5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals


5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

Losing weight can be a challenge, but making small changes to your daily habits can add up to significant results. The key is to focus on sustainable lifestyle changes that support your weight loss goals. In this article, we’ll explore five simple habits that can help you on your weight loss journey. 

Some of these helpful habits might be things you have heard of, like movement, exercise, and hydration. Others might be a familiar concept, but not something you have previously associated with weight loss. Such as self care, sleep, and mindfulness. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

Either way, these are all simple habits that you can start incorporating in your life today to improve your health, longevity, weight loss, and overall quality of life. None of these habits require a major financial or time commitment. Which makes it easier to start these habits, considering time and money are some of the most common barriers to change.

Habit 1. Eat Mindfully

One of the most effective habits you can develop for weight loss is mindful eating. Mindful eating is the practice of paying attention to your food and your body’s hunger and fullness signals. When you eat mindfully, you’re more likely to eat slowly, savor each bite, and stop eating when you’re satisfied. This can have a major positive impact on helping reduce the amount of fat you gain from stress!  5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

When I was studying to become a certified yoga instructor. This was something that we were encouraged to do at least once a day. We called it the “yoga meal”, but it is the same thing as mindful eating. This was a powerful ritual for me that helped me connect more deeply to my food as fuel. As well as my self respect, connectedness, and my overall sense of fulfillment. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

To practice mindful eating, start by eliminating distractions during meals. Turn off the TV, put away your phone, and sit at a table with your feet rooted on the ground and an upright but relaxed posture. Take a moment to appreciate the appearance, smell, and taste of your food. Chew slowly and savor the flavor of each bite. Pay attention to your body’s signals of hunger and fullness. Stop eating when you’re satisfied, but not overly full. See more examples of mindful eating in Figure 1. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

Figure 1

Another key benefit of mindful eating is the fact that slowing down during your meals can actually reprogram the brain by changing the way we think about and approach food. Studies have shown that practicing mindful eating can increase activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is the part of the brain responsible for decision-making and impulse control.

This can lead to a greater sense of self-control and a reduced desire to indulge in unhealthy foods. Additionally, mindful eating can increase awareness of hunger and fullness cues, leading to a better understanding of when and how much to eat. By regularly practicing mindful eating, we can create new habits and thought patterns around food, ultimately leading to more sustainable and healthy eating habits. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

Furthermore, research has demonstrated that individuals who cultivate a healthier emotional relationship with food, practice delayed gratification, and positive thinking, tend to achieve greater long-term success in their weight loss journey compared to those who focus solely on dieting, as evidenced in studies such as this. These findings suggest that a holistic approach that incorporates both physical and emotional aspects of weight loss may be more effective in achieving sustained weight loss and overall wellness. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

Habit 2. Move More

Physical activity is essential for weight loss and overall health. Exercise burns calories, strengthens muscles, improves your metabolism and improves cardiovascular health. Plus, it can boost your mood and reduce stress. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

To incorporate more movement into your day, find activities you enjoy. Walking, swimming, dancing, and cycling are all great options. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. If you’re new to exercise, start with shorter sessions and gradually increase your time and intensity. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the bare minimum recommended physical activity standards to help prevent disease in adults aged 18-65 years are:

  • Cardio – participate in moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes five days per week or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes three days per week.
  • Strength training – perform activities that maintain or increase muscular strength and endurance for a minimum of two days per week. (Figure 2)


Figure 2

Even if you are not ready to start a full blown exercise routine. You can still work to increase NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis). Increasing NEAT can provide a significant boost to weight loss efforts by increasing daily calorie burn and improving your overall metabolism. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

Put in simple English, NEAT refers to the energy expended through activities other than exercise, such as walking, fidgeting, and standing. By increasing NEAT, we can burn more calories throughout the day without necessarily increasing the intensity or duration of our exercise routine, or even exercising at all. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

Some simple ways to increase NEAT include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, standing up and moving around during work breaks, pacing while on the phone, and walking or biking instead of driving for short trips. Small increases in NEAT can add up over time, making it a highly effective strategy for weight loss and overall health.

Do you want more direction on where to start? Click here to read about what the best exercise is for you!

Habit 3. Get Enough Sleep

Sleep plays a critical role in weight loss. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormones that regulate appetite, increase cravings for high-calorie foods, and reduce motivation to exercise. On the other hand, getting enough sleep can improve insulin sensitivity, boost metabolism, and reduce stress.

To support your weight loss goals, aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night. Here are a few lifestyle changes and suggestions you can make during the day to improve your sleep at night:

  1. Create a bedtime routine and stick to going to bed and waking up in the same 1 hour window 7 days per week.
  2. Reduce or eliminate caffeine. Keep your caffeine intake under 200 mg per day and only have it in the morning.
  3. Expose yourself to sunlight or red light therapy for 10 minutes every morning to help regulate your circadian rhythm (Figure 3) and wake up naturally. 
  4. Avoid blue light for at least an hour before bed. This includes all electronics and lightbulbs in the home. You can wear blue light blocking glasses to help achieve this goal. (You can click on the Amazon affiliate link to get the ones that I personally use)
  5. Avoid alcohol 2 hours before bed or eliminate it completely. Alcohol might help you relax and fall asleep, but it disrupts your deep sleep and therefore leads to a poor quality of sleep overall.
  6. Avoid heavy meals at least 3 hours before bed.
  7. Stay hydrated throughout the day and drink most of your water earlier in the day to avoid bathroom breaks at night.
  8. There are several natural sleep aid supplements you can try. Including, melatonin, CBD, Ashwagandha, chamomile, valerian root, magnesium, and turmeric.
Figure 3

Additionally, here are a few more sleep suggestions you can utilize to help your environment be better suited for sleep:

  1. It’s recommended to sleep in a cool, dark room set between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. If there are disruptive background noises that may wake you, try using a sound machine or with white or brown noise to drown them out.
  3. Ensure you have a good quality mattress and pillow to support your body. Not so firm that you are stiff and squished on top. Not so soft that you get achy from lack of support.
  4. Investing in a weighted blanket can also improve sleep by providing a sense of comfort and security.

