Seemingly harmless habits can affect what size you'll be 5 or 10 years from now. Peek into your future with our quiz. Then use this cheat sheet to target the most effective ways to make a difference. Want to see how you?re doing? Retake the quiz every month to track your progress.
By Maridel Reyes
Improve your eating
Write off weight. To lower BMI, keep a food journal. Jotting down all bites is the top predictor of weight loss. Track your calories with SELF's logs.
Befriend a farmer. Shop at a farmers' market to balance your diet (lots of produce, no packaged snacks!). Locate one here.
Eat heartily in the A.M. Make your morning meal the main one. Aim for up to 500 calories. Studies show big breakfasts can keep you small.
Start cookin'. Prepare at least half of your meals at home. It's one of the best methods to ensure you take in more vegetables and less fat.
Snack smarter. Stop smoking and munch right to help your body stay at a healthy weight. For every cup of fruit and vegetables quitters add to their daily diet, they reduce their chances of gaining weight by 13 percent, a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports. 30 healthy snacks!
Cut calories in your cup. Limit yourself to one glass daily of soda or alcohol. Replacing caloric beverages with water can help you drop up to 20 pounds in a year, Popkin says.
See our tips: 20 superfoods for weight loss!
Get your brain on board
Chill. Relaxing daily can lower the stress hormones that spur overeating, a study from Harvard Medical School in Boston finds. Carve out 20 minutes each day to commune with nature: Regular visits to areas with trees reduce stress.
Swap reruns for sleep. Replace half an hour of television watching with additional shut-eye daily and you'll wake up with lower levels of hunger hormones. Plus, it's easier to make healthy choices when you're rested and energized. Find out how to sleep your way gorgeous!
Pace yourself. Slow down at meals so your mind has time to register fullness before you go back for seconds.
Hoof it. Can't change your commute from car to foot? Achieve a similar effect by delivering news to coworkers in person, not via email.
Firm up. Muscle burns calories even as you rest, but women older than age 35 lose about a quarter pound of muscle per year. Fight the loss by adding three sessions of metabolism-revving strength training to your weekly routine. Sculpt sexy curves, pronto!
MORE FROM SELF:
- How to feel naturally sexy!
- 20 ways to eat healthier
- Sex calendar: Get inspired to get busy!
- The dangers of detox diets