6 Life Changes to Help You Lose Weight in 2016

Jan 4 2016
Welcome to Day 1 of "Small Changes, Big Results," our month-long quest to make 2016 your best year ever! First up? Here are six easy life changes for weight loss that you can start making TODAY...

1. Download a food-journaling phone app.

Research shows that people who track what they eat are far more likely to lose weight than those who don't. But carrying around a bulky food diary and breaking it out in mixed company each time you eat is so not necessary. Food-journaling phone apps are fantastic. They're convenient, discreet, and make calorie tracking simple. MyFitnessPal is free and phenomenal, as is the Lose It! app. And if you're following the Hungry Girl Diet (a.k.a. the "never hungry" diet -- get a copy of the book here), the free companion app is the way to go. Click here to read more about why food journaling just works.

2. Trick yourself into drinking more water and eating less.

Multiple studies have found that dieters who drink more water lose more weight. Why? Because staying hydrated can banish imaginary hunger pangs... That's right; your body often thinks it's hungry when it's really just thirsty. But despite the knowledge that drinking water is good for us, consistently getting those suggested eight cups a day can be a challenge. Here are three great ways to step up your sipping game...

* Buy a refillable water bottle, and carry it everywhere. It's a constant reminder, and it couldn't be more convenient if it tried. Pick out a cute bottle, like this one!

* Download Waterlogged, a fun and free app that helps you track your water intake. You can even set mini goals and reminders. Perfect.

* Keep a pitcher of "spa water" in your fridge. It's shocking how great H2O tastes once it's soaked up some natural flavor. Just add strawberries, cucumbers, and/or a little mint to your agua, and let it infuse. You’ll be a water guzzler in no time...

3. Embrace the three-pronged emergency snack approach.

We've long stressed the importance of keeping healthy emergency snacks -- a.k.a. shelf-stable, go-anywhere eats -- on hand. Well, this new approach will ensure you're covered at all times. Starting today, make sure you always have smart snacks in three places: your purse or bag, your car, and your desk drawer. Eat one? Replace it ASAP. Some HG faves: Fuji apples, jerky, and low-cal protein bars. Click for loads more.

4. Carry around a mini mouthwash to use after meals and snacks.

You'll be far less likely to graze and mindlessly munch if your mouth is minty fresh... the food won't taste good, so why waste the calories? Sugar-free mints and gum are good too, but they don't really give your mouth that same full-on blast o' mint. A travel-sized mouthwash is the perfect solution. Daylong super-fresh breath is just an added bonus.

5. Practice plan-ahead Sundays.

Set aside a few hours every Sunday to make a healthy food plan for the week. (Set a weekly alarm on your phone so you don't forget!) It doesn't need to be exhaustive or perfect. But go shopping for your basic breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. (Get ideas here.) And make sure you have those emergency snacks stashed! Have dinner plans Tuesday night? Take a peek at the menu; if you know you'll be splurging a little, pack a lighter lunch. With smart planning like this, you’ll be well on your way to weight loss in no time.

6. Become a Housewalker.

This one's a game-changer. The simple practice of wearing a pedometer and walking around whenever possible can ramp up your daily calorie burn in a serious way. And as we all know, the more calories we burn, the less we weigh! (Assuming we don't ruin it by eating a bunch of donuts, of course.) Once you start Housewalking and aiming for those 10,000+ steps per day, you won't be able to stop. Speaking of Housewalking, do not miss this Wednesday's email -- it's the ultimate guide to getting in on the phenomenon!

Chew on this:

Today, January 4th, is National Spaghetti Day. Might we suggest our Spaghetti Swap & Meatballs? Only 327 calories for a ginormous portion.

You know you have buddies who've resolved to lose weight this year... Don't hold out on 'em! Click "Send to a Friend" to share today's life changes.

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We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.

*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.