Losing weight isn’t easy.
But it also doesn’t have to be an uphill battle or involve a complete overhaul of your entire life.
Progressively implementing small modifications over a period of time can lead to significant results. And the most important part of approaching your goals with small, gradual steps is that it will help you adopt new habits that you’ll be more likely to maintain in the long run.
In other words, by taking it slow you can lose weight and keep it off, which is a much better and healthier option than watching your weight fluctuate and turning to crash diets or crazy workout regimens every few months.
Gradually incorporating these small but important changes into your daily routine will not only help you lose weight, but also build a healthy lifestyle habits that will stick with you for life.
Manage stress daily.
“Every day take a few minutes to do something that brings you pleasure,” says Cindy Santa Ana, a board certified health coach specializing in weight loss, clean eating and thyroid disease and author of "Unprocessed Living: 3 Easy Steps to Transition into Healthy Eating." “Maybe it's listening to your favorite music, getting a pedicure or reading a good book. Take that time to disconnect from the world and take a few really deep breaths.” Santa Ana explained that by taking a few moments to relax and de-stress you can help lower your body’s cortisol levels, a hormone that increases appetite and promotes fat storage. See also: How Exercise Can Reduce Stress.
“I lost 50 pounds over the period of one year and the only exercise I did was a two-mile walk every day,” Santa Ana said. “On inclement weather days, I would ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes—no expensive gym membership required.” And evidence to support the weight loss benefits of walking is more than just anecdotal. One study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that in combination with a low-fat diet, obese subjects who walked 30 minutes a day, five days a week saw a significant decline in bodyweight. Of course, gradually increasing the intensity of your workouts by progressively adding small bouts of running will likely help your cause even more, as one of the largest studies to examine the topic did find that running contributes to greater weight loss and weight management.