5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight and Improve Your Health
Sure-thing resolutions: Simple changes that can make a big difference.
Almost as soon as the Times Square ball drops and the confetti is thrown,
many of us start making resolutions to improve our health and our lives. Then,
within a few weeks, our resolve often fades -- and we go back to our old, bad
habits. But what if, instead of trying to make sweeping changes, we resolved
only to tackle a few easy ways to lose weight and boost health?
The health and
weight loss resolutions that stand the best chance of lasting are the ones
that call for minor, doable changes, experts say.
"The key is to take small, positive steps and move ahead
consistently," says Penny Kris-Etherton, PhD, a nutrition professor at Penn
State University. "People need to be realistic about the changes they can
David Katz, MD, director of the Prevention Research Center for Yale
University, says that one key to making resolutions that last is to do more
planning and less proclaiming.
"Resolutions tend to be the stuff of inspiration, but lasting behavior
change is the stuff of planning, sustainable motivations, and careful
consideration of the pros and cons," he says in an email interview.
For example, he says, more important than "willpower" are skills
like learning to interpret food labels, and to identify the best choices when
5 Easy Ways to Lose Weight and Improve Health
Beyond that, experts say, resolutions that offer some sort of noticeable
result within a couple of weeks can also help keep you motivated to keep going.
That said, here are five easy ways to lose weight and improve your health --
many of which may bring you positive results by mid-January!
Easy Resolution No. 1: Strap on a Pedometer
Let's be honest: Seeing a number at the end of the day can make getting more
walking in a lot more fun (talk about instant gratification). Not bad for an
investment of around $15.
Striving to reach a goal, such as 10,000 steps at day's end, can be just the
motivation you need to keep moving. Researchers affiliated with Stanford
University looked at the results of 26 studies involving the use of pedometers
in adults. They found that the study results showed that people who used
pedometers significantly increased their physical activity -- and took more
than 2,000 steps per day more than study participants who didn't use pedometer.
Further, the researchers noted two physical benefits as a result of wearing a
pedometer -- a decrease in the volunteers' BMIs (
body mass index) and their systolic
After just two weeks of walking more, you might see some measurable health
benefits, too. Walking even 30 minutes every day for two weeks should be enough
for people with
hypertension to see better blood pressure, and people with
diabetes or elevated blood sugar to see better blood sugar levels, says
Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN, nutrition advisor to the American Institute for