I've always gone through ebbs and flows with my body. I've tried every crash diet and trendy workout craze, only to come to the same conclusion every time: It's not for me. When it came down to it, I hated working out, and I loathed restricting myself even more. I love food. I wasn't willing to give that up just to shed a couple pounds.

It seems serendipitous, but the more I allowed my brain to give up its lifelong quest for the perfect body, the more I started noticing inches gone from my waistline. Because rather than spend two hellish weeks on whatever regime I had read about that month, I began making very, very small adjustments. Such changes never interfere with afternoons spent on the couch and Chinese food delivery orders.

And they work: I lost a significant amount of weight in three months. The best part? I didn't even realize it was happening until one day, my favorite tweed trousers slipped right off my newly lean figure. Here are some tips for you to do the same.

1. Walk everywhere

It's certainly easier in New York than many other places, but there's no doubt that you walk less than you could. A long stroll feels meditative – like a much-needed conversation with yourself. Listen to your favorite playlist, call your mother, and get where you need to go (albeit slightly slower) while burning calories. Miles go by in just minutes, and you've blithely worked off lunch by the time you get home. You'll have more time to think and less time to clock at the gym. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes, and stock Band-Aid's in your bag just in case.

2. Change just one meal a day

Like I said, I can eat. And rather than abolishing all the foods I love, I alter just one of my daily meals to a healthier option. Usually it's lunch. It's mostly mental, in that if you're always allowed to eat your favorite dishes, you'll never feel like you have to binge on them. Never binging equals less eating and an overall healthier relationship with food. So much so that sometimes I even choose to go green and leafy for both lunch and dinner – I've started to crave it.

3. Sleep naked

Hear me out. When we're unhappy with our bodies, we tend to hide them as much as possible – even from ourselves. Spending time with yourself sans clothing is the easiest way to get to know your curves and maintain balance. If I undress for bed one day and notice a few unwelcome changes, I can make a note to go to yoga the next day or get something fresh and healthy for dinner. Not to mention that it allows you to observe positive developments as well. Walking everywhere has helped my legs tone up, which I first recognized as I was climbing into bed. Had I been wearing sweatpants, I wouldn't have fallen asleep with a smile on my face.

4. Share your leftovers

This one seems counterintuitive, but it works. I used to trash my leftovers because I thought that would save me from overeating (most restaurants supply a heftier portion than recommended). However, if you save your doggy bag, you've just supplied yourself with a free meal for the next day. That way, both meals stay in line with the proper serving size and you can spend your money on important things.

5. Stop weighing yourself

Weighing yourself can drive you crazy. Our intake of food and drink make it so that our bodies fluctuate throughout the day. If you weigh yourself in the morning, it may read something different than at night. So why do it? It's difficult to gauge what that number really means anyway. Muscle weighs more than fat, after all. It'll make you feel bad if the number is higher than you expected it to be – and feeling bad is a waste of your time. Leave the scales to your yearly check-ups, and you'll live a far more blissful, body-loving life.

(c) 2016, Clique Media Inc. All rights reserved. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

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