There are commonalities of those of us that struggle with weight. Due to many years of unhealthy habits and food choices, we have found ourselves overweight or obese. Habits are hard to break but they can be broken. Replace the unhealthy habits that have made you heavy with healthy habits to not only help you to lose weight but to keep it off and maintain. I’ve probably lost 2,000 pounds in my lifetime only to lose and regain plus a few bonus pounds from the diet. To help you to lose weight and reach your weight loss goals, notice if any of these habits are applicable to you. If so, change the habit, change your weight, change your life.
1. Eating sweet, sugary treats regularly. If you can eat a bite of something you’d like to eat, great! However, if it is a trigger food to set you off on a day-long binge (or longer), it is best to avoid eating it in the first place. Become aware of your own behavior and know yourself. There are some food choices that I just can’t handle. Thanks to losing my weight and maintaining it for years, I’m now able to be more in control. My trigger foods have lost their power over my ability to make healthy choices.
2. Eating the majority of meals in restaurants or fast food. Restaurant portions are huge. Usually, a portion in a restaurant is the equivalent to three or more healthy portions. If you must eat out, ask for a to go box at the time that you order. When your meal comes, take your single portion and put the rest in the box. You’ll save calories and money to eat it the following day. Fast food is void of nutrition but packed with calories, fat, and carbohydrates. Fast food may be fast but it is far from healthy. The additional time you spent in preparing something healthy for you is minimal compared to the additional time spent trying to lose the weight from fast food.
3. Faster causes fatter. Slow it down. It takes 20 minutes for the message to travel from your stomach to your brain that you’re satisfied. Yes, it take 20 minutes for your brain to essentially catch up to your stomach’s “I’m full” cues. Eat slower to allow sufficient time for your stomach to communicate with your brain. In 20 minutes, you can consume a lot of excess food. Put down your fork or spoon between bites.
4. Have a sedentary mindset. Look for little ways to be active. Exercise is important yet being active is also a mindset. Look for ways throughout your day to be more active. Little things can lead to a more active lifestyle and extra calories burned along with a boost to your metabolism. Take breaks and go outside for a different perspective and for some fresh air. Muscles were meant for movement rather than sitting at a desk all day. Take the stairs instead of the escalator; park further away rather than drive around for a closer space. People that lose weight and maintain it have a mindset to move their body.
5. Don’t exercise regularly. There’s no way around it, exercise is a component to weight loss. Exercise (such as walking) a few days a week along with resistance training is the key to weight loss. Resistance training is important because it builds muscle. Muscle helps boosts your metabolism and burns more fat. Even walking around the room, walking in place or lifting hand weights during commercials while you watch television can make a difference.
6. Eating as a recreational activity. Eating in response to true hunger is a physiologically and psychologically satisfying, nurturing experience. Many people eat out of food triggers, soothe emotions, or even provide an outlet for boredom. Eat because you are physically hungry and not according to the clock or in response to your head.
7. Skip meals. One of the ways to encourage a late day binge is to skip meals. By skipping meals results in larger meals and unhealthy food choices. Being overly hungry triggers eating fast and overeating, along with poor food choices. Feed your body throughout the day to avoid issues with insulin and blood sugar rise and crash episodes.
Habits are created and habits can be broken. Identify habits that encourage overeating and making unhealthy food choices. Become aware of how many habits don’t serve you well and assist you in losing weight. After you’re aware, it’s time to take action. Take the heavy habits and exchange them for healthy habits. Before you know it, your new healthy habits will be such a natural part of who you are and what you do with your diet and activity per day. If you’re tired of being heavy, ditch the habits that make you heavy. Healthy habits are the way to reaching your weight loss goal.