MOST people who follow a diet get 50 percent of the lost weight back in the first year after they have lost it. Much of the rest will recover in the next three years.
Most people know inherently that keeping a healthy weight amounts to three things: healthy eating, eating less and being active. But actually it can be difficult to do that.
We take more than 200 food decisions daily and most of them seem automatic or simple, meaning we eat unconsciously without thought, consultation or any realization of what or how much food we select and consume. So often habitual behavior has priority over our best intentions.
The habit-breaking group received a text message with a different task to perform every day. These tasks were aimed at breaking up the usual routines and included things like "governance a different way of working today", "listen to a new genre of music" or "write a short story".
The habit-forming group was asked to follow a program that focused on forming habits about healthy lifestyle changes. The group was encouraged to include 10 healthy tips in their daily routine, so that they became second nature.
In contrast to the usual weight loss programs, these interventions do not include specific diet plans or exercise regimens, but simply to change small daily habits.
Ten healthy habits that you should form
The habits in the habit-forming group, developed by Weight Concern (a British charity) were:
1. Consider a meal routine: eat at approximately the same time each day. People who succeed in long-term weight loss tend to have a regular meal rhythm (avoiding snacking and nibbling). A consistent diet in the course of the week and year also predicts the subsequent long-term maintenance of weight loss.
2. Go for healthy fats: opt for eating healthy fats from nuts, avocado and fatty fish instead of fast food. Trans fats are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
3. Walk off the weight: aim for 10,000 steps per day. Take the stairs and get out of a tram stop earlier to ensure that you increase your heart rate every day.
4. Pack healthy snacks when you go out: exchange chips and cookies for fresh fruit.
5. Always look at the labels: check the fat, sugar and salt content on food labels.
6. Watch out for your portions: use smaller plates, drink a glass of water and wait five minutes and then check your hunger before going back for seconds.
7. Break the duration of the meeting: decreasing time of seated people and increasing activity is related to significant health benefits. Time spent sedentary is related to overweight and obesity, independent of physical activity level.
8. Think of your drinks: choose water and limit fruit juice to a small glass a day.
9. Focus on your food: slow down and eat while sitting at the table, not on the go. Internal signals that control food intake (hunger / fullness signals) may not be as effective as they are derived.
10. Always focus on five types of vegetables a day, fresh, frozen or canned: fruit and vegetables have a high nutritional value and a low energy density. Eating the recommended amount provides health benefits, including a reduction in the risk of cancer and coronary heart disease.
This article was published on The Conversation and has been republished with permission.