If you want a more in depth article on solutions for improving your sleep, I suggest you read “21 Ways You Can Improve Your Sleep Right Away”

Habit 4. Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is essential for weight loss. Water can help you feel full, boost metabolism, and reduce calorie intake. Plus, it can support healthy digestion and flush toxins from the body. Your body does all this through a chemical process called hydrolysis. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

Hydrolysis is a process in the body that breaks down large molecules, like carbohydrates and proteins, into smaller units that can be used for energy or building blocks for cells. Water is a crucial component of hydrolysis because it is used to split the molecules apart. Enzymes in the body are responsible for facilitating this reaction and they require water to do their job.

When the body is dehydrated, hydrolysis can’t occur effectively. Without enough water, enzymes can’t function properly and the body can’t break down and use the nutrients from food efficiently. This can lead to fatigue, poor digestion, and a sluggish metabolism. Additionally, when the body is dehydrated, it can’t regulate its internal temperature effectively, leading to an increased risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke during physical activity.

5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

To support hydrolysis and promote overall health, it’s important to drink enough water throughout the day. The recommended amount varies based on age, sex, and activity level, but as a general rule, aim for at least eight cups of water per day. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

It helps to carry a water bottle with you throughout the day and sip regularly. You can add flavor to your water with lemon, cucumber, or mint for a refreshing twist. By staying hydrated, you’ll support your body’s natural processes, promote good digestion, and keep your energy levels up throughout the day.

Habit 5. Practice Self Care

Self-care is often overlooked when it comes to weight loss, but it’s a critical component of a healthy lifestyle. Stress and anxiety can trigger emotional eating, disrupt sleep, and reduce motivation to exercise. By practicing self-care, you can reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

In another blog post, we talked about how stress can negatively affect the body, particularly with gaining fat. When people experience stress, their bodies produce a hormone called cortisol, which can increase appetite, cause cravings for high-calorie foods, and store excess calories as fat, particularly around the abdomen. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

As part of a self care plan to manage stress in the hopes of losing extra weight and improving your overall quality of life. You will want to include self care habits like exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and getting enough sleep. Self care can also be cultivated by maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, and seeking support from friends, family, or a medical provider (like the ones at our clinic). 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

To practice self-care, find activities that bring you joy and relaxation. This might include taking a bath, reading a book, practicing yoga, or spending time with loved ones. Schedule time for self-care activities into your daily routine, and prioritize them just as you would any other appointment or commitment. Check out this blog that gives 4 self care tips on how to lose the fat we gain from stress. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

Cultivating a self care plan is something that doesn’t happen overnight. It requires constant adjustment to the ever changing life variables. Start by giving yourself a lot of grace and room to modify as needed. Some days you will need to shut away everything and go inward to recharge. Other days your self care might be a high energy adventure. Either way, practicing good self care habits will keep you ahead of burnout. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

To sum it up

  1. Losing weight is hard, but it can be made easier by building in small habits and lifestyle adjustments built to strengthen your overall resilience and prevent burnout.
  2. Mindful eating is a scientifically proven effective method for long term and permanent weight loss. Practicing mindful eating has been shown to help individuals develop the emotional tools needed to maintain their results for the rest of their lives.
  3. Exercise routines and an increase of overall daily movement is a perfect habit to build to help decrease your risk of disease and obesity. The minimum goal everyone should shoot for is 150 minutes of cardio per week. As well as 2x a week of muscle strengthening exercises.
  4. Sleep is essential to weight loss and it is almost impossible to be successful with your physical goals if you don’t start with healthy sleep hygiene. Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per night to be optimally healthy.
  5. Similar to sleep, hydration is also essential to weight loss and it is almost impossible for us to be healthy without it. Proper hydration allows the body to perform all of its essential functions. Dehydration leads to breakdown of the body, a slowed down metabolism, and eventually weight gain.
  6. Self care is perhaps one of the most challenging habits to cultivate for many hard working Americans. Our relationship with stress and weight gain is an interesting one. The solution to the weight we gain from stress is to create more self care habits in our day to day lives. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

Jumpstarting your weight loss journey can be challenging, but with the right mindset, support, and strategies, it’s possible to achieve your goals and improve your overall health. MD Diet Clinic offers medically supervised weight loss programs, nutrition coaching, injections, and supplements. By setting realistic goals, focusing on whole foods and portion control, and incorporating exercise into your routine, you can make sustainable changes that will help you achieve lifelong health and wellness. 5 Simple Habits to Support Your Weight Loss Goals

If ever in doubt or seeking guidance, know that we stand by your side, ready to assist. With over four decades of expertise, we’ve proudly been a cornerstone in countless health and wellness journeys. We warmly invite you to embark on your transformative journey with us as your trusted partner.

Salt Lake clinic: 801-758-2130