Lifestyle changes take time, motivation and persistence.  It’s best to take small steps toward a healthier lifestyle than to completely change all at once because it’ll be harder and more tempting to give up, give in and eventually have to start all over.

There is no pill or quick trick that will help you lose weight long-term. Also, a diet is usually a short-term solution because people often return to their old eating habits once the diet is over.

These small steps are doable, and will help you lose weight overtime:

Drink Green Tea

Did you know the plant chemicals (polyphenols and catechins) found in green tea raise the body’s metabolic rate?  Simply drinking green tea every day can help you lose a few pounds. It also has amazing health benefits because it’s a source of powerful antioxidants that help prevent cancer, decrease risk of heart disease and improving skin.

Photo courtesy of zirconicusso/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of zirconicusso/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Drink less soda

Soda, soda, soda. It is not only hurting your health, but also making you gain weight! Yet so many of us drink one with every meal or even throughout the day. I know what you’re thinking…diet is okay. Think again! Diet soda is worse because it has added chemicals and sweeteners to make it taste good. This makes the drink more addicting and tricks your body. Reducing or eliminating soda will do wonders to improve health and help you lose weight.

Reduce sugar and salt intake

This one relates to eliminating soda, but deserves it’s own category because sugar and salt turn up everywhere, whether it’s in your glass of orange juice, bowl of cereal or granola bar. You might be surprised by how much sugar and salt you are actually consuming every day compared to how much you think you are consuming. It’s in many foods we don’t even realize are bad for us. You can reduce sugar and salt intake simply by eating less processed foods. Avoid the inner aisle at the grocery store and go for the produce section instead.

Eat out less

Restaurants and especially fast food restaurants will hold you back from reaching your goal. In today’s society, between school, work, dropping off kids and running errands, it’s always tempting to get some fast food or go to a restaurant instead of cooking. The food is usually high calorie and filled with preservatives, depending on where you go of course. If you eat out, try going to places providing local, healthy foods. Do some research in your area and make a list of the top ten places. Moreover, simply try to eat out less. Plan ahead, cook healthy meals and carry healthy snacks with you so you are not tempted to stop and get fast food.

Exercise and be more active

If you never go to the gym, start going once a week. Just once a week you have to make it there, then you can build up from there. Since exercise releases endorphins and makes you feel good, you’ll most likely want to keep going once you start. Also, if you sit all day, include activity into your day more often. Go for a walk, fit in squats throughout the day or practice yoga. Whatever you do, adding in more activity into your life every day can help you work towards a complete lifestyle change and help you reach your end goal.

Drink more water

Drinking water helps people lose weight over time because many people confuse dehydration with hunger, causing them to eat more than needed. The next time you feel hungry in the afternoon, drink a glass of water instead of going for the cookies or chips to see if it satisfies your hunger. You’ll eat less calories throughout the day while cleansing your body.

Weight loss won’t happen overnight, but small changes can make an impact on your progress. Once you make a few changes in your lifestyle, if you feel you are consistently making healthier choices, continue to increase your efforts each week.

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