15 Habits That Make You Lose Weight

Friday, February 7, 2014

I love this picture because it looks like me in my trusty black bikini but also because it is the exactly what I was like on both sides of the weight spectrum. Now that I'm living a healthier lifestyle I do opt for more fresh produce and unprocessed foods but when I was on the other side I had the chocolate bar and bag of in and out in my hand as well! You and your body are a direct result of each and every one of your choices. What you eat in private shows in public 


One of my number one pet peeves is when people tell me I'm just "naturally thin". Is that weird of me? I'm sure people are meaning it as a compliment but before I offend people let me explain. I think very few people are "naturally thin". I think very few people are "naturally overweight". Further, I don't think very many people's genetics cause them to be overweight.

I think you are create who you create yourself to be... You and your body are a result of every single one of your choices.

When you look at fit people they do many things differently then those who are overweight (I can say these things because I've been on both sides). I once was telling someone about my weight loss (54 pounds so far) and they told me "Oh, but you're just naturally thin. I'm not like that," As they sipped on their 32 oz Dr. Pepper.

No, I'm not naturally thin. I gained 70 pounds because I completely changed my eating habits around. I ate fast food multiple times a week, I drank soda and sugary drinks, I stopped working out completely, I ate (not until I was full) but until I could feel food coming back up my esophagus.

Further, I've been losing that weight because I've completely changed my habits around. I'm working out again and meticulously watching what I eat.

Yeah, my mom and family are thin. No, it's not genetics. It's because my mom runs multiple times a week and only brings healthy food into the house. It's because she never brings soda or chips into the house unless it's for a holiday or the Superbowl. It's because desert is a rarity that is saved for special occasions and lean meat and vegetables are what are on the dinner table.

As a nurse, I know there are certain diseases (that can be genetic) that can cause you to gain weight. Problems with your thyroid, having to use insulin or corticosteroids, certain medications and hormonal imbalances. But trust me, just because you have a family history of obesity does not mean that you're destined to live that life as well! You can change everything!

Being fit is a lifestyle change, not a destination. If you get to your goal weight and start eating how you used to you will gain everything right back! I've been on both sides of the rope, I know the habits that foster weight gain and the habits that keep you fit. Here are some habits that keep you fit, healthy, and happy!

Fit Habit #1: Grocery Shop on a Full Stomach
When your tummy is full you are less likely to be tempted to buy unhealthy items. Chips, soda, and unhealthy snacks don't just miraculously make it into your fridge and cupboards... you put them there!  Don't self sabotage yourself by making those things available to yourself.


Fit Habit #2: Always Make a Grocery List
Sit down before going to the store and write out exactly what you are going to need that week to make your lean and healthy meals, cross off those items as you go and don't stray from that list. I know that nutella looks delightful but remember what we are here for. No, stop it, don't even look at that Hagen-daz, self control! You can do it!

Fit Habit #3: Weight Yourself Daily
I know this is a topic that people have strong beliefs about, but I believe you should weigh yourself daily. I weight myself every morning, before I eat anything and after I have used the restroom. I don't obsess over the number, my weight fluctuates between 1 and 2 pounds from day to day (depending on my salt intake and water weight) but weighing myself daily helps me keep on track. The scale should not be feared!

Fit Habit #4: Eat Breakfast
Stop skipping breakfast! You are doing your body more damage then good by skipping breakfast. No, seriously, skipping breakfast can actually promote weight gain. I don't care if you don't like breakfast, just shovel that oatmeal in your mouth. A study by the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that people who skipped breakfast were 4.5 times more likely to be obese. Cheerios never sounded so good!

Fit Habit #5: Eat an Early Dinner
Eat an early dinner (before 7 PM) and don't eat after that! A new study by Northwestern University found that people that regularly eat after 8 PM ingested the most calories and carried the most body fat. As a general rule of thumb, stop eating 3 hours before you go to sleep for the night. Doing this make your body more likely to burn fat while you sleep instead of create fat!

Fit Habit #6: Eat a Boring Diet
This is a habit that I actively struggle with. I am a total foody and I really (REALLY) appreciate good food. I love food--I do. In fact, I'm salivating as I write this. But one habit that you have to make to be fit is to realize that weightloss (and getting in shape) is 80% what you eat and only 20% working out.

(Insert moment of silence here)

R.I.P. tater tots, french fries, and cheesy spinach artichoke dip. I'll see you in the next life.

