Tiny Tweaks for a Healthier You
By Liz Josefsberg
I work face-to-face with hundreds of clients in groups and private sessions each week to lose weight and, truth be told, the things that actually work are much tinier than you would think. In fact, the smallest shifts can sometimes be the most impactful and garner the best results. Now when I say tiny, I don’t always mean simple. The task at hand can be tiny and seem simple but feel like one of the hardest things you have every done. For example, one simple shift that will take weight off of anyone is breaking the habit of eating after dinner. Or the simple act of drinking more water each day. The magic formula to make these simple shifts is the true understanding of what establishing a good habit or eradicating a bad habit looks like. Habits are simply loops of triggers, routines and rewards. For example, we sit down after dinner to watch T.V., see a television commercial for ice cream and are triggered to eat ice cream. If we repeat this for enough days in a row, the brain makes it a habit and we are not even present for the loop and simply engage in it without thinking.
The most crucial shift you can make is to begin a new focus on the behaviors that repeatedly trip you up, rather than just the food. Things like lack of preparation, running late, lack of sleep or even overscheduling are just a few of the root causes that have us making food choices we do not want to make. Once those things are examined you can see where the real work needs to be done. Additionally, Taking the focus away from food alone and focusing on habits and their triggers removes the idea that extra weight is due to you being internally flawed or lacking willpower.
My Top Ten Tiniest Tweaks for a Healthier You
- Add a fruit or vegetable to every meal or snack – Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber and water, they take time to eat and fill us up. Adding one to every meal or snack pushes out an alternatively less healthy and higher calorie choice.
- Add healthy fats to your meals – Most people are still fearing fat! Don’t fear it. It’s satisfying, your body and brain NEED it and it will keep you fuller much longer
- Address and assess your sleep. Sleep is a critical factor for weight loss.
- Use a smaller plate – Research proves that we fill our plate no matter the size and tend to eat whatever is on it. Use a salad sized plate and you will cut portions down and still feel satisfied as you got to eat everything on the plate!
- Order apps for dinner when dining out – Portions in restaurants are simply outrageous. Cut them back by ordering off the appetizer menu and sides or even use the kid’s menu
- Try grocery delivery to avoid temptation at the store. We are triggered to bring home the temptations we see when strolling the aisles. Skip the temptation by ordering online
- Drink a glass of water before meals. Most of us are walking around dehydrated. Drinking a glass of water before your meals will hydrate and fill you up.
- No food after dinner, period!
- Add one-minute surges to exercise. I see most of my clients phoning in their exercise by falling into a bad habit of simply running at a single pace. Taking 2-3 minutes during your session to really push your pace will help elevate your heart rate, burn fat and keep the heart rate elevated throughout the rest of the day
- Get a headset for phone calls. We are simply sitting too much these days. Get a headset for work calls and every time the phone rings teach yourself to stand for the entire call and pace to get added movement into your day.
About the Author:
Liz Josefsberg is a health, wellness and weight loss expert with over 16 years in the industry. Liz worked for 11 years as the Director of Brand Advocacy, on the science and content teams and as Leader for Weight Watchers. In 2013 she started her own consulting firm as a wellness expert specializing in behavior modification and the online education of wellness through technology. Liz is likely best known for her hands-on involvement helping Oscar-winning actress and musician, Jennifer Hudson lose weight and transform her life.
An N.A.S.M. Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Exercise Specialist, Liz’s deep knowledge of the role of exercise in the weight loss process is attributed to her personal journey as well as working daily in the field with hundreds of people to help them achieve their lifestyle goals.