It makes sense if you want to lose weight. Doing so is linked with a lower risk for conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease. But where do you start?
There are many strategies for weight loss, and many of them work. But if you want to keep the weight off and truly become healthier for the long term, you need to adopt habits that you can turn into a long-term routine.
Fad diets and extreme exercise protocols can work but are not sustainable and leave you right back where you started, or worse.
Lasting and healthy weight loss requires eating and exercise habits, but your choices every day, like how much time you spend sleeping or watching television, can also make a difference.
Here are a couple of habits that can help you on your journey:
Set Small, Specific Goals: It might be amazing to think about losing 50 pounds so you can fit into your favorite suit or dress, but it’s better to start a little smaller. Instead, aim to lose 5-10 percent of body weight, giving yourself time and flexibility to reach the goal.
You can keep adding to the goal as you go. Try to keep in mind that most people, when doing it properly, will take about six months to lose that type of weight. A good benchmark is to lose 1-2 pounds per week.
Making specific goals is also better than generalized ones. So, instead of saying, “I’m going to eat less and exercise more,” say things like:
“I’m going to choose recipes on Saturday and shop for ingredients on Sunday.”
“I will bring a healthy lunch from home three times per week instead of going out.”
“I will call a friend for a walk on Mondays and Thursdays.”
Eat Breakfast Slowly and Mindfully: A lot of people don’t eat breakfast because they are either too rushed or not hungry in the morning, but it can come back to bite them – around the waist.
If you can get up 15-minutes earlier to eat a healthful breakfast, you’ll likely notice some benefits on the scale. Put your utensils down when you chew and sip water or coffee between bites.
Doing so can help regulate your appetite over the day and get you focused on mindful eating.