Small Changes Add Up

In graduate school, I was able to do research and write a thesis in order to complete my degree.  I was lucky to have a thesis topic that I am extremely passionate about…obesity prevention.  My thesis focused on “the small change approach” to obesity prevention and management.  James Hill is the researcher behind this approach.  He suggests that making small, healthy changes will increase an individual’s self efficacy and lead to successful weight loss and weight management.  Basically, don’t make drastic changes that will be difficult or impossible to keep.  I agree with Hill’s approach!  Small changes add up quickly and don’t make people feel like they are depriving themselves. 

I thought sharing a few “small change” ideas would be a great way to kick off my blog posts.  So, every day this week I will share a couple small changes that are easy to make that will improve overall health and/or help you reach your health goals!!

The first idea is “meal preloading”.  This was actually the topic of my research in grad school.  This change is very simple.  All you have to do is eat a small, healthy snack 30-60 minutes prior to your largest meal of the day.  This concept basically goes against what most moms say, “don’t eat that, you will spoil your dinner”.  Meal preloading can curb your appetite enough to make you eat fewer calories at your meal.  Everyone has experienced that intense hunger before a meal that encourages you to eat everything and anything set in front of you!  Meal preloading is a small change that might help with this issue!  In my research study, individuals were significantly less hungry at mealtime after they ate a preload.  A piece of fruit, a serving of unsalted nuts, and greek yogurt are a few meal preload ideas. 

I will save the rest of the ideas for tomorrow!  Does anyone have any small change ideas that you incorporate into your daily routine??


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