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Jenna Wolfe Shares 10 Small Changes That Add Up to Big Weight Loss

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    1. Drink Water First Thing

    "Put a full glass of water by your bed before you go to sleep each night. When your alarm goes off in the morning, literally sit up and start drinking. Drink 20 normal-sized sips of water. Not after breakfast or with your coffee. Not over the course of the morning, or on the way to work or sometime throughout the day … You're literally telling your body, 'Okay, here's the deal: It's time to get moving because we've got a lot of work to do today. I need you to start revving up' … being dehydrated may even be behind your bad early-morning eating habits, especially if you're the type to eat everything in sight as soon as the sun's up. That's because when you're parched, your body often mistakes that thirst for hunger."

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    2. Walk 10,000 Steps a Day—No Excuses

    "Strap on an activity bracelet or an inexpensive pedometer and track how many steps you actually take in a day. Whatever that number is, add to it until you get to at least 10,000 … Get moving and reach that 10,000-step finish line before the end of the day, whether it takes walking around your house, hiking up and down your staircase, or marching in place during commercial breaks."

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    3. Redo How You Chew

    "Do these three things every time you eat a meal: 1. When you take a bite of food, chew a minimum of 20 times before swallowing. 2. Take a sip of water after every bite. 3. Once your plate is empty, wait 20 minutes before going back for seconds. Keep in mind it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain it's full so it can flip off your hunger switch … When you take the time to chew your food at least 20 times before you swallow, you'll give your brain the time it needs to catch up."

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    4. Turn Healthy Food Into Fast Food

    "Do this every three days:

    1. Find the best fresh fruits and vegetables you can.
    2. Cut them up into easy-to-grab pieces.
    3. Place all the pieces in two huge bowls (fruit in one bowl and veggies in the other) and pop them in the fridge.

    … All we want is whatever's easy and accessible. And let's face it: If we were any better than that, there would be no such thing as fast food … So why not plan for that eating onslaught by always having something healthy that's just as easy and accessible?"

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    5. Zen Out for 5 Minutes a Day

    "At some point each day:

    1. Step away from whatever it is you're doing.
    2. Find a nice quiet place where no one can bother you.
    3. Sit, close your eyes, and think about nothing for at least five minutes.

    When you let yourself stay stressed, your body takes it out on you in countless ways. Headaches, bad skin, digestion problems, and insomnia are at one end of that spectrum, while heart issues, premature aging, a lower sex drive, and chronic back pain sit on the other … but just stepping back and out for five minutes—especially during those moments when your brain and body need it most—will be your greatest ally when it comes to eliminating stress on the spot."

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    6. Work Your Core, Anywhere, Anytime

    "Imagine how you'd react if someone were about to punch you in the stomach. You'd tighten that midsection and brace yourself for the blow. Do you seen how you squeezed your stomach muscles but didn't suck in your gut? That's what I want you to do all the time."

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    7. Forget Calories, Fat, and Carbs—Count Ingredients

    "Look in the back ingredient label of every packaged food you eat and drink. Limit yourself to three servings daily of foods or beverages that have more than five ingredients in them … ask yourself this: If you have a hard time pronouncing any of these three ingredients (or any of the ingredients in the foods you normally eat), why would you want to put them in your body? If there are more than five ingredients, then you can enjoy a serving (one serving) of the item. Limit yourself to three servings per day or any food or drink with more than five ingredients."

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    8. Challenge Yourself All Day Long

    "Pick a minimum of three activities, tasks, or errands you do every day and find a way to make them a little more challenging so you'll burn more calories … All you need to do is avoid looking for the easiest way from point A to point B. Instead, it's time to find the more scenic route and make whatever it is you're doing more interesting, active, challenging, or fun."

    Some ideas: Use a basket instead of a shopping cart; when you're on the phone, stand up and pace; and use smaller tools (like a rake, broom, or shovel) because you'll get the job done but spend more time burning calories while doing it.

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    9. Sever Your Sweet Tooth

    "Women should limit themselves to no more than six teaspoons (that's about 24 grams, or 100 calories' worth) of added sugar a day. And men, your limit is nine teaspoons (or about 36 grams—150 calories' worth) daily … Three weeks is about how long it takes to get rid of a craving. If you can commit to three weeks, you can drop your craving for sugar. If you drop your craving for sugar, you can drop a dress size or two."

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    10. Drop One Thing to De-Stress

    "Simply put … I want you to take a good, hard look at all of the things you're juggling/managing/stressing about in your life. Then, either drop one or find a smarter, more effective way to manage it … Stress influences the choices you make, it affects the way you experience things, and it even impacts your relationships with others. But what's most concerning is what it's doing to your health."


Lauren Mazzo

Lauren Mazzo is a digital assistant editor for Shape and Fitness. She's an Ithaca College alumna, a Rochester, NY, native and an NYC transplant.  More →

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