Lifestyle is a combination of actions, behaviors, and habits that you do, decide upon, and engage to on a daily basis. Your lifestyle is a big influence on your mental and physical health which are all crucial in weight-loss.
It affects the way you will lose or gain weight, a lot. Your food choices, how you spend break times or free time, the activities you choose add movement to your body – all these are influences to your lifestyle. If you already have a healthy diet, then we can say that indeed, you may already lose weight. But in order to maintain it, you need to make an effort to incorporate more healthy habits into your lifestyle.
Healthy habits that aid in weight-loss, especially for busy people:
- Plan your meals ahead of time
- Eat slowly and chew your food well
- Drink lots of water
- Don’t skip breakfast
- Always have a simple snack with you (apple, banana or carrot)
- Exercise even when you don’t feel like it
- Accept your body type. The key is to know where your fats get stored and target it on your next exercise routine.
- Know when you are really hungry, know when you are emotionally hungry
- Practice rationing your portions and be disciplined about it
- Choose fruits as desserts
Keep in mind that in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle, a series of changes in diet, behavior and thinking patterns are needed. Unhealthy habits are usually the reason why when one has already achieved his ideal weight, keeping it does not take place. It takes more than an instant diet to keep your body healthy for a long time or better, a lifetime. Keep in mind that what we sometimes refer to as small behaviors make a great impact on our overall health.
Here are examples of seemingly small behaviors that are actually unhealthy:
- Not drinking enough water
- Poor sleeping habits
- Not minding stress levels
- Making excuses for not exercising
- Relying on to-go food
- Not being mindful of how you spend your free time
The list above is are just samples of small behaviors that greatly affect your health. The list could go on but leaning on the positive side, the first thing to do if you really want to lose weight despite your busy schedule is to recognize your current habits, know what needs changing and start developing healthier habits.
How to Develop Healthy Habits?
Know that it takes at least 66 days to develop a new habit. You heard that right. For someone to be able to have a new solid habit, it needs to be practiced for at least two months. This means that you need to have patience if you want to develop something. Be it a new habit in eating or exercising, you may need to wait until it enters your whole being and become a part of you.
So, don’t get easily frustrated if you experience setbacks or failures at first. Try to keep your motivation and always keep your goal in your as your inspiration
Take time to study how a habit works, its roots and where it is coming from before trying to change it. A habit can be broken down into three actions: a cue, which is the trigger that makes you do the habit, a routine which is essentially the action you do automatically and the rewards which are the rewarding feeling you get after doing the action.
To further understand, let’s take a look at this example – when trying to exercise in the morning, you need to have your cue – it may be the sight of your yoga mat or your favorite jam on Spotify. Then routine comes next. Since this is automatic, your body will already know what to do, it has in its muscle memory the sequence of the exercise routine that you are to do. Lastly, the reward. This may be the digits that you see in your weighing scale. It is what keeps you motivated and excited to do the habit all over again the next day. Now that you know how a habit works, you can decide how to make a healthy practice into a habit.
Keep in mind that variety is not your friend when trying to establish a habit. This is because habit creation means repeating a single action until it is deeply embedded in your memory and muscle memory. This means to say eating the same banana with our oats every single day at breakfast. When you try to add an apple in day 5 and then decide to change it to grapefruit in day 12, then your goal of creating a habit is tinged with a bit of confusion.
Just keep in mind that you need to stick to the same routine every single day. Choosing to have variations makes you reach your goal longer and your motivation comes with a lot of effort.
If in case you miss a day, don’t’ lose hope. Remember that you are but human bound to make mistakes. What’s important is that you stick to your goals until you have reached them. Attitude, when it comes to habit forming is as important as sticking to it.