Healthy weight loss can be difficult to achieve especially if you've had trouble in the past keeping lost weight off.
Habits are key for long-term weight loss because after a while they become automatic and won't require much willpower.
It's best to develop one habit at a time. You'll have a higher rate of success doing so.
1. Create a diet that will work for you long term.
These days there are so many avenues to start losing weight and eating healthy. It's easy to get overwhelmed.
With diet protocols like Keto, Vegan, and Paleo you may find yourself feeling box in not knowing how to start
Fortunately, you can make your weight loss journey more simple by going over healthy foods you actually like eating.
Use popular diets for inspiration. We’re all different and our bodies react differently to food.
My body hates dairy for the most part but yours may thrive having casein (the protein found in dairy).
If a diet isn't working for you it's time for radical change. A healthy diet is crucial for long-term weight loss and healthy living.
Your whole foods diet could consist of foods like:
- Grass-fed meats-Bison and lamb are popular alternatives to beef.
- Root vegetables- Sweet potatoes, turnips, parsnips, and rutabaga are filled with necessary vitamins and minerals. Fall and winter are best for eating them.
- Leafy greens- Greens like arugula and dandelion have phytonutrients that you won't find in other foods. Arugula is high in magnesium which can help with anxiety.
- Legumes- Red beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, and beyond. There are so many options. Beans fill you up fast and give you long-lasting energy. Plus they are usually inexpensive.
- Fruit- Eating fruit can be a great alternative for a sweet tooth. Plus if you aren't worried about carbs they’re a great gluten-free option.
- Nuts and seeds- Can help get rid of the urge to munch on chips and other junk foods.
- Healthy drinks- Organic teas and coffee (without sugar or cream) in moderation can help keep you energized. Kambocua is also a great alternative to soda if you’re a soda drinker.
It's best that you sit down with yourself before you change your diet. Make a commitment that this will be a long-lasting change.
Create a list of the foods you’re going to buy.
The fewer ingredients the better.
Know that there will be an adjustment period. Mistakes will happen. Do the best you can.
The longer you eat healthily the easier it will become. Start with your diet first before you change other habits.
2. Frequent movement throughout your day is paramount.
A lot of us have jobs that don’t require much movement. Being sedentary derails any efforts you put into a healthy diet.
Besides having a solid exercise routine it's important that you move a lot during the day.
This is commonly known as NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis).
When you incorporate NEAT into your life, you’ll have an easier time keeping lost weight off.
Sometimes (myself included) we fall into the trap of thinking that working out for an hour fulfills our physical activity for the day.
The truth is humans are designed for frequent movement. It's unnatural for us to be inactive for long periods of time.
Developing a NEAT habit can simply be:
- Using stairs whenever possible.
- Step counting (personally I hate this but it works for some)
- Vigorous cooking and cleaning. You can do more dramatic movements as you clean or cook.
- Park far away from where you work.
- Walk to your destination whenever possible.
- Long walks around the neighborhood and park.
- Extended-play with friends, kids, and pets.
You’ll be less stressed the more you move. Plus your metabolic rate will increase. You don't have to have a “slow” metabolism.
3. A morning routine helps jumpstart your day.
I used to think the idea of having a morning routine was kind of ridiculous.
I would read blogs that talked about the massive benefits of cold showers and chanting.
It wasn't until I got serious about my health that I started to see how a morning routine really helped my day get off to a great start.
I started with meditation.
Each day I would meditate for about 10 minutes. This helped lower my stress and I had a clearer head.
Once you start an effective morning routine skipping it will feel weird. It may take a bit to find what works for you but it's worth the experimentation.
Your morning routine could include:
- Journaling- Writing helps us get out of our heads. Even one page helps you focus on what's really important.
- Gratitude practice-This could be done out-loud or writing. Being grateful helps you start your day with positivity.
- Cold showers- This is kind of extreme to start with but cold showers help with weight loss and depression.
- Meditation- This is a game-changer. The more you meditate the better your life will be. You start to respond rather than react to life’s obstacles.
Start with whichever practice resonates with you most. Your morning is very important. More so than you might think.
Life gets easier if you set yourself up for success.
4. Adequate sleep is crucial for weight loss.
Have ever noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep you’re hungrier?
That's because the hormone ghrelin which signals hunger is released in higher amounts when you are tired.
When you are tired you're also more likely to make unhealthy choices to fulfill that hunger.
Being sleep deprived causes you to have cravings for high-calorie, high-fat foods like ice cream.
Lack of sleep will also cause your workouts to be less efficient.
For most of us, 7–9 hours of sleep a night is plenty. Some can get away with less.
If you’re looking to lose weight and live better, get adequate sleep. This should be one of your top habits to change.