Everyone who loses weight wants to keep it off. While we all know what to do to lose weight – eat right and exercise – that does not mean we have the discipline to do these things perfectly forever. This can lead to the all-or-nothing way of thinking, which we discuss here. Either you’re on a diet and ONLY eat what is approved for that particular diet, or you eat a cookie for dessert and feel like you’ve failed. The way to be successful and avoid this way of “dieting” is to make healthy habits that help you maintain a healthy weight while living a healthy lifestyle.
Habits are not formed overnight. They may not even be formed in 21 days, which is a common thought. Habits can take weeks, months or even years of practicing a particular behavior to form. This takes effort. Here are five habits to develop if you truly want to take weight off and keep it off.
Be Consistent with Your Food Choices
When you make consistent nutritious food choices, it becomes possible to have the occasional slice of pizza, bowl of ice cream or slice of cake. Being consistently healthy means you eat mostly nutritious foods each day.
There is no way around it. If you want to lose weight and maintain that weight loss, regular exercise is a necessity. Research studies have proven that once you’ve lost some weight, being routinely physically active will help prevent you from regaining it. Here are some suggested workout routines for weight loss.
Control Your Portions
Portion control helps you eat a healthy amount of food and get the benefits of the nutrients of that food without overeating. Use small bowls, plates and containers to help you monitor the portion sizes for all of your food. Eat dense proteins first. While this not only helps to ensure that your protein needs are being met, but it also has an added benefit. Because proteins take longer to digest, when you eat it first, it also delays how quickly the other foods you consumed after it are digested. This helps keep you fuller longer and helps support consistent blood sugar levels. Another tip for easier portion control is to not drink with meals 30 minutes after your first bite.
Getting enough sleep is vital to a healthy lifestyle. “Enough” is typically six hours at a time. A lack of sleep is linked to weight gain in two ways: Being tired can affect your ability to make good food choices, and sleep plays a role in two hormones that affect hunger – ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin is your hunger hormone and leptin is your hunger inhibitor hormone. Ghrelin increases while leptin decreases if you are sleep deprived.
Build Your Support System
Having a person or a group of people who will travel this journey with you is vital. Not only will they cheer your successes, but they will also help keep you accountable by letting you know when your actions do not support your desire to lose weight and keep it off.