The Little Changes I [Should Be] Making

Changing your life is a scary thing. And it’s hard. It takes a lot of work, replacing bad habits with good ones, pushing yourself every single day, avoiding temptation, and figuring out what your body needs.

So let’s just talk about little changes. The small things you know you should be doing, but aren’t.

1. Drink more water.

I feel stupid even writing this down. It’s basic. It’s cheap free. And it’s so good for you! But you already know that.So let’s talk about how to actually do it.

Less of that… more water.

How: sometimes drinking lukewarm (rather than really cold) water, is easier. This definitely works for me! I also spice it up with lemon or cucumber. Just a hint of flavor really can help. And honestly, just having a giant cup at my desk is probably the easiest way to drink more water without thinking. I’ve swapped my lunch time diet coke for water, and I’m feeling much more energized in the afternoon! Once you get in the habit, it gets easier to do it without thinking.

2. Cut down on night time snacking.

I know I’m not the only one who loves a nighttime snack, but mine can get a little out of control. Not that there is anything wrong with having a snack, but I realized it makes more sense for me to snack in the afternoon, when I need the energy, rather than “saving” those snacks for night time.

Ok ignore this specific type of tea… although I do like this one.

How: I tried to just cut out night time snacking, and it lasted for… maybe 2 days. Instead, I’ve started drinking a cup of decaf tea, and something indulgent, like a piece of dark chocolate. Having a bit of something really delicious is so much more satisfying than a giant bowl of rice cakes. The tea keeps me occupied while blogging and answering e-mails, without feeling like I’ve banned myself from the kitchen.

3. Stop eating the whole box of [cereal/cookies/crackers].

Let’s suppose I’m not the only person who has seen a box of cereal disappear after 2 days, and wondered “Wait… when did I eat all that?” It got to the point where I wouldn’t even buy Peanut Butter Puffins, because I literally wouldn’t know how the box could be gone so fast…

These crackers didn’t stand a chance…

How: Instead of banning yourself from the things you love (and buying things you only sort of like, just to restrain yourself) as soon as you get home from the grocery store, divide the box into individual servings. I know it sounds kind of crazy, but not only does it prevent the mindless “hand-in-the-box-everything-I-pass-it” syndrome, it also makes it’s super easy to grab a baggie when you’re running out the door, and you really do need a fast snack! Just be sure that you’re really portioning out accurate servings! (I use a food scale, which sounds kind of anal, but you’d be surprised at some of those cereal serving sizes!)

Now if only I could pretend like I’d totally conquered these…

What are some small goals you’ve accomplished?

Comments

  1. I’ve been attempting the more water goal too. I feel SO much better if I drink what I consider to be a good amount for the day. Also, I love tea before bed! You can get the ‘sleepy’ ones too that help calm you down. They’re nice.

  2. I always have trouble with chips and crackers! We don’t buy them often but when I do, I will portion out just one serving for myself and try to only eat that. Sometimes though, I will just eat the chips and skip my other starches/carbs for the day. A girl has got to have chips & salsa !

  3. I should drink more agua too, I always mean to and forget haha!

  4. Really great tips, thanks! The water thing, I’ve got down. I carry my bottle with me all day long, sitting in on my desk and refilling when empty. It definitely makes it habit, like you said. Night time snacking, like you, I’m currently working on. I’ll still have dessert, but once I’ve decided that I’m full and don’t wish to mindlessly snack for the rest of the night, I, too, make myself tea! It soothes my stomach and puts me into relaxing mode, great for calming before bed. And the heat ensures that I don’t gulp it down either :)

    Thanks for sharing! And good luck incorporating these yourself

  5. hehehehe, I chuckled a little when I saw your “stop eating the whole box of cereal!”….Im a sucker for this! Carbs are just too good!

  6. Yeah, I need to take #3 seriously. I usually polish of an entire pizza by myself. But last night, I only had 4 little pieces and saved the other 2 for lunch today. I was so proud of myself! Before last night, “leftover pizza” was a foreign concept in my home.

    • Haha I know what you mean! Portion control is probably the hardest thing for me. Even “healthy” foods (like soy crisps, cereal, etc.) get a lot less healthy when I eat the whole box in front of the tv!

  7. I chug some water as soon as I wake up every morning. Sneak it in before I even am fully awake….

  8. I could always use more water, Im horrible at that one!! And the dont eat the entire box of crackers totally applies to me. I buy a box and especially if I have hummus, those crackers are gone in 3 days!

  9. I started doing 50 pushups a day (well, at least 30, up to 50 depending on if I remember to get them all in!) I also have started (short distance) running to prep for a race I have tomorrow. So exciting! The water thing is so easy, especially with a little lemon juice in there. De-lish! I gave up drinking soda for my new year resolution, and haven’t looked back!

