Nutrition Advice: Just Change One Thing.

Small changes add up to big results.

Big results are the sum total of many small changes that we make day after day.

A few years ago, my dad decided to eat an ice cream snack before bed each night. At a few hundred calories per portion, the sum total of this seemingly small change added up quickly. At nearly 10,000 calories per month, this extra dessert transformed my father’s body with extra fat – and all the accompanying health issues.

While my dad’s situation illustrates the transformative power of negative changes, the same is true with positive changes.

Earlier in the year, I realized that my staple vegetable was the potato. As many as 10 times per week, I’d bake frozen french fries to accompany my home cooked meals. I ate baked fries with sandwiches, burgers, chicken and just about anything and everything else.

Since I was in good shape, I didn’t think much of it – until I realized how few other vegetables I was consuming. So, I bought a steamer, some veggies – and then ditched the frozen fries. To be honest, I’ve never looked back; dramatically reducing my french fry consumption is the single greatest nutrition-related decision that I’ve made in the last five years. I feel healthier, my body is leaner and I’ve discovered a cornucopia of delicious and health flavors. The thing is, the change to my diet was so small. Almost unnoticeable.

I say all of this to inspire you to take a critical look at your own diet. While it might not be ice cream or french fries, there is undoubtedly ample opportunity for you to make a small but significant change in the way you eat. Maybe it’s the daily unhealthy breakfast drink from the local cafe (swap it with green tea), that muffin you always grab (a banana will do nicely instead) or the bag of chips that you usually eat with lunch (easily replaceable with carrot sticks).

Just make one small change in the way you eat and keep it up for several months. I know that you’ll be astounded by the results.

In the comments below, identify the one change that you can make in your diet… and with what you’ll replace it. I’ll send three random commentators a free copy of my Davey Wavey nutrition program just for sharing!

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

Comments

  1. I dont’ do it every day… but when I go to the dollar store, I grab a 59cent candy bar on the way out…

    that led after a time to grabbing a candy bar out at other stores.

    I haven’t quit entirely, but quitting candy bars everywhere BUT the dollar store has actually made a difference. The next step is buying a 99 cent bag of carrots when they have them… and no more candy bars.

    PS.. the “nutrition bars” they have there might as well be candy bars.

  2. I’ve made many diet changes over the past two years. I always try to change one thing at a time. I’ve given up fast food, bread, pasta, ok carbs in general, sugar, etc…

    My newest goal: give up diet soda. Artificial sweeteners now show to increase insulin levels in the blood. Increased insulin results in increased fat storage. I will replace it and train my body to love tea. All kinds of loose leaf teas. Herbal too.

    So far, I’m down 39 pounds. Only 11 more to go!

    I encourage everyone to read Good Calories, Bad Calories and also the book Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. Both have changed my life.

  3. My bf and I love Ice cream… love it. Neither one of us have a problem with weight but we just moved to Boston and across the way is a 7 11 that is open 24 hours a day. They stock every flavor Ben & Jerrys. Within a week we have already realized this may become a problem… on our waists and our wallets. Going to have to re-evaluate this one!

  4. Back in February I subsituted a 6 pack of beer a night to yoga every night. Talk about a tranformation!

  5. One change I’ve already incorporated in several meals is similar to yours in fact–so you may be interested! Instead of having mashed potatoes sometimes, I’ve replaced them with mashed cauliflower! There are some great recipes on the internet to make this low calorie/carb vegetable side dish!!

    http://fatfreevegan.com/blog/2010/03/12/creamy-mashed-cauliflower/

    http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=12840.0

    There are several non-vegan recipes as well but you can Google those yourself πŸ˜‰

  6. There are soo many things I could (and should) change, but I think the simplest one for me to start with will be drinking water with meals rather than juice or pop! Well, I actually quit pop for a year but it snuck back in… Time to get back on track! πŸ™‚

  7. I go to school. My days are long and some of my teachers are bad, sometimes it’s just to much. Then I go to one of several stores close to school and buy something like a candy bar, I will change that in to fruits and other healthier snacks to help me throuh my day.

  8. I’m going to cut pop out of my diet. I find every time I get thirsty at work I go to a gas station (I work ems) and buy a pop. Instead I’m going to buy a water. Eliminating all of the empty calories I drink a day.

