Crafting Your Waistline and Controlling Your Habit Formation
Dr. Philip Rodger
Owner and Clinic Director
With every new year, you are likely thinking about your goals. Whether you are looking to lose weight, exercise more, or live a healthier lifestyle, habit formation is critical.
Before you make new habits, though, it is essential to identify the bad habits that are already sabotaging you. Doing so will help you to stick to the healthy habits you form and see progress quicker.
This article will help you recognize the mistakes you are making when it comes to weight loss. Then, it will help you replace these with long-term, healthy habits.
Worst Habits for Losing Weight
Many individuals have trouble losing weight because of the unhealthy habits that they have developed over the years. Sometimes, they try to stick to a healthy diet and exercise plan but are not aware that their routine holds them back. Here are some of the worst yet most common habits for losing weight.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
As long as you are eating nutrient-dense meals and exercising, your sleep quality may not seem like a big part of the weight-loss equation. However, you are much more likely to make bad decisions when you are sleepy. That can make sticking to your goals challenging.
Perhaps you have noticed that when you don’t get adequate rest, you feel hungrier. That’s because hormone production is altered when you don’t get enough sleep, particularly ghrelin and leptin. These hormones let you know when you are full and suppress hunger.
Having Meals with Big Groups
Although you likely enjoy eating a meal with your friends, you should be careful about these gatherings’ frequency, especially if you want to lose weight. Studies show that when people eat with a group, they consume 30-50% more food.
This behavior is due to a phenomenon called social facilitation. It leads to an increase in action merely because humans hear or see their peers engaged in the same behavior.
So, when you eat with friends, be mindful of the amount and foods you are eating. If you find it challenging to do so, try to arrange outings that don’t revolve around food.
Eating on Large Plates
One study observed individuals at a buffet and found that 98.6% of obese individuals chose large plates instead of small ones. That led to larger portion sizes and higher consumption of calories than those who decided to use smaller plates.
By choosing smaller serving dishes, you can keep your portions in check. Remember, if you are still hungry, you can always get more food without piling your plate high.
Healthy Habits for Weight Loss
Once you have identified and rooted out your bad habits, it’s time to create healthy ones. Here are some of the most important habits you should keep.
Drinking Plenty of Water
It is easy to confuse thirst or boredom with feelings of hunger. When you are focused on drinking water throughout the day, you will be less likely to mindlessly snack. It will also force you to stand up more often to refill your water bottle or use the bathroom.
Consuming plenty of water has many health benefits, such as flushing out toxins and stimulating metabolism function. Plus, the body needs water to burn fat, and dehydration inhibits the lipolysis process.
Planning Your Meals
After a long and busy day, the last thing you want to do is come home to prepare a healthy meal. It may be tempting to order take out or warm up a frozen TV dinner.
If you plan and prepare your meals in advance, you will more likely follow through with your diet. You will also be able to get more vitamins and minerals through the foods you consume and save money.
Taking Active Breaks
If you have a desk job, it can be hard to get exercise in during the day. Nevertheless, taking just five minutes an hour to walk around or stretch can increase your daily calorie expenditure. That can make all the difference when you don’t have a lot of time to hit the gym.
Packing a Healthy Snack
Sometimes, hunger strikes when we least expect it. It may force us to buy whatever is convenient. However, prepackaged or fast foods often contain more calories and saturated fats, making them poor choices for dieters.
Instead of waiting for hunger to surprise you, be prepared. Pack a healthy snack in your bag each day, so you don’t have to settle for unhealthy choices.
How to Control Habits
Many people know what they need to do to lose weight but aren’t sure how to form habits. In many cases, habit formation is all about finding a system to track your progress. This can keep you accountable and motivated.
For some people, this means using calorie counters to track what they have eaten. If you are already using an app to count your caloric intake, you may wish to pair it with a fitness tracker. No matter which model you opt for, you will be able to see how often you are standing, walking, or moving.
A simple habit tracker could undoubtedly do the trick if you want to learn how to control your habits without apps and devices. Habit trackers are printable charts that help you check off your habits each day. After just one month of checking off your goals each day, you will have formed new habits!
When you reach your goal, you can reward yourself with something special. This could be a new pair of shoes or tickets to a concert. However, you should avoid rewarding yourself with unhealthy foods.
Habit Formation Made Easy
By reducing bad habits and replacing them with new, healthy routines, you should be on your way to a healthier you. However, habit formation isn’t always easy. In some cases, you may feel overwhelmed, especially after many failed attempts to lose weight.
If you are having difficulty shedding pounds and staying healthy, you may need specialized help from professionals. With our ChiroThin program, you will be able to modify your diet and behavior to lose weight and keep it off.
Are you ready to get started on the path to a healthier you?