You’ve probably heard that weight loss equals diet plus exercise. However, achieving long-term weight loss involves a lot more than an exercise routine and proper portion sizes. In fact, making some easy lifestyle changes will help you lose weight while also benefiting your overall health. Adopt these five healthy habits to increase your odds of weight-loss success.
Inadequate sleep may not only affect our mood, focus and immune system, but it can also sabotage weight loss. Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases when we have a bad night’s sleep, which in turn slows the production of the hormone needed to grow muscles. Remember: The more muscle we have, the more fat we will burn, so having a healthy sleep pattern is essential for proper metabolic functioning.
Make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, going to bed and waking up at the same time — even on weekends, if possible. Being more physically active during the day, having a dark room (wear a sleep mask, if needed), turning electronics off before bedtime and using a salt lamp will enhance the quality of your sleep.
Get rid of the negative self-talk in your head. Constantly having negative thoughts about why you skipped your workout or how you feel deprived of certain foods will only sabotage your long-term weight-loss goals. Our minds are one of the strongest muscles we have, so being positive is very empowering.
Having positive thoughts motivates and energizes us. So when you make it to the gym, skip the sugar in your morning drink, choose a healthy meal over grabbing some fast food and give yourself a pat on the back. Acknowledge these small accomplishments when they happen and feel good about them. Stay excited by thinking of the lasting benefits your weight-loss journey will provide.
Practice gratitude daily
Practicing gratitude daily helps you be more aware of your physical and mental health, which at the same time, improves your overall health. Begin each day thinking of what and who you are grateful for. Find the smallest things throughout the day — a smile someone may give you, eating a healthy lunch, a compliment at work — that you can find gratitude in.
If it helps, write down three things you are thankful for at the end of each day. Being grateful will strengthen your willpower and help you feel more powerful in your long-term health habits.
Find a new hobby
Often, being bored and have nothing to do leads to eating — even if we aren’t hungry. Watching TV or scrolling through social media is also another culprit for mindless eating. Hobbies such as gardening, hiking, or horseback riding are great when you can get outside, but if you’re stuck indoors, try something that will keep you occupied and not munching.
Hobbies such as adult coloring, painting, knitting, learning to play a musical instrument, photography, sewing and quilting are terrific because they keep your hands and mind busy. Having a hobby you enjoy can also reduce stress, lower heart rate and improve overall health.
Certain supplements may help support weight loss and fat burning. For instance, vitamin D supports the immune and nervous systems, while omega-3 fatty acids can help balance your mood, potentially warding off emotional eating.†
Before introducing any new supplements into your daily routine, always be sure to consult your doctor to confirm that you are taking the right kinds in the right amounts for your individual health needs.
†These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.