7 Small Changes to Eat Healthier with Big Results

 

7 Small Changes to Eat Healthier with Big Results. These minor and easy changes will help you eat healthier. When it comes to weight loss, it’s the little things that can add up to make a big difference. Think “diet” and you might assume it requires a radical revamp of your life or misery-inducing restrictions. But when it comes to lasting weight loss, research shows you’re better off making small, consistent changes rather than aiming for a major diet or lifestyle overhaul.

eat healthier
Whole Wheat English Muffins

The key is that the changes are practical and sustainable so that you can permanently adopt them into your everyday life. In one study, people who made tiny adjustments to their eating habits were able to stick to their new routines—and had more success slimming down compared to those who didn’t incorporate the tips. To help shed pounds, without making any massive changes, follow these seven natural habits for weight-loss success.

1. Eat Breakfast Every Day

Research shows dieters are more successful at losing weight—and keeping it off—when they eat breakfast. If you don’t already eat breakfast, start. If you are already a breakfast eater, try eating the same breakfast multiple days each week. Repeating the same meals can help you shed pounds, according to research.

One of my morning favorites: a whole-wheat English muffin topped with one tablespoon of peanut butter and ½ sliced banana. This meal delivers a modest 278 calories, along with filling fiber and protein. It’s also portable and ready in less than 5 minutes, so forget about using any “I don’t have time for breakfast” excuses.

2. Downsize Your Dish to Eat Healthier

Studies show that we eat less when we use smaller dinnerware. The theory is that our eyes get tricked into thinking we are eating more because our plate is full, making the food portions look bigger. The result: we are satisfied with less food. Try eating your meals on salad plates instead of more substantial dinner plates.

eat healthier
trade up your fork

3. Trade Up Your Fork

It sounds counterintuitive, but research shows using a bigger fork and subsequently taking bigger bites can lead to eating less (apparently seeing yourself making a more significant dent in the food on your plate can cue you to stop eating sooner). You’ll increase the benefit by holding the fork with your non-dominant hand to slow you down. Eating slower helps you consume fewer calories without you even realizing it.

4. Drink Lots of Water

You’ve probably heard it before but this is one diet-friendly adage that’s tried and true, so start hydrating. Drinking 2 cups of water before eating a meal can help you lose weight. The water helps you feel full sooner, so you eat less and in turn weigh less.

5. Display Produce Proudly to Eat Healthier

You know the phrase “out of sight, out of mind”? Not what you want when it comes to eating more fruits and vegetables. Produce delivers lots of nutrients but not a lot of calories. Plus, it’s packed with fiber, which helps fill you up. Don’t shove your beautiful apples to the back of the produce drawer, or bury your carrots under your other groceries. Instead, bring the fruits and vegetables front and center in your refrigerator and out in your kitchen.

Try keeping fruit like bananas and oranges on the counter in a fruit bowl where they’ll be in plain sight. You’ll also be more likely to reach for diet-friendly fruits and veggies if they’re ready for easy snacking. Wash and slice celery, peppers and other delicious produce, and then pack them in baggies so you can quickly grab them for a quick—and healthy—treat.

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fresh fruit

6. Eat Healthier by Snacking on Yogurt

Yogurt was recently identified as a top weight-loss-promoting food by Harvard University. It’s high in protein, which, gram for gram, helps fill you up more than carbs. Stick to plain, low-fat or nonfat yogurt for a healthy snack, without extra sugar or saturated fat.

Another diet bonus? The probiotics in yogurt may help you burn fat. In one study, researchers gave overweight but otherwise healthy, adults about 1/2 cup of yogurt at dinner every night for six weeks. Some ate yogurt supplemented with an added dose of probiotics (either Lactobacillus fermentum or L. amylovorus), while others got regular yogurt (which has a lower probiotic content ).

Though none of the subjects lost weight, those consuming the probiotic-enriched yogurt lost 3 to 4 percent of their body fat, compared to just 1 percent body fat lost in the other group. To ensure your yogurt delivers a decent amount of probiotics, look for one that carries the “Live & Active Cultures” seal.

7. Enjoy a Small Treat

Don’t banish all your favorite foods. Doing so may lead to failure. A drastically limited diet is not sustainable, and feeling deprived may eventually cause you to overeat. Savoring a small treat won’t sabotage your weight-loss efforts, according to research.

