Weight loss can be very dramatic. Someone who drinks 2,000 calories a day can decide to give up Coke and drop lots of pounds fairly quickly. But most of the time, weight loss comes in very small packages. These little tweaks lead to a gradual loss over time (gain also works this way too, unfortunately!) Luckily small tweaks can make weight loss happen almost without noticing. Here are 7 tweaks I have made lately to aim to create some deeper dips in my squiggly line.
1. One change that has made quite a bit of an impact is brushing my teeth after lunch. I can’t tell you how often I just want to eat to have something change the way my mouth tastes. When I worked outside of the home I often brushed after lunch, but at home it’s easier to just pop a piece of chocolate. Instead of looking for something sweet, I’ve been brushing and any nibbling that used to happen from 1-4pm is no more.
2. I don’t have any dessert in my house. I mean ANY!! I used to keep chocolate chips on hand for a batch of cookies, some ice cream in the freezer for a Saturday night, Biscoff cookies and dark chocolate bars for unexpected company or an every-now-and-then craving. For the longest time I could resist them. One of the bags of dark chocolate chunks I ate this spring for dessert I had had since a blog conference years before! Something to do with breastfeeding or my emotions/hormones after having a baby caused all of my self control to go out the window. I didn’t get rid of any of the desserts – I ate them all gradually over time. And then I refused to buy more. I no longer feel deprived because there’s nothing in the house to deprive myself of. I am a very all-or-nothing type and I find it’s easier to not have any available than it is to know it’s there and resist. Willpower is hard, so I try not to even test it.
3. Speaking of not buying more, I’ve been going grocery shopping when I’m satisfied and feeling healthy and motivated. After a workout, perhaps. And usually in the mornings verses the late afternoon. I make better choices while there and then the food in my house is healthier when I get home.
4. My favorite afternoon snack is a bowl of yogurt topped with granola, peanut butter and any other crunchy toppings. It’s really filling, but also can really pack a lot of calories into a few bites. While there’s nothing unhealthy about this combo, I’m sure I don’t need a snack that big to get me to dinner. Instead of a yogurt bowl I’ve been turning to the fruit bowl and I’ve kept the granola out of the house for the short term (along with other foods that are way too easy/fun to overeat). I’ll still add some yogurt or crunch to my fruit in the form of cereal or chia seeds, but I make the fruit the star of the show. This is especially fun now that berry and stone fruit season is here!
5. In the spirit of this post, I’ve been having a salad for lunch everyday. My proteins and toppings change, but the salad is the same. The good news is I love salads, so this is a no brainer for lunch and guarantees I’ll get at least one bowl of greens in everyday.
6. People often comment “If I owned a bakery I’d be out of control!” It is so easy to get out of control when I’m around our sweets. I could ask Matt to bring home a free cookie every single night, but I know better and so does he, so he only brings home our whole grain breads. Every so often he’ll surprise me with a new muffin or sweet to taste test, but for the most part all of our delicious sweets and sweet breads stay at the bakery and not at my house.
7. Also in the spirit of keeping variety to a minimum, I’ve been making an effort to have only one open nut butter at a time. OK, two Because they don’t go bad, it’s easy to get carried away with 5-6 different open kinds – each with their own use – to choose between. And that can lead to a taste-test-a-thon. But sticking to one, especially if it’s a simple peanut, sunflower or almond butter, makes overindulging much less likely.