There's a stigma out there that weight loss comes with a lot of required rituals. Your workout schedule has to come before your social calendar, you need a journal to track calories and macros, and you're expected to meal prep religiously. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail, right?
Look, don't get me wrong: Those tactics can totally work for the Type A personalities out there. But if you're more Type B like me, this kind of planning just means more stress—especially if it involves drastically changing your routine. I fought through the number-crunching, macro-counting, Type A way for years and couldn't figure out why I never got any closer to reaching my goals. It wasn't until I realized I needed to change my strategy to work for my more laid-back, go-with-the-flow personality that I was able to lose 45 pounds and create new, lasting healthy habits. Here are some ways you can get your weight-loss program to work for you—without losing sight of the chill, Type B person you are.
1. Lengthen your commute (seriously).
Instead of trolling for the closest parking spot in the lot, park a row farther away and burn some extra calories. City mouse? Get off the subway or bus a stop or two before your destination and walk a few extra blocks—the steps will really add up, especially if you do it to and from work.
2. Take the stairs.
Elevators are so 2017—make it the summer of stairs and work those glutes!
3. Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before each meal.
It'll keep you from overeating and keep you hydrated. You don't need me to tell you how important hydration is, especially if you're getting your sweat on multiple times a week. Think regular old water is boring? Try spicing it up with these fun recipes for infused water.
4. Don't deprive yourself but do challenge yourself.
I believe that the only way to make a sustainable change is to enjoy everything in moderation. You can do an awesome HIIT workout and get ice cream in the same day—life is short, and it's all about balance! Do the things that make you happy but keep moving toward your goals.
5. Balance your plate.
Not the meal-prep type? No biggie (although if you're just not sure how, check out this guide for speedy meal prep). If you're eating out more often than not, make sure you always have the "key three" on your plate: protein, healthy fat, and carbs (which should ideally come from veggies, like broccoli, leafy greens, or sweet potatoes).
6. Step away from the sugar… kinda.
Listen, if you add sugar to your coffee or tea, I know it's not easy to quit cold turkey. So try cutting it in half to start—within a day or two, you won't even notice the difference in taste, but your body will thank you!
7. Commit to 20 minutes.
Just 20 minutes of exercise can be impactful, and it's totally manageable. Choose something that works for you, whether it's yoga, a walk with a girlfriend, a living room workout, or treadmill and Netflix. Whatever it is, just move!
Small steps lead to big changes, and pretty soon, these easy tweaks will help you create your new routine without all the fuss. You'll you feel better, stronger, and even happier taking control... in a totally chill way.
Katie Dunlop is the creator of Love Sweat Fitness. Katie turned her personal fitness journey into a brand and supportive community with over 500K+ members and over 13M+ YouTube views. As a NASM certified trainer, Katie created her Hot Body Guides using the same formula she used herself to lose over 45 pounds. Most recently, she created the Guiltless Nutrition Lifestyle & Recipe Book as a way to share her tips and still have fun with her Team LSF babes.