We all know that creating a calorie deficit is the key to losing weight – simple, right? But that doesn’t mean it’s easy! However, if you have your lifestyle behaviors in place, then you can make it easier for yourself! Here are our top 10 lifestyle behaviors for healthy weight loss and weight maintenance.
1. Know where you are starting
Keep a three-day food log. Keep track of all the food and drinks you eat, and the portions they account for. Find out how many times you eat away from home, eat takeout, or buy food on the road.
2. Follow a plan
A personalized plan provides you with the guidance and structure to meet your own unique goals. The plan takes the guesswork and time-wasting thinking out of the equation and provides you with objective conditions to follow. Importantly, it provides you with something to review and adjust depending on the results of following the plan – adherence to the plan, weight, physical condition, appetite, training, food preferences, etc.
3. Identify barriers and ways to overcome them
Does a busy schedule get in the way of going to the gym? Get up an hour earlier. Is an empty pantry preventing you from cooking at home? Look up some healthy recipes and head to the grocery store with a list of ingredients needed to prepare them.
4. Record data
We usually like our clients to record a mixture of objective and subjective data. Recording weight and food is key to self-regulation. But recording habits, feelings, etc. also helps to reflect and see if there are any helpful or unhelpful patterns. In essence, what you record will be used to inform how your program needs to be adjusted and to ensure that you are achieving your goals as effectively and efficiently as possible.
5. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep can disrupt the hormones that control hunger and appetite, leading to overeating. Aim for a longer rest period each night.
6. Manage stress
Constant stress means that your levels of the stress hormone cortisol will be raised. This poses a disadvantage to the body – higher stress is associated with increased fat storage around the abdomen, as well as a decrease in muscle. In addition, depending on your individual situation, you may respond to stress by becoming super hungry and/or reaching for the cookie jar.
7. Move your body
Incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Resist the urge to do 30 minutes of moderate activity such as walking, running or biking every day.
8. Eat slowly and mindfully
Enjoy the entire eating experience. Take time to appreciate the aromas, flavors and textures of the food in front of you.
9. Social support
Ultimately, being consistent with your program is what will allow you to lose weight and keep it off. While you may not feel you “need” the support, it may benefit you – providing you with some welcome encouragement, an opportunity to gain insight, motivation to take your commitment up a notch, and of course, pulling you up during a challenging time.
10. Be Patient
Healthy weight loss is a gradual process and results may take time. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks; celebrate the progress you make along the way.
In short, healthy weight loss is about adopting sustainable habits that promote overall health and well-being. By incorporating these 10 behaviors into your daily life, you can achieve your weight loss goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle over time.