Little Changes Lead to BIG Impact
Mar 10, 2020
There are small actions you take every day … so small that they often slip under the radar … that negatively or positively impact your success on the journey to rightsize living.
You already know that I’m a Bitesize Changes fanatic. After all, it’s the little changes I implemented and mastered, one at a time, that helped me shed my post bariatric surgery weight regain and keep it off.
Do the Math
I got even more excited about these small changes when I started doing the math. For example, one itty bitty change helps me burn an extra 2,080 calories a year. I park in a multi-level parking garage when I go to the gym. I used to ride the elevator up and down the parking garage, but I felt kind of silly. I was at this place to work out and improve my fitness, yet I was riding the elevator. So, I started parking on the fourth floor and only taking the stairs. Four flights of stairs might not sound like much. However, it’s estimated that you burn two calories per flight of stairs. Multiply that by four flights, five times a week for a year and you’ve just burned an extra 2,080 calories—and that doesn’t count how many I burn walking down the stairs!
Think about this: What if you were to do a one-minute plank every night before going to bed? At 2-5 calories for a one-minute plank, that could be as much as 1,820 calories burned per year. What if you ate 10 less calories per day? That would add up to 3,640 calories saved per year. Considering that each pound is the equivalent to 3,500 calories these itty bitty changes could thwart regain … or even help you release a pound or two.
4 Areas in Which You Can Make Small Changes for BIG Impact
There are endless details begging for your attention. Here are 4 areas which you might help you get big results from your small changes:
- Mindful Eating: Do you ever fall into the trap of eating without thinking about it? For example, do you ever grab the complimentary mint on your way out of restaurants? Do you eat while so distracted by an article on the internet, a magazine, television or a conversation that you overeat? Do you eat while you’re driving? Even with your powerful tool, you can eat one bite, two bites, three bites too many if you’re not paying attention. This adds up. When you eat, do it conscientiously. Make the shift from mindless eating to mindful eating. That means eliminating the distractions. At work, have lunch in the break room or at a picnic table outside, not your desk. At home, eat at the kitchen table, not in front of the tv or computer. Try to stay away from your social media or texts while you eat. Eat meals at the same time eat day.
- Beware of the Extras: It’s easy to overlook all the little extra indulgences that go along with our food and beverages. What are you adding to your food and drinks? Are you putting sweetener in your tea or creamer in your coffee? Are you eating high-sugar sauces with your proteins? Are you slathering your veggies in butter? Do you pour dressing on your salad instead of ordering it on the side? Are you drowning your food in salt? Watch the details because they add up too.
- Visible Influence: Your eyes play a bigger role than you think in your eating habits. One way, is perception. The size of your plate or bowl influences your perception of how much food you’re getting. Food psychologist Brain Wansik gave nutritionists different sized bowls and scoops. When put in a position to serve themselves ice cream, and unaware that they were being observed, those with larger bowls served themselves 31% more ice cream and those with a larger ice cream scoop increased their servings by 14.5%. So, put your food portions in smaller bowls and on smaller plates and you’ll “feel” like you’re getting more food than you really are. Even though your tummy has new boundaries, your brain isn’t always on the same page. Also remember the adage, out of sight, out of mind. Wansik did another study that found even food proximity influences how much you eat. He discovered that when office administrators sat near clear dishes filled with Hershey’s Kisses they ate 71% more, the equivalent of 77 calories a day, than those sitting near kissing in opaque dishes. The morale of this story? Rule your environment with an iron fist. Don’t let unhealthy foods into your home. Keep then away from your work environment. Keep them out of sight!
- Movement: Exercise is a big contributor to good mental and physical health. It’s also one of the greatest areas of missed opportunities. There are a ton of little things you can do each day to amp up your movement. Where are you parking at work, the grocery store or the gym? If it’s safe to do so, consider parking further from the entrance so you can get more steps in. Can you take the stairs instead of the elevator? If you go out to lunch at work, can you walk instead of drive? Or, if you bring your lunch can you squeeze in a 20 or 30-minute walk on your lunch break? When you’re watching tv, instead of fast-forwarding through commercials let ‘em run and hold a plank while they play. What about setting an alarm on your desk every 50 minutes as a trigger to get up and stretch or walk around for 5 or 10 minutes? Be conscientious of when you’re moving and when you’re not to uncover opportunities to add movement to your day.
One Small Change Makes a Difference
Just start with one small change. Once you master that, add another small change. Before you know it, you’re likely to experience BIG results.