be mindful, eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly and you’ll eat less and consume fewer calories.
4. Reduce Your Intake of Processed Foods
Highly processed foods are usually packed with calories, sugar, trans fat, artificial colors, artificial flavors, and other nasties. Additionally, they are almost always lacking in the crucial vitamins and minerals your body needs to survive and thrive.
Reducing your intake of processed foods and replacing them with whole foods will help you shed pounds fast. For example, instead of buying a frozen pizza for dinner, make your own healthier pizza using a whole grain tortilla, some tomato paste, spinach, kalamata olives, shredded skinless chicken breast, a sprinkling of feta cheese and a sprinkling of grated mozzarella cheese.
5. Stop Eating After Dinner
Dinner should be your final meal of the day, and shouldn’t be eaten too late in the evening, to help your body digest what you’ve eaten. If you must snack after dinner, choose a healthy option like a handful of air-popped popcorn or some frozen banana “nice cream” (simply blend a few pieces of frozen banana in a high-powered blender with a little cocoa powder.)
6. Sleep More
Study after study has shown that a lack of sleep leads to weight gain and various other health problems.
The body has a hormone called leptin which suppresses the appetite and is the hormone responsible for energy expenditure. A lack of sleep reduces leptin in the body which is a major cause of weight gain.
The average, healthy adult should be aiming for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. If you feel like you’re constantly waking up tired or spending your nights tossing and turning, I recommend getting a sleep tracker to monitor your sleep, and then taking steps to towards improving your quality of sleep. The easiest way to follow through on a habit is for it to be automatic. And the easiest way to track your sleep is with a sleep tracking pad that sits under your mattress. Automatically track your sleep the EASY way – with a tracking pad under your mattress.
7. Eat at Home
It’s not impossible to eat healthy when you’re dining out, but it can definitely be challenging. Not only do many popular restaurants have very little healthy options, it’s so easy to be tempted by all the fattening, high-calories foods on the menu.
The average American, Chinese and Italian restaurant meals contain a whopping 1500 calories, and that doesn’t include drinks, appetizers and dessert. If your daily calorie goal is 1500 kcal, then one restaurant meal with a drink has already put you over the limit.
If you need ideas for healthy meals to cook at home, I recommend checking out $5 meal plan. For just $5 a month, you’ll be sent weekly, healthy meal plans that the whole family will enjoy. Check out $5 meal plan here.
8. Be More Mindful
It’s important to practice mindfulness in all aspects of our lives, but particularly when it comes to eating. The simple of act of being mindful of what we’re putting in our mouths can go a long way towards shedding pounds.
Before you eat something, think to yourself:
- Is this going to nourish me?
- Does it provide essential vitamins and nutrients that my body needs?
- How will it make me feel after I’ve eaten it?
- Am I eating it for the right reasons?
9. Eat More Vegetables
There’s no such thing as a “quick fix” when it comes to losing weight, but the closest thing would be simple – eat more veggies.
U.S. dietary guidelines recommend that we eat 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day (and unfortunately, the potato in a french fry doesn’t count.) The average adult eats less than half the recommended daily intake of vegetables.
Vegetables are low in calories, high in nutrients, and because they contain a high amount of fiber, they keep you feeling fuller for longer, meaning you’re less likely to snack.
Try to include vegetables in every meal, including breakfast.
10. Eat Breakfast
You’ve heard it before, but I’ll say it again – breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat during the day, and eating breakfast helps to kickstart your metabolism after your overnight fast.
Make sure to always start your day with a healthy, nutritious breakfast!
Losing 10 pounds is a lot easier physically and mentally than losing 60 lbs. Set a series of 10-pound weight-loss goals until your target weight is reached. A few small changes can be enough to see real results.