Getting started with any new goal or habit can feel daunting, and weight loss is no exception. In fact, weight loss can feel particularly overwhelming, especially when there’s so much mixed information circulating around the media and wellness industry. Many of these trends and “quick fix” diets are straight-up unhealthy (think: severe calorie restriction), not to mention the fact that these approaches to weight loss just aren’t sustainable.
But, weight loss doesn’t have to be unapproachable, unhealthy, or costly (mentally or financially). In fact, by simply incorporating healthy lifestyle changes, your weight loss goals can be both attainable and sustainable. Enter: our 15 simple daily tweaks that boost weight loss success! Look, we’re not saying it’s going to be simple in the sense that it will happen overnight. But, these hacks are easy-to-implement ways that will lead to long-term results! Plus, they’ll make you feel good – both mentally and physically. And isn’t that the goal? To feel your best?
If your answer is yes, (which we’re willing to bet it is), read on for all you need to know.
15 Easy Daily Habits That May Help Support Weight Loss
#1 Start Your Day With a Workout
Before your daily to-do list gets too crazy, start your day with a good ole’ sweat. If you knock it out first thing in the morning, you won’t risk the chance of getting too busy (or tired) later in the day and skipping out on your workout. And by staying consistent with your morning workouts, not only will you be that much closer to reaching your fitness goals, but you’ll also be more likely to make healthier habits (like reaching for better-for-you foods) the rest of the day.
Plus, with the free FitOn app, you can find workouts to fit in with just 15, 20, or 30 minutes to spare. So, even if you only have a tiny bit of time to squeeze in a good workout, FitOn has you covered.
#2 Get More Sleep
No matter if you’re catching up on work or binging Netflix, skimping on sleep can be costly when it comes to your fitness and weight loss goals. We get it, life gets busy, and sometimes the evening feels like our only free time. But, staying up past your bedtime on a consistent basis can quickly contribute to unwanted pounds. Lack of sleep is associated with increased calorie intake, poor food choices, increased cortisol levels and slowed metabolism. And what do these factors have in common? Weight gain.
In fact, studies have found that even just one week of only sleeping five hours per night could put you at an increased risk of weight gain. So, try to make sleep a priority, and get to bed earlier, if possible! A solid 7-8 hours of sleep per night could really support not only your weight loss goals but your overall health too!
#3 Drink More Water
Before you reach for a snack, check-in with your body to see if you are thirsty. It’s not uncommon to mistake thirst for hunger. In fact, if you find yourself hungry soon after eating a nutritious meal, it may just mean that your body needs a little hydration. So, if you find sugar cravings coming on strong, reach for a glass of water instead of that sugary snack. Re-evaluate where your hunger stands after you hydrate. If you don’t feel hungry anymore, chances are, your body was just craving a little hydration.
Food cravings aside, increased hydration has also been shown to boost your metabolism, further assisting your weight loss goals! In fact, increasing water by as little as 2 cups may induce thermogenesis and boost metabolic rate by 30%. So, sip up!
#4 Add Anti-inflammatory Spices to Your Food
Herbs like turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper are some of the most powerful anti-inflammatory spices that can do wonders for your health – including reducing inflammation and supporting weight loss. According to research, these medicinal herbs can benefit everything from fat loss to increased metabolism, so go ahead and get heavy-handed with a sprinkle of spice!
Cinnamon: The health benefits of cinnamon are just as sweet as its taste. Cinnamon has been shown to support blood sugar and metabolism, both of which are important when it comes to supporting weight loss success.
Here’s how to use cinnamon: Sprinkle some metabolism-boosting cinnamon into your morning cup of coffee in place of sugary sweeteners.
Cayenne: If you love a little kick, add some cayenne pepper to your meals. Cayenne has been shown to aid weight loss by increasing caloric burn and reducing appetite.
Here’s how to use cayenne: Turn up the heat in dishes like tacos or chili with an extra serving of cayenne.
Turmeric: Add this superfood to your drinks and dishes to support your goals. The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has been shown to aid weight loss.
Here’s how to use turmeric: Make a warming turmeric latte with unsweetened non-dairy milk, ground turmeric, a drizzle of honey or pure maple syrup, and a dash of black pepper.
#5 Find Time to Unwind
Stress affects everything, including weight loss efforts. If you are chronically stressed, it may be causing you to plateau – or even fall backward – when it comes to reaching your weight loss goals. Chronic stress can cause the stress hormone cortisol to stay elevated, which can negatively affect weight loss efforts.
