A Guide to Healthier Habits

At the beginning of any journey to a healthier lifestyle, it can often feel overwhelming. There may even be times when you’re unsure of the actions to take to remain on this path. Just remember it is okay to feel like this. Everyone has to start at the beginning so it’s good to ask for help. To kick start your journey we’ve pulled together a few examples of healthy habits you can try. Think about how you can incorporate these into your new routine. Remember, if you slowly introduce one or two habits, rather than changing everything at once, you’re more likely to maintain them long-term.

Drink up to 2 litres of water a day. Yes, we all know how important it is to stay hydrated throughout the day to keep our bodies properly functioning. Drinking enough water can support our physical health, improve brain function, improve our skin and even boost our mood. Although drinking water won’t result in weight loss, it can help manage the desire to snack as some people can confuse thirst with hunger. Drinking enough water can sometimes be difficult, so try the following to drink small amounts often throughout the day: Before you go to sleep, put a glass of water on your bedside table so you can hydrate as soon as you wake up in the morning. Always have a bottle of water so you can regularly drink even when you’re on the go. Get into the habit of drinking water even when you’re not thirsty.

Regular movement. Aim to do some form of movement at least once a day; you’ll soon start to see the benefits both physically and mentally. Start small with daily walks; this is an easy way to get regular exercise. Not only is it good for you physically, but also for your mental health. Just 30 minutes of exercise every day is beneficial, so starting small with a daily walk is an easy way to add some exercise into your routine. Think about how you can incorporate more walking into your day; maybe you could walk rather than drive; perhaps use the stairs instead of the lift at work?

Having a goal to reach can help visualise progress, so set yourself a daily or weekly step target. Once you’ve achieved your target, raise it slightly the following week and see what you can achieve. Remember, it’s important to start slow. Take your time and build up to a pace you feel comfortable with before increasing your goal, otherwise, you could injure yourself.

Healthy eating. Make sure you’re eating enough food at mealtimes to sustain yourself throughout the day. If you eat a balanced and nutritious breakfast, lunch and dinner you’re likely to feel fuller for longer. Feeling satisfied between meals should help you not snack between mealtimes, however, if you are hungry reach for a handful of fruit or raw vegetables instead. Eating fruit can also help with any sweet cravings as they contain natural sugars.

Spread the word. Make an announcement and tell your friends and family what it is you are doing. They can help keep you accountable, making you are more likely to keep up your efforts.

Reduce your alcohol. We’re not suggesting you go cold turkey and cut alcohol out completely. Instead, let’s all work at reducing the volume of alcohol we consume. Bit by bit, we will start to see the result of our actions.

Prepare fresh food. After a long day at work, finding the energy to prepare a meal made from scratch can be hard, but persevere as it will be much better in flavour and nutrition than a takeaway or ready meal. Preparing a meal plan at the beginning of the week is an easy way to ensure you stay organised. You can download our quick and easy meal planner here. Fresh homemade meals are always cheaper than getting a takeaway and are much more satisfying so you’ll feel fuller for longer! If you’re unsure where to start, take a look at our recipe section to choose from a wide range of meals you can prepare at home.

Filter our recipes based your level of experience in the kitchen. You can even follow our cook-along videos at the bottom of each recipe so you can feel confident you’re doing the right steps. Gradually incorporating these simple steps into your daily routine is a great way to make achievable healthier changes to your lifestyle.

The key is to implement any changes slowly they’re more likely to become lifelong habits. Try introducing one or two changes each month as this will make it easier to maintain. Slowly but surely, you’ll start to notice a difference in how you feel. Let us know if you made any of these changes to your lifestyle.

