What difference can weight loss habits make? As humans we are creatures of habit. Most of us get up about the same time every morning. We take the same route to work and back home again. We shop at the same grocery store. We buy the same brands of food and toothpaste. Why? Because we like consistency in our life and besides there’s less to remember when we do everything by habit.
Why Build Good Weight Loss Habits
Habits can be good or bad for us; everyone knows that. Look at weight loss habits as being like a single strand of sewing thread that is wrapped around your wrists once. It’s pretty easy to break that single strand isn’t it? Now have someone wrap the thread around your wrists several times. Now try and break it. It doesn’t snap as easily does it? It’s because each wrapping of string adds strength to the one before it.
You can wrap yourself up with either type of habit…good or bad. The choice is yours. You’re the one who has the ultimate control over what choices you make.
Forming a New Habit
When you create weight loss habits involving staying busy during the day, there are fewer opportunities for your hands to do things they shouldn’t like light up a cigarette or pop a cookie or several potato chips into your mouth. These can include hobbies such as:
- Chopping vegetables for the next day’s meals/snacks
- Knitting , needlepoint, building models or anything else that uses both hands the whole time
- Video games that don’t involve extensive breaks in which to snack
- Folding laundry
Become More Mindful of Your Habits
We all have habits. We get set in those habits. The next time you get up and dressed, take notice of which sock or shoe you put on first. Which side of your mouth do you start brushing your teeth on?
The more occupied we are with things to do during the day, the less time we have to indulge ourselves with the not-so-good weight loss habits like sitting down and watching television while we munch. Many, many people will take their plate and plop down in front of that screen. During commercials, we get up and refill our plate. We wind up overeating…stuffing ourselves.
How to Break Bad Weight Loss Habits
So how do we break this routine and create good weight loss habits? The only way to break a habit is to replace it with another one…a habit that’s better for us. It’s not just a matter of stopping what you don’t want to do. You need to give yourself an alternative activity so a hole isn’t left behind. Replace the unwanted habit with a neutral activity or one that is beneficial.
How about replacing snacking in front of the TV with something that will burn calories instead? Consider the following:
- Getting on that dusty stationary bike or elliptical trainer and working out while you watch TV.
- Doing jumping jacks during commercials.
- Doing “drinking game” style exercises. Choose a common word or phrase in a show and do 8 push-ups, crunches, squats or other exercises whenever the word is said in the show!
You’d be surprised at how much weight will drop away by just getting more active.
Other Great Ideas to Build Healthy Weight Management Habits
How about instead of reaching for a diet soda while you talk on the phone, you grab a container of something healthier to drink like juice or even water?
There are only so many things you can do at one time. Give your hands an assignment of staying busy. It’s really tough to eat and keyboard or sew at the same time.
Start by keeping a weight loss journal. In it, keep track of the times when you automatically reach for food or walk into the kitchen. At that point…create a new habit. Drink a full glass of water instead of grabbing that desert cup of chocolate pudding or that last piece of pie. You can do this!
Remember! You’re wrapping that string of “good weight loss habits” around and around your wrist until one day you find that you’re doing the right thing rather than the convenient thing.