Sometimes, the success or failure of your weight loss program depends more on your daily habits than on the food choices you make. The little things you do as part of your routine can affect how much food you eat and how much you move throughout the day. There are healthy habits to lose weight and then there are habits that can work against you and cause weight gain.
These five simple habits are activities that are easy to incorporate into your daily schedule. Pick one and try to practice it this week. If all goes well, pick another one. Try to master one skill at a time so you don’t get overwhelmed.
Watch What You Drink
Start to monitor the calories in the drinks that you consume. There are certain drinks, in particular, that can have a big impact on your total caloric intake and on the type of food choices that you make each day. For example, sports drinks, juices, sweetened teas, and flavored coffee drinks are often loaded with fat and calories.
Sometimes these drinks boast that they are healthy because they provide vitamins, but they also provide too many calories. Your best bet is to drink water. You can even make flavored water at home to replace your high-calorie sodas and sweetened teas. Get your nutrition (vitamins and minerals) primarily from food.
Believe it or not, the quality of your sleep can have an impact on the food choices you make during the day. It can also impact the number of calories you consume from soda or coffee drinks. Use simple tips to sleep better so that you get a full night’s rest and wake up energized for a full day of healthy activity and good eating.
For example, don’t charge your phone next to your bed. Keep it in the kitchen or the den when you sleep. And try to maintain a regular sleep schedule—even on the weekends. This helps your body learn to sleep and wake with less effort. And lastly, lower the temperature in your bedroom at night. A cooler room may help you snooze better.
Build a Balanced Exercise Program
If you completed last week’s tasks, you’ve already begun to exercise every day. Now it’s time to create a well-rounded workout routine with different types of physical activity. You’ll learn how to build a body that is lean, strong, and flexible. If you don’t belong to a gym or need help finding exercise classes, consider using a fun and easy online workout to get the activity you need.
But remember that consistency is key. If you find yourself skipping sessions, your program may be too intense. It’s healthier and safer to do moderate or easy workouts regularly than it is to do very hard workouts once in a while.
Increase Non-Exercise Activity
Your daily workout is very important. But if you go to the gym for an hour and spend the rest of the day sitting in a chair or laying on the couch, you are probably doing more harm than good when you exercise. Learn how to increase your daily activity level so that you burn more calories with NEAT, non-exercise activity thermogenesis.
One way to make sure you are getting enough daily activity is to invest in a fitness tracker. These devices track your daily steps and most give you reminders to get up and move when you’ve been sitting too long. Brands like Fitbit offer a variety of styles and features so you can find one that works with your lifestyle and your budget.
Set up Daily Reminders
Surround yourself with supportive people and healthy reminders that will help you keep your plan on track. You can do this by connecting with people who eat well and exercise at work or in your neighborhood. Set updates to exercise or cook healthy meals together.
You should also subscribe to healthy messages online and in social media. Researchers have found that daily reminders can have a big impact on weight loss success. Remember that last week’s tasks involved planning healthy meals and exercise. Continue to complete those activities as you move through this e-course and build a better body.