Weight loss is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions made every year. However, setting a big goal for losing a certain number of pounds or committing to a restrictive diet rarely results in lasting weight loss. It’s fine to set goals, but it is more effective to form habits that will help you achieve them rather than the goals themselves. It takes time and practice, but once you form a habit, healthier choices will become second nature. This year, get into these eight habits to help you lose weight.
1. Follow a Meal Routine
People who successfully lose weight and keep it off usually eat around the same time each day. Setting up a rhythm will help you be more consistent with your healthy eating choices. Without a set routine, some people snack all day without realizing how much they’re consuming. Others skip meals and overdo it when they do eat.
2. Always Have Breakfast
Part of your meal routine should be eating a balanced breakfast every morning. This is one of the top habits to help you lose weight because it sets the tone for your whole day. Make sure to get lean protein and fiber at breakfast every day. Things like eggs, whole grains, greek yogurt, and fruit are all good choices. Those foods will keep you satisfied longer.
3. Set Aside Time for Meal Prep
This habit will also tie into the first two on the list. When you’re setting your schedule for the week, make sure you have time for preparing meals. Whether that means setting aside a few hours on the weekend to prep for the whole week or carving out half an hour each day for making breakfast and packing lunch is up to you.
4. Get More Sleep
This is one of the habits to help you lose weight that can be beneficial to all parts of your life but can be hard to start. You have a lot to squeeze into each day and it can seem like you’re losing time by getting the 7 to 9 hours recommended by the National Sleep Foundation. But it’s not wasted time at all. How much sleep we get affects our hormones, including hormones related to appetite and weight regulation. Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time each morning.
5. Eat Before Shopping
One of the cardinal rules of grocery shopping, whether you’re trying to manage your weight or your budget, is never to do it hungry. Before you go to the grocery store, have a filling yet healthy meal or snack. Things like vegetables and lean protein will keep you full so you aren’t tempted to toss random items that might be the best nutritional choices into your cart.
6. Focus on Eating Slowly
A big problem for many people is mindless or distracted eating. This includes eating out of boredom as well as not paying full attention to your meal while eating it. Resist the temptation to watch TV or scroll through social media while eating. Instead, focus on the meal and eat it slowly and mindfully. Eat at the table and not on the couch. Some people recommend putting your fork down between each bite and not picking it up again until that bite has been completely chewed and swallowed. This way, you are aware of everything you eat and you’ll know when you’re full before you’ve overeaten.
7. Monitor Portion Sizes
One of the best habits that will help you lose weight is practicing portion control. Choose smaller plates and bowls to limit the amount of food you eat in a sitting. When you cook for yourself, always dish out a single serving for yourself and take it to the table. If you eat out, ask the server to box half of your meal before they bring it out.
8. Set Small Goals and Work Your Way Up
This habit will help you not only meet weight loss goals, but personal, professional, and financial goals as well. Breaking things down into manageable pieces yields more success than trying to tackle something giant. Also, the feeling of accomplishment you get when you meet one goal (even a smaller one) will propel you to reach the next. Instead of saying you’re going to exercise for an hour four times a week right off the bat, set a goal to get moving for even an hour per week and increase the length and frequency as you solidify the habit.
If you’re ready to learn how to create habits to help you lose weight, Total Healthcare MD offers supervised medical weight loss that is more likely to work than standard diet plans. We focus on your total health and recognize that weight management is not the same for everyone. That’s why we personalize a program for each one of our patients. To learn more and start on the road to better health this year, call our Cary, NC weight loss center at (919) 436-3777.