Here’s some serious slimspiration for you: Doing only one thing differently can be all it takes to lose weight and improve your life in surprising, healthy ways. We found six women who each flipped a simple dietary switch that set off a chain reaction of positive effects, from getting glowing skin to losing 130 pounds. See which idea will ignite your personal success story.
One small change Mapping out meals
Story – The big payoff: Dropped 130 pounds in a year and found the spotlight
How she did it Davis attempted dozens of diets before finding the one simple technique that worked for her: plotting out her bites. “It wasn’t easy at first—it took time to get used to thinking ahead about every meal and snack—but I’m much less likely to make poor food choices when I’ve put a plan in motion,” Davis says. “If I know I’m meeting my friends for Chinese, I’ll look at the menu and decide which healthy dish I want in advance.” Davis, who now weighs 170 pounds, has also seen huge gains in her self-image. “My quality of life has improved so much. I was always the ‘fat’ friend and the ‘big’ girl. Now I climb the stairs without getting winded and buy clothes at any store, and I recently signed up for an improv class. It’s something I never would have done when I was heavier,” she says.
Why it worked cheduling your meals is akin to backing up your PC: You know you should, yet it seems so laborious; but you put in the time because the alternatives (a computer crash, a scale that won’t budge) are costly. “When your diet has you going around in circles, thinking ahead is like a road map, locking you into a successful game plan,” says Suzanne Farrell, R.D., a spokeswoman in Denver for the American Dietetic Association.
Do it yourself! Use the SELF Challenge shopping list, then hit the grocery store to stock up. Planning your meals and snacks keeps you on track, so junk won’t tempt you.
Story – The whole grainiac.
One small change: Eliminating white carbs The big payoff Went down two sizes and got clear, glowing skin
How she did it Inspired by a health-conscious friend, Heinzman swapped processed carbohydrates such as white bread, cookies and pasta for whole grains. “I still nibble on bread and occasionally order white pasta when I go out to eat, but I don’t keep those foods in the house,” she says. In addition to dropping two pants sizes over the course of a year, Heinzman sees a surprise benefit every morning in the mirror: a smoother, healthier complexion. “I have oily skin and developed acne as an adult, but once I gave up processed carbs, my face started to clear up.”
Why it worked ”The body digests whole grains slowly, so they help maintain steady blood sugar levels, staving off cravings,” says Mary Lee Chin, R.D., of Denver. At the same time, ousting white carbs can encourage your body to shed water weight, which is why Heinzman experienced such immediate results—a great motivator. Balanced blood sugar may also be the reason for Heinzman’s improved complexion. When 43 acne-afflicted people removed refined carbs from their diet, nearly half saw 50 percent fewer blemishes after three months, a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. Researchers suspect this is because the insulin your body produces in response to high blood sugar may encourage the cells in your oil ducts to multiply, causing blockages and breakouts.
We each have an in-depth study of our own eating habits and it’s called life. Take a hard look back at your eating habits and find the one thing that changed your weight and make that “the” one small change. After some time has gone by, measure the results. Head over to Self.com and check out all the ideas.
MikeZ_knowing my body and eating habits better than anybody.
Please consult your physician before starting any exercise or weight loss program.
Your physician is your very best resource.