There is always all this talk about weight loss, and many times the focus is on just looking better. There is so much more to weight loss than looks though. Of course we all want to feel comfortable and confident in our own bodies, but there are many health implications from being overweight or obese.

Being obese puts you at risk for (but not limited to): heart disease, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure, back pain,  and some forms of cancer. These risks are very real but they can also be prevented through a healthy lifestyle and diet. This doesn’t mean you have to spend the rest of your life eating salads and exercising all the time. There are simple choices you can make every day to improve your eating and lifestyle, so here are some ideas to help you on your journey to a healthy lifestyle. They may not seem like much by themselves, but everything adds up…and your health is worth it!

  1. Cook instead of eating out

This is a fairly simple way to cut out A LOT of extra calories. For a more detailed explanation of why this works, see our blog about cooking.

2. Don’t eat the top bun!

This is a trick that will save you an easy 100+ calories every time you eat a sandwich/burger. Just remove the top piece of bread…you still get the flavor of the bun but you are cutting the calories in half.

3. Cut out sugary beverages

This is probably one of the most important pieces of advice…there are so many extra/empty calories in drink that are just unnecessary and really add up throughout the day. Try water, flavored sparkling water, unsweetened tea, or beverages sweetened with stevia instead.

4. Make wise choices when drinking alcohol

Not all alcohol is created equal when it comes to maintaining/losing weight. Of course, no alcohol is best for our waistlines but that isn’t totally realistic for everyone. Your best choice would be vodka and soda water, with a lime or lemon – this should be at about 64 calories per drink. Compare that to glasses of wine which can be between 100-200 calories per glass, or beers which can be over 200 calories per pint. These numbers can add up quickly, and that doesn’t even include the fact that drinking alcohol makes us more likely to make poor food choices or indulge in an extra meal at the end of the night.

5. Limit fried foods

We know they are tasty but just say no on this one. Once you cut them out you’ll realize how bad they make you feel!

6. Choose the right snack foods

You can make great choices in regard to your meals, but you can easily ruin a good food day by snacking on the wrong foods. If you can get it at a convenience store then it’s probably not a good idea. Just stick to whole foods and nothing processed and that is a big step in the right direction – fruits and or nuts make great healthy snacks.

7. Cut your meal in half when eating out

This one is crucial! The portions in most restaurants are ridiculous, and it’s hard to stop eating when there is more sitting in front of you. Ask for a box before you start eating and when you get your food split it in half – eat half and take the rest home. Not only are you saving yourself from overeating, but you are also saving money by getting two meals for the price of one.

8. Limit dessert

I think this one is kind of obvious, but too much sugar is the main culprit for diseases like diabetes. Really try to cut out dessert, and all added sugar for a few weeks. You might be surprised that after you go without it for a while, you stop craving it so much.

9. Take the stairs

Especially if you are only going up one floor! For people with sedentary jobs this is especially important, as it can be difficult to get any exercise throughout the day.

10. Skip the cheese

Another easy way to save calories…we know cheese is good but if you go without it on sandwiches you might be surprised that it still tastes good!

11. Be suspicious of the salad

Just because it’s a salad doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Iceberg lettuce has little nutritional value, and salad dressing can be very high in calories. Look at the nutrition facts at some chain restaurants and you’ll find that sometimes salad is a worse option…many salads can have over 1,000 calories in them so be careful when ordering salad in a restaurant!

12. Use a smaller plate

When at home opt for smaller plates – you’ll eat less and still feel satisfied.

13. Stop making excuses

You can only be successful when you stop making excuses for yourself and make your health a priority. Illness is time consuming and expensive – so invest in yourself now to avoid trouble down the road.

14. Keep your mind in the game

Always remember what the end goal is and don’t get discouraged. If you are feeling discouraged seek out support! You can join our Facebook group here to find encouragement, tips, and support!

15. Don’t keep junk food in the house

Simple – if it’s not there you can’t be tempted to eat it.

16. Get enough sleep

Sleep can affect your hunger levels, so be sure to get enough sleep!

17. Size matters with treats

There just is a difference between one small brownie and a lava monster brownie sundae.

18. Eat whole grains

When grains are processed, many of the nutrients are lost, and can act like sugar in the blood stream. Eating whole grains will give you more nutrition and fiber, as well as keep you satisfied for longer.

19. Don’t go to the grocery hungry

You’ll be more likely to slip up and buy things you don’t need! Also try to stay out of the center of the grocery store, where the majority of processed foods are.

20. Try spicier foods

Eating spicy food not only encourages you to drink more water, but it can also give you a boost in your metabolism which can help you along on your weight loss journey.

So have you tried any of these tricks, or have any of your own that you’d like to add? Remember that success is attainable and you can do it!