|Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, so if you click on some of our links, we may receive a commission at no cost to you. For more information, please visit our Disclosure page.|
When it comes to weight loss, we seem to have a tendency for making ‘less than ideal decisions’.
Many chronic diseases are caused by lifestyle habits. People are bound to not exercise as much as they should, and also indulge in unhealthy foods which can lead to excess weight and obesity. This may increase our risk for certain health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, some cancers, and stroke.
The problem with lifestyle choices is that they are sometimes difficult to reverse. Many people try to change their habits all at once, which is incredibly challenging to accomplish. As a result, they often give up all of their healthy habits and resort to their old unhealthy way of life.
There are a few simple things that you can do to live a healthier way of life. Start with these 12 healthy lifestyle changes to help you lose weight:
Include One Healthy Meal Daily
Even if your diet consists mainly of processed foods, try to include at least one healthy meal each day. A healthy meal consists of mainly fruits and vegetables, supplemented with whole grain products, and lean meats.
Healthy eating also includes substituting foods that contain added sugar, salt, and trans fat with better nutritious choices. Dietary fiber is especially crucial for weight loss as it regulates hunger by making you feel full for much longer.
Then again if losing weight is not your objective, embracing a healthy diet has many great benefits. For instance, disease prevention, protecting your heart, maintain brain health, and even boost your mood.
Go To Bed Earlier
In terms of losing weight, diet and exercise are usually the two main factors that come to mind. However, the benefits of sleep are important lifestyle factors that should not be overlooked. There’s one in particular that you may not be aware of – reducing caloric intake.
The later you stay awake, the more likely you are to crave a snack. Unnecessary late-night snacking has been linked to numerous health concerns, like weight gain and acid reflux. To top it off, calories consumed at bedtime tend to be stored as fat.
Keep in mind that lack of sleep also negatively affects your weight loss efforts.
Increase Your Activity More Everyday
Burning calories is the main objective when it comes to sustainable weight loss, regardless of whether you need to lose 10 or 100 pounds. If you’re not a fan of the gym, that’s not an excuse. There are simple decisions you can make that can have a profound effect on your weight loss efforts. For example, how about walking a few extra flights of stairs on your way to the office?
Just get off the elevator three or four floors before and walk the rest. Shake it up a bit by taking two stairs at a time. You need to make deliberate decisions if weight loss is your goal. It does not come about by sheer luck.
If the weather is too cold outside, then try some activity at home. An extremely effective exercise that does not require expensive equipment is the step up. You can use either a low step stool or a sturdy chair. Simply step up and down alternating the lead leg and perform as many repetitions as you can. Small changes equate to big differences.
Say Bye-Bye To Soda
This means no regular or even diet soda. Soda in every form is bad, regardless of what the advertisers claim. The diet version may be free of calories, nevertheless, that’s not to say it is free of undesirable effects.
Extensive studies have shown that both regular and diet soda can contribute to weight gain, cardiovascular disease, tooth decay, and type 2 diabetes.
In addition, sweet-tasting drinks can boost your appetite for other high-calorie foods. Water needs to be the principal beverage in your weight loss arsenal, but it does not have to be tasteless.
You are welcome to incorporate tea, coffee, fruit-infused water, and more. Be sure to pay attention to the nutritional information in order to choose beverages that are good for your health.
Drink Water Before Every Meal
If you’re trying to lose weight, then drinking water before a meal is a great approach. Water is perhaps the best liquid you can have. When you drink 16 ounces of water about 30 minutes before a meal, it not only aids in digestion but makes you feel full.
This feeling of fullness will reduce your appetite and prevent overeating. Such a simple technique requires very little effort and should be very easy to incorporate into our daily lives.
Pile Your Plate With Veggies
Do you enjoy carrots, cauliflower, or perhaps broccoli? If so, make it the focus on your plate. The rule is to load up half your plate with veggies, as they are typically low in calories and high in fiber. When eaten first, the veggies will lessen your hunger so you eat less.
