The 10 easy habits healthy people use to lose weight
(hint: it’s not more exercise and less food)
What is the secret to being healthy and thin? I remember back in my quest for weight loss I would wonder if there was some secret formula that people knew about that I didn’t? Over the years I began to discover that there wasn’t a one stop quick fix to weight loss – that it consisted of a number of different things, including habits. We all know that changing or implementing new habits can take time but it can be done! Today I will share with you a round up of my 10 easy habits that you can start implementing today to begin leading a healthier lifestyle and lose weight and its not just about eating your vegetables and exercising more!
1. Read labels
Get into the habit of reading food labels to help you stay away from foods full of artificial ingredients. We are often fooled by food manufacturing companies that deem their products “natural” or “organic”. FYI organic can still mean full of sugar and other processed foods that can be unhealthy to our system. Don’t ever judge a book by its cover and be sure to read all labels so you can choose wisely. As a rule of thumb if it has ingredients that you can’t pronounce – don’t buy it!
2. Buy fresh
If you aren’t grocery shopping at least once a week your food isn’t fresh enough. You want at least 80% of your diet to be perishable and whole foods. Meat, eggs, seafood, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables! If majority of your food is coming out of a box or off a shelf we’ve got a problem! Our bodies weren’t made to thrive off refined processed shelf stable foods. Think fresh!
3. Keep your blood sugar stable
There is a lot of misinformation about blood sugar! The old saying that we should eat 6 small meals is not the best way to stabilize blood sugar. You’re much better off to eat a diet rich with proteins and fats that keeps blood sugar low. When you start your morning off with a protein rich breakfast like Eggs and bacon – yum! – instead of a carbohydrate rich breakfast like oats or toast – you will be much better off. Eating a protein rich breakfast keeps you satiated longer and send signals to your brain that there is plenty around and that you are full. Unlike carbs that create a blood sugar spike only to quickly be followed by the blood sugar low which drives people to eat more food and drives your total daily calorie consumption up.
4. Move more
When I say move more I don’t mean hit the gym longer. Naturally human beings are built for low impact movement and a lot of it. In todays day and age we sit for majority of the day even if we are going to the gym 7 days a week we are still sittiing in our cars, sitting at a desk, sitting on the coach… you get the picture. Healthy people tend to move more and they tend to move more outside! Think daily walks, take the stairs not the elevator, garden, play with your kids, hit the monkey bars, walk to work, walk to the grocery store. Begin implementing more daily movement into your life.
5. Take time for self care
The science now proves that daily meditation, yoga practice or other self care practices help lower stress levels. Stress contributes to every major health disease out there and has one of largest impacts on weight. You want to lead a healthier life then chill out at least once a day to refill that cup.
6. Have sex
People that have regular sex have been proven to have fewer sick days. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that college students who had sex once or twice a week had higher levels of a certain antibody compared to students who had sex less often. Not only that it helps lower blood pressure, burns about 5 calories per minute, helps lower stress and lowers heart attack risk!
7. Make sleep a priority
We have all been there and know that a bad nights sleep can wreak havoc on our systems even in the short term. But chronic sleep deprivation has even more serious health consequences, including weight gain! I know it’s easy to get caught up watching the hottest new Netflix series every night but you need to aim for at least 7-9 hours of solid sleep a night! Read more about sleep and weight gain here.
8. Burn the wagon
If your striving for better health I suggest burning that diet wagon forever!! The all or nothing mind set will set majority of people up for failure. Find a balance between eating well and having guilt free pleasures whatever those may be in your life. I always go for the 80/20 rule! 80% of the time I eat the foods that make my body thrive the other 20% I use for my favorite indulgences like ice cream! Everyone’s 80/20 looks different and that’s for you to figure out but balance is key!
9. Be a healthy family
All too often I see women making separate meals for themselves then what they feed the rest of their family. Eating healthy doesn’t mean it should taste bad. It’s hard enough to find the time to cook one decent meal let alone trying to be a short order cook for each family member. Kids and husbands need to eat healthy and its easier on you if you have the support of family members. Make it a family priority to eat well and get exercise together. Get everyone involved; cook meals together, appoint certain nights of the week when hubby and kids take a turn making a healthy dinner.
One of the biggest excuses people make for not eating well or taking care of themselves is MONEY!
“I can’t afford a gym pass.” “Organic food is expensive.” “Massage?….who can afford that?” But yet you see these same people taking on a new car payment every couple years, buying the latest and greatest in technological devices, dropping a $100 a month on Starbucks alone, buying a $200 new pair of shoes and the most common of all.. spending hundreds of dollars a month on alcohol without a second thought to it! You get my point? Yes we live in a society that promotes consumerism and addiction for short term happiness. If you want to be healthy you may need to rethink what is important in your life. Sure, eating fresh produce, going for massage and taking on a yoga class can get pricey, but when you feel good in your body and you are physically thriving you will thrive mentally as well. Think long term instead and sit down and figure out exactly where your priorities lie. From there you can begin making the changes you need and your body will thank you for it!
Whether you begin implementing one of these habits or all of them you are taking a step towards bettering your health and your weight.
“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.” – Maya Angelou