Establishing healthy habits does not happen overnight. A person who has never exercised may find it difficult to live an active lifestyle. The same is true for a person who is not used to healthy foods.
Being overweight is bad for the health and it can also be damaging to your self-esteem. Once you have learned how to incorporate simple steps in starting your weight loss journey, you can now establish a plan that helps you form healthy habits.
- Make your doctor your diet partner
A doctor knows the risks and benefits involved in dietary plans. They can also help determine which plan is best for you. If you have high cholesterol, the doctor may advise you to follow the Atkins diet. Your doctor can also give some helpful tips on losing weight.
- Choose a diet that fits your lifestyle
A diet plan will only work if you like it enough to stick with it to the end. Do not force yourself to eat nothing but vegetables when you really cannot tolerate being vegetarian. Instead, try to look for healthier alternatives to your food cravings. You can switch to lean meat instead and add salad dishes to your meals.
- Stop cooking processed foods
Unfortunately, processed foods are very appealing but can also be very addictive. Foods like cookies, cakes and ice creams are made of empty calories that do not provide enough nutrients for the body. Of course, it is impossible to eliminate all processed foods from your diet. Just try to limit the amount you consume each day.
- Keep healthy snacks on-hand
It is difficult to control what you eat when you are hungry. Stash healthy snacks in your bag so that you can eat them instead of munching on unhealthy alternatives. Low calorie microwave popcorn is a wonderful snack and can fill up the stomach better. Granola bars are also delicious and portable snacks that are perfect to bring during long trips.
- Have a healthy breakfast
Research shows that people who have successfully lost weight eat their morning meals religiously. Aim to eat lean protein mixed with some good carbohydrates to satiate your appetite longer.
- Add new flavors
Try adding herbs and spices in your meals. This will help you cut on your sugar and salt intake. Herbs and spices are also good sources of antioxidants. A teaspoon of cinnamon has the same amount of antioxidants as a cup of pomegranate juice. It can also help you develop a deeper appreciation to different cuisines.
Walking is a good way to lose weight and it can also be a healthy, relaxing activity. Begin with a short walk and increase the duration each week. Walking can also be a good social activity. Take your spouse or your best friend for a walk and use it as your bonding activity. Walking at lunch can get your blood flowing and help you concentrate better in the afternoon.
- Shrink the change
Do not try to create a big change in your lifestyle right away. Make your exercise habit small and easy so that you won’t have any excuse not to do it. Shrinking the change may not help you lose weight fast but it can help keep you motivated.
- Create a visual trigger
A trigger can remind you to do an immediate action. For example, placing your running shoes in a visible location can remind you that you need to run after you wake up. Try to place your new exercise habit behind the trigger so that the action will follow immediately.
- Shape your environment
Shape your environment in a way that can motivate you to exercise. You can shape your environment by surrounding yourself with active people. You can also add a reward whenever you succeed.
- Create a Sleeping routine
Try to sleep and wake up at the same time of the day. This will set your body clock so that you will start to feel drowsy around the same time of the day. Make sure that you get a lot of light exposure when you wake up. This will reinforce your sleep/wake rhythm.
- Make time to relax
Worrying can sabotage your quality of sleep. Instead of thinking about stressful events, try to use your energy to write down what you feel. It is better to get out of bed and read a book than lay in your bed worrying. This also conditions your brain to think that the bed is a place to sleep.
- Say no to stimulants
Stimulants do not only refer to caffeine; sitting in front of a computer screen can also stimulate your brain. Make it a habit to log off at least an hour before your bedtime. Try to avoid drinking alcohol two hours before sleeping because this can wake you up in the middle of the night.
- Create a calm atmosphere
Make sure that your bedroom is quiet and peaceful. Try to watch the TV from somewhere else. You should also keep your room in the dark. Even the light from the digital clock can keep you up.
Losing weight without compromising your career
- Bring lunch with you
Eating your lunch on a fast food chain can compromise your diet. It can also put a dent to your budget. Preparing your own lunch and bringing it to work with you is a healthier alternative.
- Find an ally
Spread the word around your work place that you want to lose weight. Some of your co-workers might even join you in your quest to lose weight. Fitness buddies from work are great sources of motivation and accountability.
- Set a movement timer
Set a timer on your desk to remind you to move once an hour. You can walk for five minutes or stretch in your chair. You might spend a lot of time at the office so you have to take an initiative to keep your nutritional habits.