The secret to achieving long-term health and fitness results is… forming good habits. Losing weight, strengthening our core, and toning muscle is only half the battle; once we have the results we’re looking for, we have to do what it takes to maintain our health and fitness.
Those of us who reach our healthy weight and maintain it have similar habits. These habits are far from anything extreme or crazy. But, they consistently allow us to commit and lead a healthy lifestyle.
After all, our health and fitness should matter regardless of what new fad is trending. Let’s go!
Breakfast FUELS The Day
Back in elementary school and even before that, many of us learned or at least heard about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. While all meals are important, breakfast is one that we should avoid skipping.
Studies show that eating breakfast can help improve our satiety, focus, and energy levels throughout our day. Skipping breakfast is like rushing to work without stopping to fill up the gas tank, only to find yourself running on fumes and late for work.
Getting into the habit of eating a healthy, balanced breakfast will help us in the long run because it provides the much-needed energy for general activity and function. Still, it also reduces cravings and growling tummies later in the day.
Stay Hydrated & Be Extra When Necessary
Our body contains more than 50% water. It should not come as a surprise that drinking water is necessary to maintain our bodies' fluid balance. The fluid balance is essential for transporting nutrients throughout our bodies. Staying hydrated means the nutritional benefits of the food we eat will flow easier and even more quickly.
Drinking water can make us feel full, which isn’t bad unless we aren’t eating enough. Also, when we stress and work our muscles, they lose water. Without rehydrating, our muscles will become tired faster, and your stamina may decrease.
Set Deadlines…. And Stick To Them
We are often more efficient and likely to reach our fitness goals when a deadline is present. A deadline eliminates procrastination, making the goals seem tangible and realistic (which they should be).
There is something about terminology and our brain. The word deadline sounds serious; shouldn’t our fitness be serious? Goals and deadlines are the gateways to a successful finish. Get in shape, and stay in shape!
Make it a habit to be prepared. It’s best NEVER to assume healthy options will be readily available when you’re not in your own kitchen.
Breaking bad habits and forming new ones can be difficult on many levels. If it was normal to stop at a burger joint to grab lunch for a long time, we might want to consider making lunch dates with ourselves to find more suitable options; if there aren’t any, we might be better off packing our lunch.
Consistency is the key to long-term fitness and weight loss results, and everyday life goals in general.
We will have days when we dread working out, so we skip it. Overindulging happens occasionally; an extra cookie or two or an extra cheat day because it’s a holiday. That’s nothing to sweat about.
What truly matters is that we are staying consistent with our eating habits a majority of the time. If most of the time we’re making healthy choices, we’re doing great; it’s when we only exercise good eating habits that we need to work on our mindset.
Choose Whole, Real Foods
Overly processed foods don’t have much nutritional value, if much at all. Making it a habit to choose whole, unprocessed food that are as close to the original source as possible is a must. Whole foods fill our body with more nutrients than food fluffed with unnecessary filler.
Examples of Whole Foods
- Fresh Fruits
- Fresh Vegetables
- Whole Grains
Some foods have to be processed because they can’t be eaten raw. Some processing is ok, for instance, pickles. Simply try to limit or eliminate hyper-processed things full of ingredients that are difficult to pronounce; not to mention unnecessary.
Fill Your Cabinets With Healthy Food Choices
Making it a habit to fill your home with healthy food options makes them a more convenient option. If we don’t have greasy, salty chips and sugary snacks readily available, and instead had better options, we’d reach for them.
Any changes we want to make about ourselves require the formulation of new habits, and breaking old ones. Once the negative habit or behavior is replaced with a positive option, our tendencies and even cravings shift.
Good habits are the key to seeing long-term weight loss results. Why work so hard to get where you are, to turn around and sabotage the results? Form good habits, stick to your plan, and before you know it, you’ll be happy, healthy, and might I say impressed with yourself!