Many of us are in a yo-yo cycle of losing weight then gaining it right back. As a matter of fact, most people who lose weight will gain back at least 50% of it back in the first year. We don’t understand that for successful long-term weight loss, we need to change our bad habits. We make over 200 food choices every day, and too many of them are automatic, we eat without thinking.
Studies have found that most healthy people adopt the following habits to get and stay fit:
Aim to take 10,000 steps per day. Take the stairs, get off the train a stop early, or get up and walk around the office making calls. Use a Fitbit or an app on your phone to track your steps. Don’t let sedentary times last too long. Just getting up from your desk, walking around and stretching can be beneficial.
Pack healthy snacks to curb temptations. Choose healthy snacks with high protein to satisfy for hours. Nuts and fruit, though not high in protein, can satisfy that sweet snacking craving. Fats are ok but choose wisely. Low-fat dairy like cheese and yogurt, avocados and oily fish like tuna and salmon are great options.
Even though healthy snacks are ok, it’s good to keep to a regular meal schedule. Whether it’s three daily meals or six small ones, be consistent with keeping your blood sugar levels stable and keeping yourself feeling more sated. Skipping meals is not a good idea.
Become a label reader. Many processed foods have crazy sodium and saturated fat levels. Better yet, avoid them. Eat as fresh as possible. Five servings of vegetables and at least three of fruit daily is the target here. Watch portions and use smaller plates. It really works!
Consider switching to all water or unsweetened tea for your main beverages. Drinking at least 8 oz. of water with your meal will give you a fuller feeling. Try some of the new flavored seltzers. I love them, and there are so many to choose from now on the market. Don’t drink your calories. Fruit juice is vitamin-rich but has none of the fiber; eat a piece of fruit instead.
Lastly, make mealtime important. Focus on your food and savor every bite slowly. Take your time. Your internal fullness meter takes about 15 minutes to register. If you’re distracted by your phone or the TV, it may not even register at all.
Use these tips to develop consistent habits to ensure a much more fit and healthy lifestyle.
KATHLEEN WEAVER-ZECH AND DEAN’S TEAM CHICAGO