Are you looking for a quick fix to shed those extra pounds? You’re not alone. With so many trendy diets out there, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that there’s a magic solution to weight loss. But the truth is, sustainable weight loss comes from making lasting lifestyle changes, not short-term diets.
If you’re serious about seeing lasting results, it’s time to break some bad habits. By making small changes to your daily routine, you can make a big difference in your health and fitness. In fact, consistent habit changes can even help you lose up to 20 pounds in just two weeks, as it did for my friend Lara, who lost 58 pounds in a year!
And the best part? You don’t need crazy diets or intense workouts to see results. Let’s get started on breaking those bad habits and achieving your weight loss goals.
1. Banning a food
Everyone has an all-time favorite junk food or an item that you can’t stop eating once you start. But crossing it off your grocery list forever will only heighten its appeal.
Try not to restrict any food from your diet because they will become more attractive when they are forbidden.
Instead, allow yourself the food in moderation.
Granted, you know your own habits. If you’re certain you will eat a whole box of cookies if it’s sitting in your pantry, then you should only buy yourself one cookie. And when you’re consuming it, eat it mindfully.
Slowly enjoy every aspect of flavor, texture, and aroma so you are truly satisfied.
2. Skimping on sleep
If you’ve ever felt bleary-eyed at your desk and inhaled an entire croissant without even paying any attention to what you were doing, you know that your sleep affects your eating habits.
Sleep loss is the number-one culprit that can throw your hunger cues out of whack.
The good news? This may be the most enjoyable habit to break—and the benefits of getting enough sleep can extend into all part of your life.
3. Crash dieting
You’re in a wedding next weekend and know that only eating cottage cheese will kill 5 pounds, easy.
Or everyone in your office is trying the juice cleanse, and you feel almost left out if you don’t participate.
Resist the urge. Strict diets are unhealthy, but there’s more to it than that: Studies show they don’t work, they slow your metabolism, and you will gain all the weight back.
If it’s making you dizzy with hunger, it’s definitely not a long-term solution.
4. Binge drinking
Getting drunk and then housing a pizza might be a behavior associated with college life, but that doesn’t mean you stopped at age 22.
Alcohol lowers inhibitions and therefore increases mindless eating. To curb this, don’t drink on empty stomach, pace yourself, and keep healthier snacks in the fridge for when you get home and defenses are down.
5. Skipping meals
It seems like simple math, right? If you skip lunch and eat a normal dinner, you just saved a ton of calories.
But that’s not how it works. Your hunger hormone—ghrelin—and satiety hormone—leptin—work best when nourished every four hours.
If not, they go out of whack and can cause overeating later.
Try planning your meals ahead of time, especially on days you know you’ll be crazy busy and might be likely to skip.
6. Eating fat-free foods
It’s a bit of a holdover from the ’90s, but low-fat cheese, butter, and cookies might still be hanging out in your kitchen right now.
Remember that fat is not the bad guy. We need fat to keep us full and promote satiety.
Removing fat from food will leave us craving more and overeating later.
Picking fat-free versions of certain foods can even cause you to take in fewer nutrients from them.
Removing fat from foods like dairy prevents absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins like A and D—and calcium, as well.