In my last post, I told you that research has shown that weight loss is most successful AND sustainable when it is part of a lifestyle change, not a crash diet.
But how do you go about changing your lifestyle? That sounds hard, right?
Which brings us to my next tip: Build habits.The most successful way to build a healthy lifestyle is to focus on healthy habits, one at a time. Research shows that focusing on one behavior and practicing it over and over until it becomes a true habit, is successful and leads to real change. Once you have one habit down, move on to the next. The great thing about focusing on a habit is that you can start where you are and work from there. Habits can - and should - be simple and easy to achieve. Some examples that relate to a healthy lifestyle are:
Eat a vegetable with every meal
Eat a new vegetable every week until you find two that you like
Eat a protein with every meal
Replace one drink with a meal with water
Prepack your lunch the night before
The list is really endless, and can be completely individualized to wherever you are on your own personal path. Already eat a ton of veggies? Work on adding some lean proteins. Not sure where to start? Start with water consumption.
How do you track habits? Easy! With a chart, the same way charts are used to record progress for any activity (e.g. workouts, reading logs, potty training!).
Revamping your entire diet overnight is not the solution. Following yet another fad diet or cutting out one food group entirely is not the answer, either. Extreme changes may work in the short term, but fail in the long term. Working on one habit at a time may seem like a long road, but it will lead to a lasting and satisfying change.