I lost over 20 lbs after the age of 40 and have been keeping it off. I feel better than I did in my twenties (seriously!). Talking about weight loss comes naturally now (I wonder if I do it in my sleep😜). This Top 5 Best Habits to Lose Weight post is all about helping women move in the right direction without feeling deprived and overly obsessed about weight loss. It’s about gaining habits that will serve you long term and improve your quality of life on top of helping you lose weight. Enjoy!
Top 5 Best Habits to Lose Weight
Adopting the best habits to lose weight will take some time. Just start with one, then move on to the next. No comparison here, it’s all about growing and learning.
1. Practice Intermittent Fasting With Longer Fasting Window Regularly
Even after reaching your goal weight, make it a habit to fast longer regularly. Fasting will keep you metabolically flexible as your body switches from using glucose to ketones for energy, which helps keep your food cravings at bay.
Fasting for Ketosis
You don’t need to follow the Keto Diet to be in ketosis. If you fast long enough, your body will run out of glycogen and use your fat cells to produce energy. Usually, after 12-14 hours of fasting, your body is starting to produce ketones. However, to be in optimal ketosis for weight loss (around 1 mmol/L), you will most likely need to fast for 18-20 hours. The more frequently you reach ketosis, the easier it gets. Now that I don’t need to lose weight anymore, I mostly use long fasting windows as a quick reset when I notice I start craving more sweets again.
To learn more read Intermittent Fasting and Ketosis: How You Can Achieve Ketosis Without the Keto Diet.
2. Eat a Diet Filled With Nutrient-Dense Foods
I don’t promote any particular type of diet, we all have different needs and what works well at one time may not work so well at another. However, there are few basic principles that need to be included in any list of best habits to lose weight:
- Replace refined oils for healthy fats: Vegetable oils and trans fats like margarine and shortening are processed in a way that is harmful to your body. Trans fats or hydrogenated oils are found in many commercially produced foods like microwave popcorn, fried foods, non dairy coffee creamer,etc. They correlate with an increase in heart disease. Vegetable oils, on the other hand, tend to oxidize when heated and contribute to inflammation. Consume olive oil, butter, coconut oil, fish, avocado, olives, nuts and seeds instead.
- Eat tons of vegetables of all colors: Fresh herbs and vegetables are among the most nutrient-dense foods. Nutrient-dense foods are the foods that give your body the most vitamins and minerals of the least calories. Sounds like a good choice when you want to lose weight, right?
- Say not to processed foods: Not only do processed foods contain unhealthy fats, but the combination flavors and chemicals is often addictive. I am sure you have experienced not feeling hungry for a bowl of sauteed vegetables while feeling hungry enough to finshi a bag of chips or cookies.
3. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water could be the number one best habit to lose weight. The main reason is that sometimes you may think you are hungry but are simply thirsty. You may question whether you can actually mistake thirst for hunger. Anyway, I did! I did some research and found an interesting artic le on Medium.com. Apparently, our thirst and hunger mechanisms are closely related and our high-fat high sugar diets tend to disrupt our thirst sensitivity. I have experienced it myself: feeling hungry, drinking a tall glass of water, and no longer feeling hungry. What about you?
If you think you can use exercise to burn off those cookies you ate. Think again! You will be surprised at how much intense physical activity it takes to burn off just 200 calories (about two chocolate chips cookies). You will need to jog a lot of half hours to make up for a poor diet. That being said, physical activity is essential for good health and could not NOT be part of this list of best habits to lose weight!
To make the most of your time working out, here’s what I recommend:
- Strenght training: Increasing your muscle mass helps increase your metabolism. Plus, looking more toned will improve your self confidence enven before you lose those 20 lbs.
- HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training): HIIT also boosts your metabolism. Moreover, HIIT will give you the same benefits as moderate-intensity exercises or even superior benefits so iy’s great when you are short on time.
However, the bottom line is, do whatever activity you like enough to stay consistent. If it’s going for a walk, go for walks! Still, try strength training and HIIT, you never know, you might grow to love it.
Did you know that my 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Transformation Program includes an exercise component? Check it out here.
5- Switch Things Up
When I say switch things up, I am talking about everything from your diet to your intermittent fasting method and your workouts. It’s easy to get in a rut and that will impact your results. Here are some things I like to do to switch up:
- Some keto diet cycles (7-14 days). Try my 7-Day Keto Meal Plan. Keto cycles help when you find you have been struggling with cravings more than usual.
- The Fasting Mimicking Diet (or modified fasting). Learn more about how modified fasting can help you achieve your health goals.
- Longer fasting windows. My average daily fast is about 16-18 hours (I did 20 hours when I wanted to lose weight and that is my recommendation in my 30-Day Intermittent Fasting Transformation). However, now that I am not wanting to lose weight, I listen to my body. I ask myself: how am I feeling? Should I fast longer or should I break my fast? Usually, when I feel energetic, I and content, I just keep fasting. When the hunger is overwhelming, I eat.
Which one of these best habits to lose weight will you work on adopting? I know you do it, it’s nothing complicated and these habits will help you long term, not just while you are losing weight. Drinking plenty of water, eating nutrient-dense foods, exercising, fasting, and changing things up will help improve your health in more ways than you can imagine.