We all know that diets can work in the short term. But for long term, permanent weight loss, skip the diet mentality and strive for healthy habits that lead to lasting change.
My bet is if you are reading this article you’ve tried at least one diet- and I’d be willing to bet that diet was successful, at least temporarily. But did you gain the weight back? And maybe then some?
The problem isn’t you, or even the diet you tried– the problem is that diets are DESIGNED to be temporary, which means as soon as you stop dieting and go back to your old ways- hello weight gain.
Want a better way to lose the weight and keep it off?
Take the time to address what got you here in the first place and commit to making permanent changes to those habits.
And we ALL have some of those habits- the eating the “not so healthy” foods late at night, the second (or third or fourth) serving of dessert, the skipping breakfast and eating all of our calories when we get home from work.
Here’s the thing though- these habits can be changed, and with that change will come a slow weight loss that’s manageable AND sustainable- so when you get to your goal weight- you know have the habits and skills to KEEP IT OFF.
So what are the healthy habits you need to get to a reasonable and healthy weight?
Habit 1- Eat regularly
While some studies argue about the effectiveness of breakfast for managing weight, the reality is most people who lose and keep off the weight do so by starting their day off right. What does that mean in real talk? Finding a breakfast that consists of a healthy protein source (think eggs, turkey bacon, yogurt, chicken sausages), a moderate amount of fat (the fat in the yolks of eggs, full fat yogurt, nuts, cheese), and a moderate amount of carbs (a bowl of low sugar cereal, a couple of pieces of toast, a cup of rice), some veggies (peppers in your eggs, salad, sliced cucumber), and some fruit (banana, apples, berries).
I know this breakfast sounds like a lot of food- and its meant to be a good amount- because if you set your body and your brain up to be fueled right throughout the day, you set yourself up for success.
Habit 2- Eat at least one vegetable with every meal
Ugh. The dreaded V word. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Find vegetables you like and then find the ways you like to eat them. Sliced tomatoes on burgers and use lettuce for your buns (messy yes but it gets the job done). Saute peppers and onions with chicken and make fajitas. Put a bunch of veggies on a frozen pizza. Combine veggies with pasta and chicken or steak.
Habit 3- Eat at the table
When you force yourself to sit down at the table with minimal distractions you force yourself to deal with your relationship with food- and you become painfully aware of when you are ACTUALLY full versus mindlessly eating in the car, on the couch, or in front of the computer. Here’s the thing- food is fuel first and foremost- it’s not designed to be something to do when you are bored, or lonely, or depressed. This one habit alone can make a huge difference in your eating habits which in turn will impact your weight loss journey!
Habit 4- Eat within a 12 hour window
Why a 12 hour window? Because your body needs a break from digestion. Digestion is work and your stomach and intestines need a chance to rest, just like every other part of your body. Some studies suggest just adopting this one habit alone can make a drastic change in a person’s weight. This by the way is not “intermittent fasting” in what mass media has adopted as a new dieting style- this is how our bodies are designed to exist based on our circadian rhythms.
Habit 5- Be consistent
No more “screw it” weekends or days or even meals. Be consistent with how you are eating- from here on out. Adopt healthy eating as a lifestyle- not a way to get to your goals only then to revert to your old ways. Instead of seeing foods as “good” or “bad” see them as the best fuel sources versus not so great fuel sources- and choose accordingly. You can still eat dessert and have a glass of wine on occasion, but most of the things you put in your mouth should be the BEST things for your body- the best fuel that you can consume to give your body the best chance at crushing life!
I could go on into the minutia of all the other things you could and probably should be doing to be the healthiest version of you.
But start here.
Build your foundation and then work on the details. However in the meantime, stop the lemon diet, juice cleanse, low carb, sugar free, or whatever diet you are currently torturing yourself with and start working on the habits you need to slowly lose the weight and keep it off for good!
Need help in your journey? Sign up today for my 16 Week Fully Supported Health Coaching Program– One Step at A Time- and lose the weight, start exercising, and get to that amazing feeling you’ve been craving for oh so long!