We all know at least one or two of them. Those people who aren’t slavishly watching every mouthful, but somehow always maintain a slim, strong shape. How do they do it? What are their diet and fitness habits and is it possible to make them work for YOU?
We’ve got the 20 BEST tips to becoming one of those people who keep the weight off by being mindful of a few key habits. Practice this list in your everyday life and achieve the shape you want – and keep it!
1. Don’t become a slave to routine. If you have the same fitness schedule every single week, then mix it up. Switch out HIIT for Power Yoga and try an outdoor sport if you usually exercise indoors. Keeping your routine varied keeps you on your toes and means that you’re working out different parts of your body on a regular basis. Mentally, it keeps your interest levels topped up as well.
2. Eat breakfast. People who keep weight off don’t skip breakfast. Make sure that you either leave enough time to eat in the morning or take a healthy breakfast with you to eat on the go, or at your desk. Avoid sugary cereals and maybe try whole grain toast or muffins, oatmeal, or fresh or dried fruit and nuts with yogurt. If none of those appeal, then how about eggs? Scrambled, poached and served over avocado toast or in an egg cup with dippy bread, they make a nutritious and delicious start to the day.
3. Move around every day. One of the most important habits to get into if you want to keep the weight off is to do something physical every single day – especially if your work/study life is a sedentary one. Take the stairs, walk to the store or gym, or get into the habit of doing a series of stretching exercises in the morning and again at night. If there’s an opportunity to move around – even taking a pile of files to the desk of a colleague on the next floor, then do it. Anything that raises your heart rate and gets your muscles working and blood pumping – even if it’s only briefly – it’s still a win.
4. People who keep the weight off have a number of great habits – but one of the best is a refusal to see healthy living as a burden. Find a form of exercise you love and learn to prepare some healthy but delicious meals and snacks, and you’re more than halfway there.
5. Check in with your mental health. If you’ve been under a lot of pressure, or life is, or has been, stressful, then turning to comfort eating is the most natural thing in the world. But two things here: your mental health is of equal importance to physical health, so do speak with your doctor about how you’re feeling. Second, comfort eating is often discouraged, but to be honest? Eating should be pleasurable, and it’s okay to feel comforted by it, as long as you’re not overeating, and your comfort food of choice is a reasonably healthful one.
6. Snacks aren’t all bad, even for those people who are successful in keeping the weight off. Similar to the matter of comfort eating – make it a healthy choice. Some people prefer to graze on small amounts of food throughout the day: others prefer a sizeable meal and avoid snacking. You don’t have to adopt someone else’s preferences but make smart choices and keep your snacking nutritious and junk-free.
7. Move on from bad days. Don’t give yourself a hard time about having a day when you hit the cookies or the kids’ candy. It happens and it doesn’t define your eating habits or you. People – and indeed articles about losing weight(!) – often talk about feelings of guilt if you overindulge. Try to separate negative emotions from what you’ve eaten and move swiftly onto the next day, determined to do your best.
8. On a similar note…be a good friend to yourself. Talk kindly to yourself and recognize your brilliant, positive attributes. Give yourself a pep talk if you feel down or lacking in discipline. Remind yourself what you’re trying to achieve, and how awesome you’ll feel when you’ve morphed into one of those people who ‘magically’ keep the weight off!
9. Don’t deprive yourself. Cutting out all your favorite foods is an unsustainable approach and moreover, a pretty miserable one! Food is a joy, and you should generally find it a pleasure and not a chore. If you adore ice cream, then do one of three things: enjoy the indulgent, six-toppings-and-counting, super-deluxe version once a week, scrape out every bit from the dish and collapse on the sofa to recover, guilt-free. But only do that once a week and skip a week every now and then. Second choice: have a scoop of your favorite flavor a couple of times per week but be disciplined and put the lid back on afterward. Third choice (our personal favorite) – learn how to make a healthful version of the thing you love and enjoy it every day! With skim milk, natural sugar substitutes and exotic ingredients available at the click of a button, there’s nothing to stop you experimenting!
10. People who keep the weight off will usually have a friend or two that they workout with and who shares their enthusiasm for living strong and in good health. Look around your social circle and find out if any of your besties are up for buddying you as you work towards your goals.
11. Plan meals and cook from scratch. Eating well starts with good ingredients and uncomplicated, nutritious recipes. If you want to keep the weight off, then you need to get to grips with preparing delicious food that you want to eat! Make a list of your favorite dishes, and do a little research into the easiest versions, then shop and chop accordingly!
12. Here’s a thing: people who ace keeping the weight off tend to gravitate towards similar habits, and one of those habits is getting enough sleep. A nourishing, regular sleep routine is key to good health – and a stable weight.
13. Try not to weigh yourself too much. Okay, if you find it motivating to see how much you weigh, then fine, but if a weigh-in leaves you feeling downbeat and demotivated, then stop doing it. Weighing yourself every three weeks is plenty. If you use this list to copy the habits of people who do keep the weight off, then you’ll be winning – but the scales might not always make you feel as though you are.
14. One of the non-negotiables for the majority of people who foster great habits to keep the weight off is a super-simple one: drink water! An even better tip? Drink ionized alkaline water and make your weight loss journey a much easier one. Alkaline water is the secret weapon of millions of people who keep the weight off!
15. Know your triggers. If sitting watching TV makes you reach for the cookies or popcorn, stop doing it, or at least cut down on the time you spend doing it. If a glass of wine makes you stay up later in the evening and lowers your resistance to late-night snacking, then stop. You don’t have to make any sweeping lifestyle changes, but do yourself a favor and swerve the situations that trigger unhealthy snacking.
16. Ditch the diet. Draw what you will from it, but the majority of people who keep excess weight off don’t follow diets. By tweaking how you approach food and exercise and by adopting mindful, healthy habits as a lifestyle choice, you won’t even need to diet. How cool is that?
17. Give it time. We’re talking a lot about making new habits here, and specifically forming new, healthful ones, so give them chance to take hold. Most new habits take around 21 – 28 days to feel ‘natural’ so be patient with yourself.
18. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables. We know, groundbreaking. But still, we have to mention it. By adding more of both into every meal, you’ll be making it much easier to lose weight, and keep it off. It’s that simple.
19. Check your portions. One simple tweak is to make your portions slightly smaller (except for the aforementioned fruit and veggies!). It doesn’t have to be much: eat a little less for each meal, chew each mouthful and take time to enjoy your food.
20. Be prepared. People who keep the weight off share one awesome habit: they always have a healthy snack with them! Be prepared with a homemade granola bar, bran muffin or a handful of nuts in a snack pot, so you never need to turn to unhealthy junk food to deal with unexpected hunger pangs!
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