Are you fed up with dieting and tired of experiencing uncontrollable weight gain after you just tried to get back into shape? Rigorous and restrictive programmes are not the answer to your needs because they can fail you over and over again. But I have good news for you!
“Tiny habits” (1), a concept developed by BJ Fogg PhD (2), Behavioural Scientist at Stanford University, uncovers great opportunities for application on healthy and long term weight loss.
The impact of tiny habits on your daily life can’t be underestimated. Here is an example: If you cut down your daily consumption of chocolate by half, so instead of 2 bars you only eat 1, you can save about 91,000 calories a year which is equivalent to 13 kg of body fat! The amount of restriction that goes along with this habit change is small but the benefit is incredible. You can still have chocolate every day, but in lesser quantity.
In addition to the last blog which introduced mindfulness as an exercise, the second step in your journey is tiny as well:
In the following week, you will add on to the mindfulness task by adding some colors to your life:
- Every main meal will be completed with some fresh vegetables from now on; it can be cucumber, tomato, lettuce or any other fresh vegetables.
- Variation: you can add fresh fruits to one of your main meals (e.g. breakfast), and vegetables to the other 2 main meals.
In the beginning, it might require some effort to plan ahead for your meals, but I’m sure you can manage it. If you just buy some tomatoes, cucumber and zucchini in advance you can use them for every meal (if you have some fruits at home you are even prepared for the variation). If you are dining out, a small side salad is a good option.
When you are fully used to this and hopefully start to enjoy the bright colours on your plate, you can increase the portion size for vegetables.
Supporting your health by adding more vitamins, minerals and fibre to your diet is beneficial. In addition you cut down the calories on your plate by filling more space with raw or boiled vegetables. This reduces the overall calorie density on your plate: Your plate is still as filled as it was before (volume), but with less calories. Stick to this habit and you will see positive results regarding health and shape!
Wish you a great week with a lot of bright and healthy colours on your plate!
Here you can directly find part 3 of the “TINY HABITS” series: