For years, I ran a productivity website teaching people about habit change, getting more by doing less, and a lot more. I learned a lot from those days, especially about making habits stick.
Making any type of change in your life, by definition, is going to be a stray from your normal routine. This very fact means it's going to be harder on you to stick to that change than it was for your to stick with your normal routine.
Until a habit is established for at least a few weeks, it's going to take some conscious effort to pull off. Whether it's a nutritional change, an activity change, a change in schedule, or anything else, it doesn't matter.
Until you reach the point where it's easier to perform your new habit than it is to revert to old ones, you're naturally going to struggle and fight against yourself.
That's where these three changes come in. Because they're SIMPLE, and easy to stick to.
The best chage for your nutrition plan isn't always the one that's 100% perfect. It's the one that you will stick to the most easily.
Here are three incredibly simple ways to lose five pounds, or more!
CAUTION: Unless you're extremely strong-willed, don't do these all at the same time. It's very easy to overwhelm yourself. You're much more likely to stick to one small change at a time than you are to stick to half a dozen.
Master one, then move onto the next.
Stop Drinking Calories
Between sodas, beer, wine, sweet tea, or whatever other calorie-ridden beverages you consume in a normal day, it's incredibly easy to drink 500+ calories in a day.
Sugary drinks (including fruit-based smoothies) as well as alcohol also spike your blood sugar, causing you to crash very quickly. This leaves you in an extremely hungry state and causes additional cravings.
Have you ever had a fruit smoothie and then been hungry an hour later? I don't have to tell you that's a dangerous cycle.
Save those calories for something that will help your progress, not hinder it.
If you need them for your drink fix, consider substituting "zero calorie" drinks, or the unsweet version of whatever it is you're drinking.
Unsweet tea, coffee, and water are going to be your best friends here. Give this little hack three weeks and you'll be thrilled at how much better you feel and look.
Learn This Hack to Curb Cravings
Cravings happen. Whether you're having a rough day or you just didn't get enough to eat, sometimes you just want to pop a candy bar or a giant cream cheese covered bagel.
These cravings can be terrible, because they cause you to go right to the snack machine or your candy drawer for something quick and easy.
Then what ends up happening is you pop a 200 calorie snack, full of sugar, and again, you crash. Then you want another one an hour later and you still eat dinner that evening. Snacking breeds more snacking, unless you do it intelligently.
This one little habit can add up to as much as 1,000 additional calories each day.
What's the answer?
Learn to recognize and curb your cravings with something that won't destroy your goals. What you're looking for is something to turn off that craving response that your body is having that is often caused by low blood sugar. This doesn't necessarily mean adding sugar.
Here are a few things you can try.
Eat a Tablespoon of Peanut Butter - Peanut butter is high in saturated fat and has a decent amount of protein, both of which your body uses very well for long period of time for fuel. There is enough fat and protein in just one tablespoon of peanut butter to curb cravings for hours. Just don't overdo it. Peanut butter is really good, and the calories can add up quickly.
Drink Cold Water - Cold water is magical. It'll fill up your stomach and help balance your blood sugar, helping to calm down the craving that you're experiencing. In a few minutes, it'll likely be gone, and you can go about your day. Make sure it's ice cold!
Eat a Handful of Healthy Nuts - This is the same situation as peanut butter, just not as good. If you would rather not look like a weirdo eating a spoonful of peanut butter, then just make sure you keep a bag of almonds, cashews, pistachios, or other healthy nuts available to snack on. Just one small handful contains enough fat and protein to hold you over until your next scheduled meal.
You can also eat healthy nut bars, such as these Kashi bars you can get at any major grocery store.
This little hack alone can save you from those killer cravings that mess up your otherwise solid progress.
Walk Three Miles Every Day
Any kind of added activity is going to help your body burn through calories, meaning your net calorie intake should be less, if you do everything else the same.
Three miles might seem like a lot, and for some people it might be, but if you don't want to make nutrition adjustments, the other method is adding activity.
To walk three miles at a brisk pace should take you about 45 minutes, but feel free to walk slower to enjoy it more. There are a lot of other benefits to walking as well.
Keep It Simple
The key to making any of these changes stick over time is simplicity. It's better to do something for a long time that you'll stick to than do something for a short time that you won't.
Remember to just try one small thing at a time. Once you master one habit, move onto the next.