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low-fat yogurt

Keep the treats small—aim for about 150 calories or less. Try savoring two squares of dark chocolate, a ½ cup of ice cream or one 5-oz. Glass of wine. This is one habit most of us can stick with for the long haul.

These seven small changes will be producing significant results and will have you eating healthier in no time.

I hope you found this article helpful and as always I look forward to your comments, questions, and the sharing of ideas.

 

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References:

Small Changes With Big Results – Eatingwell, http://www.eatingwell.com/article/280967/7-small-changes-with-big-results/ (accessed December 13, 2017).

 

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44 Comments

  1. Candice J. said:

    Developing sustainable eating habits shouldn’t be too strict in never having the chance to enjoy any “goodies” like most people think. So #7: “Enjoy a small treat” really hit home with me!

    January 24, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Candice, I’m glad you enjoyed the article and especially change #7. Thanks for joining the conversation, Robert

      January 24, 2018
      Reply
  2. Lonnie said:

    Nice article, I ‘m glad you noted to get yogurt with no added sugars or saturated fats, because I’m finding a lot of manufacturers sneaking that extra junk in that really kills the overall health & fitness benefits of yogurt.

    January 24, 2018
    Reply
    • Hey Lonnie, yes the manufacturers are sneaky that way. Keep them honest and look at the labels. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 24, 2018
      Reply
  3. Albeneth said:

    I know breakfast is a vital meal in the day. However, I couldn’t believe that eating breakfast even in multiple days can shed pounds. Great tips!

    January 20, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Albeneth, It’s not how many times you eat but more importantly what you eat. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 20, 2018
      Reply
  4. Ana C said:

    Any thoughts on flavored but low-fat yogurt, Robert? I see gym goers snacking on them and I think what they’re doing is counterintuitive.

    January 20, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Ana C, you are probably right and here’s where reading the label becomes important. Manufacturers have a knack for cramming as much sugar and artificial ingredients into yogurt pots as they do candy bars as we found out doing research. When buying yogurt look for low-calorie, low-fat, low-sugar and high in protein. I hope this information helps and thanks for joining the discussion, Robert

      January 20, 2018
      Reply
  5. Honey said:

    I swear by drinking lots of water. When I start craving in between meals, I try to shake it off by taking in plenty of fluids. It’s among the many ways I do to stay within my target weight.

    January 20, 2018
    Reply
    • Hello Honey, good for you. It really does work. Try drinking water just before meals and it helps a person to eat less. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 20, 2018
      Reply
  6. Scott Summers said:

    Drinking a LOT OF FLUIDS is a good advice. Me I consume about 2 litres a day. I do not know the facts of that but I do it out of habit.

    January 20, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Scott, thanks for joining the discussion. It’s recommended to drink between 3 and 5 liters a day. Thanks again, Robert

      January 20, 2018
      Reply
  7. Alex Summers said:

    How do you measure calorie intake by the way? Everybody says it but nobody gives an exact measurement which is weird.

    January 20, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Alex, thanks for joining the discussion. Do a google search for caloric intake and you’ll find all kinds of calculators to find your exact calorie needs. Thanks again, Robert

      January 20, 2018
      Reply
  8. Therese said:

    Great piece. I’ll consider trading fork and drink a lot of water. I always have difficulty doing the latter, especially when I get busy at work.

    January 19, 2018
    Reply
    • Hello Therese, you’ll benefit greatly from making these small changes. Thanks for sharing, Robert

      January 20, 2018
      Reply
  9. moondebi said:

    This article is kind of a reminder for me. It’s time to downsize my dish. 🙂 However, I don’t skip breakfast, but pretty careless in drinking water. I only drink what is enough to quench thirst. Nonetheless, the points mentioned above are spot on!

    January 19, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Moondebi, good for you. Breakfast is needed to start your day off the right way. Water also plays an important so try to get more of it. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 19, 2018
      Reply
  10. Jennifer Kyle said:

    I have actually tried drinking water before meal, especially during dinner. I think it is effective, it’s just that you don’t really see the results immediately. If what you’re aiming for is to lose weight.

    January 19, 2018
    Reply
    • Hello Jennifer, the best way to lose weight is a slow and steady process. Combine exercise and diet for the best results. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 19, 2018
      Reply
  11. Daina Rodriguez said:

    Making adjustment to one’s lifestyle to live healthy is hard at first but worth it in the end. Small but sure changes like the ones you suggest here are proven to make a healthier you in the long run.

