Who likes avoiding their favorite foods? NOBODY! Alas, the journey to shredding off those obstinate pounds demands you to make some changes in your diet. However, it nowhere asks you to restrict yourself or follow a particular type of diet. With so many different kinds of diets out there today, it can be difficult to decide which one you should go for.

What works for one, might not work for another. Also, even if you do manage to crop your waist, chances are you’d put the weight you oh-so-difficultly tried to melt off. That happens in most cases because people often forget that dieting can only get you so far. The real struggle is maintaining your newly found fit physique.

One move that can help you lose weight and keep it off? Taking baby steps. You would have heard this saying that says that things that come too easily aren’t meant to stay. Looks like, the same is the case with weight loss. While dieting is both difficult and not helpful in the long-run, small changes in your lifestyle are quite the opposite.

That said, here are a few changes that you can make in your routine to keep the pounds off.

Ditch processed foods

Processed foods are evil. They contain loads of calories. They don’t just pile on weight, but they can also introduce other health problems. Instead, choose healthier alternatives. In your hassle to avoid fats, don’t miss out on the good kind of fats such as omega-3 fatty acids though. Your body requires these to function optimally. Add more fruits and veggies to your diet. Also, nuts. These usually contain more fiber and fewer calories.

Drink more water

Water clears acne, water does what not. Water also helps you lose weight. That’s because it metabolizes fats. It also works as an appetite suppressant. That’s why they say you should drink a big glass of water fifteen minutes before sitting for lunch or dinner. Water also flushes out toxins from your system and keeps you hydrated. So, make a pact to drink more water daily than you normally do. It will help you in several ways.

Choose your drinks wisely:

Many people these days prefer to drink their fruits rather than eat them. Which is not exactly favorable. When you drink the stuff, your brain is not able to process what just went into the system fast enough. Whereas, when you chew your fruits and vegetables, your brain makes you feel fuller. Avoid sodas and indulge in them only once in a blue moon. Go for green tea. Not only does it boost mood, but it also works to help you shed off excess pounds.

Avoid the wrong approach:

Sure, you have been suggested to diet one too many times. Okay, it might have worked for a lot of people you know. But extremely restricting diets take up your cravings which eventually leads to weight regain. Another approach that must be avoided; supplements for weight loss. These are usually harmful, containing chemicals that can, not just give temporary, useless results but harm your health in the long-term as well.

Set your mind to achieve the goal:

Chopping off excessive pounds is not just something physical but mental as well. Ready your brain and have the right mindset that is required to lose weight. Remember to not stress yourself. Record your calorie intake. You might as well start journaling your journey. This would work to keep you motivated and keep track of not just what you consume and in what quantity, but it can also tell you of the small victories which might go unnoticed otherwise.

Workout a bit:

You don’t have to engage in exhausting exercises. You can choose whichever suitable exercise, no matter how easy, and dedicate fifteen minutes of your day to it. It might seem difficult in the beginning but as you adjust to it, it gets easier. However, keep challenging your body by switching up your exercises and trying something new once in a while. Yoga is another option that not only clears your mind but can also do wonders when it comes to helping you get into shape.

Eat in small portions:

Another minor change that you should make in your eating routine is that you should eat in small portions. Small light and healthy snacks throughout the day. Make sure your dishware is also small so that the amount of food on the plate looks more. Also, eat slowly. When you eat slowly, not only would your body be better able to process the food, but you will also be able to enjoy your meal more which will not make you feel like you need to eat more.

Clear your surroundings:

Now, now, how can you reduce weight when all that junk food sits in your refrigerator flirting with you, telling you to take a bite? The only way you can fight the urge is by locking your kitchen at night. You can also replace all the items in your kitchen that can cause you to gain weight and compromise on your health with healthier alternatives. Avoid buffets and eat a light snack before heading out for eating to keep the temptation under control.

Join an online support group:

Online communities can be greatly helpful especially in the beginning when you take the oath to drop excess pounds. Not only can these be a source of learning new techniques, but they can also keep you motivated on days when you are thinking about giving up. Joining in a conversation of like-minded people always works to remind yourself that you are not alone in your struggle. These people can also support you more when they know about the small changes in your physique.

Walk an extra mile:

Walking brings with itself several benefits. This is why you should walk more. Take the long way home when getting back on foot from somewhere. Push yourself to climb more stairs. Don’t go for elevators or escalators. Instead of sticking to the television when there is a commercial break going on, get up and walk around a bit. Get a pedometer and push yourself to walk more and more until you finally reach 10,000 steps each day.

Don’t cut down nap hours:

If you want to chop off weight, you better not chop off a good night’s sleep. Sounds fun, no? Research says that missing proper sleep for even a few nights can contribute hugely to weight gain. Save yourself that and go take a nap. The recommended sleep hours are 8 a night. Not only does sleep deprivation lead to weight gain but brain fog and other health complications as well. So catch your zzz and wave goodbye to sleepless nights.

Combat your triggers:

We all have triggers that lead us to destruction – or weight gain, in this case. Know what causes you to eat more. Is it stress? Or is it a mix of anxiety and tingling nerves? Take measures to combat your triggers. Learn to control them before they control you. Otherwise, you wouldn’t ever be able to slim down. Once you are able to quiet down your triggers for good, cravings will eventually be curbed. But remember, cut yourself some slack and don’t be too hard on yourself.