Over the years on my show, I’ve talked to a lot of people who’ve given up when it comes to their weight. They’ve tried lots of different solutions, but haven’t quite found something for them. This can happen for lots of reasons, but sometimes it is nothing more than intimidation. Trying to overhaul your life overnight is tough and drastic changes can be hard to maintain. Ultimately, you have to find something that you can stick with for months to come.
While fast results can be motivating, sometimes it’s the small changes that integrate the easiest into our lives and build up over time to become big players in our weight loss. I wanted to share several studies out this week that are showing us that small changes to daily activities can add up to big benefits, both for your waistline and for your health.
Tip 1: Get a Dog. If You Have One, Walk It
Studies have shown that people with dogs tend to be more likely to exercise, probably because it gives them a compelling reason to get out of the house for those 150 minutes of recommended physical activity per week. But a new study showed that many people didn’t know how much exercise their pets needed and an incredible 40% of people in another study never walked their dog. While it varies from breed to breed, most dogs need as much exercise as you do: 30-60 minutes a day. Researchers also found that having access to a good place to walk your dog was critical in motivating owners to get outside. Talk to friends and fellow dog owners about good places near you to go walking. When you find a good route, make it part of your daily habit. A 30-minute walk every day will hit your weekly quota.
Tip 2: Add Some Fiber to Your Diet
Eating fiber can lower your risk of colon cancer and help keep you regular, but a new study this week shows it can also help you eat less. Participants in the study who had a high fiber fruit smoothie for breakfast ate 5% less than those who drank low fiber smoothies. Not only that, they actually felt less hungry throughout the day. What I love about this study is that it shows us feeling full is more about what we eat than how much we eat. And the great thing about fiber is that it’s everywhere if you know where to look and can be easily added to a lot of the meals you’re already making. Check out my list of fiber-rich foods and pick a few to add to your plate.
Tip 3: Eat More Umami
Umami is one of the five basic elements of taste detected by your tongue that describes something that’s broth-based, meaty and mouth-watering. Foods with umami taste good and, as I’ve mentioned before, are very satisfying. A recent study backed this up. Increased umami in food consumed increased satisfaction after the meal and led to eating less later on in the day. Foods high in umami include mushrooms, green tea and tomatoes. And since you feel less hungry later on, you eat less overall. Over time, that adds up to pounds lost.
Remember, small steps can matter just as much as big ones. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start small and develop good habits that will last.