  9. This is hard, I don’t one glaringly unhealthy eating/drinking habit. But, if I’m going to choose one, it would be Sweet Tea. I have a real soft spot for Southern cookin’ and no where in my diet is that more obviously than my daily sweet tea. I can replace it with water, or green tea easily! πŸ™‚

  10. One change I could make….. stop drinking soda, instead if I have a craving for something other than water, replace it with tea.

  11. My friends and I have set a goal for the school year. I’ve chosen working out 4 times a week, and another friend has given up on drinking pop at lunch. She’s kinda cranky already.
    I’m excited by the results. Hopefully I win the bet!

  12. I have taken this advice and the great thing is that if you do it one thing at a time, you don’t miss it. It is the opposite of the ‘crash diet’. When you crash, you miss it and it will come back into your life. I have eliminated sweets, chips, and pop. It is great advice for anyone!

  13. I’d hear for years the benefits of giving up Soda’s. I couldn’t imagine my life without my CocaCola with my meals, or with a snack. Popcorn without a Coke was unthinkable. I don’t know what happened but one day I decided to have a glass of water with my meal. It is now only 2 months since I quit my CocaCola habit and WOW.. I’ve dropped 10 pounds. 10 pounds with out doing anything else except stop the soda’s… Just think what exchanging carrot sticks for the potato chips will do.. I have vowed to change one thing at a time. It really isn’t that hard, and what a visible change it makes.

  14. David Byard says:

    Bacon. I love it. will start by limiting to once a week
    2 strips only. i think i can do this

  15. I will replace pop with tea and also added vegetables to my meals in place of unhealthy sides.

  16. Cut out alcohol!! Makes a massive difference to body fat % totally empty calories

  17. My guilty pleasure is an iced mocha, but trying to only do that once a week and switch to tea when I go out to coffee shops during the week.

  18. I’ve just started drinking sparkling water instead of soda. A former soda addict, I find that sparkling water (and it comes in various flavors) satisfies my cravings – and no calories!

  19. I used to eat a bag of candies almost every day before dinner time. I’ve been told to replace my candies by an apple. Been doing this for months now. My body is grateful, I can feel it.

  20. I crave caffeine and about a week and a half ago i moved to Germany, well I’m getting married as soon as I go back to the states (in about a year) so I decided I wanted to lose weight and surprise everyone. Im giving up soda, and sticking with water, and if I need flavor Crystal Light will do the trick. I am determined to lose 30-35 pounds this year, and be able to go try on wedding dresses without feeling bad about my weight. I vow to give up soda and stick to water, so I can look great on my wedding day. πŸ™‚

  21. I’ve made many such changes in the last several years. I’ve switched pop and juice with water. I’ve switched candy with fruits and yogurt. Deep fried foods are now baked. Frozen vegetables are included in nearly all dishes even if they’re not called for. I’ve also learned to cook many meals that I used to buy pre-made so that I can reduce sodium and preservatives. Each time I made a change I only made one change. That makes it so much easier to stick with.

  22. Hm, I think one thing I will cut out from my diet would have to be packaged Ramen… I love eating it; it tastes soo good. Hehh, I will cut out Ramen and substitute it with sweet potatoe!

  23. It is good to see that so many people are getting the truth about weight loss. The FAT FREE myth is busted! While we’re young, our bodies adjust well to our excesses and fat is slow to accumulate. By middle age though, it becomes much more difficult to shed those extra kilograms/pounds we have so systematically added over many years of poor nutritional habits. As others have rightly commented, the big problem is sugar. But it is not just the obvious sugar that we should worry about. All carbo-hydrates are interpreted by our bodies as sugar, leading to insulin secretion. Insulin goes and stores the fat, and like Davey said, it doesn’t matter how slow or how little that effect is, eventually it adds up. So, if you want to make one small change that will make a huge difference, do this – reduce or eliminate all carbo hydrate consumption. This means all rice, bread, corn, pasta, potatoes, sweets/candy cake and even dairy (it is high in sugar). Fruit is OK as long as you do not have it within 30 min of anything else you ate, but fruit juice is not. The fruits and vegetables you eat will more than supply all the carbs your body needs. It isn’t as difficult as it sounds, and if you do this for a month, you will see unbelievable results, even if nothing else worked.