So, make it a goal to practice some form of self-care daily. Even just ten minutes per day can do so much good for your overall health.
#6 Be Mindful
Bringing some mindfulness into your day can help support weight loss for more than one reason. For one, mindful eating is a great way to help you slow down, making it less likely you’ll overeat (more on that below). It’s also a great tool to use when making decisions on your food choices. Ask yourself — how will this food make me feel? Are these choices supporting my goals? Will this meal nourish my body?
And remember how we talked about stress and weight gain? Well, mindfulness practices – such as meditation – can help reduce stress and support weight loss by calming your mind and body. This has been shown to reduce emotional eating while encouraging healthier food choices and intuitive eating.
#7 Add More Fats to Your Diet
Fats like avocados, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds are nutrient-dense options that can help nourish and fuel your body while also keeping you full in between meals. They are also ideal for better blood sugar balance and keeping your energy steady throughout the day. So, instead of reaching for something sugary when those mid-day cravings hit, try reaching for a handful of nuts and seeds or a sliced apple with some nut butter.
#8 Pack Your Lunch
Try packing your lunch instead of buying lunch out. You would be shocked at what a difference this can make simply due to the fact that you decide what to put into your lunch! This means you can avoid all the added sugar, sodium, and additives often found in foods you would pick up on the go. Plus, you can be more mindful about adding more balance to your mid-day meal (think a clean protein, a healthy fat, and a complex carb) to keep you fueled and nourished as you power through the rest of your day.
And, if you are grabbing lunch on the go, try snacking on healthier store-bought options like these tasty alternatives.
#9 Make Veggies the Star of Your Plate
When you portion out your plate, start with veggies such as leafy greens or water-rich foods like tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, and broccoli. Not only are these foods full of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, but they’re also low in calories and rich in water. By making these foods the star of your plate, you’ll increase satiety and be more likely to fill up on good-for-you nutrients versus empty carbs or high-calorie foods.
#10 Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Aisle
The perimeter of the grocery aisle contains the healthiest options that are least processed and most nutrient-dense (think: produce like fruits and veggies, lean proteins, eggs, and dairy and dairy alternatives). By filling the bulk of your cart with these foods, you’re more likely to make healthier decisions when snacking or cooking at home.
RELATED: Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips
#11 Snack on Protein-Rich Foods
Snacking on protein-rich foods can balance blood sugar and increase satiety, meaning you’ll stay fuller for longer and be less likely to overindulge. And, not only is protein the most satiating macronutrient, but it also has metabolism-boosting benefits thanks to its high thermic effect.
#12 Meal Prep
If your kitchen is filled with an abundance of healthy, nourishing meals that are ready to be eaten, you’ll be less inclined to hit the drive-through or order out. This can help you skip out on excess sugar and unhealthy fats found in fast food while helping you squeeze in some extra nutrients by controlling what foods go on your plate.
Need help getting started? Rely on our Ultimate Meal Prep Guide for the best hacks that will make meal prepping that much easier.
#13 If Ordering Out, Make the Healthiest Choices on the Menu
But if you are ordering out, know how to navigate the menu to make the healthiest choices.
Check out our tips on how to order the healthiest takeout foods according to a Dietitian.
#14 Sit Down While Eating
Are you guilty of eating in the car, on the go, or while standing up? Our society has become self-proclaimed multi-tasking experts. Research suggests eating on the go contributes to increased caloric intake later in the day. When possible, enjoy your meal sitting down, and do your best to avoid eating while distracted.
#15 Portion Out Your Plate
Although grazing may seem harmless, it’s easy to overdo it on your portion sizes if you’re snacking out of a bag or enjoying a spoonful – of ice cream, yogurt, etc. – here and there. Portioning out your plate or snacks will make it easier to be aware of portion size while also helping you tune into your hunger cues.
Small Changes, Big Results
While weight loss isn’t easy, there are certain daily habits that can help you reach your goals. So, try implementing these 15 daily habits to see how they can benefit your wellness journey. One healthy habit at a time is one step closer to reaching your goals!
If you haven’t joined our community yet, sign up for free! With the FitOn app, you can find workouts to fit in with just 15, 20, or 30 minutes to spare, meditations to help you reduce stress, and with FitOn PRO, you’ll find personalized meal plans with foods you’ll love to eat! Sign up today and get started.