12 Small Changes for a Slimmer Spring and Summer

Skinny Noodles Shirataki

Yep, Spring is nearly here! That means shorts and bathing suit season is right around the corner. In the coming weeks, how can you lose weight without feeling deprived and depressed? Those who have lost weight and kept it off say it's about making small changes to your daily routine. We recommend these 12 small changes to make a big difference to your weight and overall health. 

1. Eat Breakfast
Breakfast skippers set themselves up to fail. Studies show those who eat breakfast tend to eat fewer calories overall during the day and have more energy for exercise. Choose breakfast options that are high in fiber and protein, while low in sugar.

2. Drink Black Coffee Instead of Fancy Coffee
Black coffee has 0 calories. Fancy coffee drinks from the local café can pack hundreds of calories with whole milk, whipped cream, sugar, syrup, and large cups. If you can't drink coffee black, add a bit of skim milk to keep the calorie load very small.

3. Drink More Water
Water not only flushes your system of toxins, but also has 0 calories. Drink a glass or two of water before every meal to increase a feeling of fullness and help avoid overeating. Drink water in place of soda or juice, you could save yourself nearly 250 extra calories a day, or 25 pounds a year!

4. Use Smaller Plates
The more food on your plate, the more you tend to eat. Instead of serving meals on a dinner plate, switch to a smaller salad plate to avoid extra calories.

5. Order Salad Dressing on the Side
Salad dressings tend to be loaded with fat and calories. Keep yours on the side to control the portion size. You can either dip your fork into the dressing or add a tablespoon to your salad. Either way, you'll cut a couple tablespoons and a few hundred calories.

6. Eat Out Less
We've all heard the news: Restaurants serve high fat and high calorie meals in huge portions that are growing every day. Eat 90 percent of your meals at home to achieve your weight loss goals while saving money!

This meat-free Skinny Burrito Cup made with black beans and
Skinny Rice Shirataki contains 12 grams of filling, waist-friendly fiber.
7. Eat Less Meat, More High Fiber Foods
Meat is high in saturated fat that can negatively impact cardiac health. Reduce the size of your meat portion, filling your plate instead with high fiber foods like vegetables, whole grains, shirataki noodles, and beans. The fiber will help you feel full and lead to less overeating.

8. Walk After Dinner
Losing weight is about eating fewer calories and burning more calories. Most experts recommend 30 minutes of cardio exercise a day to maintain your weight; anything extra will help with weight loss.  Aim to walk after dinner at least 30-45 minutes every night (or at any time of day that works for you).

9. Don't Snack After Dinner
Clean up the kitchen and brush your teeth after dinner.  Late night snacking is extra calories, often as much as 300 calories a night that can lead to a weight gain of more than 30 pounds in a year.

10. Turn Off the TV
When you watch TV while eating, it can lead to mindless eating. When you don't focus on the food, you tend to eat more without realizing it.  When you watch less TV, you'll see fewer food ads that make you want to eat and perhaps have more time for healthy habits like exercise.

11. Park Further Away
The more you exercise, the more calories you burn. Parking your car farther away from your destination -- or better yet, walking or biking to your destination -- is an easy way to ensure you're moving more.

12. Sleep
Studies are increasingly showing the connection between getting a good night's rest and a healthy weight.  When you get enough sleep, you are less stressed and tend to make better choices. You also have more energy for exercise.