No but really, you HAVE to concentrate on what you eat. Eating a clean diet will make all of the difference in your body and after a while you learn to appreciate that "bland" but healthy food. Heck, I just ate a bowl of steel cut oats this morning and I actually enjoyed it (and I even made it with water too instead of milk... gasp!!)



Fit Habit #7: Have a Cheat Day
Yep, I gotcha. You can bring those tater tots back to life but only ONE day of the week. Eating a boring diet is so much more bearable when you get to look forward to that one heavenly day of delicious food bliss. Chilli's chips n' salsa? You got it. Domino's pepperoni pizza? It's yours. Krispy Creme Doughnut? Knock yourself out. This is your one day to knock your cravings out to prepare yourself for the next week. You may even find that you may continue to eat healthy on your cheat day because the thought of fried unhealthy foods is no longer appetizing (sounds like craziness right now but it's true).


And for all of you chocoholics, let yourself have one piece of chocolate a day. Look forward to that piece of chocolate and savor that morsel!


Fit Habit #8: Surround Yourself with Diet and Exercise Knowledge
Scroll through the health and fitness boards on Pintrest before you go to sleep for the night, watch the biggest loser or extreme weight loss series, read motivational books on weight loss (Jillian Michael s anyone?). The more you are exposed to health and fitness, the more you will live it.



Fit Habit #9: Eat a High Protein Diet
I'm sure you've heard it before: a diet high in protein helps keep you full longer and lessens cravings throughout the day. For breakfast, think egg whites and oatmeal, lunch and dinner lean meats and vegetables. A healthy diet doesn't have to be that boring... skim through pintrest to look for ideas to spice up those lean meats!

Fit Habit #10: Eat Every 3 Hours
I know, eating often goes against every diet belief you've ever heard. Breaking news, eating often actually speeds up your metabolism. I try to eat about every 3 hours, and I try and eat before I get hungry again.  Letting yourself get hungry sets you up for failure by creating cravings for unhealthy and fat laden foods.

The trick to eating every 3 hours is making each time you eat healthy.
Example:
8 AM: Oatmeal and Egg Whites
11 AM: Non-fat Greek Yogurt or Serving of Cottage Cheese
1 PM: Lean Meat and Vegetables (can also replace lean meat for beans, preferably dried beans that aren't canned)
4 PM: Serving of Nuts
6 PM: Lean Meat and Vegetables

I follow a lot of Jamie Eason's nutritional advice... you can find it in the program here.

Fit Habit #11: Drink Water
Don't waste those precious calories on something you're not really going to enjoy. Drink water, and lots of it. No juice, sports drinks, or soda (unless it's your cheat day). I don't bother much with milk either, if I'm worried about my calcium intake I'll drink unsweetened vanilla almond milk (30 calories with lots more calcium then milk) or I'll take a calcium supplement. 

Fit Habit #12: Exercise
As always, you need to exercise. It's not just for your outward appearance but for the health of your insides as well! Build up that heart muscle of yours. For the most health benefits the Center for Disease Control recommends that you do 5 hours of moderate intensity exercise each week (moderate intensity where you break a sweat but can still carry on a conversation). That comes out to about an hours of exercise 5 days a week. That doesn't mean you have to make it to the gym everyday but get active. Go for a walk or play tag with your kids at the park. To read more about the recommendations on weekly exercise go here.

Fit Habit #13: Lift Weights
Weight lifting isn't just for all those guys trying to get "swoll".  It's recommended for all of us! The CDC recommends performing strength training exercises at least 2 days a week. Read about it here. Again, if outward appearances doesn't motivate you do it for your insides. Weight lifting helps decrease the incidence of osteoporosis.


Fit Habit #14: Get 6 to 8 Hours of Sleep a Night
A new study by by Harvard showed that participants who had less than 6 hours or more than 8 hours of sleep a night gained significantly more weight than those who slept between 6 and 8 hours... interesting! With chasing around a baby all day I'm not going to wake myself up if I sleep over 8 hours though ;)



Fit Habit #15: Chang Your Lifestyle
Realize that living a healthy lifestyle is not a journey with an end. It's for LIFE. Make the changes now and reap the benefits forever.

These are some habits that I have helped me transition myself into a healthier lifestyle and lose 54 pounds so far. To follow my weight loss journey closer follow me on instagram @BritneyMunday, Bloglovin, or by entering your e-mail address on the right side of my blog. What are you waiting for, let's lose the weight now!











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