Can Little Changes Add Up To Big Pounds Lost?

While three quarters of this blog is about fitness and one quarter other stuff you’ll notice I don’t talk all that much about diet. You’ll also notice the tag line is living your best life which living in a healthy fit body is a big part of and being on a restrictive diet is not. When I do talk about diet its a very balanced approach and not really a diet at all. But… the number one resolution year after year has to be to loose weight and loosing weight is largely done in the kitchen not the gym. So with that balanced healthy approach in mind I present to you small changes and what they will add up to in 2018, that being said if you opt for milk over cream in your coffee and then reward yourself with a donut it’s not going to work. Going carb or gluten free, vegan, raw or paleo (whatever that is) for a month will ass up to less than a few small changes forever.


I tend to think that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie and there are about 3500 in a pound. I’ve found that to be exceedingly true over the years so…. That’s the math I used here. Making small changes you can live with and sticking with them is a lot more likely to work than a new, expensive and trendy new diet in the long term. No one is saying these changes are all painless or won’t take time to adjust to but so much more likely to stick and less painless than eating all protein all the time or a juice fast! Pick and choose a la carte and add up your expectation in pounds lost for the year.


I tend not to drink my calories because what’s the point, so I have a lot of suggestions in this category? I love food at the end of the day and I’d much rather have a cookie than a latte any day. You’ll notice there are a few aspartame suggestions. This has been studied to death and it’s not dangerous, seriously, it doesn’t melt your intestines, give you diabetes or corrode your blood vessels or whatever is going around these days. What it might do is trigger cravings for sweet foods after eating aspartame, some studies suggest people given aspartame first eat slightly more sweets when offered them after than those that have the full sugar version of the first food so you might have to do some active resisting in the change over. As for the alcohol recommendations I decided to take the ‘average’ numbers of drinks from data on American adults. Did you know 60% of you drink less than one drink a week and 30% don’t drink at all. So average here is the midpoint of people who on average have more than a drink per week. I get that wine won’t last till next week, share or pour it out (gasp) it’s less than 1/2 the bottle and you’ll drop the pounds faster.

Drink Instead of Calories saved Yearly weight lost
2 tbs 2% milk in coffee 1 tbs cream in 2 cups daily 11 1.1 lbs
1 sweeter in coffee 2 tsp in 2 cups daily 66 6.9 lbs
2 cans diet soda 2 cans full sugar soda daily 300 32.3 lbs
6 near beer 6 regular beers a week 540 8.2 lbs
3 drinks per week 10 drinks per week 980 14.6 lbs
5 juices per week Water (add it to juice to start) 550 8.2 lbs


Truthfully if your new year’s resolution includes dropping some pounds you really don’t need to snack at all. Instead think of snacks as preventive medicine, if your ravenous come dinner you’ll end up doing more harm there than a snack. Ditto for going to bed hungry, should you wake up hungry in the night you won’t end up getting something healthy. I find that snacking is a habit more so than anything else and we get stuck in a calorie laden rut. In dorms I used to be bad for peanut butter spoons (gross) and giant vending machine rice crispy squares. These treats had an power over me that couldn’t be resisted. After vowing to take a year off from them completely  I found they didn’t have the same power over me once I came back. I still go for the giant rice Krispy squares  at the mechanic from time to time but I don’t do peanut butter spoons anymore at all. You might constrain yourself to only snacking on things in the house and not even entertaining the idea that you’ll go out and grab something when you have a craving.

This is a meal not a snack, but it sure is yummy!
Snack on Instead of Calories saved Yearly weight lost
170 g Baby carrots 60 g potato chips three times a week 780 11.6 lbs
1.5 cups frozen yogurt 1.5 cups of ice cream twice a week 240 3.6 lbs
1 c hydrated chick peas 1 c of chocolate once a week 860 12.8 lbs
Low calorie cereal and skim milk 10 crackers and cheese once a week 280 4.2 lbs
1 medium chocolate chip cookie 1 chocolate chip muffin twice a week 380 5.7 lbs
1.5 cups Fruit cocktail 1.5 cups gummy candy once a week 1100 16.3 lbs


This certainly not an exhaustive list of healthier choices but you get the idea. The key to this is to just make these changes and stick to them hard. Saving 150 calories on rice and sauce choices makes no difference of done for a month but if you make these changes for the long haul it really adds up. If you do decide to go on a diet (ugggg) these changes can help you keep the weight off when you go back to ‘normal’ eating. No one says these choices are easy or convenient but once you get used to them you’ll barely notice. Some more general options are to eat more meatless meals or limit your portions of the really good stuff. When you do decide to go for it with a rich food slow down and savour it and eat with intention rather than mindless chomping. Another really effective blanket strategy is portion control. We routinely eat three or four times the listed portion but it’s not all your fault. No one eats 4 or even 16 gummy bears which is the suggested serving we all eat at least 50 or am I alone in that? 11 potatoes chips, 1 dinner roll or even 1 oz of cheese is totally not realistic. On the other hand it’s not like we’re trying to hard either!

Eat Instead of Calories saved Yearly weight lost
6 tbs calorie reduced dressing 6 tbs full fat dressing twice a week 560 8.3 lbs
Roast turkey sandwich with light mayo Peanut butter and jam three times a week 450 6.7 lbs
1.5 cups baked fries 1.5 cups deep fried fries three times a week 870 12.9 lbs
1 cup brown rice 1.5 cups white rice once a week 150 2.2 lbs
3 cups spagetti squash 2 cups spaghetti noodles every two weeks 340 2.5 lbs
Breeded baked chicken breast 3 pieces of fried chicken once a week 640 9.5 lbs
4 oz steak Double cheese burger once a week 200 3 lbs
8 oz baked haddock and roasted potatoes 2 piece fish and chips once a week 680 10.1 lbs
3 pieces veggie pizza 3 pieces meat lovers once a week 330 4.8 lbs
1 cup marinara sauce and parmesan .75 cups Alfredo sauce once a week 600 8.9 lbs
Veggie omlette (3 eggs) 2 eggs Benedict once a week 518 7.7 lbs
2.5 k does not equal a whole rack of ribs!

What little changes have you made to your diet and was it a hard thing to do? How long did it take until it was second nature? 

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