You might consider weight loss or just improving your health as one of your top aspirations.
But what is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your last attempt at healthy living or weight loss? If the first word that comes to mind is “failure”, let’s start to change that.
If you can only maintain your healthy regimen for a week or two, you might just need to make some small adjustments to achieve success. Here are 10 Daily Practices for Health and Weight Loss. Apply these regularly along with a sensible diet and lifestyle to create habits that will make a big difference in your long-term success.
Have a clear understanding of why you’re improving your life –
When you start a new health journey, you’re full of motivation. But that motivation can wane at times. Before you go to bed at night, write down why you are making these positive changes. Then read what you wrote upon waking in the morning. Being clear of the rewards in change will help you keep your promise to yourself throughout the day.
Find your source of relaxation –
You need to handle stress to achieve weight loss. Excess stress hormones can be integral to helping your body stay in fat storing mode. Develop a meditation practice, take a yoga class or write in a journal while taking a bubble bath (Just don’t drop your journal into the water!) Do what you need to do to keep your stress level down.
Drink lots of water –
Being properly hydrated can help you with health and weight loss in multiple ways. First, thirst is often confused with hunger which leads to overeating. Second, dehydration creates inflammation in the body which will make weight loss impossible. How much water should you drink a day? Divide your weight in pounds by 2. That number is the number of ounces you should drink daily.
Find a partner in crime –
A group is always stronger than its individuals members. And for weight loss, getting advice from others can be invaluable. Hit a roadblock? Need a great diet approved recipe? Advice from someone who has successfully gotten through that same obstacle can be helpful. You can also find support in online forums, so take advantage of those if you’re missing your own partner in crime.
Think like a turtle thinks –
It feels great to drop 5 or 6 pounds in a week. But not only isn’t that healthy, the results usually don’t last. Slow and steady is the way to go. Weight lost quickly compromises health and creates a stress induced imbalance that leads to weight gain. If you want results to last, exercise patience. Lose a pound or two a week and those pounds are much more likely to be lost forever.
Create ways to enjoy the journey –
You can think of creating a healthy lifestyle as work. Or you can look at it as an opportunity. This is a time in your life where you get to focus on you. It is a time to nurture yourself in new ways. Take time to focus on your hopes and dreams. Without food to camouflage your feelings, you can discover what you find really valuable.
Eat regularly and nourish your body –
Calorie counting is so 1995. If you want permanent weight loss, your attitude should be to nourish, not to deprive. There should be no saving your calories for the evening or skipping meals. When you wake in the morning, have a plan for when you’ll be eating during the day. Skipping meals can make your blood sugar plunge which will often be followed by a night time binge.
Find a new hobby –
Does the thought of going to the gym make you want to run into your bed and hide? Then you’re thinking of exercise all wrong. Working out doesn’t have to mean running on a treadmill or repetitions of weights. Try ice skating lessons at the community college. Or enjoy a tai chi class from Youtube. Perhaps you’ve always secretly wanted to tap dance. Find something you enjoy and you’ll stick with your exercise routine.
Throw out your scale –
The scale is one of the worst thing for those trying to lose weight. It doesn’t distinguish between fat, muscle, and even water weight. And while it’s super exciting to see that you’ve lost 5 pounds, it can be equally discouraging to see you’ve gained a single pound. And that extra pound can derail you if you’re easily discouraged. So put the scale away and focus on how your clothes fit, and more importantly, how you feel.
Understand your real hunger –
You won’t find a healthy regimen that will help if you have an unresolved emotional hunger. If you’re eating the wrong foods to help comfort uncomfortable feelings, it might surprise you that your real problem isn’t your diet but those unresolved feelings. Work through them with a psychologist, a minister or even a trusted friend. This is one of the most important daily steps for your journey towards a healthy future.