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12 Very SMALL Healthy Lifestyle Changes That Prove BIG In Losing Weight

Being overweight (the diplomatic word for ‘obesity’) has become the new epidemic that has everyone scrambling to adopt a healthier lifestyle. There are crash diets, diet pills, cleanses, detox programs, bariatric surgery – are only a few of the crazy, ‘instant’ options available for you to lose weight. But at what cost?

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Crazy fad diets, diet pills, cleanses and the like come with their own set of side effects like near-permanent damage to your heart; causing micro tears in your blood vessels, setting the stage for atherosclerosis and other types of heart diseases; negative overall effect on your metabolism; the weight lost will be quickly regained; increased cravings; severe nutritional deficiencies; lack of energy; dull, drab, and droopy skin; problem of bad breath; irritability, extreme moodiness, depression; even set the stage for eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.


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On the other extreme, if you continue to follow these crazy diets, your body won’t be able to take it anymore, causing long term damage like weakened immune system, osteoporosis caused by calcium deficiencies, kidney and/or liver failure, heart attack, and stroke.

Is it really worth it, do you think? Suffering through these severe, extreme side effects? No, right? So let’s look at how to lose weight by making healthy lifestyle changes. Yes, this route will take you a lot longer to lose weight, but there are amazing benefits of these, without any side effects. That’s a win-win, right?

  • The weight you lose in a proper, structured manner, won’t be regained.
  • You will be healthier, fitter, and the best physical version of yourself, if you lose weight organically.
  • You won’t suffer any damaging or lasting side effects unlike if you follow some crazy diet.
  • You will feel energetic to take on newer things/tasks that you used to shy away from.
  • Your immune system will be stronger for all your hard work and effort to lose weight and become the fittest version of yourself.

Before all of the weight loss exercises and diet regimen kick in, you need to make solid healthy lifestyle changes to make it work. And you need to stick to these changes no matter what. These changes are necessary, nay imperative, because if you want to become the fittest version of yourself, then you need to change your whole lifestyle, not just one thing. That’s what we’ll address in this post. Let’s take a look.

1. Grow an herb garden

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Not just herbs but your very own vegetable patch, if you have the space. When you have access to fresh veggies and herbs, you’re more likely to cook your meals, rather than order something off a menu. And as we all know, if it’s on a menu, it will contain any or all of these unhealthy ingredients: processed meat, salt, sugar, or refined flour.

2. Say NO to processed foods

Among the worst processed foods are chicken nuggets, hot dogs, French fries, pre-packaged foods, canned goods, artificial sweeteners, and processed meats. Almost all of these contain high amounts of salt, sugar, and preservatives. Within a week of cutting these out of your diet, you will start to notice how differently you feel physically.

3. No sodas and/or juices

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Sodas and juices contain very high amounts of sugar, while they end up giving you empty calories. Instead, opt for freshly squeezed juices sans sugar, water, or skim milk. Don’t forget to keep yourself hydrated with water through the day. You need at least 6-8 glasses of water a day to keep yourself well hydrated.

4. Say NO to caffeine

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Caffeine once a day is fine, but if you fuel your entire system with just the stuff, then you’ve got a problem. Not only will excess caffeine make you twitchy and consume empty calories, it will also cause acidity and acid reflux. That’s not going to help you stick to your healthy lifestyle. So ditch it altogether. But if you simply cannot survive without your hit of caffeine, stick to ONE single cup, that too black.

5. Drink tea instead; green tea would be best

Tea contains loads of antioxidants, which help lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other serious medical conditions. Additionally, tea is also known to boost your immune system, increase your metabolism, and protect against cancer. Green tea and white tea are some of the healthiest options available for you to choose from.

Suggested read: All you need to know about the numerous health benefits of celery

6. Use smaller plates

This might seem silly at first, but it’s quite effective. Smaller plates and bowls mean you will end up consuming smaller portions of food. It’s more than likely that you end up eating 20% less than what you normally consume. Also, as time goes by, you will feel fuller quite quickly, especially if you savor your meal and eat slowly.

7. Use cooking spray

It’s normal to use oil or butter or margarine to cook dishes. But if you use cooking spray instead of those traditional options, you’ll end up saving several calories, which will add up to a lot in the long run. Whether it’s eggs you’re making or a stir-fried dish, use cooking spray.

8. Don’t deny yourself

This might seem like counterproductive advice, but it’s not. When you deny yourself the things and foods you love, you make it difficult for yourself to stick to your healthy diet. Instead, what you can do is incorporate the two-bites rule into your weekly diet. The idea is simple: once a week, you have a cheat day where you eat something you have to stay away from – a cheese burger, or French fries, for example. While this is well and good, what about the days in between? What to do when you crave something when it isn’t your cheat day? That’s where the two-bites rule comes in. Take a bite of whatever it is you’re craving, followed by chugging a glass of ice cold water. Wait for a couple of minutes before taking that second bite. That way, you won’t deny yourself, nor would you feel guilty for going off course from your strict diet. Win-win, eh?

9. NEVER skip your breakfast


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Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Just think about it: the last meal you’ve had is the previous night, and you’re breaking your fast the following morning. So you need to fuel up for the entire day. Make sure to pack in a combination of complex carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and essential fats in your breakfast. Not only will this help you keep up your energy through the day, it will also keep you feeling full for longer.

10. Practice healthy snacking

There’s definitely going to be a time during the day when you’re battling the urge to snack. It’s sure to happen, so you’d better be prepared. Don’t go to the vending machine in the cafeteria. These snacks usually contain high amounts of salt, sugar, sodium, and a lot of empty calories. What you can do instead, is to snack of healthier options like almonds, walnuts, peanut butter, whole grain crackers, and even fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating a handful of nuts can add significant calories to your daily dietary intake. So be careful of portion sizes here too.

11. Breathe properly

Many studies have shown that most people don’t utilize the full capacity of their lungs, because they don’t breathe properly. So practice proper deep breathing through the abdomen and enjoy a host of health benefits like improved digestion, nervous system function, respiratory system, and even the quality of your blood.

12. Figure out your triggers

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When are you most likely to crave something to eat? When you’re bored, sad, or tired? Before or after a stressful meeting/interaction with a colleague? Coming home from work but no actual plans for dinner? While watching television? Once you’ve figured out when and why and what makes you eat mindlessly, you can then figure out how to stop that behavior or avoid those kinds of situations altogether.

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Additional tips

  • Always opt for the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • If you need to talk to your colleagues at work, walk to their cubicles, instead of IMing, texting, or calling them.
  • If you have a dog, take it for a walk every day, for at least half an hour.
  • Park your vehicle as far away from the store/stairs/office as you can, so that you have to walk a ways to get to your destination.
  • If you rely on public transportation, get off one stop early and walk the rest of the way to your destination.

These are all the small yet healthy lifestyle changes you can make, in addition to actually exercising to live a healthier, fitter life. Of course, these might make you irritable/annoyed in the beginning, but you’ll get used to them soon enough, and it’ll be worth it in the end. Start small, achieve big! Good luck!

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
12 Very SMALL Healthy Lifestyle Changes That Prove BIG In Losing Weight
Before all of the weight loss exercises and diet regimen kick in, you need to make solid healthy lifestyle changes to make it work. Let's take a look.
Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg