Small Diet Changes that Yield Big Results
Last Updated: Oct 23, 2011
1 of 10
When it comes to diets, the most successful regimens often require only small changes to see big results. And it's often dieters who make these small alterations to their everyday routine that see more lasting results. Eight little diet changes might lead to a smaller waistline and a better you.
TAKE THE STAIRS
Every day when you go to work, you're probably faced with the decision: Stairs or elevator? Well, the answer should be simple -- always opt for the stairs. This small change can burn up to nine calories a minute. But this isn't all you can do. In general, you should try to walk more often every day. Try getting off the bus or subway a stop early and walk the rest of the home. Are you meeting a friend for lunch nearby? Walk instead of driving.
WHOLE MILK NO MORE
If you're a big dairy drinker, this simple change can save you a lot of calories. Whenever you pour milk over your cereal in the morning or drink a glass before bed at night, opting for skim or 1-percent milk can save up to 100 calories in each serving. To cut even more calories, do the same for other dairy products -- go for nonfat yogurt and low-fat cheese instead of whole-fat versions.
CHOOSE LEAN MEATS
Just because you're trying to stay healthy and shed a few pounds doesn't mean you have to cut meats out of your diet. All you need to do is go for lean cuts -- such as sirloin, flank or round steak -- instead of fattier cuts such as ribeye. This can cut a lot of calories -- up to 91 per 4-ounce serving, to be exact -- and unnecessary saturated fat.
CHOOSE YOUR CARBS CAREFULLY
Not all carbs deserve the bad reputation they seem to get. Complex carbs and carbs found in foods rich in fiber -- such as whole grain breads and pastas -- are great for fueling your body and giving you the energy to get through the day. However, carbs that are overly starchy, such as potatoes, and empty calories -- such as those found in candies and sodas -- should only be consumed in moderate amounts.
DON'T EAT FROM THE BAG
When you want to unwind in front of the TV after a long day at work, it is easy to grab your favorite bag of chips and munch away. But be careful: This can cost you a load of calories. Instead, measure out the serving you're aiming for and then put the bag back in the cabinet and out of reach, since this will help curb your desire for more.
START WITH SOUP OR SALAD
Eating a water-based soup or a fiber-filled salad before you meal helps fill you up and then you eat less of your entree -- which is often more calorie-rich than this type of appetizer. Just don't choose a creamy soup like clam chowder, which adds on many more calories, and opt for a low-fat or calorie-free salad dressing.
BRING ON THE PRODUCE
Not only are most fruits and veggies low on calories and high in nutrients, but they can also encourage you to eat smaller amounts of other not-so-healthy foods. Try packing your plate full of different-colored fruits and vegetables -- you won't have room for other items that are higher in calories, fat and bad carbs, and you'll be less likely to go for seconds.
DON'T DRINK YOUR CALORIES
Sure, every once in a while it's OK to indulge in your favorite soda or order an early-morning latte. But for your everyday routine, the fewer "liquid calories" you consume, the easier it will be to lose weight. Liquids don't fill you up and satisfy hunger, so it's best to opt for calorie-free choices when you're thirsty. If you need to indulge, order a latte with skim milk or go for a diet soda.
Nutrition, Workouts & Tips