Have you ever seen a stool with two legs? No. The stool needs the support of a third leg or it will fall. Simple, right? So if I may draw an analogy then, we also need three legs, or pillars of strength, to support permanent weight loss. We know the importance of diet and exercise. But what of the third leg? Behavior is the third pillar of permanent weight loss. If we don’t change the behaviors that caused us to become overweight then the end result will be the same. So start today with these 10 health habits to lose weight and you’ll put yourself on the right path to permanent weight loss.
10 Habits to Lose Weight and Keep it Off!
Break Bad Habits Linked to Weight Gain
Tackle bad habits two or three at a time. Common barriers to weight loss are habits like eating while watching TV or on the computer, emotional eating, eating out of boredom, eating too quickly that satiety doesn’t have time to register.
Develop Good Habits to Lose Weight
Replace bad habits with long term healthy lifestyle changes. Meal planning, meal pacing/chewing and mindful eating are three habits that dietitians highly recommend. Mindful eating means being aware of why, what and how much we are eating. It is an effective way to avoid emotional eating, eating out of boredom and snacking throughout the day.
Cope with Emotions without Food
It is important to find non-food related ways to cope with emotions – journaling, walking, talking to friends, etc. Soothing our emotions with food often leaves us feeling worse, which can lead to a vicious cycle: eating, feeling guilty/worse, eating more and resulting in a lack of weight loss.
Slow Down When Eating
Studies show that when we take the time to chew, taste and savor our food, we naturally eat less and enjoy more. When we take the time to chew we actually get to taste our food and enjoy it. Chewing also forces us to slow down, giving ourselves the chance to recognize when we are full and stop eating.
Rid Yourself of “Frenemies”
It can be difficult to stay on track when surrounded by temptation. People who bring you foods that they know you should not eat, or encourage you to skip workouts, are not your friends. These types of toxic relationships, such as with former eating buddies, have to end in order to ensure your success.
Make a Meal and Exercise Plan
There’s a cliche: Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Keeping a food and exercise journal is very helpful. Try an app or paper and pen. Sometimes we don’t realize where the extra calories that can sabotage weight loss are coming from. Plan your meals, too. Three meals a day and one planned snack are generally recommended by weight loss experts.
Keep Your Home “Clean”
Take temptation out of the equation at home by not keeping unhealthy foods in your house. If you don’t own it, you can’t eat it. This is especially important when it comes to “trigger foods,” those that we have difficulty controlling ourselves around.
Establish House Rules
Parents need to set boundaries with their children and disallow them from bringing unhealthy foods into the home. Parents need to explain to their children that they can eat/drink what they choose when they are out of the house, but to be respectful and not bring unhealthy items home.
Eat What You Enjoy
The key to long term weight loss is to find healthy foods and drinks that we truly enjoy. We want to be choosing foods because we like them, not because we are on a “diet”. When we feel restricted or deprived we wind up going right back to our unhealthy ways.
Surround Yourself with Support
Maintaining weight loss is harder than losing weight. Challenges are going to occur and support groups can be crucial to prevent you from returning to bad eating habits for the long haul. The group can empower and motivate you to be the person you want to be.
Free eBook on Habits to Lose Weight
Permanent weight loss is much more than a diet. And it’s more than a gym membership. Those people who succeed at weight loss for life embrace healthy lifestyle and behavior changes.
And right now, you can get started with the free eBook “Healthy Living: 30 Powerful Daily Habits to Transform Your Health, Lose Weight & Radiate Happiness” by Carmen Reeves. Ask yourself, if you took on just one new health habit a day, then what would your life look like by the end of the month? How would you feel? Imagine you with more energy. Feel your health and vitality. Now go for it!
Living larger than ever,
My Bariatric Life