Gaining weight is a process that takes some time, just as does losing weight. That being said, as you approach and begin your weight loss goal journey, don’t get impatient. It’s okay if it takes you longer than you initially planned. The most important thing is to establish habits that will help you reach your goals, and then be able to stay there without too much effort.

When you first start to adopt these habits, you will likely see a quick shift in weight because you will lose water retention. That may make you feel good as you step on the scale, and that’s great. Just be sure to keep going so that you can start to burn actual fat, for real and lasting weight loss. Pick up these 18 habits for a healthy body weight:

#1. Water First

You need to stay hydrated all the time, and especially when weight loss is your goal. One of the best ways to hydrate your body and contribute to the process of lowering your weight, is by drinking a glass of water before each and every meal. Just one glass of water will help you eat less, while speeding up your metabolism, overall.

You can even infuse your water for better flavor and added benefits.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#2. Never Miss Breakfast

When you don’t eat breakfast, your metabolism goes into complete panic mode. It has the feeling that your body is actually starving, and switches to a mode where fat is stored, and metabolism processes are slowed. Then, when you do eat, after having been hungry for a while, your insulin levels will shoot up, and this will cause you to feel hungry very soon after eating.

Eat breakfasts that are full of protein to tide you over for longer.

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#3. Lighter Dinner

The meal you eat before going to bed should be as light as possible. When you eat a very heavy dinner before you sleep at night, you are setting your body up to keeping all the food you consume and turning it into fat.

Eat dinner at an earlier hour and keep it nutritious and light, instead of overindulgent.

#4. Extra Veggies and Fruit

There are endless reasons to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. Besides the fact that they offer your body important nutrients, they also help you have an easier time of avoiding unhealthy carbohydrates.

Be careful, thought. It’s fresh fruit you want to eat, not dried and packaged varieties with extra sugar.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#5. No Drinking Calories

Think about what you drink on a daily basis. If you’re drinking many other things besides water, then you’re adding unnecessary calories and sugar to your diet. Cut out all sugary drinks like soda and processed juices.

Stick to water for more energy and clearer skin.

#6. Fruit as Dessert

It’s hard to skip dessert, especially when it is a custom that you have been used to following throughout your life. There’s no need to give up the ritual of eating dessert at night, you just need to change the content of your indulgences. Switch from sugary and fat-heavy desserts to fruit.

Try keeping seasonal fruit salads on hand for when your sweet-tooth calls out.

#7. Unsalted Snacks

Salt causes you to retain a lot of water, which will leave you feeling heavy and bloated. A lot of popular snack foods are extremely high in sodium. Try to let go of some of your favorite salty snacks, and opt for alternates like nuts or fruit instead.

Try dipping vegetable sticks in hummus or guacamole for a satisfying snack.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#8. Protect Your Stomach

There are certain foods and drinks, like beans and soda, that can leave you feeling very gassy. It’s not just the side effect of gas that you’re getting with these choices, but bloating, as well. Try to avoid foods and liquids that you find leave you feeling uncontrollably gassy.

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#9. Chew Your Food

One of the biggest ways to ruin your weight loss attempts is by eating too fast. When you eat too quickly, you are likely to consume more than you want or need, while also hurting your stomach. Your body needs food to be properly chewed so that it can digest it well. Be mindful and try to chew each bite at least 30 times before swallowing.

#10. Amp it Up

It’s time for a change in the way you exercise. You don’t need to spend hours performing one type of cardio at a mild pace. What you need to do, is focus on high intensity interval training. This means that you’re alternating between periods of very intense exercise and periods of rest. Your heart rate will go up and help you burn more fat than a straight hour jogging on the treadmill.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#11. Boost Your Strength

To get rid of your body fat and make it stay away, you need to focus on building more muscle mass. Your cardio is important, of course, but now it’s time for you to add extra strength training into the mix. You can use this time to sculpt specific target areas on your body, as well.

#12. Become a Fitness Nut

You need to become like those people that you see at the gym no matter what day or time you go. Exercise needs to be a regular part of your everyday routine, if you want to achieve and maintain real results. So find something you enjoy doing, and get to working out.

#13. Schedule Your Exercise

Think about the realistic obstacles in your schedule that could prevent you from working out. Once you’ve thought about them, shift and schedule your exercise for times that you will definitely be able to commit to. Use an app on your phone, or pencil your workouts into your day-planner. Just stay on top of your routine.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#14. Explore on Foot

After a full day at work or school, dinner is like the end of your day. Going for a walk after dinner can feel really tiring, but once you get used to the habit, it is something you will look forward to every day. Instead of allowing your meal to just sit in your gut, moving your body around will help you go to bed feeling lighter.

#15. Don’t Overcompensate with Food

Ramping up your exercise is great, but it doesn’t mean that your body needs or can handle more food to make up for the calories you burned. If you compensate your exercise with more food, you are stopping weight loss from happening.

#16. Deep Sleep

If you’re not getting the proper amount of real sleep, then losing weight can be an almost impossible task. Your body needs sleep for the proper functioning of many processes, like balancing insulin. Do what you need to in terms of scheduling your bedtime and creating an environment that helps you sleep.

Credit: Freepik

Credit: Freepik

#17. Ignore the Number

Checking your weight on the scale is something to do every once in awhile, not obsessively on a daily basis. The number can be very misleading, especially as you up your strength-training. Instead, pay attention to how you feel and how your body fits in clothes.

#18. Try a Short Diet Boost

If you’re in need of a boost to get you started, there are many short-term diets, lasting anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. Do a bit of searching and you are bound to find one that could help you get going.

By adopting all or some of these habits, you will be putting yourself on the right track towards having a healthy body weight.

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The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!

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