So you’ve decided to lose weight, you’ve set your target and you’re ready to embark on your weight loss journey. But one day in and you’re struggling to stay on the wagon, tempted by sugary drinks and calorie-laden treats. This is where habit-setting can really help.
It’s said that if you commit to something every day for thirty days, you develop a habit that will stick. The same goes for dieting, we all need a nudge in the right direction and setting clear intentions will help you stay on your path to weight loss.
For example, start your day right by having a big breakfast, it will fill you up and provide your body with the energy to keep moving. This simple hack will also help you feel fuller for longer, meaning you’re less likely to snack throughout the day. Filling up on a hearty breakfast such as porridge with plenty of fruit can also speed up your metabolism, helping you burn fat faster.
As we all know, our bodies are made up of 70% water, which means getting into the habit of drinking roughly eight glasses of water a day, is key for staying hydrated. Drinking water regularly can help with weight loss in many ways; it can improve your mood, curb sugar cravings and improve exercise performance when working out. Get yourself a big water bottle, many high-street shops stock ones with times down the side, making it easy to track your water intake and therefore easier to develop the habit. You’ll also see added benefits such as improved memory, clearer skin and a healthier digestive system.
At various points in your weight-loss journey, you may find it hard to stay motivated and feel the need to reward yourself with “treat” foods or meals out. Whilst this is fine in moderation, it can reinforce links in your brain between food and rewards, which isn’t always beneficial when trying to lose weight. A healthier way to reward yourself when you’ve hit a big milestone is through non-food items that bring you equal amounts of joy – this could be new clothes to show off your slimmer figure, a weekend away or even something simple like a new lipstick. Telling your brain that food is needed to maintain your body, rather than using it as a reward is essential in shedding the pounds and a great habit to instil early on.
Preparation is everything and losing weight is no exception. Spending a little time on a Sunday preparing your meals for the week or doing a food shop is a great way to keep your diet in check. Make concise lists of the meals you plan to eat throughout the week, and then list out which ingredients you need – this will keep waste to a minimum and mean you always have something in the fridge when you come home from work. Likewise, make sure you have healthy snacks to hand when you’re on the go. Convenience foods such as cereal bars and pre-packaged sandwiches aren’t the healthiest options and can easily make you pile on the weight.
In essence, it can be quite difficult to set habits and even harder sticking to them but with some willpower and an organised plan, you put yourself in the best position to lose weight. Physically writing down your intentions can help – according to experts people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to succeed.