If weight loss is your goal, you should take notes and study the habits of people who know how to lose weight and keep it off! In actuality, weight loss is easy; it’s keeping it off that is the hard part. I’m sure you’ve met a hundred people that have lost weight in their lifetime, but unfortunately, most of them gain it right back. If you are hoping to lose weight or have already lost weight and plan on keeping it off then follow these 7 habits of people who lose weight and keep it off!
1. They Eat a Low-calorie Diet
One of the first habits of people who lose weight and keep it off is that they learn how to maintain a low-calorie diet. Note here that I didn’t write no-calorie, just low-calorie. As I dietitian, I would never recommend than anyone eat fewer than 1,200 calories per day (food is our fuel, remember?), however people that have successfully lost weight and kept it off have simply learned to eat less than they used to. They’ve learned to listen to their bodies rather than their stomachs and eyes and to eat just enough.
2. They Eat More Fat
One of my favorite diet tips to tell people trying to lose weight is to eat more fat. Most people are in disbelief when I tell them this; however, healthy fats are one of the best weight loss foods around. Even though they are higher in calories per gram (9 calories per gram) than both carbohydrates and protein (4 calories per gram), fat is much slower to digest causing you to feel much more satiated thus eating less overall. Foods like nuts, seeds, nut butters, avocados, etc. are great to add to dishes and to snack on in small amounts throughout the day.
3. They Are Physically Active
Another habit of successful weight losers is that they are all physically active. While many of them do spend a good bit of time and the gym on most days, a lot of them don’t step foot inside of a gym at all. Instead, they are just more physically active throughout the day. They walk their dogs, take the stairs, ride their bikes to work, park further away, play with their kids and do other things that require movement and burn calories. If you want to be a successful loser, think about how you can be more active throughout your day.
4. They Limit Fast Food
This one might seem obvious, but most people that have lost and kept the weight off, have done so by changing up their eating habits. Many of them used to enjoy fast food on a daily basis, however, with a new healthy weight comes new healthy habits like limiting fast food. If they do pick up fast food, they opt for a healthier option now as well; for example, they might go with a grilled chicken salad and fruit cup instead of the fried chicken sandwich and fries. While fast food is never the healthiest option, it’s all about the choices that you make while you are there.
5. They Eat Breakfast
Even though breakfast has been touted over and over again as being the most important meal of the day, it is still the most common meal skipped. Research suggests that the people that don’t eat breakfast actually weigh more and eat more calories throughout the day than breakfast eaters. People that successfully lose weight and keep it off learn to eat breakfast, no matter what their minds might be telling them. A lot of people tell me that they don’t have an appetite in the morning but finding something that you can eat, like yogurt, oatmeal, cereal, peanut butter toast, a banana, etc., is crucial for your overall health.
6. They Weigh Themselves Once a Week
Another habit of successful weight losers is finding a way to track their progress, and for many of them it’s a scale. Stepping on a scale once a week allows you to closely monitor your weight. It is a lot easier to lose 3 pounds than it is 20 pounds if you slowly let it creep up like that. If you have a prior unhealthy relationship with the scale like a lot of women, find another way to monitor how you are doing. One way to do this is simply notice how you feel in your clothes. If you notice your pants are starting to feel a little bit tight, it might be time to tighten the ropes and pay closer attention to what you are eating.
7. They Limit TV
Along with increased physical activity, people that successfully lose weight and keep it off limit the amount of TV that they watch per week. Sitting on the couch and watching TV is a very sedentary habit. It takes much more energy for your body to be standing up than it does to be sitting down; therefore, you burn many more calories up on your feet than lounging on the couch. If you have a favorite show, allow yourself a small amount of time to watch it and then once it is over, start moving again. Another good habit to get into is to use the commercial breaks as exercise and stretching breaks. That way you can get the best of both worlds; your TV time and increased physical activity!
Over a lifetime many people lose and gain the same 50 or more pounds. If you have worked hard enough to lose the weight, keep it off by getting into the habits that I mentioned above. Has your weight fluctuated throughout the years because of successful weight loss attempts but unsuccessful weight maintenance following your hard work? If you have successfully kept weight off, how have you done it?