The general consensus among dieters is that managing your weight is difficult, but it doesn’t need to be. If by difficult you mean you can’t figure out what to eat, you just might be overthinking it. In this post I’m sharing 3 weight management habits, which if you master, you’ll virtually eliminate your weight drama. Practicing these habits will make managing your weight easier and take the focus off the scale, low-this and low-that eating plans.
I’ll go over these 3 habits in more detail below, but if you want to skip ahead and just get to the meat of it, here are the 3 tips:
- Focus on nutrition.
- Get your life in order.
- Move more every single day.
1. Focus on nutrition
Most healthy diets have the same foods on them and there is still no weight management diet that will ever beat eating real foods. This is just a fact so do yourself a favor and make peace with that so you can get on with learning how to make healthy foods taste delicious and convenient.
If you compare all the healthy eating plans, you’ll notice that about 80% of the foods they recommend are the same: There’s an emphasis on lean protein (eggs, fish, and chicken) and plant-based carbs. You’ll also notice that these charts don’t have boxed cereals, sausage rolls, pastries, sodas, meat products, and Lean Cuisines on them.
Here’s how focusing on nutrition is different from dieting and more sustainable.
When your goal is to lose 10, 20, 100 pounds, losing that set number of pounds IS your focus. But when you focus on nutrition, you’ll learn to buy real foods and learn convenient ways to prepare them. Food prepping can be your convenience-food option. Did you know that when you eat real foods, you’re likely to end or lessen food cravings. It’s the stuff that they put in processed foods that is making you crave them… like a smoker craves tobacco. Little by little, wean yourself off the junk with great tasting eats. When you focus on nutrition, you’re making sure you get the essential nutrients–iron, fiber, Vitamin K, Minerals, etc. It’s a whole different world and one that is really fascinating to explore. By focusing on nutrition, you’ll also lose the “diet” mentality. You’ll stop wondering about and looking for the newest diet. Whatever new eating plan (the healthy ones, anyway) that may be trending next year, it won’t be that much different from the real food plan.
Eat like this:
- 20% of your foods from naturally-sourced fats. Go for the healthy options extra virgin olive oil, avocado, salmon, and eggs.
- 40% lean proteins, including proteins from non-animal sources.
- 40% healthy (mainly plant-based) carbs, with just a few grains, nuts, and seeds.
2. Get your life in order
What’s going on in our lives is what is really driving many of our eating decisions. That’s just another fact to face and get under. Loneliness, stress, and skipping meals are some ways we derail our diet and end up making poor food decisions. When we take care of our emotions and our lives, we feel more even-tempered and in control.
- Studies have shown that people who eat lunch after 3 p.m. found it harder to lose weight.
- They’ve also found that people who don’t eat breakfast experience more food cravings.
- A longer overnight fast increases fat loss because the body has had time to reach a state of ketosis so if you must eat late at night from time to time, reach for foods that digest quickly.
- Eating at regular intervals and at the same time, keeps your metabolism sharp and blood sugar levels in range.
There are many other hacks and tips, too numerous to post here, that when you start following them, will help you lead an orderly life. With your life in order, you’ll have fewer food drama and managing your weight may even become a non-issue.
3. Move more (at least 3 miles a day)
The third habit you need to get on is to move more. The Department of Health and Human Services used to recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week but thanks to our ultra-convenient lifestyle, that recommendation is no longer enough. The new recommendation is at least 3 miles a day. When it comes to exercise, one new habit everyone should master is just moving more! Moving more every day doesn’t require going to the gym every day or doing hardcore workouts. Just walking more will do. Use an app, Fitbit or another tracker to track how many steps you take per day and try to get in a minimum of 3 miles a day.
Now that you have a more simplified plan, I hope you feel more confident that you can do this because, of course, you can! You can definitely learn to eat nutritiously, time your meals right and move more. Getting your life in order won’t be something that you can do overnight, so until you do, at least focus on those two things: walking more and eating real foods.
Your desire to lose weight and look good may seem superficial, but it’s actually not. It can lead to an internal transformation too and so, totally worth working on.
Christine is a lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles. Using systems, routines, and some psychological trickery, she can help almost anyone hack their mind and life for greater productivity. Email email@example.com to find out if she's available for one-on-one work.