Losing weight is a great feeling — a feeling of accomplishment for meeting a goal — and one that’s not particularly easy to do, either.
But if you’ve struggled getting there, or maybe you’ve lost a bunch before but can’t seem to keep it off, you’re not alone.
Many people give up on a weight-loss plan just a month or two after they’ve started. And many others gain back the weight they’ve lost.
But it is possible to not only lose weight, but keep it off forever.
Here are 9 daily habits of people who are successful losing weight — and keeping it off.
1. They start the day with breakfast.
Study after study shows that people who eat breakfast tend to maintain a healthier weight than those who don’t. Similar studies show that people who get in that morning meal have lower levels of cholesterol, better management of cravings and stress levels, higher energy levels and improved concentration throughout the day.
2. They are active daily.
People who sit all day are more likely to be overweight than those who don’t. But people who get up and walk for 10 minutes every couple hours, exercise a few times a week, and get out and enjoy nature are less likely to gain weight, and they find losing weight easier.
3. They snack rarely (or not at all).
Snacking can be an important part of a weight-loss plan — but it’s important to know when to snack. A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that people who skip the morning snack were likely to lose more weight than those who ate it. That’s because snacking should only be done in the case of going more than 4 hours between meals or after an intense workout. Other than that, it’s probably best to skip snacking between meals.
4. They eat proper portion sizes.
Portion sizes are one of the most important factors to weight loss and weight maintenance. A proper portion size can calibrate your body to eating smaller amounts and having balanced levels of energy and nutrition. On the flip side, too large of a portion can expand the stomach, making it more difficult to feel satiated and leading to overeating, which in turns ends up in weight gain.
5. They keep a food & fitness diary.
Knowledge is power — that’s especially true when it comes to losing weight. Keeping a food diary shows exactly how many calories are in certain foods and ensures accountability. It also reveals weaknesses, strengths and provides encouragement to keep going. Expand your diary to include mood and other emotional factors, and you’ll be surprised what you learn about your patterns and triggers.
6. They don’t use food to deal with anxiety and stress.
Rather than reaching for the bag of potato chips after a hard day, people who instead find another way to deal with stress are likely to weigh less and have an easier time losing weight. There are, after all, plenty of other options: going for a walk, calling a friend, doing a hobby, reading a book — anything that doesn’t involve food is probably a good option.
7. They eat mindfully.
People who slow down and savor each bite while eating are likely to eat less and be better attuned to when their stomach is full. Eating mindfully means turning off the TV, setting down the fork between bites and focusing on the food’s taste, smell and texture.
8. They get support.
Studies show that people are more likely to adhere to weight-loss plans and a healthy lifestyle when they have friends, family or even online communities to support them in their journey. That’s because knowing there are others struggling with something similar — or at least others who can offer encouragement — ensures commitment and persistence.
9. They believe in themselves.
Perhaps the most important aspect of success in weight loss is self confidence. People who believe they can do it will do it. No matter how tough it gets, they find that drive to go the extra step and succeed. And for every baby step they take, it becomes just a tiny bit easier, until suddenly it’s like second nature.
What do you do daily to lose weight and stay on-track? Share in the comments below!
Author: Caitlin Hendee
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.