Do you find it a struggle to lose weight and keep it off? Do you find it hard when starting a diet and making lots of changes at once?
Lorna told me the other day when she came in for her session that her diet had slipped a bit and could I give her some recipes as she was about to go to the supermarket and buy a lot of healthy food.
I decided against it, not because I didn’t want to help her (I do) but because I didn’t believe it would solve the bigger problem. Making big, sweeping moves like buying lots of healthy food in one go instead of what we’d normally buy seldom works well as after a few days, it’s easy to get bored and crave things you’ve cut out.
Instead, I recommend create a series of habits that will lead to getting better, longer-lasting results without denying yourself anything but will naturally lead to cutting out the things that aren’t serving you well.
Here are my top 5 habits for weight loss:
1. Drink 2 litres of water every day – it’s likely you’re not drinking enough and reach for a biscuit or a snack not because you’re hungry but because you’re dehydrated. The natural reaction is to reach for something to give you energy whereas all you actually need is a glass of water. We wake up dehydrated so have a drink as soon as you get up.
2. Move More – you probably know about the magical 10,000 steps but while that in itself doesn’t guarantee weight loss, it’s a useful figure to aim for if you don’t tend to move much during the day. 10,000 is quite a lot to get through especially as you’re a busy person but the more you can move in short bursts throughout the day, the more energy you will have.
4. Eat slowly and stop when you feel 80% full – Do you tend to eat lunch at your desk and eat quickly so you can get back to work? This is very common however it can lead to indigestion and overeating. If you eat too quickly, you’ll have finished and still feel hungry so then eat a snack of some kind and add on more calories.
5. Get at least 7 hours sleep every night – does a good night’s sleep feel like a luxury to you? Do you sleep soundly and wake up feeling energised and not needing to hit the snooze button? It’s ok, many of us don’t sleep well at all. The problem here is if you’re not sleeping well, you’re more likely to reach for more snacks to keep you going throughout the day and also your body will begin to store fat in order to keep it functioning.
I recommend choosing one of these habits and practice it every day for at least a week until you feel like you’re doing it without thinking then choose another one and repeat the same process. It’s ok if you don’t manage to master each task straight off. It’s about practicing, learning and making each day better than the one before.
Start with the one you feel will be the easiest for you and keep everything else the same as normal.
Each of these habits are things that are likely missing from your life right now and practicing one at a time will make them easier to adopt and not have you feel overwhelmed with too many changes at one time.
As you master each one, you’ll start to feel a difference in your overall wellbeing as well as the fit of your clothes and you’ll also start to notice you no longer having the desire for things like chocolate or crisps even though you haven’t denied yourself them.
What step are you going to take first?