Over the years, I’ve created countless tailored meal plans for my clients that lay out exactly what, how much, and when to eat to achieve their weight loss and health goals. But some people prefer to focus on making a few small changes rather than committing to a complete dietary overhaul, and that’s OK - a keep-it-simple, small steps approach can add up to big results over time. Here are 5 simple changes that result in big payoffs down the road:
1) At happy hour, order a bottle of light beer instead of a pint of regular. Doing this just once a week saves 5,200 calories a year and the carb equivalent of about 5 loaves of bread.
2) Trade your daily 20 oz bottle of soda for water and over a year’s time you’ll save a total of about 25,000 grams of sugar – the equivalent of 8,212 cubes or 6,250 tsp (that’s 13 four pound bags).
3) Swap 1 cup of cooked spaghetti for a cup of cooked spaghetti squash once a week. After 52 weeks you’ll have slashed 9,360 calories – to burn that same amount you’d have to walk at 4 mph for over 290 hours.
4) Use 2 Tbsp of hummus instead of the same amount of mayo as a spread for sandwiches or wraps twice a week and you’ll cut your annual calorie intake by 13,520. That amounts to a 4 pound weight loss without making any other changes.
5) For the average American, leaving just 10% behind on your plate every time you eat is enough to create a 20 pound fat loss in 1 year’s time (20 lbs of fat is equivalent to 80 sticks of butter).
If your New Year’s resolutions were too ambitious and you’re struggling to stay on track, consider focusing on a few concrete changes you can consistently maintain. You may be surprised how much bang you’ll get per bite!