As I mentioned in my first blog about living healthier and losing weight, for a healthy lifestyle to be sustainable, it has to be just that—a lifestyle. It can’t be a fad diet or something that isn’t doable for the rest of your life. This list contains lifestyle changes that you should make in order to make this a way of life and not just something you do until you lose your weight.
1. DO chart your weight loss.
I know you do not want anyone to know your weight, so feel free to put it somewhere no one can see, but I do chart my weight every week. I do this just to see… and I do NOT worry about if I’ve gained a pound or lost five. This is just for your records! It helps me to identify things that might be effective for me or hinder me from losing weight and getting healthier. For instance, if I do have a week with substantial weight gain, I can think back over the week and identify what might have caused that change.
2. DO plan healthy snacks.
One of the worst things you can do is not take the time to either go to the nearest grocery store and get healthy snacks for when you need a little nibble or get a bunch of Ziploc bags and make your snacks at home. Meal prepping is key when living a healthy lifestyle. It’s super easy and once you form the habit of doing it, you’ll wonder why you never did it before! Instead of just snacking on whatever’s available or rushing to a vending machine or convenience store when you get really hungry, you should plan to have healthy snacks in between meals. Fruit, veggies, yogurt, dried fruit are all good choices.
3. DO think long term.
You won’t lose weight overnight. Well, you could lose weight quickly, but you don’t want to — it’ll come back just as quickly. What you want is gradual weight loss that stays lost. A pound a week is a good rate — again, that’s 500 calories a day less than you need to maintain your current weight, and it’s about 50 pounds a year. Both are achievable, and both are sustainable. Of course, you’ll need to make adjustments as you go along in case you’re taking in too little or too many calories, but the main thing is not to try for immediate and quick weight loss, but long-term loss. Don’t worry about the ups and downs every day, but look at trends over weeks and months. If you stick with it and do it moderately, it’ll happen.
4. DO read about weight loss.
This might seem like a weird tip, but I’ve found it to be true. If you keep your focus on your goal, you will most likely achieve it. But if you lose focus, you’ll lose motivation, and soon you’ll stop any progress. What you should do is read about weight loss — success stories, tips, etc. — to return you to that focus and motivation. Any time you’re losing motivation, read some articles about weight loss or exercise or eating healthy.
5. DO go for a walk!
Burning an additional 300 calories a day with three miles of brisk walking (45 minutes should do it) could help you lose 30 pounds in a year without even changing how much you’re eating.
6. DO clean your closet of the “fat” clothes.
Once you’ve reached your target weight, throw out or give away every piece of clothing that doesn’t fit. The idea of having to buy all of those clothes again PLUS having your new skinny clothes hanging up so beautifully will help you maintain your goal weight.
7. When you shop, DO choose nutritious foods based on these four simple rules:
Avoid partially hydrogenated.
Avoid high fructose corn syrup.
Choose a short ingredient list over long; there will be fewer flavor enhancers and empty calories.
Look for more than two grams of fiber per 100 calories in all grain products (cereal, bread, crackers, and chips)
8. DO take the time to work out.
By rule of thumb I work out 5-6 days a week. Now with that being said, my work out of the day might be 40 squats in the shower or 50 jumping jacks after I fold all the laundry. Figure out where working out fits into your life and your schedule and do things that you can in the spaces and places that you have. BE CREATIVE so you don’t get bored with working out and quit.