Building and breaking habits - On GreggWallace.Health we encourage tracking your habits to ensure you are completely in control and aware of them… download our printable habit tracker here. GreggWallace.Health is not a diet. In my opinion and the opinion of other experts, diets do not work. Diets are short term; they are often uncomfortable which is why so many people ask how long is it going to take me to lose weight. They ask that because when they consider weight loss they think about a diet. So many people I speak to have lost weight on a diet only to put the weight back on when they finish the diet. This is obviously not the right way to go. The truth is, successful weight loss will take time, nobody wants to be honest about this because they want to sell you a diet. They want you to believe there is a quick fix. Well, being hungry and not eating a great deal is obviously a quick fix to weight loss. But of course, the problem is, it’s not sustainable, you can’t be hungry forever. When you revert back to normal, the weight will come back again with a vengeance. The successful, comfortable, sustainable, and permanent way to weight loss and fitness is gradual.

What it is you are doing over time is losing bad habits and picking up good habits. You’re retraining yourself, this doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen. Rather than the takeaway, you cook dinner. Rather than binge drinking, you have a couple. Rather than a bag of crisps, you have a banana. You get into a routine and those routines are habit forming and those habits will stay. They become permanent, you are changing but importantly, you are changing comfortably and changing for good. What you need to do is get yourself in the head of the fit person you are becoming. I know this is difficult to grasp right now, but by the time you’ve reached goal weight, you will be a different person. Not just inside but in outlook, you will have been making good decisions for so long they will have become permanent habits. So right now, start to think of yourself as that fit person.

Start to make the choices the fit you would make. Think of yourself as the new fit you already, at mealtimes when you fancy a snack, when you’re out, when you’re enjoying a drink, what choices would the fit person make? Act like that fit person, believe it or not, you are slowly becoming that person. Please don’t worry about slipping up, honestly, I mean this. Slipping up is not a problem at all. Don’t think of weight loss and fitness as a chain of links that can’t be broken, it doesn’t work like that. Slip ups are absolutely fine, the only problem you have when you slip up is if you immediately do it again. Bouncing back from the slip up and getting back on track, that’s what I expect you to do. The problem is compounding an error with another error. It then becomes a spiral and you just give up.

There you go, words of wisdom from your weight loss guru, who has been there, done it and is now wearing the slim fit t-shirt. Start to think of yourself as the slimming you and don’t worry about slipping up.

This gets easier… I’ve been studying weight loss keenly now for over three years. I’ve had in-depth conversations with hundreds of people. I’ve come to a number of simple conclusions, the most striking one is the difference between overweight and slim people. Its habits! The difference between overweight, and slim people are the eating habits that they have learnt over a long period of time. It’s not metabolism and it’s certainly not exercise. It’s how, when and what they eat. If you lived with me in my house with my family for a year I guarantee you would be really slim and well at the end of 12 months, probably a lot sooner. Why? Because you would eat well. You wouldn’t be snacking, you wouldn’t be having takeaways. You wouldn’t be hungry, you wouldn’t feel deprived in fact you’ll be eating really good meals. No matter what your metabolism you would be full of good food and you would’ve lost a lot of weight.

Slim people you see in the gym are not slim because they exercise. They are slim because they eat well. Look around the gym. There are also overweight people in there. They are overweight because they don’t eat well. Let’s accept that to lose weight. We have to change our eating habits. Now change can be difficult. I accept that. This is why diets are so hard, it’s an immediate drastic change that doesn’t allow any flexibility. You can be motivated and have discipline at the beginning, but that is hard to keep up the more you stay on the diet.

Healthy eating is far easier and therefore longer lasting. Healthy eating is about making healthy choices. Unlike a diet. This gets easier to do the more you do it. The more you make the good choices the more these choices become your habits these become your lifestyle. Believe me it gets easier and easier the more you do it. Until in the end you’ve lost a lot of weight and you’re not even thinking about good choices or not. You’ve done them now for so long it’s completely natural.

Key Takeaways:

1. Never give up on your weight loss journey, even when it gets tough;

2. If you slip up, simply reset and keep going. The only failure is in completely stopping; and

3. Believe in your worth and your ability to achieve your weight loss goals.