Maybe you want to start eating healthier or exercising more so that you can lose weight. However, it’s a lot harder to stick to new healthy habits for weight loss than it is to set the intention.
Fortunately, there are strategies you can use to increase the likelihood you’ll have success creating healthy habits. Here are five tactics we recommend.
Your first step in forming healthy diet habits should be to set measurable and trackable resolutions. Instead of saying something vague like, “I want to lose weight until I feel good in a swimsuit,” you could say, “I plan to lose 50 pounds over the course of 6 months.” Record your progress in a journal, on note cards, or somewhere else that you’ll regularly see what you’ve written. As you start seeing yourself making progress with developing good health habits, you’ll want to keep moving towards your goal.
For something to become a habit, you have to do it regularly until it becomes a normal part of your routine. For example, if your goal is to go to the gym four times a week, set your gym schedule and stick to it. Forming healthy habits is a lot easier if you’re doing it consistently rather than sporadically.
Remember that it’s important to be persistent, too. Your new habit might not stick immediately, but just because you slip once or twice doesn’t mean you have to give up on it. If you keep trying to develop healthy habits for weight loss, you increase your chances of success.
Creating healthy habits is easier when people around you are trying to stick to the same habits, or at least holding you accountable. If you have a friend who also wants to lose weight through dieting, you could agree to start your diets at the same time and check in on each other to see how it’s going. If you want to exercise more but don’t normally enjoy working out, you could look for a group class at your gym or ask a friend to be your walking buddy. When you add a social element, forming healthy habits will seem less like a chore.
You can also get support through the doctors and nutritionists at Diet Doc. If you’re having trouble sticking to healthy habits for weight loss, our customized programs can help. You’ll get motivational counseling and access to weight loss doctors seven days a week.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Not only is a good night’s sleep important to your physical health, it can also play a big role in your ability to exercise willpower. Research shows that sleep-deprived individuals are more likely than well-rested people to give in to impulses. It’s possible that sleep deprivation limits our willpower, energy, and self-control required for developing good health habits. Remove the obstacles created by sleep deprivation and set yourself up for success by aiming for seven to nine hours of sleep every night.
Celebrate Your Progress
Don’t wait until you meet your final goal to reward yourself. Set mini-goals and celebrate when you meet them; this will activate the reward centers of your brain and create positive associations with your new healthy diet habits.
Let’s go back to the example of wanting to lose 50 pounds in six months. You could decide to reward yourself for every 10-pound loss. Take a long bath, add money to a vacation fund, see a movie with a friend—do whatever will make you feel good without breaking your healthy new habits for weight loss.