    January 19, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Daina, I couldn’t agree more. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 19, 2018
      Reply
  12. Raffy T. said:

    Drinking a glass of water before meals is also a great tip to make you feel full, thus preventing you from eating more. Helpful and practical tips you have here though.

    January 19, 2018
    Reply
    • Hey Raffy, drinking water before meals works. It helps me to eat less. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 19, 2018
      Reply
  13. Era said:

    Thanks for the wonderful tips! I’ve already done these small changes and it helped me a lot. Needless to say, everyone should know these tips for better health and diet.

    January 18, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Era, that’s great to hear. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 19, 2018
      Reply
  14. Reuben Waweru said:

    The article is very informative and there are a lot of helpful tips. In my opinion you do not have to start with all the seven of them at once, you can begin with three and work your way up.

    January 18, 2018
    Reply
    • Hello Reuben, good advice. Make slow and gradual changes rather than all at once. Thanks for comments, Robert

      January 19, 2018
      Reply
  15. Bogi Benda said:

    It is true breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I have learned from experience that
    eating breakfast gives me endurance and concentration.However, for breakfast to be effective
    it must be healthy so eating doughnuts does not count.

    January 18, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Bogi, thanks for your comments. You are absolutely right about breakfast and the doughnuts. Thanks again, Robert

      January 19, 2018
      Reply
  16. Edwin Kamau said:

    Nice tips from this wonderful piece. I will try to take breakfast as regular as I can; am not used to taking breakfast, only two-three glasses of water in the morning.

    January 18, 2018
    Reply
    • Hello Edwin, thanks for your comments. I too wasn’t much of a breakfast person until I started eating healthier. I still usually only have a smoothie or breakfast shake in the morning (better than nothing) and eat a bigger lunch and smaller dinner. It’s working for me. Thanks again, Robert

      January 18, 2018
      Reply
  17. David Mureithi said:

    The information on this post is basic and no hard thing here. Anybody can do it. However, that part of taking water before a meal, it’s sometimes hard at the beginning but by time you get used to it.

    January 18, 2018
    Reply
    • Hey David, the idea is that you won’t be as hungry and therefore you won’t eat as much at meal time. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 18, 2018
      Reply
  18. Lovely said:

    Another tip that I learned on getting healthier is. Eating small portions, but more frequent is better than eating 3 full meals a day. I tried it for months and got amazing results.

    January 18, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Lovely, you’re absolutely correct. It’s now recommended to eat between 5 and 6 times a day but to eat smaller portions. Try using a salad plate instead of a larger plate to cut down on the size of portions. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 18, 2018
      Reply
  19. Faith Marfil said:

    It’s still not clear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s true that always eating breakfast will make you become healthier.

    January 18, 2018
    Reply
    • Hello Faith, and you are right. There’s debate about which is most important breakfast or lunch. It’s my personal opinion to eat enough in the morning (usually a smoothie) to get you going and a larger lunch because your metabolism is revved up and then a smaller meal for dinner. Everyone is different but I have found that this works for me and has helped me to lose 50 LBS.

      January 18, 2018
      Reply
  20. Mike said:

    Great tips, personally I didn’t know that eating from small or medium sized dinnerware tricks the eye into assuming the plate is full. Going healthy is the way forward.

    January 18, 2018
    Reply
    • Hey Mike, it’s a pretty cool trick and also to eat slower and you won’t miss the extra food. Thanks for your comments, Robert

      January 18, 2018
      Reply
  21. Chatingale said:

    Your body will thank you a lot for following these small changes. These are good steps to keep in mind for a healthier you.

    January 18, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Chatingale, Thanks for reading the article and your comments. A person can’t go wrong following these small changes. Thanks again, Robert

      January 18, 2018
      Reply
  22. Esdyi said:

    I like the tips given in this article. I don’t want to skip breakfast because it makes me eat more during lunch.

    January 18, 2018
    Reply
    • Hi Esdyi, thanks for sharing. Breakfast is an important part of eating a healthy diet along with snacking and other meals. It’s not so much how often you eat but how much you eat when you do. Thanks again, Robert

      January 18, 2018
      Reply

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