Losing weight doesn't have to be a full time job or royal pain in the butt—really! Whether you are just starting out or looking to move past a weight loss plateau, simple tweaks can make a major difference for easy, and maybe even faster, weight loss progress. To see for yourself, start by committing to the six behaviors below. Just don't be surprised when the number on the scale goes down.
1. Keep smart food choices close by.
If you're craving a salty snack but happen to have a piece of fruit on hand, chances are you'll go for the most convenient option regardless of your preference, according to 2014 Saint Bonaventure University that was published in the journal Appetite in 2014: When researchers offered undergraduates both popcorn and apples, participants ate whichever one was nearest them. Overall, those situated closest to the fruit consumed roughly 2.5 times fewer calories than those with popcorn at the ready. To emulate the experiment on your own, stock your desk with SmartPoints-friendly snacks or stash ZeroPoint fruit or veggies in your bag when you're on the go.
RELATED: All About ZeroPoint Foods
2. Eliminate or cut back cream and sugar.
While you can indulge in your favorite coffee and tea drinks on WW Freestyle, you'll save a ton of SmartPoints by ordering an unsweetened beverage instead. Hate the taste of coffee unless it's light and sweet? Try to halve the amount of sugar you add and use low-fat milk instead of cream. Or, go for unsweetened tea with lemon to pleasantly surprise your palate.
3. Make water your go-to drink.
This essential calorie-free fluid can help you eat less naturally when you empty your glass once or twice before meals: In a 2013 systematic review of existing clinical studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that drinking more water helped dieters acheieve their weight loss goals. After all, H2O fills you up, which may reduce your overall food intake. What's more, drinking ample amounts of water set you up for regular bathroom runs. Meaning? You could find yourself moving more throughout the day—a healthy practice regardless of your weight loss goal.
RELATED: The Scoop on Water
4. Eat yogurt for breakfast.
This portable, no-cook breakfast option delivers upwards of 20 grams of filling protein per serving—not bad considering plain unsweetened yogurt is a ZeroPoint food. What's more, Taste-Test: Best Plain Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
5. Measure out heavy dips and dressings.
Often high in fat and added sugars, condiments can contribute a ton of SmartPoints in relatively small servings. Using a measuring spoon or cup to dole out a dollop can help keep you on track. Or, try a recipe like this Greek yogurt ranch dip—it has zero SmartPoints!
6. Choose alcohol or dessert, not both.
Life is full of difficult decisions—and you don't have to choose booze or baklava on WW Freestyle. However, when you begin dinner with a glass of wine (on average 4 SmartPoints per serving) and top the meal off with dessert (a half-cup of vanilla ice cream is 7 SmartPoints), you could easily plow through as much as half your daily Budget before accounting for an entrée. Choose one to leave room for wholesome foods that actually fill you up and you won't have to worry about the math.
RELATED: 8 Foods that Fill You Up