If your goal is to lose weight and keep it off, establishing healthy habits is the best way to go. Why? By establishing healthy habits you will begin to make better food choices that will help you lose those unwanted pounds and keep them off over time.
“Now wait a minute! Didn’t you blog about the importance of tracking not too long ago?” Yes, I believe tracking is an important tool. Unfortunately for most of us, that task eventually becomes tedious and we lose interest. Tracking is vital in the beginning stages of weight loss because it provides a picture of the number of calories being consumed throughout the day. In my experience it is typical to underestimate how much we are actually eating. Tracking helps to make decisions as to where changes or adjustments can be made with our food choices.
Fad diets tend to work in the short term but the results rarely last. All too often, people gain back more weight than they lost because the diet taught them to lose weight quickly with no healthy habits to maintain the results. Weight loss supplements can also help around the margins but the “return on investment” is not that great.
Here are three healthy habits that I recommend: First, eat 3 – 4 satisfying meals per day and NO SNACKING. I only recommend the 4th meal if you eat a late dinner. Going from noon to 7:30PM at night with nothing to eat can be difficult for some people, however the NO SNACKING part is most important. Unfortunately, we tend to consume a lot of extra calories throughout the day from grabbing a small bite here and there, especially late night snacking.
Second, start to pay attention to your hunger cues. All too often, we grab something to eat out of habit and not due to actual hunger. Once you get a hang of that, try to wait 30 minutes before you eat. This will push your meals further apart which generally leads to eating less food.
Third, stop drinking liquid calories and start replacing processed and boxed foods with whole foods. Add an extra serving of vegetables, prepare more home cooked meals, and cut back/substitute high calorie toppings, cooking oils, butter, etc.
By establishing these healthy habits and practicing them consistently, you will begin to see results both short term and long term. It worked for me and I’m confident it will work for you.