Day 13: Small Changes Add Up to Big Weight Loss

By: Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D.  |  Sunday, December 29, 2013
Forget embarking on a dramatic diet shake-up (read: cutting out all carbs or having cabbage soup every day). You're better off making tiny adjustments that you can permanently adopt, research reveals. Volunteers in an online healthy-eating challenge were given easy-to-implement tips ("Drink 8 cups of water a day" or "Only snack at the kitchen table"). Those who followed the tips for more than 25 days each month had more success dropping pounds than those who complied less often. "Making small, consistent changes fits more easily into people's routines [than radically altering your diet]," says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., EatingWell advisor and professor of marketing at Cornell University. Remember that healthy eating is a long-term way of life, not a limited-time crash diet.
Pictured Recipe: Salsa-Tofu Breakfast Burrito
Jessie Price, Editor-in-Chief Today's Editor's Tip:
Jessie Price, Editor-in-Chief
"In May last year I tried something new. For years I woke up, ate a bowl of cereal, went to the gym, and then around 10 a.m.-famished-I ate a second breakfast, usually yogurt and fruit. Not unhealthy food choices, but, with two breakfasts, the calories added up. So in an effort to shed a few pounds, I decided to skip the first breakfast. Through the first two weeks of my new plan my stomach rumbled as I drove to the gym. But remembering Associate Nutrition Editor Lisa D'Agrosa's advice that it takes at least a few weeks for a new routine to stick, I kept at it. The hunger pangs abated. I officially have a new one-breakfast morning routine and my wedding ring is back to spinning around my finger loosely."
Actionable Tip: Make one small healthy change this week, whether it's keeping fruit out on the counter or always portioning out a single serving of a snack (instead of sitting down with the box).