  24. I think I will swap my many coffees a day with green tea and water, im sure with the normal two sugars I have with my coffee it will have some impact.

  25. About a year ago my boyfriend and I decided we both needed to loose some weight. He decided to give up carbs, I decided to start religiously going to the gym. Since hes the cook, i was also kinda doing low carb. The weight really feel off fast for me. I went from chubby twink to lean twunk in about 6 monthes and 40 lbs later. But it backfired! I continued loosing weight! My friends told me (and I agree) that I looked alot better about 10-15 pounds ago. Since then Ive tried eating high cal, high carb foods and exercising less but I’m still loosing weight! My BF lost weight but Im worried it might have somewhat been muscle weight. So I’m wanting to gain weight back but not as “fat” weight. I’m very healthy (no diseases) but I cant seem to find the right balance. I feel like Steven King’s “thinner” curse was placed on me! Help!

  26. Hi !

    A letter from far away, Europe. I was going to say potato also, but now you`v taken it I have to say something else. I am from Estonia, Europe. I have been big fan about 1 year. Really would make difference that book u have. πŸ™‚ But now, I would change my masturbate for real good sex. πŸ˜€ About my diet, beef and pork exchange for chicken turkey etc. IΒ΄m 17 years old and doing fine. How are you ? Hope to hear about you, maybe you could visit some countries in Baltic states or Scandinavia, they are pretty close. Hope you can answer me back, you`re so BIG inspiration to me. PS itΒ΄s 10:12PM 22:12 right now.

    Cya,

    Love Aksel.

  27. Well, a few months ago I saw a video that said that people who drink one glass of soda a day have a really high risk (I’m not sure of the actual numbers.) of being diabetic when they are older. I certainly didnt drink soda everyday, maybe three or four times a week. But, since then I have not had any soda! πŸ˜€

  28. I cut soda out of my diet completely a few months ago. Now I just drink water instead. πŸ™‚

  29. Joe Gallagher says:

    My biggest change was dropping morning frozen coffees for iced tea. I still needed my caffeine! But this choice has been great – plus it hydrates much better!

  30. i am eliminating soda and replacing it with water. i usually drink at least 2 sodas a day and even though i have already been losing weight, i want to see where this will take me!

  31. Recently i been replacing mashed potato (which i have been eating a lot of recently πŸ˜› ) with a healthy alternative of mashed carrot and swede. Not only do i feel better for not consuming as much carbs but i feel more fit because you have inspired me to do more exercise such as running and workouts. Thankyou Davey πŸ˜€ <3

  32. Today is the day I kick out the intermittent soda habit for good! I can replace it with something better like water or sweeter milk alternative if I’m craving something sweet.

  33. About 2 weeks ago I started avoiding any fried foods whatsoever. I`m also drinking half a shot of olive oil and then some grapefruit juice each morning, it clears my grease cravings all day!
    I feel awesome and am already losing weight. Plus, the whole thing saved me from having my gall bladder removed so yay!

  34. I am an ice-creamaholic! I used to eat it every single day without fail. Not only a little bit but I could eat up to half a tub… Then I saw the label of a B & J tub and felt ill… It’s been 3 weeks since I cut it from my diet and I’ve already lost 4kg (roughly about 8.8 lbs)… I’m feeling fabulous

  35. I would choose to ditch butter and instead include more tasty meats in my sandwiches!

  36. My biggest problem is portion control at lunch, but that’s not been a small or easy thing to change so far.
    A small step would be to replace my breakfast sausage biscuit with cottage cheese and fruit.

    • christopher says:

      breakfast sausage-i ditched that long ago-and my breakfast choices changed my body-big time-trust me.and youll feel better to boot.

    • James,

      That was one of my biggest problems too. It is really hard to do. One way is to eat a protein bar about 5 min before lunch or in my case dinner, or to eat 4 or 5 small meals in a day instead of 3 or in most adult cases 2 larger ones. If you get hungry shortly after eating lunch its alright to have a snack of fruit or something. ‘

      My main goal was to “teach” my stomach to be full with less foods at a meal. Your stomach will shrink if there is continual less food in it. (ie: more smaller meals)

  37. Great advice!

  38. I drink a lot of sweetened iced tea (it’s pretty much all we have in Canada so I don’t have a taste for unsweetened iced tea, it is gross to me) and I’m looking to phase it out over a month with herbal teas.

