Do Small Changes Really Add Up to Big Weight Loss Results?

Small changes add up to big weight loss results. This is a phrase you have probably heard. But do those changes really work for weight loss? Here's a look at some of the most popular recommendations.

November 9, 2015
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Small changes add up to big results. It’s a phrase you might have heard a time or two when reading about weight loss. You might be wondering if that’s really true. Can you really make small changes in your life that add up to big weight loss results? The answer lies with you. It all depends on what those changes are and whether you keep them up.

Let’s take a look at some small changes and examine whether they really can make a difference.

Cut 100 Calories From Your Diet

I often hear people say that if you cut 100 calories from your diet you can lose weight. Well, that’s true in theory. However, it will take a long time to see big results. With a 100 calorie deficit, you would lose a pound every 35 days or so. It would take you almost a year to lose 10 pounds. It may not be a huge amount of weight but even losing 5 percent of your body weight can make a difference in your appearance and your health.

Walk for 15 Minutes a Day

Walking was how I lost 158 pounds, but I didn’t walk for just 15 minutes. I averaged between 30 and 45 minutes each day. A 15-minute walk will burn about 50 to 75 calories depending on your weight and speed. If you do that every day, you will lose slightly less than a pound a month. The best way to make walking count is to do it in combination with cutting 100 calories.

Cut Out Colas

I have friends who drink two or three cans of cola a day.

Every single day.

The math on this one works out easily. Cut out two cans of cola a day and you automatically cut 280 calories. This small change can add up to big results pretty quickly.

Ditch Fast Food

Fast food appears to be one of those things that is hard to give up. It was for me. However, losing your fast food habit can add up to big losses on the scale provided you replace high-calorie meals with lower ones.

For example, three fast food meals a week can easily total 2,600 calories. If you replace those three meals with meals totaling 1,200 calories, you’ve saved 200 calories a day. That change can help you lose weight more quickly.

Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

A lot of people I know struggle with eating enough fruits and vegetables. In fact, some friends of mine avoid them completely. Interestingly enough, they all struggle with their weight. If you replace unhealthy, high-calorie foods such as chips, cookies, or crackers with lower calorie fruits and vegetables, you will see a change on the scale over time.

Wear Tighter Clothes

This is a tip I give to people around the holiday season, but I’ve also heard it recommended as a way to see some changes on the scale. The truth is that wearing tighter clothing will make you feel uncomfortable but it won’t help you drop pounds unless that uncomfortable feeling causes you to cut your calorie intake.

Lift Weights During Commercials

This is one of those suggestions that can lead to big changes on the scale over time. The average 60-minute television show has about 14 minutes of commercials according to a report from Nielsen. If you watch two hours of television a day and lift weights during the 30 minutes of commercials, you can burn about 130 calories plus build some lean muscle, and see a temporary boost in your metabolic rate. When taken in combination, you can see some big changes on the scale and in how you look.

Get 30 Minutes More Sleep

Sleep deprivation is linked to obesity, according to a 2012 study published in the “Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,” Getting 30 minutes more sleep each day can help you resist fattening foods and have more energy to work out. Over time, this can make a difference in how fast you lose weight.

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