A lot of us make health-related resolutions, such as to lose weight, stop smoking or join the local gym and workout more. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting lower/smaller goals could do more for our health in the long term.
“Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine,” says James O. Hill, Ph.D., Director of the Centre for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Centre. “They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change.”
Here are 10 small steps to try for yourself:
1. Keep an eye on your weight and work on making sure you are not gaining extra lbs. weigh yourself at most once a week and keep a record of your weight. Even if you gain just a pound or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly.
2. Take more small steps. Use a pedometer, watch or phone app to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days.
3. Eat breakfast. Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. A high protein breakfast has been shown to benefit muscle health and to support weight loss by increasing muscle mass, energy expenditure, satiety hormones, glucose regulation and by decreasing the desire to snack at night.
4. Switch three grain servings each day to whole grain. If you are like most people, you currently eat less than one whole grain serving a day.
5. Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad with low fat or even no dressing, is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also helps toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits. For more on this see the NHS article here: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/5-a-day-what-counts
6. Trim fat. Fat has a lot of calories, and every little extra calorie counts. Purchase lean meats, eat poultry without the skin, switch to lower-fat cheeses and use a non-stick pan with only a dab of oil or butter when cooking.
7. Consider calcium by including two or three daily servings of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt. Dairy calcium is good for bones and may also help you lose weight. Calcium provides small increases in thermogenesis, the body’s core temperature. This could be helpful in boosting metabolism, which can prompt our bodies to burn fat.
8. Try to downsize your servings. The smaller the bag, bottle or bowl, the less you will eat. A two-inch difference in plate diameter — from 12″ to 10″ plates — would result in 22% fewer calories being served, yet it is not drastic enough to trigger a counteracting response. If a typical dinner has 800 calories, a smaller plate would lead to a weight loss of around 18 pounds per year for an average size adult. https://rightpathfitness.co.uk/small-plate-movement
9. Lose just 5 to 10 per cent of your current weight. The health benefits are huge-lower blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglyceride
10. Keep track of your eating. Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for problem spots. Often, just writing things down can help you eat less.
If you of your small steps involves eating more fruit and vegetables, you may want to read: https://newhealthoutlook.com/10-ways-to-sneak-some-extra-fruits-and-vegetables-in-and-improve-your-familys-diet
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