Checklist for a quick fix: The tips to have on standby

Checklist for a quick fix: The tips to have on standby

Looking to stay fit and healthy? Many people will make big changes, such as trying to eat less. However, although you may see a slight difference initially, this often isn’t something that is sustainable in the longer term. You may therefore see your weight yo-yo up and down.

At Open Colleges, we believe that everything should be enjoyed in moderation and to stay fit and healthy you don’t need to change everything. Here are some small tips that we think can help make a big difference:


  • Take a break – If you have a stressful job, or find yourself rushing around, make sure you find at least 10 minutes to yourself each day. This could be taking a relaxing bath before bed, or getting outside for a family walk after dinner to enjoy some fresh-air.
  • Meditation – This is something that has many benefits and is increasing in popularity. Even spending a few minutes mediating at the end of a long day can help you to unwind and refresh your mind. If you have more time, we’d recommend joining a yoga class, to help your mind, soul and body all at once!
  • Sleep – Everyone says sleep is important, but it really is! Getting 8 hours sleep a night has a number of health benefits and can give your body time to rest and repair. However, lack of sleep can actually lead to an increased appetite so you may find yourself craving high-calorie foods when you least want to.


  • Enjoy a varied diet – Many fad diets suggest cutting out whole food groups, but research suggests this could actually lead to weight gain. Make sure you have a healthy, varied diet, avoiding sugar and processed foods.
  • No alcohol – Drinking alcohol can be bad for our bodies. However, if you really can’t cut it out completely, try to limit it to 1 or 2 nights a week (such as the weekend) as a treat.
  • Hunger vs. thirst – If you’re feeling hungry, ask yourself first if you’re actually thirsty. Sometimes you may confuse thirst with hunger, so have a drink first to see whether your hunger subsides.
  • Healthy snacks – If you can’t resist a snack, switch to something a little healthier, such as an apple or granola bar. This can be much better than eating high-calorie biscuits or a chocolate bar.
  • Sit to the table – Aim not to eat in front of the TV. This is because you won’t be concentrating on your food and so many not register when you’re full. Instead, eat to the table to not only savour your food, but spend quality time with family and friends.


  • Every little bit helps – If you don’t have time for a big workout every day, then why not make simple swaps in your routine. Instead of jumping in your car, start cycling to work, walk up the stairs rather than using the lift, park a little bit further away from the supermarket, or do a few stretches in your lunch break.
  • Monitor your progress – There are lots of apps you can download to track your steps each day, your exercise and calories lost, so you can see your progress and set yourself targets. This can help to keep up the momentum and stay motivated.

As you can see, losing weight, keeping fit and staying happy and healthy doesn’t have to require a complete transformation of your life – you can see a difference with just a few small, simple and steady steps!

Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges Careers.

Comments (1)

  1. I like the suggestion you made about incorporating healthy snacks Kylie. I utilized this on my weight loss journey and now, the only snack I reach for is a red delicious apple, they’re sweeter than any candy bar and the fibre helps keep you satisfied.

    Also, you point about measuring your progress is SO important. Without a goal, you’re just avoiding a negative outcome, weight-gain. When you have a goal in mind and are measuring your progress, you will feel accountable but at the same time motivated, to keep pushing.

    Great advice and I will have to share this some of my friends so that they do not fall pray to the “New Years Resolutioner’s” curse.

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