The rest of your meal can consist of a palm-size portion of protein (typically some meat), and maybe a small portion of rice or sweet potato.
Needless to say, carbs are optional, as restricting them entirely is the fastest way to achieve weight loss. In a few weeks, you should start seeing a significant transformation in your body as you continue to eat this way.
Make Meal Prep a Regular Event
It comes as no surprise that the quickest route to sabotage a diet plan is hunger. Oftentimes, when you’re hungry, healthy options are not a concern, just so long as it fills you. To remedy this, make a good quantity of meals that can be stored in the fridge and freezer.
That way, when you require food, it’s just a microwave or oven session away, and your weight loss plans will remain on track.
Not only that but meal prepping allows you to control your portions, saves time, removes the stress of cooking, and you spend less money eating out.
Fill-Up On Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti squash is among the best substitutes for spaghetti or rice. It is fat-free and a good source of fiber. Plus, it’s low in calories and contains essential vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese.
This vegetable is very versatile and can be boiled, steamed, baked, and even microwaved. One cup of this nutritious meal has only 40 calories, 4 grams of fat, and 10 grams of carbohydrates. With such a healthy profile, it is certainly a good complement to any weight loss regimen.
Take A Stroll At Lunchtime
Even if you only have 30 minutes for lunch, it usually doesn’t take that long to finish your meal. After eating, you can easily squeeze in some time to exercise. I’m not talking about an extreme workout, but a short ten to fifteen-minute brisk walk. Not only will this energize you but it will also help burn off the calories you just ate and will aid in the digestive process.
Regular cardio exercise may also help to lower blood pressure, improve sleep, increase mental capacity, build brainpower, boost your mood, and much more.
Skip The Junk Food Cuisine
This involves eating a healthy protein bar as a snack instead of junk food. Most meal replacement bars contain a lot of good nutrition and fiber. They usually contain fewer calories and sugar than a regular candy bar. They help to keep away the hunger pangs that are so typical in the mid-afternoon.
Keep a stash of these protein bars in your desk at work, in your purse, or briefcase so you can grab one whenever you feel hungry. This should prevent you from going to the vending machines and making poor food choices. Be sure to read the label and pick a protein bar that is high in fiber and has at least 10 to 15 grams of protein per bar.
Establish A Regular Exercise Routine
If you have a gym membership, try going there at least 3 to 4 times per week. Choose an activity you enjoy and make the most of it for at least a half-hour per session. This will help energize you, build muscle tone, and help you lose weight by burning off excess calories.
After your workout, refuel your body with a healthy protein shake to speed up recovery and improve muscle performance.
Try to Limit Alcohol Consumption
Drinking alcohol can make it more difficult to lose weight for numerous reasons. Alcohol typically contains very few nutrients and is high in calories. Foods that contain simple carbohydrates, like those found in soda, candy and beer normally wind up stored as body fat.
Furthermore, it lowers inhibitions which can lead to overeating or poor choices. People usually consume more than one alcoholic drink at one time which adds to their caloric intake.
Think twice about having that nightcap as alcohol can impair your ability to have a restful night’s sleep and lead to sleep deprivation.
To achieve your weight loss goals choose low alcohol beers or even wine. Also, try not to consume an alcoholic drink every day and limit your portions.
Losing weight can seem quite intimidating due to the many choices you are faced with each day.
You need to find out how to eat healthier, get sufficient sleep, maintain sound mental health, and design a suitable workout program. Eventually, these choices will either steer you towards your goals or sabotage them.
Sometimes it just takes a few days or a few weeks of trying to live healthy before you become overwhelmed and revert back to old habits.
This is why it is more strategic to change your health habits one at a time so that you don’t become overwhelmed and stop trying to be healthy altogether.
The trick to sustaining healthy lifestyle changes is to begin gradually. Don’t try any trendy diet or fitness fads. Stick with an exercise program you enjoy. No matter how hectic life gets, you must strive for consistency.
As time passes, you’ll find that with a little planning, and a lot of smart decisions you’re more likely to maintain your weight loss over the long term.