Now this is one story most of us above 30 can relate to. The journey from the blissful 20’s when all the junk we ate never made any difference to our shape to the 30’s, where we actually start believing that indeed, ’round’ is a shape can be quite a scary one! We all come to realize that yo-yo diets are just that – swinging the scales from one side to the other, never letting us bask in our weight loss success for far too long. Also, somewhere along the way, we tend to realize that creating long lasting healthy habits is far more important than the actual numbers on the scale.
Well, my blog is about my journey towards health and happiness and these 20 Health Habits I have learned along the way is definitely something I would love to share with people who wish to embark on a similar journey. So, here is my story for you to listen, learn and imbibe.
20 Healthy Habits That Helped Me Lose Weight
1. Eat Less and Move More – Well, this definitely has to be the Habit No. 1 for weight loss, and is as basic as it gets. There is no way you can start your weight loss endeavor with a stomach that is heavy with food at all times and a body that gets very little movement during the day. This is No WAY means that you need to starve yourself. Just that you need to stop overeating and start making healthy eating options. Here is a list of the Top 10 Healthiest Foods to get you started. So, mind the portions you eat, get up and get going!
2. Exercise..Do You Really Think There’s Any Other Option – First things first, what you eat and decide to not eat is far more important than exercising as far as weight loss is concerned. But, you simply cannot ignore the fact that exercise has a big role to play in maintaining a better health and fitness levels. Your entire weight loss plans can go for a toss if you aren’t fit and falling ill all the time.
3. Watch What You Eat – I know of a few of my friends who tend to think that its perfectly fine to eat a burger with a can of soda as long as they go for a walk or jog the next day morning. They really think its possible to lose all the fat accumulated by incorrect eating merely by an hour long daily exercise routine. Not True! This quote below from Dr. Freedhoff should clear the confusion for all of you
“Sure, weight is lost in the kitchen, but health is gained in the gyms.”
4. Don’t Diet. You’ve Failed At It Before, You Will Fail At It Again – Before getting started on any fad diets, ask yourself this important question – can you go on living like this forever? The answer will most likely be no. Instead, focus on eating habits that is sustainable and wont leave you feeling hungry or drained out all the time.
5. Start Spending More Time In The Kitchen – It’s been established beyond doubt that what we eat is far more important in losing weight than a exercise routine. Yet, its amazing how most of us find time everyday for exercise while we struggle to spend time in the kitchen. Set your priorities right – planning your meals and sticking to healthy eating habits is the cornerstone of any weight loss plan!
6. Don’t Try Too Hard to Lose Weight – Let’s imagine you were learning a new sport, like say swimming. How long do you think it will take to swim like a pro? Get my point?? Weight loss is not something that will come to you in a day or two. Rather, what is needed from you is consistency and patience. See what works for you and what doesn’t. Slowly, but surely, you will start getting better at it.
7. Did You Say Processed Food? No, No and a BIG no. They do you no good and you know that!
8. Raw Fruits, Veggies and Nuts – Following a plant based diet will cut down your food intake automatically as fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water and are typically low in calories. Also, one doesn’t really feel like overeating such food items. See, our complete write-up on ‘How To Lose Weight With A Plant Based Diet‘.
9. Snacking In-between Meals? No Harm There – Just ensure that you don’t eat junk for these snack breaks. A few nuts or a seasonal fruit is a better option. Also, if you tend to eat in between meals, do keep in mind that your main meals like lunch and dinner should have a slightly smaller portion size in order to maintain optimal calorie intake. Don’t forget, healthy snacks too have calories!
10. Absolutely Nothing Can Replace Water – Have you noticed that we tend to feel less hungry and more full if we keep taking regular sips of water? Well, drinking water can actually control hunger and increase our metabolism rate. So go ahead, get your daily dose of 6-8 glasses of water and notice how your hunger pangs decrease.
11. Stock Your House With Healthy Food – Eating healthy is a lot more easier if you have these foods within easy access. So go ahead, plan your grocery visit to include all the health food you will be eating over the next few days.
12. Eat Lean Proteins – If you wish to feel fuller for longer intervals, include lean proteins into your diet as they take longer and more work to digest. Also, the amino acids in protein aid in building lean muscles, making them stronger and more toned.
13. Reduce Your Fat Intake – For anyone seriously trying to lose weight, one definitely needs to cut on high fat food items like cream, milk, cheese, butter and fried food. Try to limit your fat intake to about 20-35% of your total daily calorie intake – about 44 to 77 grams of fat/day, assuming that you consume about 2,000 calories a day.
14. Eating Till You’re 80% Full – This is a practice followed by people living in the Okinawa Islands off Japan. They follow a practice that is called Hara Hachi Bu, which means that one should leave the table once you are 80% full as it takes the stomach about 20 minutes to tell the brain how full it actually is! If you stuff yourself till you feel full, it’s only after 20 minutes that you will come to realize that you’ve actually overeaten and that your stomach is actually more than full! You get the point here?
15. Eat Within 2 Hours of Waking Up in the Morning – Simply put, this means that you are supposed to eat your breakfast DAILY and within two hours of waking up. As simple as that! Successful losers eat breakfast daily and people who skip breakfast actually tend to eat more during the day with mindless snacking and bingeing at lunch and dinner. Check out our list of The Top 10 Breakfast Foods and kick-start your days with energy and vigor.
16. Keep Your Dinner Light – Ensure that you go to bed feeling light and not heavy and bloated. This will help improve your sleep quality and you will also wake up feeling hungry, ready for a big breakfast. There is no hard and fast rule that you should eat your dinner at a particular time as such, but do take note that the only stimulus to food should be hunger. Also ensure that you are not consuming more than 25% of your total daily calorie intake at dinner.
17. That Sleep Deprivation Is Doing You No Good – Getting enough sleep is as important as diet and exercise for your weight loss goals. After all, who has the energy to cook healthy food or exercise when we are sleep deprived and too tired or drained out to maintain a schedule that is even remotely healthy. A sleep deprived brain can be a really bad master, pushing you to take all wrong decisions – watch out for it!
18. Walk, Walk, Walk – You know who your biggest weight loss enemy is? Its that chair, that couch you spend hours sitting on! All that inactivity that we’ve built into our daily routine is as bad as lack of exercise or unhealthy food choices. A sedentary lifestyle can actually slow down our metabolism, putting brakes at the rate at which we burn calories. And no, you cannot counter this by hitting the gym for an hour every morning. So, get up and get going – walk to the grocery store, take the stairs, move around as much as possible. Here is a list of 100 tricks to move more – check it out and see if they do you any good!
19. Keep One Cheat Day In A Week – Well, this is the day you wait for every day of the week – the cheat day! Allow your body to take a break from all the restrictions you’ve placed on it and indulge yourself. It can actually act like a wake up call to your metabolism by stimulating the thyroid gland. Just ensure that you are cheating in a sensible way and not going all crazy around it!
20. Go Ahead, Pat Your Back! – Last but not the least, sit back and enjoy every little success that comes your way. Losing weight is not an easy task, it requires a lot of mental toughness, discipline and hard work. So, if you are doing it right, you deserve the applause. So go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back!
Your body can do anything…It’s your brain you have to convince.