8 Small Changes for Major Weight Loss

It's often the little moves that lead to the biggest gains, and in the case of weight loss, they can also lead to the most significant, well, losses.

With a simple swap, or a minor meal schedule change, the dreaded "d-word" becomes much less daunting. So as you're gearing up on your new journey, keep these small changes in mind to help make your goals achievable:

1. Change Your Drink
Drink diluted fruit juice. Natural fruit juices contain lots of calories. Cut them in half by diluting them with water.

2. Reach a Limit
Stop eating when you've eaten 80 percent of your normal amount, and wait 20 minutes. You'll feel satisfied because it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you're full.

More: 7 Ways You're Doing Breakfast All Wrong

3. Eat Breakfast
A survey of more than 2,000 people who lost significant weight and kept it off for at least 5 years found that 78 percent ate breakfast 7 days a week.

4. Cut 100 Calories a Day
That's roughly the amount of calories in a handful of chips or a light beer. Eliminating one of these a day would be the equivalent of 700 calories a week and could lead to nearly 10 pounds of weight loss a year.

5. Change Your Meals
Eat your largest meal at breakfast or lunch. And lighten up at dinner. This gives you hours of activity to burn off the calories. If you consume a lot of calories late in the day, you're more likely to store these calories as fat.

More: 4 Common Dieting Mistakes That Make You Fat

6. Walk for 30 Minutes Daily
That's all you need to do to move from couch spud to moderately fit, a change that will provide significant health benefits.

7. Strength Train to Build Muscle
After age 30, your muscle mass starts to shrink by about 1 percent per year. That's why older folks get fat. Muscle is more metabolically active tissue than fat. By building more, you automatically burn more calories 24/7.

8. Change the Package
Never eat out of the original container. How many times have you dipped your hand into the chip bag only to find yourself staring at the bottom 15 minutes later?

Adapted from Men's Health Big Book of Uncommon Knowledge

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