Let’s be honest: We all want to achieve a healthy weight. But between daily workouts, cutting calories, and cooking healthy meals, who has the time? Fortunately, the path to a healthier, slimmer you doesn’t always require a significant time investment. Eat This, Not That! spoke with Kyrie Furr, CPT, a certified personal trainer and performance coach with Barbend, who explores nine daily weight loss habits that demand less than 10 minutes of your day. These small yet impactful practices are designed to fit seamlessly into even the busiest routines, proving that you don’t need hours of dedication to make meaningful progress on your weight loss journey.
Weight loss is often perceived as a monumental task. However, like anything else worthwhile in life, accumulating small, consistent efforts can yield significant results. Shifting your focus to manageable and time-efficient habits can help you create a foundation for long-term success without feeling overwhelmed. This mental shift is more critical than ever, considering the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute reports that nearly 75% of U.S. adults aged 20 and older are either overweight or obese, which can lead to serious health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and depression.
Keep reading to uncover Furr’s nine daily weight loss habits you should incorporate into your busy schedule to help you shed those unwanted pounds. And, when you’re done, be sure to check out the 10 Best Low-Carb Vegetables for Weight Loss.
Drink a glass of water before each meal.
Research shows that simply sipping a glass of water before each meal can support hydration and increase satiety, helping to prevent overeating. Plus, this effortless habit kickstarts your metabolism and sets a positive tone for mindful eating throughout the day.
“Staying hydrated is crucial for overall health and [can] aid in weight loss. This simple habit can help curb overeating, boost metabolism, and contribute to a healthier weight,” says Furr.
Take the stairs.
The next time you have to choose between the elevator or escalator and taking the stairs, choose the latter. It’s a subtle habit but a quick and effective way to elevate your heart rate and engage your muscles. This small change contributes to increased daily activity and, over time, can significantly impact your overall fitness and weight loss journey.
“Instead of reaching for the elevator or escalator, opt for the stairs whenever possible,” recommends Furr. “Climbing stairs is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise that engages multiple muscle groups and burns calories. A few minutes of stair climbing daily can strengthen your muscles, improve endurance, and aid in weight loss.”
Practice portion control.
One of the most sustainable approaches to managing your calorie intake is paying attention to serving sizes and avoiding mindless overeating. This habit empowers you to savor your meals, enjoy a variety of foods, and maintain better control over your weight without the need for restrictive diets.
“It’s easy to lose track of how much we eat, especially when served large portions,” Furr explains. “Practicing portion control involves measuring your food and being mindful of serving sizes. Use smaller plates, bowls, and cutlery to visually trick your brain into thinking you’re consuming more. This habit can prevent overeating and contribute to gradual weight loss.”
Stretch for a few minutes.
Stretching can assist your weight loss efforts by improving flexibility, reducing muscle tension, and enhancing circulation. A 2020 study found that a regular stretching routine can help reduce abdominal obesity.
Furr says, “Take a few minutes each day to stretch your muscles. Stretching helps prevent injuries and improves flexibility and blood circulation, which can enhance your weight loss efforts.”
Choose healthier snacks.
Instead of reaching for sugary or processed snacks, opt for nutrient-dense whole foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, or a handful of nuts. This quick and mindful choice will satisfy your hunger while fueling your body with essential vitamins and minerals to help support your weight loss goals.
“Rather than reaching for sugary or processed snacks, choose healthier alternatives that contribute to weight loss,” says Furr. “Swap out chips and candies for fresh fruit, nuts, or vegetable sticks. These snacks are low in calories and provide essential nutrients, keeping you fuller for longer and preventing unnecessary weight gain.”
Take quick, active breaks.
Whether it’s a quick stroll, stretching exercises, or even a set of squats or pushups, taking active breaks where you move your body can enhance metabolism and prevent sedentary habits. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, regularly engaging in two-minute “activity snacks” can boost muscle protein synthesis (MPS), your body’s process of building new muscle, to help support healthy weight management.
“Sitting for long periods can lead to weight gain and negatively impact overall health. Incorporate short, active breaks throughout your day to get your body moving. You can stretch, walk around the office, or perform quick exercises. These mini-workouts burn calories and boost productivity and energy levels,” says Furr.
Practice mindful eating.
You establish a healthier relationship with food when you savor each bite of food, tune into your hunger and fullness cues, and minimize distractions while eating. Mindful eating encourages the enjoyment of meals, prevents overeating, and promotes a mindful connection between your body and the nourishment it receives.
Furr explains, “Being present while eating can significantly affect weight loss. Mindful eating involves paying attention to the taste, texture, and sensations of the food, allowing you to enjoy and appreciate each bite fully. By eating slowly and mindfully, you can avoid overeating and make healthier food choices.”
Go for a brisk walk after meals.
According to a review in Sports Medicine, going for a brisk walk after meals, even for just 10 minutes or less, can increase calorie burning, aid digestion, and boost your metabolism.
“Instead of immediately sitting down or returning to work after a meal, take a 10-minute brisk walk. This strategy aids digestion, regulates blood sugar levels, and helps burn calories.” Furr says.
Practice stress-reducing techniques.
Research suggests that incorporating stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness practices into your daily routine can help create a conducive environment for sustainable weight loss.
“Stress can sabotage weight loss efforts by triggering emotional eating and increasing cortisol levels, a hormone known to promote fat storage. Incorporate stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or listening to calming music for a few minutes each day. These activities can help manage stress levels and support your weight loss journey,” says Furr.