6 Healthy habits that also help you hit your weight loss goals_1

We all know the drill – weight loss is linked to diet, exercise, and calorie control. But how do you turn this knowledge into healthy lifestyle habits?

Habits are something that may start out as a ‘chore’ but as we do them over and over again, they become easier and part of our lifestyle. For example, as a kid your parents taught you to brush your teeth regularly. While you may have struggled to hold a toothbrush and squeeze out the toothpaste when you were a toddler, it’s now something you do ‘automatically’ and easily every day.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could turn weight-loss goals into daily habits that can last a lifetime? Here’s the good news: You CAN!

Research has shown us that the healthiest people have certain habits that they stick to. Here are six of the most important habits for you to add to your daily routine in order to kick off your healthy lifestyle and weight loss regime.

(While there are a few factors that can influence weight loss/gain outside of these six habits – such as medication, and hormones, these are a good foundation to begin with.)

Here are six healthy habits you should adopt today:
1.     Have breakfast

Eating in the morning is important for a variety of factors, including controlling the rest of the day’s eating, improving brain function, and supplying the energy to power you through the day.

You should ideally aim to have a high protein, and high carbohydrate breakfast like eggs and wholegrain toast, but if you’re not a morning eater, then a protein shake will do. Just make sure to have something high in protein for best results.

This will keep you feeling fuller for longer, and you won’t end up with a craving for donuts or high-carb treats by 10am. Set yourself up for success at the start of every day, and you’ll find that sticking your diet for the rest of the day is much easier!
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2.     Do some prep

All the important things in life require some planning, right? Your diet is no different. Use a free hour or two on the weekend to plan, shop for, and prepare as many of the next week’s meals as possible.

This will guarantee you a solid diet for the week, with little room to bail out of the plan. It also frees up some evening time for relaxing a bit, which will come in handy.

3.     Get away from your desk

Sitting all day in front of a desk can be frustrating, and can also cause some serious muscle soreness and stiffness. Every hour or so, get up and do some stretches, or take a walk for ten minutes. If you were a smoker you’d be allowed a smoke break, so use you ‘smoke break’ time to do a little physical activity and keep your body sharp. You will find that you return to your desk feeling refreshed after your mini-break.

4.     Ditch digital devices before bedtime

Staring at a screen before trying to go to sleep is a pathway to poor rest. So ditch your phone (and other devices) before bed in favour of a book or podcast.

These things will help you relax without the use of the screen, giving your brain a chance to realise that it’s time to begin to shut down, and prepare to enter dreamland. Sleep is incredibly important for health and weight loss, so you really want to take this seriously.

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5.     Strength train

Training to get stronger means you’ll be lifting weights, doing simple movements like squats, presses, and deadlifts. These exercises train the whole body in movements that are natural, use both sides of the body, and elicit a major hormonal response that benefits health, strength and weight loss.

Do three strength training workouts per week, and increase the amount of weight you lift each time you train. You’ll be stronger and more able in no time.

The best part about weight training? You’ll build more muscle. The more muscle you have, the more fat you’ll burn. So you’ll be strong, fit, AND toned!

6.     Take a “time out” daily

However you do it, taking some time to be quiet and alone with your thoughts has been shown to reduce stress and pain while improving overall mood.

Take a walk, meditate, or have a bath. Whatever the activity, the important thing is to be quiet, and think only about things that are helpful and good. Leave the other stuff alone for a while, and be peaceful.

Stress has a huge impact on weight loss. It triggers hormones that affect your ability to lose weight (adrenaline and cortisol). On a very basic level, adrenaline triggers the fight or flight response, while cortisol (the stress hormone) could cause you to crave unhealthy carb-heavy, fatty, and sweetened foods.

Find a healthy coping mechanism to ‘de-stress’ at the end of the day.