Changing Your Habits to Achieve a Healthier Lifestyle

The Power of Habit: Understanding the Key to Sustainable Weight Loss

Changing Your Habits to Achieve a Healthier Lifestyle

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 ok 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 on time and your level of experience in the kitchen. If you’re a complete beginner in the kitchen take a look at some of our basic cookery skills to help you get started. 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.

 

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.

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Frequently asked questions

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How can I ensure I drink enough water every day?

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How can I make healthy eating a part of my lifestyle?

Author: Katherine Bright MBANT, CNHC