Those who have kids know first-hand how tiny details in daily routines and habits gradually lead to drastic change. With infants, it’s a magnificent experience to witness the transition from a child barely able to open their eyes to walking and talking as early as 12 months after their birth.

Part of the beauty of that growth process is that it is not incidental. It’s intentional. Each parent and caregiver of an infant is contributing to a series of small changes that eventually, perhaps imperceptibly, lead to overwhelming change. The same process takes place in adults, especially those creating better nutritional and exercise habit sand looking for healthy weight loss solutions.

With age, you can often forget some of the most basic principles about how our bodies and minds work. While you want to lose weight, exercise more, eat better and feel better, the process of changing your lifestyle can be overwhelming and downright daunting.

Adults lack the same innocence as an adaptive infant does. Still, is the learning process involved in the process of teaching a growing child to walk and talk really that different from achieving your weight loss goals?

When you think back to your child’s first steps, you can piece together the countless times you or a family member lowered their dangling feet to the ground or helped pick them up as they fell backwards on their bottom. With every bedtime story read and song sung to your child, you are slowly helping them to recognize and repeat those series of sounds, until they eventually come up with the words themselves with little effort.

Similarly, it is the small influences in your daily routine that, over time, add up to big, important accomplishments. Your belief in yourself and commitment to making small changes in your daily life will determine if you can talk-the-talk and walk-the-walk when it comes to your nutrition and weight loss goals.

New research by an associate professor at the University of British Columbia is beginning to demonstrate the great impact small change can make on achieving long-term goals through a series of recent studies. Lesley Lutes, Ph.D., who is also the director of clinical training in the department of psychology at the university, has a fresh and easy approach to weight loss and nutrition that may be just what you need to conquer your fitness goals.

Lutes and her colleagues have published four different studies with both men and women, each showing that making small changes to your diet can lead to sustainable weight loss. Not only did participants in these studies lose more weight than those who didn’t, they kept that weight off in the long term.

The crux of the nutritional plan is simple: remove anywhere from three to six items from your diet of about 100 calories each day. This may mean turning your sandwich wrap into a lunch bowl, removing the ketchup, mustard or mayo from your burger or simplifying your chocolate chip ice cream sundae to a small portion of chocolate. Soon, you will become accustomed to meals without those items and hardly notice their absence from your diet.

Lutes is one of many academics who are noticing the link between small, easy changes to eating habits and weight loss. In 2012, researchers from the Cornell Food & Brand Lab came to the conclusion that tiny tweaks to your eating habits over the course of 25 days or more leads to sustainable weight loss.. The challenge, they said, is to find out what changes work for you.

For more ideas on how to make small changes in your perspective on dieting, there are great tips in this article from Real Simple magazine. More micro-tips to weight loss, like creating a food log, can be found here.

The more you conquer these small, dietary changes, the more confidence you gain in your ability to handle greater challenges. This idea goes beyond your diet and can be applied to all types of behavioral change. If you are seeking to make real, positive change in your lifestyle, it’s proven that those who think about their long-term goals in small changes are more likely to succeed.

Even small change to your diet or your daily routine may provide challenges at first. It helps to make friends or family members aware of your new goals to help you stay on track. The Caterpilly effective Weight Loss Programs can help by providing encouragement and guidance throughout the day.

On the days when your rambunctious toddler asks you 21 questions or is running all over the house in a fit of excitement, you’ll be left with the rhetorical question, “Where did the time go?” As the adage goes, they must learn to walk before learning how to run.

By making small changes to your diet, you’ll start to feel young again and later reflect on your lifestyle with a smile.

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