Do you want to lose weight?
If so, you’re not alone. Whether it’s getting beach-ready, shedding the baby weight, or addressing a health concern, nearly all of us want to lose weight at some point in our lives.
However, we all know that losing weight isn’t easy.
Millions of people go on diets every year and, unfortunately, millions of people fail to stick them! Sound familiar?! The problem is that a diet requires willpower, and unless you are superhuman, your willpower eventually breaks, and you find yourself falling back into your old ways.
So, what is the answer?
Well, there has been a lot of research over recent years into the power of habits.
We all have habits that we perform every day without even thinking about them – brushing our teeth, locking the front door when we leave home, checking our emails as soon as we turn on our computers. Habits help us get through our daily lives by limiting the number of decisions we need to make. However, many of us fall into bad habits that mean we unconsciously perform unhealthy behaviours repeatedly; stopping to buy a chocolate muffin on the way to work every day, ordering a takeaway because we’re too tired to cook, buying unhealthy snacks when we go to the supermarket.
The first bit of good news is that your habits are not set in stone.
You have the capability of changing old habits and creating new ones. The second bit of good news is that you can use the power of good habits to help you lose weight. Instead of relying on willpower, which will eventually break, you can create positive habits that will direct your behaviour without you even having to think about it!
Below are 5 Ways to Create Habits to Help You Lose Weight:
Sleep in Your Gym Clothes:
I recently read a book about habits where the author said that, in order to create the habit of exercising every morning, he went to bed in his gym clothes! It sounds crazy, but he said that waking up in his gym gear made him feel that the decision to exercise had already been made. It took much less willpower to drag himself out of bed when his brain was already committed to hitting the gym.
If this seems a little extreme to you, try laying out your gym gear and your trainers next to your bed, so that when you wake up all you have to do is grab them. The idea is to try and reduce the number of steps between you and the gym!
Buy A Water Bottle:
We all know that drinking lots of water is an excellent way to lose weight. Not only does water help flush out toxins, but it makes you feel full so that you are less inclined to look around for snacks.
Buy a reusable water bottle and keep it on your desk at work. Make sure that you drink the whole bottle before you leave for lunch and then again before you leave at the end of the day. After a couple of weeks, you’ll have created the habit of drinking lots of water.
Use Smaller Plates:
Research shows that, if you eat the same amount of food off a small plate or a big plate, your brain will feel less satisfied with the food from the big plate. So, bigger plates mean bigger portions.
By replacing your plates with smaller ones, you can trick yourself into eating less. You will create the habit of eating smaller portions without even realising it.
Control Your Kitchen:
How many times have you bought biscuits and cakes at the supermarket, and then promised yourself that you’ll only have one as an occasional treat? And how many times have you devoured the whole packet within an evening?! Yes, we’ve all been there.
If you have unhealthy snacks in your kitchen, you are relying on your willpower to stop you from gorging on them. As we know, willpower is not a reliable friend! If you want to stop gorging on unhealthy snacks after dinner, then you have to take control of what’s in your kitchen. If it’s not there, then you can’t eat it.
Replace A Bad Habit with A Good One:
Do you have one particularly unhealthy habit you’d like to change? Maybe it’s a mid-morning doughnut with your coffee, finishing your kids’ leftovers or snacking on peanuts while you make dinner (the last one is my weakness!)
One way to break bad habits is to replace them with another, better habit. For example, if you find yourself heading to the vending machine for a chocolate bar every afternoon, replace this habit with a quick walk around the block to get some fresh air. After a couple of weeks of changing this behaviour, you’ll have created a new habit of walking rather than snacking.
To Sum Up:
Trying to lose weight by relying on willpower alone is doomed for failure. So, don’t put yourself through the misery! Instead, take advantage of the power of habits.
A bit of work to form and create habits means that you can lose weight and build a long-lasting, healthy lifestyle.
If you’re not as happy or healthy as you could be, visit https://ontheroadtohappiness.org/ for more tips about how to get the most out of your one, precious life!