Saturday, September 2, 2017

7 Habits of Those Who Lose the Weight and Keep it Off

When it comes to fitness, knowing and doing are two very different things. This is especially true in weight loss. I think for the most part we know more or the what's and the how's involved in weight loss. Whether or not someone is successful in reaching their goal and maintaining it is based on habits. Whether or not you're building the right habits. It's important to know which habits are going to make the difference between losing the weight and keeping it off.

With that in mind here are some of the most important habits that I see in people who have a healthy weight, lose the excess, and keep off the weight they needed to lose.

1. Eat More of the Meat, Potatoes (Starches), and Veggies. 
I feel this is one of the most important habits because people who eat more of the meat and potatoes, or rather tend to fill up on them, are more likely to be in a good position nutritionally. The reason for this is that the meat and (starches) are generally more filling and lower in calories, meaning that you fill up on the things that don't cost a lot of calories. The reason bodybuilder diets tend to be meals consisting of a meat, starch, and a vegetable is because it works. It may be boring but it works. If you aren't the type to do this and are prone to eating heavier on the sides, try building the habit of eating a meat, a starch, and a vegetable for your meals and see if that doesn't make a huge difference.

Meat and Potatoes
Meat and Potatoes

2. Take the Long Way.
You ever see people who park further away from the entrance of the store or they take the stairs instead of the elevator? This habit, though inconvenient, causes people to burn more calories over the course of the day. This adds up over time and contributes to a lot of weight gain or lost over the years. Try parking further away from the entrance of stores you visit until you no longer stop to think about it. You won't lose anything but a minute or two each time, but you'll gain a lot of extra calorie burning.

3. Know if You are a Snacker and Plan for it.
I want to first say that there's nothing wrong with being a snacker (as long as it's not because you're bored, or emotional) the real problem is if you are a snacker, but you fill your house with snacks that you know are going to throw you off course. I'm not much of a snacker, but the snacks I do have in my house are things that I could over eat and still be ok. Think things like fruits and jerky. If you get into the habit of only picking up things at the store that aren't going to break the bank calorie wise you'll set yourself up for success over the long haul.

4. Drink enough water.
This is a huge one. Here's a great article The Benefits of Water for body composition from Approaching Fitness. I suggest reading up on it! There's only gain to be had for drinking more water. If you consistently drink at least 8 glasses water you'll stay fuller longer, increase your metabolism, and reduce cravings among more than a few other things. Water is important, drink plenty of it, thank me later!

Lemon Water
Throw some lemon in it for good measure!

5. Eat heavy for breakfast.
I personally don't like breakfast, it's taken years to get myself to consistently eat breakfast, but in the process I have come to understand the major advantages of eating breakfast. Eating breakfast helps you have energy for the day, which helps you with point number 2 and 3, but it also sets you up well to not blow all of your calories at lunch. This is important because in a world where you only get an hour for lunch, the hungry person goes for the fast food and ends up overdoing it on calories, and the person who is well fed is more likely to eat a balanced meal that continues to sustain you through the rest of the day.

6. Get enough sleep.
I have harped on this before, and I'll probably harp on it again, but people who consistently are sleeping at least 7 hours a night are at a huge advantage on the weight front. Women who sleep 5 hours as opposed to 7 run a 15% higher risk of being overweight, and had a 30% chance of gaining 30 lbs. over the course of 16 years. This shows the importance of being in the habit of sleeping enough. PatelSR, Malhotra A, White DP, Gottlieb DJ, Hu FB. Association between reduced sleep and weight gain in women. Am J Epidemiol.2006; 164:947-54

seven good hours of sleep
Seven good hours of this a night!

7. Get at Least an Hour of Sunlight a Day
This goes in line with taking the long way, to an extent. People who are getting an hour of sunlight every day are likely to be the same people that are active. There are plenty of benefits to sunlight (Vitamin D, being tan) in and of itself, but activity is what's important here. If you're getting an hour of sunlight every day, I can almost guarantee that you are also getting an hour of activity every day. This means you're likely burning off a good bit of calories every day, and that adds up. Even if this just means going for an hour long walk a day with the kids, it'll make a noticeable difference in your health and your body composition.

Putting it Together
There are plenty of habits that are important for being healthy, but here are a few of the ones that I've seen make the most difference between whether or not someone is successful in losing weight, or maintaining healthy weight. Making healthy habits sets you up for success, and that's what we're here for right? If you have any great habits that come to mind let us know in the comments!

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