Wake up. Get kids ready for school, fight rush-hour traffic, and get to work. Grab a quick bite to eat. Do it in reverse in the afternoon. And crash on the couch with some sweet treats or salty snacks at the end of the day.
That ever look like a typical day for you?
It’s a recipe for weight gain. And if you’ve gained a few pounds this way, you’re not alone. About 72 percent of all adults are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.1
So how do you tip the scale in the right direction, lose weight, and keep it off?
FYI…It’s not fad diets, crazy workouts, skipping meals, or gimmicky pills or exercise equipment.
If you want to lose weight and keep it off, healthy lifestyle habits will help you tip the scale in the right direction.
Here are 8 things you can do to manage your weight:
1. Eat a healthy breakfast.
Research shows eating a healthy breakfast can help you lose weight and keep it off.2
So what does a healthy breakfast look like? It’s not a couple donuts washed down with a soda or sugary-coffee drinks. For a healthy breakfast, start your day off with something like:
- 1 or 2 pieces of fresh fruit
- A serving of whole grains (e.g., 1/2 C steel-cut oats or 1 piece of whole-wheat toast)
- A glass of milk, soymilk, black coffee, or 100% fruit juice
- One serving of healthy fats (e.g., small handful of almonds)
- And a healthy protein, like eggs or egg whites
2. Eat fiber-rich foods
If you’re looking for a simple way to lose weight, eat more fiber-rich foods.3
Most adults eat 15 grams of fiber per day. But the Institute of Medicine recommends:
- Women get 25 grams of fiber per day
- Men get 38 grams of fiber per day
Foods high in fiber include salads, soups, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole-grain breads and cereals.
3. Drink more water
How much water do you drink per day? If you don’t know, there’s a good chance you’re not drinking enough. Drinking water can help:4
- Control calories
- Curb hunger
- Help you manage your weight
- Prevent dehydration
- Support muscle function for exercise
- .6 Here’s another way to look at it. A typical bottle of soda contains 250 calories. A glass of water…zero calories.
4. Slow down at meal time
That’s a nice way of saying, “Chew your food.” Take a bite. Put your fork down. And chew slowly.5
This gives your body time to send signals to your brain that you feel full. You’ll eat fewer calories and have time to enjoy a conversation at the table, too.
5. Keep a food diary
Use the mobile app or keep track of what you eat in an old-school journal. It forces you to be more mindful of your food choices. In one recent study, people who kept a daily food journal for 6 months lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t.6
6. Get your Zzzs
Aim for 7 to 8 hours a night. People who cut sleep short are more likely to gain weight. Why? Lack of sleep alters levels of hormones (ghrelin and leptin) linked to hunger and cravings. And if you stay up late, you’ll have more time for snacking.
7. Be more active If you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, be more active. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Here are some easy ways to be more active:
- Go for a walk
- Ride a bike
- Take a fitness class
- Workout at the gym
- Choose a fitness video and follow along at home
- Use the exercise equipment you have at home (e.g., cycle, treadmill, weights)
8. Give yourself a break
If your diet isn’t perfect or you miss a workout, it’s not that big of a deal. There’s a tendency to think “all is lost” and go back to old habits. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Give a nod to where you went wrong (stress, vacation, longer work hours), and just pick up where you left off with healthy diet and exercise habits.
If you’re looking for the magic bullet to weight loss, there isn’t one. But you can lose weight and keep it off with these healthy lifestyle habits.
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