    • Oh my gosh, that’s AWESOME! (upper body strength is my weakness, haha) I’m not sure if I can TOTALLY give up Soda, but I figure, as long as it’s only every now and then, it’s not so bad :)

  10. Yeaaah, I’m with on that last one. I stopped buying cereal, because, well, there’s no way I wouldn’t finish a box in a day.

  11. these are great goals! sometimes i need consciously think about these exact same things – more water, no mindless snacking, and plating my food. :) :)

  12. I find that when I always have a water bottle with me (and at room temperature) I drink it crazy fast, which is obviously a good thing! That’s key for me–always have it with me otherwise I’ll never to seeking it out :)

  13. Gosh I really need to do a lot of these, especially drink more water! I absolutely love your page btw and love your name of it I LOVE VEGETABLES… I have always loved my vegies, my friends think I’m a little weird for it… oh well hehe… Thanks again for the nice compliment! Auds :-)

  14. This post is so right; making the changes bit by bit is the key. Years ago, I used never to eat fruit and veg; I’d get inspired, buy loads and then leave it in the fridge. But when I was diagnosed coeliac, I slowly started eating more, now I couldn’t go a day without!
    I like the idea f making the small servings though; there are some things I don’t buy because I know I can’t be trusted :-)

  15. I am sooo with you on the water challenge… I do not drink enough water ever and that needs to change! Great goals Liz and enjoy your next few days off!

  16. Dohh my last comment went to spam!

  17. I have cut back on my coffee to just one cup a day. There have been a few days when I had two cups, but generally happy I am reducing it.

  18. You and I have talked about these things and I agree 100%. I’ve definitely been drinking more water and trying to limit my nighttime snacking. This week I had an apple or an apple with pb2 for snack after dinner and that seemed to work really well. It’s sweet and satisfying but still fruit!

    And the cereal/cracker thing – I have to portion them out as well or else I always go overboard. There’s totally something in those packaged foods that keeps up wanting to go back for more!

    • I always have PB2 in my pantry but I don’t always think to use it! (Maybe because it’s slightly more work than just dipping into the peanut butter jar, haha) but I do love it with apples!!

  19. These are really great small goals. I do what the commenter above said with cereal/cracker snacks: portioning is always useful for preventing eating the whole thing. Lately one of my small goals (which has nothing to do with food) is to be concious of my posture, and sit/stand straight :)

  20. I drink so much water it is insane. We can even each other out. I basically guzzle it like I’ve never seen it in my life. I get a huge glass bottle and drink one each time I eat- try it!
    I’m a huge fan of both that smooth move tea (yes, I’m not laughing!) and those crackers. YUM! I try to see whether I”m hungry and then figure if I want a snack. AND sometimes I get it wrong and wake up starving, so it goes.
    small goal accomplished? Well I WANT to get into meditation but it is so hard for me to relax!

  21. Small changes add up!!! Just remember this and work on one thing at a time. :)

  22. Great post! Could not agree more about the water and the evening snacking. 2 things that add up to major feel good changes!! I always say it only takes 3 days to turn changes into 3 weeks (when habits are changed for good)! :) Awesome post!

  23. I actually prefer water to be lukewarm or room temp. I chug that down! I honestly never thought I’d be able to give up my addiction to carbonation, but between water, coffee, kombucha, and tea I pretty much never crave it any more. [Not that I don't indulge now and then...]

    I am a HUGE nighttime eater. I definitely go all day hardly eating a lot and then at night it is like 80% of my caloric intake. I know we aren’t “supposed” to eat at night, but I feel like it’s all balancing out, so I don’t know if I should force myself to change or not!

  24. A slice of lemon in water definitely makes it more… I want to say satisfying but that seems like the wrong word to describe a glass of water… but you kow what I mean lol… those are all great tips. I also have to portion stuff out to make sure I don’t mindlessly eat the whole thing. My boyfriend always laughs at me because while he can take a big bag of chips or candy and stop eating when he’s had enough, I always insist on setting aside my own portion-controlled serving.

  25. Love this post. Focusing on small changes is absolutely the way to go.

  26. Boxed snacks like Pop Chips or cereal only make it into my shopping cart occassionally – I have ZERO control. Haha. I’m trying to stop my night-time snacking altogether unless I’m truly hungry. I’ve gotten used to wanting to eat before bed just because it’s comforting. I’ve been drinking herbal tea instead. :)

  27. Im just convinced that they need to change the serving size of the PB Puffins to half the box…seriously can’t stop at just one serving :
    I need to cut down on sugar & highly processed energy bars

  28. these are great tips. especially the pre-portioning one. i imagine this is really hard to do up front – but you are really glad to have done it when it is snack time!

  29. Whoa, you struck a chord with me on the Peanut Butter Puffins. The other Barbara’s Bakery cereals last me a solid 10–14 days, but my peanut butter puffins are GONE in like three days. I, too, have a self-imposed embargo on them! It doesn’t help that they’re next to all my other favorites in the cereal aisle. I have to actively avoid eye contact. Anyway, these are all excellent reminders, and just what I needed to read tonight. Love your blog.

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