Especially with these 7 easy lifestyle habits to adopt
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity in the US increased from 30.5% (1999–2000) to 41.9% (2017–2020). Obesity has been implicated in heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. They are the leading causes of death in the US.
Just in the US, obesity costs $173 billion a year in medical costs.
In addition to obesity, another 32.5% of adult Americans are overweight. Around 70% of adult Americans are overweight or obese.
Dieting seems like a national pastime in the US, but the figures suggest that dieting isn’t working well at all.
The main problem with dieting is that once a person has lost one on some particular diet they go back to eating as they used to. This means they eat like they did when they put weight on in the first place.
What’s needed is a change in diet and lifestyle. That way, your weight will reduce naturally. You also won’t put it back on again if you stick to your new healthy eating habits and lifestyle.
Many people get this wrong because they look for fad diets and overly-complicated eating habits.
With all things in life, I find that “keeping it simple” is the way to go. It’s much easier to incorporate simple changes into your life. They’re almost no effort at all.
Try these 7 healthy lifestyle habits. Start with one change and stick with it for 1–4 weeks. Once it’s become a part of what you do, add another one.
You can add these in any order.
Don’t try to do them all at once. You can feel overwhelmed and give up.
Healthy Habit #1: Drink more water
I know you feel like you’ve heard this a million times, but have you tried it? This is advice that we all know but that we often ignore.
Water is essential for our bodies to function properly. It keeps us hydrated, regulates our digestive system, helps flush waste and toxins from our bodies, and helps us feel full.
If we feel full we’re less likely to snack on unhealthy foods and generally overeat. You won’t suddenly become slim just by drinking extra water, but it should help with losing a few pounds.
Healthy Habit #2: Get more active
When people hear this they often imagine having to spend a couple of hours in the gym each day pumping weight. Relax. You don’t need to do that.
Add activity into your day. If you have a choice of using the elevator or the stairs, always choose the stairs.
If you commute to work, get off the bus a stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of the journey. If you have a car, park a little further away from your destination. Start small.
When you’re at home, do a few simple exercises every hour or two. You could do 10–20 push-ups, squats, jumping jacks, or whatever else takes your fancy. Don’t overdo it, especially in the beginning.
Lifting weights can help, so try that if you want.
You never know, you may go to love exercising.
Healthy Habit #3: Cut out sugar drinks
This might be a tough one for some of you. It can be especially hard the first few days. If you persevere you’ll get used to it.
When I was younger I used to put 3–5 spoons of sugar in my tea and coffee. Nowadays I don’t put any at all. My wife puts one spoon of sugar in her coffee. I accidentally drank some a while back and it tasted super-sweet.
Your taste buds will adjust to wanting less sugar. I’m just not able to drink any sugar drinks these days. My body rejects it.
If you’re having trouble with this, cut down more slowly. I promise that it’s not as bad as it seems. After a few weeks, you’ll be used to not having sugary drinks.
Healthy Habit #4: Don’t keep unhealthy snacks at home
If you’re feeling a little hungry at home, it’s too easy to open the cupboard and reach for an unhealthy snack.
But here’s the thing. If you open the cupboard and there aren’t any unhealthy snacks in there, you can’t eat them.
Instead, make sure you always have healthy snacks available both at home and at work. A selection of fruit and healthy nuts will keep your hunger at bay. You’ll get the sweetness of the fruits and the healthy fats of the nuts.
Don’t overeat fruit though if you’re trying to lose weight.
Healthy Habit #5: Eat healthy fats
When we eat unhealthy fats such as hydrogenated cooking oils, we destroy our health and end up putting on weight.
If we eat healthy fats, we build healthy bodies and won’t put on those extra pounds. Healthy fats include olive oil, avocado, and nuts.
I would suggest reading the book Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill. the book was a real eye-opener for me when I first read it.
Healthy Habit #6: Eat lots of veggies
Vegetables are great for our health and we should be eating 5–10 different ones every day. You could achieve this by having a small side salad with each meal. You could also replace a few meals a week with a large salad and some protein.
I know that some people just don’t like vegetables. I didn’t when I was younger either. I put it down to my mother overcooking everything. If you don’t like vegetables, try some that you’ve never had. Cook them yourself so that they are just to your liking.
If you eat more vegetables you’ll likely feel more energetic. This will make you want to continue eating them.
Healthy Habit #7: Go easy on the carbs
Carbs are essential, and we all need to get enough of them each day. But some people overdo the carbs in their diet. If that’s you, cut back a little. Replace the carbs with some protein or some fat, both of which will make you feel more satiated.
I used to eat way too much bread when I was single. Making a sandwich seemed easier than cooking a meal, especially as a guy. It’s easy for this to become a habit. I had to make a concerted effort to add other, more healthy, foods to my diet.
As mentioned above, don’t try to incorporate all of these new habits in one go. Add one a week or once a month. Get used to each new habit before adding another.
Make a note of how much you weigh and how you feel today. In 6–12 months, make another note of your weight and how you feel. My guess is that you’ll have lost weight and will feel more energetic.
Not every aspect of these tips will work for every single person. These are just ideas to try. Figure out what works best for you.
Don’t dismiss these tips because you think they seem too simple. They are simple. But they work.