  39. I’v gave up soda and my daily vodca shots since I started to go to gym in June.. I’ve tried to avoid beers, nowadays I only drink when I go out with my friends – and it happens often in one weeken/month. I also decreased heavyly my addiction to coffe [a HUGE jar every day]. For my surprise, my belly decreased and got a viasually better shape – and a unnexpected result I’ve received more mesages from some user in certain websites [ie manh***t – u know what i mean lol] than I’ve used to.
    I totally agree with Davey when we do small changes [for good] we can reach huges benefits in our routines, our health and ou sexual life [wich mine was barely until death weeks ago].

  40. Cheeseburgers! They are the most unhealthy thing i eatand usually do so because of the convenience of having them at the refectory at uni. If i changed that for a lean meat and salad sandwich i think i may drop a few πŸ˜›

  41. I used to have a Nutella-Peanut butter-Strawberry jam sandwich every night along with some hot chocolate & cereal, plus I had a gold-member McDonald’s card (well, not really, but you get the idea).

    Almost three months ago I decided to go on a diet & trim down, I’ve lost 15 pounds so far & as much as I hate working out & eating healthy, I love the results! Guys still ignore me but I think I look good πŸ˜›

    • christopher says:

      forget McDonalds-the only two things i would consume there-would be their coffee tea or oatmeal.

  42. Ugh .. alcohol is my biggest enemy. I have at least one beer almost everyday, and throw in a couple mixed drinks on the weekend. Every once in a while I take a cold turkey break for a month or two, which always results in a very quick slimming down, better sleeping patterns, and more cash in my pocket. But, it’s hard to maintain because so many of my social activities involve drinking, like hanging out at bars with friends, or wanting to try the celebrated martinis at the local fancy restaurant. I do replace it with something like seltzer+lime, but there’s nothing quite as satisfying as that post-work local microbrew, and the nondrinker nearly always gets tagged to be the designated driver, which often translates into “cat herder.”

  43. My change is that I cut out tea, coffee, and soft drinks from my regular diet. Today was the first soft drink I have had in quite some time. I may have tea every few weeks if I think about it before doing a podcast so it helps my voice. Of course, that isn’t sweet tea as is so prominent in the South. Drinking water has been a great benefit to my health.

    • christopher says:

      im with you Wes-i drink black tea-green tea-sun tea-but never large amounts late afternoon or evening-seems to mess my metabolism later in the day.

  44. Fernando Almeida says:

    If you cut alcohol, you’ll be taking a big step to a successful diet. πŸ™‚
    Trust me!

    • christopher says:

      cut out especially beer with a chaser-or vice versa-for instance-vodka-with beer chaser-substitute-if you must hard liquor as a mixed drink-or even better-white wine or red wine.wine hasnt killed France or Italy-Australia-or California-it wont kill you.always practice moderation in your diet.live the good life-la dolce vita-joie de vivre.

  45. christopher says:

    i am so so glad you started this blog entry.let me tell you my story-im a 50 something-i started walking dogs-then i walk myself-then the treadmill-now im up to 5 miles per day-then i joined a local gym.my eating habits have changed radically-no fast food of any kind-no salty snacks-only fruit and fresh/frozen vegetables-because i want to look like a 50s version of DW.an orange/banana and granola for breakfast-fish or vegetarian sushi or salad for lunch-a green vegetable with rice for dinner.ive not wavered from this food routine for a very longtime.my stamina has increased exponentially-im able to do pushups/situps with ease-i got a p/t–personal trainer-ive dropped belt sizes like crazy-lost over 70 lbs-38 lbs to go.my clothes-i need a new wardrobe every couple months-ive been over borderline type-2 diabetes meds-im about to ditch anti-depressants by November-as my doctor says-im quitting smoking-tried cold turkey-but now need to gradually slow and lower the dependency-in the past week-ive been hit on by -count them 4 women-and two men-including my guy best friend-do you think im on top of the world?you bet i am.ice cream-dont do it.if you find sugar-free-gr8-but only rarely once in a while.i luv people-and people are luving me.im stoked-and i should be.im now on top of the world-this is no joke.i come home now-and cry tears of joy-not tears of a defeatist guy.yeah-my luv life is getting much better-my friends and acquaintances are cheering for me.what a gr8 feeling.everynight i get on my hands and knees and am thankful im alive.and so it is.and continues to be.thats my story-and im sticking to it-till the last day i will live.and im tackling to stop smoking too-i want to live a long life.

