Sometimes it seems that the only way to lose weight is to adopt a super rigid diet or spend all day in the gym. Fortunately, this is not the case.

“The best way to achieve healthy and sustainable weight loss is through small changes to your current lifestyle,” says SELF, Ashvini Mashru, R.D., author of Small Steps to Slim and owner of Wellness Nutrition Concepts LLC. “Weight loss is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Here are 8 scientifically proven tips to help you achieve your dream body.

Small Lifestyle Habits To Lose Weight

8. Pay Attention To Your Portions

8 Simple Habits That Can Help You Lose Weight

“Most Americans eat two to three times the actual serving size,” says Mashru. It doesn’t help that restaurants usually serve large portions, which can train your mind to think that this is the amount of food your body needs.

To control proper portion sizes, Mashru suggests checking nutrition labels or Googling to see how much of a particular food counts as a portion for one person.

7. Put Your Fork Down Between Bites

It helps you eat more slowly, which is a simple tactic to cut calories. When you take your time instead of inhaling your food, your body can register the feeling of fullness, which can take up to 20 minutes to reach your brain.

Additionally, eating slowly can even improve the taste of food, according to an October 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America. Wins all around.

6. Carve Out Time To Prepare Your Lunch

8 Simple Habits That Can Help You Lose Weight

Making your own lunch will not only help you save money, but it will also ensure that you know exactly what your body is taking in and that you are getting the right nutrients.

“You are also less likely to skip lunch on busy days when you can go to the refrigerator instead of shopping for food,” says Mashru.

While it seems that skipping those calories can help increase weight loss, depriving your body of regular meals just makes you more likely to overdo it later.

5. Don’t Do Other Things While You’re Eating

8 Simple Habits That Can Help You Lose Weight

It can be difficult to focus on eating when there’s work to do and Instagram to check, but eating when you’re distracted can accidentally lead to eating more than you need.

Distracted eating doesn’t just lead to more consumption in the moment, but it may also even force you to eat more than you need at the end of the day, according to a systematic review of 24 studies in the February 2013 issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition .

4. Make Breakfast A Priority

8 Simple Habits That Can Help You Lose Weight

“Eating a breakfast full of lean protein and fiber will keep you full, helping you make better food choices throughout the day,” says Zeitlin.

To maximize the power of breakfast, choose foods that are not carb bombs with nothing substantial to keep you satisfied, such as bagels, cold cereal, and muffins.

“Try scrambled eggs on whole-grain toast, plain Greek yogurt with a cup of your favorite fruit, or an omelet loaded with veggies,” says Zeitlin.

3. Be A Smart Snacker

When you’re trying to lose weight, snacking can be your best friend or a seemingly helpful yet undeniably sneaky saboteur.

There’s the problem of unknowingly eating more than you think, which you can fix in the blink of an eye by pre-dividing your snacks according to portion sizes, rather than just cutting them at will.

Another snacking problem can arise if you graze, also known as eat mindlessly throughout the day, rather than snack intentionally. Check out these snacks for weight loss tips to make sure you’re on the right track.

2. Clock Enough Hours Of Sleep Every Night

8 Simple Habits That Can Help You Lose Weight

It can be difficult to stick to a good sleep schedule, especially when there are episodes of Homeland to catch up, but getting enough rest is an easy way to encourage weight loss.

“Sleep helps keep the appetite hormones ghrelin and leptin in check,” says Zeitlin.

“Without adequate amounts, these hormones get out of balance and can increase appetite.” According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults should aim seven to nine hours a night.

1. Stick To Healthy Eating Even On The Weekends

When you’re obsessed with eating well on weekdays, but consider weekends to be free food for everyone, you may not see the weight loss you expect.

“If you add up, eating poorly and not exercising from Friday to Sunday results in 12 days off per month,” says Mashru.

“Instead of letting the days of the week influence your habits, focus on creating a healthy lifestyle, with the occasional indulgence, that is sustainable throughout the month.”