If you are ready to break the yo-yo dieting cycle and lose that weight for good, then it is time you focused on developing new habits and routines that are related to your health. Instead of focusing on quick-fix solutions or 30-day challenges, look instead to make lasting, permanent changes to how you think about food and fitness, and you will enjoy a much better result.


Why Habit is Important

Our brains are designed to follow a routine. The more we do something, the more comfortable it is to keep doing that thing, and the more likely our brains are to want to keep doing it. This need to maintain the status quo is why it is often hard to lose weight, which involves breaking unhealthy habits in favor of ones that are better for your waistline.

When you focus on changing small but pivotal habits in your life, you can achieve real, lasting success with any weight loss efforts. For example, instead of ditching all the carbs and eating an extreme diet for three months, you are more likely to lose weight and keep it off if you focus instead on developing habits like drinking more water, eating five servings of vegetables and fruit each day, and getting eight hours of sleep each night.


Weight Is Not Just About Food


Often, the habits that get us into the worst trouble when it comes to our health have less to do with what we eat than other aspects of our lifestyle. For example, keeping a regular meal routine helps you avoid snacking, which can lead to slow but steady weight gain. Making an effort to walk more and sit less also has a tremendous impact on your weight.

Developing habits that will eventually lead to better health and a lower weight is a stronger strategy than just focusing on weight loss alone. Other practices that can help you be healthier and, in the long run, lose weight, including packing healthy snacks, so you are prepared during the day, using smaller plates, drinking water before every meal, drinking only water, slowing down when you eat and reading nutrition labels.

Over time, these habits and routines have a cumulative effect that will equal not only less weight but improved health overall. And because these are things that you can control, versus your weight or other metrics, which are a result of your actions, it is something concrete that you can focus on changing in your life.


Breaking Habits

Changing your health outcomes is not just about developing new habits; it is also about breaking old, unhealthy ones. You can use routines to help here, too. For example, if you have a habit of snacking when you get home from work or just before bed, you can use routines to change how you spend your time during these critical hours, giving your mind and body something else to do instead of snacking. Maybe you take up a new hobby that occupies your hands, or perhaps you start writing a journal to explore your emotions about eating instead of just eating.

Breaking habits requires creating new neural pathways, so your mind gets comfortable walking new paths, developing a new status quo. Anything that you can do to occupy your brain and get your mind off that old habit will help. Finding new and creative ways to challenge your brain while breaking old habits can be fun and exciting.


Remember that setting habits that last a lifetime is your greatest asset in not only losing weight but also keeping it off.