These habits focus principally on lifestyle and diet and are designed to be layered one on top of the other.
You’ll notice that we haven’t included exercise into these initial habits. Certainly exercise is a crucial part of a healthy life but it’s generally recognised that what we eat affects our weight more significantly than exercise.
We believe starting exercise while also trying to improve our diet can be a challenge so we recommend that you maintain your current activity levels while you embed these 8 new habits in your life.
Week 1: Sufficient Sleep
The foundation of any successful weight loss journey is a good night's sleep. Too often tiredness is misinterpreted as hunger plus inadequate sleep disrupts your body's hormonal balance, leading to increased cravings and a slower metabolism. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support your overall well-being and set the stage for positive habit formation.
Week 2: Log what you’re eating
Knowledge is power. Seeing a list of what you’re eating each day can be revealing and motivating. Keeping a Food Diary with a database system like MyFitnessPal gives valuable insights into your eating habits, helping you make informed choices. MyFitnessPal not only records your meals but also analyzes nutritional content making it easier to identify areas for improvement.
Week 3: Stay Hydrated
Staying adequately hydrated is often overlooked in weight loss plans. Water not only keeps you feeling full but also helps your body metabolize stored fat. Swap sugary drinks for water and aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses daily. Hydration is essential for overall health and can contribute significantly to weight loss when consistently maintained.
Week 4: Pick a Routine Breakfast
Kickstart your metabolism by adopting a consistent breakfast routine. A nutritious morning meal provides essential energy for the day ahead and curbs mid-morning cravings. Opt for a balance of protein, whole grains, and fruits or vegetables to fuel your body efficiently.
Week 5: Regular Lunches (with Variations)
Lunch is a pivotal point in the day for weight management. Develop a go-to lunch routine that incorporates lean proteins, plenty of veggies, and whole grains. While routine is key, don't shy away from introducing variations to keep things interesting and ensure a well-rounded nutritional intake.
Week 6: Reduce Salt Intake
Excessive salt consumption can lead to water retention and bloating, hindering your weight loss progress. Begin by gradually reducing your salt intake and becoming more mindful of hidden sodium in processed foods. Flavor your meals with herbs and spices instead, promoting both taste and health.
Week 7: Readily Available Healthy Snacks
Avoid succumbing to unhealthy snack choices by having nutritious options readily available. Stock your pantry and fridge with fresh fruits, vegetables, and pre-portioned snacks to curb cravings and prevent mindless eating. The key is making healthy choices convenient and accessible.
Week 8: Control Dinner Carbs
Evening meals play a crucial role in weight management. Focus on controlling your carbohydrate intake during dinner by opting for whole grains, lean proteins, and vegetables. Limiting refined carbs in the evening can aid in better blood sugar control and prevent unnecessary calorie storage.
After 8 weeks you'll have established a solid foundation of healthy habits. Now, it's time to incorporate regular exercise into your routine. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, whether it's walking, jogging, cycling, or engaging in your preferred physical activity. Exercise burns calories, boosts your mood and energy levels.
Embarking on a weight loss journey doesn't have to be a daunting task. By focusing on habit change and adopting these eight weekly habits, you can create a sustainable and effective approach to weight loss. Remember, the key is consistency and gradual progression. Small, incremental changes lead to lasting results, and by incorporating these habits into your daily life, you'll not only shed unwanted pounds but also cultivate a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.