Weight loss can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! Whether you're looking to lose five or 50 pounds, making some easy changes that only take a few minutes every day can help you lose weight.
Use these seven tips to form healthier habits that will have you reaching your goal weight in no time:
1. Plan your breakfast at bedtime.
Make your mornings easier by making your breakfast before you go to bed. Chia seed pudding is a fast breakfast you can whip up at night, chill and look forward to eating in the morning. For two servings, whisk together one cup of unsweetened almond milk, four tablespoons of chia seeds and one tablespoon of agave nectar in a medium-sized bowl. Cover and chill overnight.
In the morning scoop out half into your bowl and top with unsweetened shredded coconut, a handful of your favorite nuts (for added protein) and a handful of berries. Research has found that starting your day with breakfast jump starts your metabolism, which leads to weight loss.
2. Brighten up your feed.
Take five minutes today and go through your Instagram or Facebook feed and follow or "like" at least 10 health, fitness or motivational accounts. The more you flood your mind (and social media feeds) with positive thoughts and motivation, the easier it will be to make healthy choices and feel surrounded by others with like-minded goals.
3. Clear your mind.
Sit in a comfortable spot in your home or office, and close your eyes. Bring your shoulders back, up and down to relax them and sit tall. Breathe in through the nose, then out through the nose. Focus on inhaling confidence and exhaling negativity. Do this for five minutes.
Though it might seem awkward at first, this practice can be beneficial to your weight loss. A review of several studies found participants who practiced mindfulness experienced significant weight loss. Practicing breathing exercises and tuning into your thoughts connects you to how you are feeling both mentally and physically.
4. Practice cardio bursts.
When you're strength training, add in five bursts of 60-second, high-intensity cardio moves like running in place, high knees or butt kicks. Studies have found that these high-energy exercises will improve your cardiovascular fitness and help you lose body fat.
In fact, new research shows that just just a few minutes of exercise changes 9,800 molecules in your blood — including those that play a role in fat burning and regulating hunger.
If you're bored of the standard moves, pretend you’re a different athlete. Do the NFL shuffle: Stand with feet wider than your hips, bend the knees and shuffle in place. Baseball sprint: Run as fast as you can, like you’re about to reach home plate. Basketball shot: Pretend you’re catching a ball and then reach your hands up and jump as if you’re shooting the ball.
5. Order a water with your coffee.
Order a cup of water with your morning latte, and while you wait for your java fix, drink the water. Studies show that drinking water helps reduce calorie intake, and can aid in weight loss and body fat reduction and reduce hunger.
6. Twice a week, replace your coffee with green tea.
Countless studies have found green tea consumption has a positive effect on weight loss and weight maintenance. Plus, tea is a smart, low-calorie option that will help fill you up when water gets boring. If you hate the taste of green tea, try sipping it over ice and adding berries for extra flavor.
7. Take a scent-filled shower.
Research shows scents like lavender and vanilla aid in relaxation and stress reduction, which can result in weight loss. (Plus, who doesn't feel more relaxed after a long, hot shower?) To put this tip in action, buy a bottle of your favorite essential oil scent (think lavender, eucalyptus, lemongrass or peppermint), then put a few drops on a washcloth on your shower floor and zen out.