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10 Weight Loss Micro-Strategies to Try Today

Healthy Eating

When it comes to your health and overall weight management, the road to success doesn't always have to involve grand lifestyle overhauls or extreme measures. Recent research underscores the effectiveness of small, manageable lifestyle changes, often referred to as micro-goals, in enhancing your weight loss journey. A study done in association with the Griffith Health Institute concludes that “small changes in nutrition and physical activity behaviours can prevent weight gain. In the context of weight management, it may be more feasible for most people to make small compared to large short-term changes in diet and activity”.These micro-strategies are easy to incorporate into your daily routine, delivering quick wins and accumulating over time to produce remarkable results.

Start With Hydration:

The first step to your weight loss journey begins as soon as you wake up. A tall glass of water in the morning can rehydrate your body after a night's rest. This simple act can prevent you from confusing thirst with hunger and provide an energy boost, especially beneficial if you plan to kick-start your day with a workout.

Protein Power at Breakfast:

For many, breakfast is lacking in protein, leading to mid-morning cravings and overeating during the course of the day. By increasing your protein intake with foods like Greek yoghurt, eggs, nuts or tofu, you'll stay satiated longer and be better equipped to adhere to your daily calorie goals. A study done by the Department of Nutrition at Arizona State University “indicates[d] an added energy-cost associated with high-protein, low-fat diets and may help explain the efficacy of such diets for weight loss.” While I don't advocate for extreme or exclusionary diets I do think that increasing your protein intake can help with overall weight loss.

An increase in dietary protein from 15% to 30% of energy at a constant carbohydrate intake produces a sustained decrease in ad libitum caloric intake that may be mediated by increased central nervous system leptin sensitivity and results in significant weight loss.

Choose Whole Grains:

At each meal, you're presented with choices between whole grains or other complex carbohydrates and refined grains or simple carbohydrates. Opt for whole grains, as they are packed with essential fibre. Fibre not only contributes to a feeling of fullness but also supports healthy digestion, making it a valuable ally in your weight loss journey. In addition to assisting in overall weight loss the benefits of choosing whole grains can be significant for your overall health. A study done at the Department of Nutrition at the University of Oslo concluded that “Inflammation-related death was inversely associated with whole-grain intake.”

Lunchtime Strolls:

Exercise is a key component of weight management, and it doesn't require marathon efforts. Making small changes, like spending part of your lunch break walking, can have a cumulative effect. Over time, these additional steps add up, enhancing your mood and helping you handle food triggers and cravings later in the day. In fact, the benefits of walking are often highly underestimated, there is a range of health benefits including counteracting the effects of weight-promoting genes, boosting the immune system and even reducing the likelihood of certain cancers.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind:

Highly tempting, unhealthy foods can often lead to impulsive eating. To counter this, remove these triggering foods from your immediate environment, whether it's your home, office, or car. Instead, fill these spaces with healthier alternatives like fruits and nuts, helping to set you up for success. I have also found that doing your grocery shopping online prevents you from picking up the odd snack or overdoing your food shopping often leading to overeating.

Keep Prepping for Success:

After grocery shopping, dedicate 5-10 minutes to meal prep. Cut up veggies for roasting or quick sautés and store them in clear containers at eye level for easy access. If you have the time you can set aside a day (or morning) of the week to plan and prepare meals. I like to pre-prepare meals such as overnight oats, slow cooker stews and soups and even cooking some chicken breast in bulk to have them readily available for salads, and wraps or to be served with veggies.

Recover from 'Bad' Choices:

It's perfectly normal to make occasional dietary choices that aren't aligned with your goals. The key is not to let these choices ruin your entire day. Acknowledge them, understand their context, and move forward with a positive mindset. Research indicates that a forgiving approach to your diet can contribute to sustained weight loss.I often see clients who have decided to eat say a biscuit, afterwards they feel guilty and start to feel despair that they have ‘ fallen off the wagon’ so to speak, they then think, well all hope is lost I may as well eat another one and very soon the whole packet is finished. The difference in calories and ‘bad’ elements such as transfats in one biscuit is 90% less than if you've eaten 10 biscuits.

Prioritise Quality SleepFurthermore:

One of the most potent strategies for weight loss is ensuring you get at least seven hours of quality sleep each night. A good night's sleep keeps your metabolism functioning optimally and curbs hunger, preventing those nagging cravings. According to a study by Papatriantafyllou E, et al. “Disturbed sleeping patterns, in terms of both quantity and quality, have been documented to lead to an increase in energy intake, mainly from snacking, especially on foods rich in fat and carbohydrates.” Furthermore, the study highlights that “there is an evident disregulation of the neuroendocrine appetite control system during sleep deprivation that alters the metabolic rate, with a negative impact on weight maintenance or weight loss interventions“

Be Prepared to Workout:

Remove the early morning or evening workout decision-making process by setting out your weekly movement goals ahead of time, you can take this concept one step further by taking out your exercise clothes and shoes the night before. These small action minimises the chances of skipping your routine and increases the likelihood of following through with your fitness plans. Another trick is to only commit to 10 minutes of exercise, tell yourself you will go for a 10-minute walk, or commit to doing 10 minutes of a live online workout. More often than not it's the initial phase of the process that is the most daunting, the phase which you are most likely to back out. Once you've done your 10 minutes you will in all likelihood go on much longer, and even if you don't, at least you got 10 minutes of movement in.

Make Exercise Fun:

If traditional workouts leave you uninspired, consider pairing exercise with entertainment. Combine it with your favourite audiobooks or podcasts. This clever association transforms exercise into an enjoyable experience you'll eagerly anticipate. I encourage clients to incorporate exercise into their social life, instead of asking a friend to meet for coffee or lunch, next time invite your friends for a walk in the park, or to go on a hike. There are even more exciting options such as rock climbing, mountain biking or even joining a class together.

In the realm of weight management, it's often the subtle, gradual changes that accumulate into overall success. These micro-strategies may seem small and insignificant, but their long-term effects can be transformative both in terms of weight management but also in living a healthier life.

Need a little more inspiration to get going on your journey to a healthy lifestyle, why not join our 30-Day Reset Challenge?

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