Learn about how to make (and break) healthy habits for weight loss, and how to rebuild them to achieve lasting weight loss success.
How Habits for Weight Loss are Made, Broken, and ReBuilt
Habits are the most powerful driving force behind how you live your life each day, without you even knowing it. Understand what makes a habit and how to change bad habits for good here.
In our today’s podcast of the Realistic Nutrition Podcast with the behavior change specialist Dr. Heather McKee, we’ll learn how to stick to our daily healthy habits.
“Habits are for life, not just for January”
Our lovely guest Dr. Heather McKee spent a long time studying why people tend to run away from their healthy habits just a week or two after starting it.
While she was in a metabolic syndrome clinic, she came across a lot of heart patients and diabetic patients who were struggling with their weight. Despite being given the best nutritional plans, people weren’t able to make it a habit. This curiosity lead her to start her own business.
So, The Question Is How Are Habits Made?
Habits for weight loss, fitness, health are made through context-dependent repetition.
What does that mean exactly? Let’s break the term to understand it more easily.
When you repeat the same thing multiple times, it becomes a part of your habit.
Just like brushing our teeth. Why don’t people miss brushing their teeth? Because it’s part of their habit which is formed through context-dependent repetition.
Repeating the same step of brushing your teeth over and over again makes it a part of your daily routine which you don’t even have to think about doing anymore.
To develop your routine, you need to do things in the same context to make it a habit. That’s what you call a habit loop. Maybe that means setting your supplements beside your morning glass of water or putting your workout shoes next to the TV remote.
Another thing that keeps you going is performing an action in return for a reward like brushing your teeth rewards you with positive dental hygiene and/or a mouth that feels clean. This could be the rush of endorphins you get after a workout or the sense of calm after a walk.
Our environment also plays a major role in developing healthy or unhealthy habits. Just like our phone. If it has TikTok or Instagram on the home screen, we’ll definitely start scrolling through the. Hey, I do it too.
It’s a known fact that the harder the friction, the less likely is the possibility to engage in it.
Another important thing is to take baby steps while adding a change in your habits. The more goals you add in, the more we lose our focus on the main one. There’s a term for it called goal dilution.
So keep it simple, and focus on one small goal at a time.
Start as Small as Possible
How to change habits to lose weight? Start small.
The best way to make things or changes actually happen is by breaking the goals into small, easy to engage with habits.
Rather than focusing on healthy eating all the time, start with one meal at a time and then build in over the weeks.
Maybe that looks like one salad a day for lunch or focusing on healthy snacks to keep you fueled between meals and writing it down in your food journal.
Just like if you’re thinking of going for a walk, make it easier for yourself. Set a bar for yourself and an attainable level and then start building up once you accomplish that goal.
That could look like walking for 20 minutes, a day 3x a week. Then maybe that’s 4x a week the next week. A week after that, maybe go for 30 minutes.
“Habits that are easy to follow are the habits we repeat”
To create a habit, we need to repeat a habit in the same context enough time for it to become automatic, like brushing your teeth. This is how to make sustainable lifestyle changes.
Failing your Habit Journey
Dr. Heather also mentioned that it’s really important to set out a habit journey knowing that you’ll fail.
This is because it’s your greatest learning opportunity.
She recommends that if you want to track something, track when you get into the temptation, evaluate your triggers, and then you can start knocking off those patterns one at a time by crowding them into healthy habits.
We, as humans, can and will fail. It’s not a new thing to know. But, what we can do is turn our failures into opportunities for learning.
Asking yourself, when and where is the best place for me to actually carry this out and experiment with that? And then finally think of your future self.
Who doesn’t wanna lose weight and not eat just steamed fish and broccoli everyday diet? Well, count me in!
The good news is that we don’t need to be hard on ourselves to lose weight or to stay healthy. Certain studies have shown that people that choose the food and exercise that they enjoy are more likely to stick to the routine long term. This is why I put together the Food Freedom, Your Way program.
Most Underrated Exercise
One of the most underrated exercises is walking.
We think that we need to go to the gym to get fit. But, instead, you can lose weight by just walking. Yes! You heard it right. Walking is a great way to start.
The best thing is that exercising is completely free of cost. You can find multiple programs on the internet that are absolutely free as well if the weather is bad.
YouTube Walking Workouts to check out:
- Fast Wakling in 30 Minutes
- Indoor Fat Buring Walking Workout
- 30 Minute 5000 Steps Walking Workout
- 15 Minute Walking Workout
The Secret Of Change Is Inside
Lastly, another important thing is to realize that the secret of change, the silver bullet, isn’t out there. It’s inside. It’s all about understanding what works for you.
You’ll be glad to hear that Dr. Heather has released a free five-day video challenge. It’s all about giving one challenge for your healthy habits per day. And it’s great as a Kickstarter. You can get that at Bite Sized Habits.
You got this! You’ll be happy staying healthy with these habits for your weight loss journey.
Stop Dieting, Start Living
If you need extra help, I created the Food Freedom, Your Way program to help you reach your health goals without diets and deprivation. A healthy lifestyle is different for every single one of us and you are in charge of what works for you.
No hunger, just healthy eating habits (which includes plenty of water, carbohydrates, fiber, a minimum 8 hours of sleep, lean protein, chips, and pizza). I also show you how to properly read nutrition labels and portion control and have 8 recipe ebooks for you to download.
It’s not about eating less food, it’s about eating as much as we can to reach our goals and get to a healthy weight loss that you can maintain long term.