10 Simple Ways To Get Fit

When I stepped off the scale, I was so upset that I flew into an irrational fit. I picked up my white plastic enemy and carried it out the front door. My neighbors stared, but I didn’t care. Sure, I was only wearing my ratty old pink bathrobe and fuzzy bedroom shoes, but I was on a mission. I opened the big trash can and hurled the scale inside to rot with yesterday’s trash.

The television is constantly showing advertisements for fat burners and diet programs, but I’m usually eating potato chips while I watch those ridiculous before and after pictures in disgust. When I flip through magazines that advertise magic diets, I always end up in the recipe section advertising a no bake “Double Chocolate Cheesecake”. It is really no wonder that I had a break up with my scale.

Have you ever felt caught in the endless cycle of weight loss failure? It seems impossible to lose weight in our society of fast food and movie theater popcorn (extra butter, please). Is it possible to successfully diet in the real world? I don’t think so. I think the only way to change your health and your relationship with the scale is to make small changes. Diets fail because they aren’t practical, but there are some simple changes that give big results over time. Just by making these ten simple changes, I have lost some weight and gained my sanity. I even bought a new scale that I visit occasionally to track my progress.

Ten Ways to Get Fit Without Getting Frustrated

1. Eat breakfast.
When you’re rushing around in the morning, it’s really easy to skip breakfast or settle for a quick cup of coffee in the car. But breakfast is your best friend when it comes to weight loss. Eating breakfast will rev up your metabolism so you can burn more calories during your normal morning routine. Reach for something fast like oatmeal or fiber cereal, but make sure you start your day with breakfast.

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2. Stop eating on the go.
We are all guilty of having a double cheeseburger in the car from time to time, but is this your way of life? Make a habit of only eating at the table with no distractions. Turn the television off and focus on you food. You’ll start eating less when you aren’t mindlessly feeding your face. You might even enjoy your food more if you take time to savor the tastes and smells of what you’re eating. Some people are surprised to find that they don’t even like the tastes of foods they eat all the time when they stop and really think about it. Notice how hungry you feel when you begin the meal and stop eating when you are satisfied.

3. Use a smaller plate.
Did you know that your stomach will only hold the amount of food equivalent to the size of your fist? If you eat more than that, you are overeating. Our typical dinner plates hold several fists worth of food, but if you choose a smaller plate than smaller portions appear bigger. This little trick really works. Your brain will think you’re eating the bulky dinner you’re used to, but your stomach will only be comfortably full, not overly stuffed.

4. Sneak in exercise.
Even if you have no time to hit the gym, you can sneak in a few calorie burning activities each day. Do sit-ups or squats during commercials when you watch television. Park further away from the mall and sneak in some walking. Pace back and forth while you talk on the phone. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. There are dozens of ways to sneak in exercise if you just use your imagination!

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5. Add fruits and veggies.
If you aren’t a big fan of salads, then eating more vegetables might seem like a death sentence. But you can sneak in some great nutrition by just adding one fruit or vegetable to each meal. Cut up a banana to top off your cereal. Add lettuce and tomato to your sandwich at lunch. Snack on an apple and eat some corn on the cob with dinner. These little changes will make a big difference by the end of the day.

6. Chew gum while you cook.
It is very tempting to sample dinner while you’re preparing it, so chew a piece of sugarfree gum while you cook. This will save quite a few calories and you will really enjoy your dinner instead of adding more calories to an already satisfied appetite. This is a very useful trick if you’re baking cupcakes or cookies for your kids. Cookie dough is irresistable, but if I’ve been chewing minty gum, then I won’t even try it.

7. Stop late night snacking.
When you eat late at night, the food just sits in your stomach while you sleep. Stop eating two hours before you go to bed to give your body time to digest and metabolize the calories you consumed at dinner. If you must have a sweet snack in the evenings, go for a piece of fruit or some sugar free jello. Avoid heavy, fatty foods and you will start dropping some weight.

8. Keep a food journal.
Write down every bite that you eat for a whole week. When you go back and look at all the mindless snacking, you will be amazed at how much food you consume without even realizing it. Just the prospect of writing down a doughnut will keep you away from Krispie Kreme in the mornings. A food journal offers great accountability and helps you track the times of day when you deviate from your healthy eating plan.

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9. Replace soda with water.
Drinking water can seem so boring, but today’s supermarkets offer flavored water that leaves you without excuse. Just by cutting out soda, you can save enough calories to cause significant weight loss. You will also lose some inches around your belt by reducing the belly-bloating sugar in your diet. This is the easiest way to see quick results.

10. Switch from Low-fat to Skim Milk.
If you drink three cups of milk everyday for one month, you can lose a pound just by making this switch. You will still get the calcium, but you will drop calories and fat when you switch to skim milk. Some people find skim milk to taste too watered-down, but you get used to it quickly. After you start drinking skim, you will find whole milk tastes way too rich anyway.

Try these ten simple changes to revolutionize your approach to fitness. If the task seems too daunting, incorporate one change every week until you start seeing results. Forget those crazy low-carb diets and start making practical changes that add up to real long term success.