You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Every little helps! Experts reveal five VERY simple lifestyle tweaks that will help you lose weight quickly and easily - and keep it off for good

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 20/09/2018 Clemence Michallon For Dailymail.com

(Representative image) © Provided by Shutterstock (Representative image) Losing weight can sound like a daunting task — but for those looking to shed some pounds, some simple lifestyle tweaks can make all the difference.

Drinking water, keeping a food diary, and only eating within a specific time window are all steps that can help those looking to embark on a weight loss journey.

Walking can also be an efficient alternative to intense workout, making it possible to get in some quality movement even without going to the gym, and some find building new habits, rather than trying to ban certain behaviors, particularly helpful.

Download the all-new Microsoft News app to receive up-to-the minute news from the world’s best sources – available now on iOS and Android

  

Keep a food diary

Keeping a food record can be a helpful way to get a clearer picture of one's diet, and can also serve as a reminder of which behaviors someone is trying to change and which habits they are trying to cultivate.

For Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity expert in Ottawa, Canada, keeping a food diary is more about accountability than meeting a specific calorie goal. 

Record: Keeping a food diary can be helpful for people looking to shed some pounds © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Record: Keeping a food diary can be helpful for people looking to shed some pounds 'Though there's certainly value in having an inkling of where you might be at calorie-wise (or carb-wise if you're tracking that instead), probably the bigger value of record keeping is in the context of its service as a conscious reminder of the behaviors that you're trying to change,' he wrote in a in a blog post in May.

'And if you're keeping a food diary regularly, you'll be reminding yourself multiple times per day, and so long as you don't use your food diary as a negative, blunt, tool of judgement, those reminders will help you to make more informed and thoughtful dietary decisions.'

A 2008 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine showed that keeping a food record was one of the behavioral factors associated with greater weight loss, along with moderate physical activity and attending group sessions with weight loss counselors.

Watch: Why carrots are beneficial to your health (Cover Video)

Drink more water 

Fitness lover Dominique Astorino, 28, shared her five most useful weight loss tips on Popsugar, in a bid to prove that shedding a few pounds doesn't have to be stressful.

Drinking more water can help with weight loss in several ways. It can increase someone's metabolic rate, as shown in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism

Participants who drank about 17 ounces of water a day saw their metabolic rate spike by 30 per cent, with the increase reaching its maximum within 30 to 40 minutes.

Cheers! Drinking more water can help regulate hunger cues and increase metabolism © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Cheers! Drinking more water can help regulate hunger cues and increase metabolism Drinking about 67 ounces of water a day could help people burn almost 100 additional calories a day, according to the study — but that's not the only reason why drinking more water can be beneficial.

Chugging water can also help regulate hunger cues. Some signs of thirst, such as a gurgling stomach or a dip in energy levels, can be confused with hunger cues, dietitian Jaime Mass, who is based in Florida, previously told Women's Health.

Timing matters too. A 2015 study by researchers at the University of Oxford and the University of Birmingham showed that drinking water before a meal can help people feel full sooner.

During the study, adults with obesity who drank about 17 ounces of water 30 minutes before their meals lost almost three more pounds in 12 weeks than those who were only asked to imagine their stomach was full prior to eating. 

Take a walk

A study published in October last year showed just how beneficial walking can be as part of a weight loss strategy. © Provided by Shutterstock A study published in October last year showed just how beneficial walking can be as part of a weight loss strategy. No time to make it to the gym? You don't need to be in a studio to get some movement. 

A study published in October last year in The Journal of Nutrition showed just how beneficial walking can be as part of a weight loss strategy.

During 12 weeks, participants adopted a calorie-restricted diet based on their individual needs.

Half of them simply stuck to the diet, while others added 2.5 hours of walking a week into their routine.

Those in the walking group lost 19 pounds on average, compared to 15 pounds for the non-walking group. The people who walked also lost significantly more fat mass than those who didn't.  

Give yourself a time window to eat

Some people find that eating all of their meals within a specific time window helps them keep their weight in check.

The practice — known as intermittent fasting — consists in eating all meals and snacks during a certain part of the day. Those who do it often pick an eight-to-ten-hour window.

For example, they might have their first meal at 10 am and their last one at 8 pm.

'Intermittent fasting makes intuitive sense,' physician Monique Tello wrote in June in a blog post for Harvard Medical School.

Blood pressure monitor © Provided by Shutterstock Blood pressure monitor 'The food we eat is broken down by enzymes in our gut and eventually ends up as molecules in our bloodstream. Carbohydrates, particularly sugars and refined grains (think white flours and rice), are quickly broken down into sugar, which our cells use for energy. If our cells don't use it all, we store it in our fat cells as, well, fat. But sugar can only enter our cells with insulin, a hormone made in the pancreas. Insulin brings sugar into the fat cells and keeps it there.'

Not snacking between meals, Dr. Tello added, enables insulin levels to go down and fat cells to release the sugar they were storing, which will then be used as an energy resource.

'We lose weight if we let our insulin levels go down,' she wrote. 'The entire idea of intermittent fasting is to allow the insulin levels to go down far enough and for long enough that we burn off our fat.'

A study published in June this year in the Cell Metabolism journal showed that obese men with prediabetes who ate all of their meals between 7 am and 3 pm had lower insulin levels and lower blood pressure after five weeks than those who ate their meals within a 12-hour window, between 7 am and 7 pm. The men in both group maintained their weights. 

Related: 13 Things That Can Happen to Your Body When You Drink Soda (Eat This, Not That!)

Focus on creating new habits

When thinking about weight loss, some people intuitively think they're going to have to eliminate certain foods from their diets — but some find it more constructive to focus on what they can add instead.

The same goes for other behaviors — some people find that building a new, positive habit is easier than focusing on quitting one that is perceived as bad.

a person holding a bowl of food: Lifestyle: Some people find it helpful to focus on building new habits, such as adding vegetables to their meals, rather than trying to ban certain behaviors © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Lifestyle: Some people find it helpful to focus on building new habits, such as adding vegetables to their meals, rather than trying to ban certain behaviors Focusing on building small, manageable habits is what helped blogger Brooke Barnett, who once weighed 300 pounds, lose more than 100 pounds. 

As she told Popsugar, Barnett began by buying a fitness tracker and making sure she took 10,000 steps per day. That new habit led her to try other forms of exercise, such as Pilates and hiking.

Barnett recently highlighted in an Instagram post how small tweaks helped her on her weight loss journey.

'People often ask me how I got started or how they can get started. It's really about being honest with yourself and making tiny changes, little by little,' she wrote.

'What actions are you taking, day in and day out, that are holding you back from the life you want? I'm talking about food specifically, because that is 90 per cent of it.

'Are you drinking soda? Replace it with sparkling water. Do you find yourself in drive-throughs every night? Stock your refrigerator with tasty meals so you don't have to think about dinner when you get home.

'Find little ways you can start changing your behavior and build on those successes. You don't need a total overhaul, just start where you are and keep challenging yourself to make healthier choices every day.'

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Daily Mail

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon