How to Make a Habit of Losing Weight
If you’re like most people, you hate it when someone tells you ‘you’ve got to get into the habit of…(insert the thing they want you to do, but that you don’t want to do)’. Whether it came from your Mom, your teacher and/or your boss, it’s never gone over well.
So you’re probably not going to like this next line:
If you want to finally start losing weight for real, you’ll need to get into the ‘habits’ of losing weight.
Hopefully you’re still reading, because this isn’t quite as bad as you think (that’s why we put ‘habits’ in quotation marks!). In fact, the worst that can happen from adopting these ‘habits’ is that you’ll be much healthier.
The Habits of Weight Loss
We recently touched on the idea that many of the ways we usually try to lose weight don’t work. In that way, they’re broken. They turn weight loss into a numbers game and it just not that simple.
Weight loss is complex and it takes for more than the single act of cutting calories to be successful at it.
While none of the habits listed below will be of much help in your weight loss journey by themselves, together they will conspire to set you up for healthy, sustained weight loss.
Still, it’s never easy to make changes in your life, much less trying five at once. If these suggestions feel overwhelming, pick just one. Once that one is part of your life, move on to another.
1. Veggies at Every Meal
Yes, even at breakfast (try some raw, refreshing tomatoes and cucumber). The one, simple step of adding vegetables to every meal does so much for your health and weight loss. They’re low in calories and high in fibre, which gives you a wicked one-two weight-reducing punch. And they deliver high levels of vitamins and minerals for the knockout punch.
2. Plan Your Meals
We get more eye rolls on this one than any other. Who doesn’t like waiting until lunch to decide what treats to have? But that’s the problem. When you go ‘freestyle’ with your diet, your weight can go ‘freestyle’ too.
Planning meals isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Right now, think about what you can put together for breakfast, have some leftovers for lunch, plan what you’ll buy from the grocery store on the way home for dinner, and pack some fruit, nut butter, veggies and hummus or snacks. Done, one day’s meals planned.
3. Be Active for 30 Minutes Every Weekday
The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) recommends that you get two and a half hours of ‘moderate to vigorous’ activity each week. Again, hopefully you’re still reading. If you do 30 minutes of activity every weekday, you don’t have to worry about making changes to your weekend.
And any weekend activities will be a bonus. To make this one easier to adopt, break down the 30 minutes into chunks of 10 minutes or less. Do 10 minutes of stretching/yoga in the morning, go for a 10 minute walk at lunch, clean up the house for 10 minutes each evening. Boom. Done. How long ‘til the weekend?!
4. Sleep More
OK, if you have a problem with this one, well, the other ones must be really tough. Too little sleep robs your body of the downtime it needs to repair and rejuvenate, which means it doesn’t work so well the next day, leading to more fat storage. Make it a habit to get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
5. Throw Yourself a Lifeline
Getting into new habits can be stressful enough without completely losing the old ones. So keep some of them if they helps you cope with transformation. You’ll avoid the binge-eating rebound that can come from total denial.
Again, not even these habits are the ‘magic pill’ answer to losing weight. But they can be important steps along any weight loss journey. The nutritional consultants at your local Herbal One Centre are ready to help you with every step.