Making Lifestyle Changes for Weight Loss
Your lifestyle refers to the actions, behaviors and habits that you engage in routinely. It encompasses the foods you eat, how often you are physically active and your mentality towards your personal health and well-being. One of the primary reasons so many people have difficulty maintaining their weight loss following a traditional diet or exercise program is because they don’t make any changes to their previous way of life.
Even after you reach your weight loss goal, poor habits like mindless snacking, sedentary behavior and poor food choices can cause you to re-gain weight.
There are a collection of lifestyle habits that may especially affect your weight:
- Food choices and other eating behaviors
- Activity level throughout normal routine, such as at work or at home
- Level of caffeine consumption
- Sleeping habits, including regularity of sleeping time and duration of sleep
- How much water you drink daily
- Attitude towards healthy habits, including your diet and exercise habits
- Stress management techniques and coping skills
A healthy lifestyle leads to long-term success
You may not recognize the way these habits are influencing your health. To develop a healthier lifestyle, you’ll need to first identify your lifestyle habits, come to terms with the ways they are impacting you, and make sustainable changes as needed to encourage a healthier way of life.
Adopting a healthier lifestyle is not a temporary shift. A healthier way of life isn’t achieved through a temporary diet plan or a few exercise sessions. It involves:
- Psychological changes
- Behavioral changes
- Dietary changes
Forming Healthy Habits
It takes approximately three weeks to form a habit. Through constant repetition and awareness, a habit can become second nature. Once established, breaking a habit is a challenge. Instead of just cutting something out of your life, it is easier to replace a poor habit with a positive one.
The first step to developing a healthier lifestyle is to recognize your current habits and identify the ways those habits are influencing your life. Heighten your level of personal awareness in regards to your sleeping, eating and activity habits. Start considering what actions, or inactions, you are taking that might contribute to weight gain.
Once identified, consider ways that current unhealthy habits can be addressed and replaced with constructive behavior that is conducive to weight loss. This may include:
- Late night snacking might be addressed by going to bed earlier.
- Unhealthy snacks at work can be replaced with healthier items like fruits or nuts.
- Reduce soda consumption by drinking water instead.
- Ready-to-eat meal replacement items can replace fast-food to satisfy the need for a quick meal.
As you recognize unhealthy habits, determine what their counterpart may be and push yourself to develop new habits that will help you maintain your weight loss. Doing this can help you develop a healthier lifestyle.