  46. I made many changes to my eating plan and I’m glad I did. I feel healthier and my body looks way better than before! I would always eat frozen process food for breakfast haha but I learned about where it all came from! I believe everyone can make a simple food swap πŸ™‚

  47. Probably my worst is snacking on something while doing homework. I do most my work at night because that is when I am focussed enough to do it. But, it always lasts very late and I get hungry a few hours after dinner. So, I bought more protein oriented snacks like nuts, and cottage cheese versus chips or crackers. So far its been great but I need more healthy ideas for late night snacking. After all, there’s tons of flavors of chips so shouldn’t there be tons of healthy alternatives also??? Be reassured, I’m not snacking before bed, just while I do homework.

  48. i challenge all of you to quit smoking… i see lots of younger gay guys walking in and out of the gym with a cigarette in their mouth.. gross..

    drink LESS alcohol… i know, i know, beeeeeeeeer, its liquid bread its good for you…. too bad.. alternate between alcohol and water..

    ~ cheers…

  49. Joseph Eric Poirier says:

    A bit on the hard side to get used to at first, but it does make a huge difference on how you feel in about two weeks: have a glass of water whenever you are craving junk food, gets something in there to get the signal to go away, and in no time you feel much better

  50. I’m trying to cut dairy out of my diet – specifically, milk as a drink. I’m going to keep skim milk in my occasional cereal, cottage cheese with lunch, a slice of cheese on my sandwich, etc.. It’s the additional dairy that isn’t very helpful and some water or tea is just as thirst-quenching.

  51. Chaostheoryman says:

    OK, gulp, here goes: two things – that chocolate bar I get from Whole Foods on way too many of my non-cheat days…and, and, and…half-and-half (I use about third a cup in my coffee which adds up to a zillion grams of fat – a couple of times a day and I’ve gone way over any sane fat quota). There. I said it.

  52. Β‘Great advise! I have already stopped drinking soda!! Yeah!!!

  53. I have such a crazy sweet tooth, I eat way way too much sugar. Since Ive started reading your blogs Ive managed to cut down (but not fully cut out) the amount I take in my tea while in cereal I know use none. Instead I opt for sliced banana or raspberries.

    Since then I really have noticed a huge change. Never thought of snacking on carrot sticks, gonna try that later. Cheers davey!

    Pauly

  54. Absolutely genious, Davey!!! πŸ™‚ You hit the point, it’s really little changes that make the difference!!!
    πŸ˜€
    Lots of love from Italy! And congratulations for your amazing blog!!!!
    πŸ™‚

  55. I recently started on Tim Ferris’ slow carb diet from the 4-hour body book. I have lost 9lbs the first 2wks & another 6lbs in the 3rd wk. It is an easy diet to do 6 days a week with a built-in cheat day. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to loose weight in a healthy, safe & proven way.

  56. I have given up my bad habits of drinking sodas, eating chips, and candy. It’s been over a year for me πŸ™‚

  57. Hi, I just wanted to say that changing one thing really works, after i read this article, me and a friend decided to give up one thing that we ate or drank that really wasnt good for us. She gave up soda, and i gave up fast food, id have given up soda too but thats not hard for me since i rarely if ever drink soda, i wanted to challenge myself. Anywho, it’s really not that hard to do, when its one thing you are giving up, ive noticed too that since i gave it up, i feel more motivated to eat better things, now my eating habits are still horrible, but it’s gotten alot better, so i appreciate this article.

  58. A year a go I stopped drinking soda all together. Since then I’ve been eating more lean meats and veggies, and to be honest I don’t even miss soda anymore. It was an easy change to make.

  59. a year and half ago I cut soda out of my diet. I drink tea, juice, milk and water. I dropped about 15 pounds and my kidney stones stopped. best move I have made.

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