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37 Small Changes That Can Assist With Long Term Weight Loss (fat loss) with Shamus from Shay Fit

Chances are you or someone you know is on a diet as we speak. There is also a good chance that the diet will have short term success followed by weight gain once the diet stops and so the yo-yo effect comes into full force or too many changes are made and the diet becomes too over-bearing so its easy to drop until the next month/year.

The following is a list of 37 (there are many more) small changes that could be made to assist with long term fat loss and the change to a healthier lifestyle without the need of dieting. Because these are small some can be grouped together with the idea that these small changes become good habits. Imagine if you made 4/5 small changes each week? Your ability to hit your goal no longer has that hit or miss approach.

Food and drink related

1.       Avoid diets - They are designed to have short term gains hence many people cannot sustain over a longer period of time.

2.       Plan meals - If you know what you are having for breakfast/lunch/dinner then you are less likely to grab the nearest/quickest option.

3.       Online grocery delivery – the temptation whilst walking down the aisles to add something you want to avoid is a battle in itself. Take control of that and order online for what you have planned.

4.       Batch cook meals – for many the excuse of time will present itself. So if the weekends are less busy then if your going to cook one meal use that time to cook several.

5.       Low calorie cooking spray – This in itself can cut out 50-150 calories a day by switching to a low calorie option.

6.       Water – Drink more of it. Two litres a day is an approx guide to intake. This will increase on days with exercise and extreme heat.

7.       Weigh ingredients – Easy to throe in double what you need and without realising that extra little bit is the reason you are not getting the results you want.

8.       Portion control – Big plates piled high will take you in the opposite direction of your goals. Reduce your portion/small plate and realise that after 30-60mins after a smaller portion your body will be satisfied.

9.       Swap non-healthy options for an alternative healthier choice – Change your mince for 5% fat instead of the norm 15-20% for example.

10.   Moderate alcohol – granted this can be a tough one for some however many alcohols pack a high calorie punch.

11.   Fizzy drinks – swap them for sugar free possibilities. A slow burner for many but worth it long term.

12.   Reduce your take-aways – You have little to no control with what or how your food has been cooked.

13.   Green tea – Has many benefits including increased fat burning potential.

14.   Reduce your bread intake – Many breads are high in Calories but low in other nutritional areas. Picking the right source and amount could be a smart move (easier said than done as the convenience of a 2min sandwich is very tempting).

15.   Nuts are your friend – Rich in protein, antioxidants and healthy fats nuts are natures superfoods. Of course these come with calories so there is still a balancing act.

16.   Dark Chocolate – changing to this will not only be better for your heart but can assist with cravings and ultimately assist with weight loss. Again has a calorie intake so don’t be eating a whole bar.

17.   Calorie count – There are base guidelines to follow as to how many calories we should be having on a daily basis however you can fine tune that depending on age, weight and activity levels. Science would dictate that in most cases by reducing your recommended intake by 500 calories a day over the course of a week this would equate to a 1lb loss.

18.   Build a better relationship with food – Start using food as a fuel for your body and the not so healthy choices will dwindle.

Misc

1.       Ditch the scales – The conventional scales will give you a start point however they wont tell you your body composition. The other downside is that too many see a number they don’t like (despite healthy changes within their body that don’t appear on a scale) and give up saying its not working. The scales become a weapon in some cases.

2.       Sleep – Plain and simple. When exercising sleep and rest are vital to allow your body to recover and go again. Think of it as recharging a battery, if its not done consistently then the battery lacks energy.

3.       Print your goals – Use the SMART system to come to your main, short term and medium term goals. Put them somewhere that you will see everyday as a reminder as to why you are doing what you do.

4.       Keep a journal – Be it to diarise what you eat or your exercise activity, it gives you an opportunity to monitor what is/isn’t working. Also great for upping the intensity of your exercise as remembering these over the course of the coming weeks can be quite difficult.

5.       Get a support network – Friends/Family can either join you on your journey or assist you. Gives you an opportunity to have an accountability buddy.

6.       Treat yourself – No, not a quick trip to the bakery but for that new dress, pair of shoes, football shirt that will reaffirm your decision to make the healthier options on a regular basis.

7.       Take a photo and measurements – Trust me. Very few people actually like doing this bit. It feels uncomfortable. Its not designed to make you feel bad. No one needs to know or see them but tuck them away and then if you have a monthly update there is a good chance you will see difference between the new and old photos as well as the numbers drop for the measurements. It’s a powerful tool and one that I wish I had taken when I started my own journey years ago.

8.       Get a hobby – This doesn’t need to be exercise based (though would be a bonus). If you are prone to raiding the biscuit tin in the evening a hobby done at the same time could take you out of that environment therefore if the biscuit tin isn’t to hand it’s a good assumption that you wont be eating them unless you’ve started a biscuit club in the local church hall.

Exercise

1.       Walking – You will hear lots about 10,000 steps a day which is great however time wise its not always feasible and it was a marketing ploy from a previous Olympics. Research has shown 3 x 10min brisk walks is equally as good. Far easier to fit into the working day.

2.       Use the stairs – If you have to move between floors why not use this opportunity as exercise. Again think long term the benefits of a few floors a day.

3.       Stretching – Lots of overall benefits to this that together will certainly help with weight loss used alongside exercise.

4.       Bodyweight exercises – These are the likes of a simple squat and lunge. Best bit about this is no equipment is needed and could all be performed whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or during an advert on the TV.

5.       Clean the house – It’s a calorie burner and from a mindset purpose less clutter will bring a freer mind.

6.       Lift weights – One of the staples to fat loss as stronger muscles burn more calories. Plenty of benefits to this before even worrying about looking like a body builder unless that is your aim in which case you would increase some other parameters into the equation.

7.       Embrace the not so nice exercises – there are not many people that like Burpees or Mountain Climbers however for that overall effect they are great calorie burners. Remember the long term goal.

8.       Progression – Regardless of where you exercise (gym/home) be sure to be upping the intensity otherwise you hit a plateau (brick wall) and then doubts follow. Small increments will keep your workouts and muscles stimulated.

9.       HiiT – High Intensity Interval Training. Short sharp bursts, with breaks in between the circuits/stations. You will be burning calories even when you have finished.

10.   Shorten your cardio time – Sounds like a strange one however if your not training for a marathon or endurance then long term cardio exercise may well give you weight loss however it will be muscle mass lost alongside fat loss which isn’t good.

11.   And last for this list…..get yourself a personal trainer be it face to face or online. I Could make another lengthy list as to the benefits of having your very own trainer in your corner. #GetFitStayFitShayFit