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10 Small Steps to Slimmer You

New year new you? So not. Weight loss can feel like an uphill struggle. Ditch the unrealistic new year's resolution and take small steps each day to shed pounds and fit into your skinny jeans this year.

Embarking on a weight loss journey can sometimes feel overwhelming. But remember, even the most minor steps can lead to significant changes over time. Setting high goals to trim fat is common, but experts say smaller goals could do more for our health. They are less overwhelming than a big, sudden change. Here are ten small steps that are achievable and easy to fit into your daily routine:

1. Do the Math

Remember when you made additions in elementary school? Well, it comes in handy on the scale and fat accumulation equation. The truth is, over time, if you gain a pound or two every so often, the extra weight adds up. The reverse is also true. Do the subtraction by reducing the fat-causing foods from your diet. You'll find the numbers on the scale reducing in no time.

2. Step Up

Movement is a given activity that you do each day. Become more intentional about how many steps you take a day. Use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equal of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month, until you take 10,000 steps on most days.

3. Eat Breakfast

Breakfast eaters tend to weigh less and have better diets. This is because you use up most of your energy consumed from food during the day. So instead of the excess fat stored in your body, it is metabolized as energy. Make sure to have a nutrition-packed breakfast before getting about your day.

4. Eat Whole Grains

Psst! Want to know a secret? You can look slimmer with a daily serving of whole grains. Whole grains increase calorie loss. It speeds up metabolism by lowering the number of calories retained during digestion. If you are like most people, you probably eat less than one serving of whole grain each day. Incorporate three-grain servings each day to lose weight.

5. Cut Calories

Food has a lot of calories and calorie count. Use an app to track how many calories you take daily once your calorie goal is determined based on your ideal BMI. You can then make better food choices to reduce calories.

Start with eliminating liquid calories. Switch to water or flavored water instead of soda. Eat lean meats and poultry without the skin. Switch to lower-fat cheeses. Use a nonstick pan with only a dab of oil or butter if needed. These small ways to reduce calories will count toward weight loss over time.

∎ Go Whole Foods

Choose whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. These foods are packed with nutrients and will keep you full longer.

∎ Eat Mindfully

Pay attention to what you're eating and how much. Eating mindfully can help you enjoy your food more and prevent overeating.

∎ Snack Healthy

Opt for healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, or yogurt instead of reaching for chips or cookies. These can curb your hunger and prevent binge eating.

Cut Sugars

Limit your intake of added sugars in sodas, candies, and baked goods. Excessive sugar leads to weight gain and increases the risk of heart disease.

6. Eat Greens

We all need something green to help support a balanced diet. It promotes healthy digestion and a feeling of being energetic throughout the day. Have at least one green salad every day. Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits. Can't stand salads? Get your greens in with a smoothie blend to double your veggie intake. A cup of kale (also known to be a superfood) in your morning blend will do the trick.

Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. It doesn't have to be a grueling gym session - a brisk walk, a quick workout at home, or even taking the stairs can make a difference.

7. Get Calcium

Eating foods high in calcium can help promote healthy weight loss. It helps build strong bones and is essential for muscle function. Dairy calcium is good for bones and may also help you lose weight. You are considering calcium with two or three daily servings of low or fat-free milk or yogurt.

8. Downsize Portions

Whenever you eat, become mindful and deliberate about your food portions. Rather than drastically changing your diet, start by controlling your portion sizes. Smaller, balanced meals can prevent overeating and keep your metabolism active. The average stomach size is no more than the hand fist. Use this as a guide to measuring the size of your food intake. Generally, the smaller the bag, bottle, or bowl, the less you will eat. A healthy portion size takes the stress out of losing weight.

9. Lose Five To Ten

Start where you are. Set small goals to lose 5 to 10 pounds from your current weight. Weight loss lasts longer when it is gradual and not drastic. These small weight losses have substantial health benefits and a leaner appearance.

10. Track Progress

Writing things down can help you eat less and stay on track of your progress. Write down what you eat over time and look for problem spots. You can also use an app to do this. The results will encourage you to keep going on your weight loss journey.

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Final Thoughts

Consistency is vital in weight loss. Regular healthy habits are more effective than drastic, short-term diet changes. Take small steps and enjoy the journey. Whether you want to lose five pounds or a hundred, it's always best to focus on one thing at a time to improve your health.

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