Simple Habits for Weight Loss – Part 2

by | May 9, 2023

In the first part of this series, Simple Habits for Weight Loss, I discussed four simple habits to start with for those interested in shedding excess pounds. If you haven’t already done so, please go back and read that blog post. Start with those habits first. If you’ve already incorporated those habits into your lifestyle, congratulations! Like most things in life, finding the highest return on investment strategies is going to result in the biggest effect for the effort invested. That’s what these lists are about. The few things that you can change that lead to disproportionate results. Here are a few additional high yield “hacks.”

1.) Stay well hydrated. This is best achieved by drinking mostly water, but teas are also acaloric (i.e. 0 calories). It’s important to avoid all drinks with sugar. This includes most sodas and colas, juices, and, sadly, alcoholic drinks. A good marker for adequate hydration is when our urine is the color of lemonade or lighter. Hunger is reduced when we drink plenty of water because this leads to some sense of satiety/fullness, but also because our bodies can extract water from foods. So, thirst isn’t the only symptom of dehydration. We also get hungry too.

2.) Move after you eat. Even a short walk for 10 minutes immediately after eating can have dramatic impacts on tendency to gain weight. Activity increases our sensitivity to insulin and increases muscle uptake of glucose from the bloodstream after a meal. This leads to a decrease in the conversion and storage of any calories from the meal as fat. Going for a longer walk, bike ride, or doing some form of resistance training can even lead to more dramatic effects.

3.) Don’t eat right before bed. We are less sensitive to insulin in the evenings. Insulin resistance leads to high insulin levels and a higher likelihood of storing calories as fat. A good rule of thumb is to stop consuming anything caloric at least 3 hours before bedtime. If you’re a nightowl and don’t fall asleep until after midnight, it’s still important to stop eating as early in the evening as possible, ideally before 7-8pm.

4.) Track what you eat and your weight. There’s an expression in business: “What gets measured, gets managed.” Without tracking diet and weight, it’s unlikely these will change much over time because we don’t have any data to act upon.

While many medical conditions can affect weight, diet is by far the most impactful. If you’re gaining weight, your diet is probably most responsible. Certainly it is possible to gain weight if you are putting on a lot of muscle and losing fat, so weight tracking isn’t a perfect solution, but if you’re seeing unfavorable changes in your body’s appearance, the extra weight is extra fat in most cases.

Using an app such as MyFitnessPal™ to track calories, protein, sugar etc. is also very valuable because it forces us to examine what we’re eating and food quantities. This is the most surefire way to identify the most likely culprits that are torpedoing weight loss efforts and eliminate them.

(As an aside, it is also possible to become obsessive about monitoring food and weight to a point where it is unhealthy. Finding a balance is important for your overall mental health.)

5.) Don’t shop hungry. This is so critical. The battle for eating or not eating problematic foods is usually won in the supermarket and not in the pantry.  If you’re hungry, the most unhealthy food options will be the most tempting. Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to overcome temptation. Avoid the temptation entirely. Go to the grocery store immediately after a meal (you’ll even get your walking in), make a shopping list, and stick to it.

Even better, try using a grocery delivery service (e.g. Instacart). Having someone else do the shopping helps take the willpower out of the equation entirely. With this strategy, those tempting foods won’t be staring you right in the face anymore.

6.) Don’t be overly hard on yourself if you slip up. Our weight tends to fluctuate over time. Being overly harsh or self-critical after a dietary indiscretion is almost always counter-productive to the long-term goal: a healthier body. Significant weight loss will take a number of lifestyle changes over months and even years. You can lose a battle, without losing the war. One meal, day, or even week of poor choices will not irreparably subvert your efforts, but giving up completely will. You can always get back into the habit of eating better tomorrow.

7.) Prioritize sleep. Healthy sleep is the most overlooked health habit. We are all busy and sleep is the most common part of our daily lives that gets short shrift. Inadequate sleep affects the hormones that control our weight and fat storage, but it also has many other mechanisms by which it affects weight. For example, our willpower is low and mood is poor if we aren’t getting enough sleep. Both of these factors contribute to making unhealthy food choices (read: snacking on junk food).

While there are outliers, the average adult needs AT LEAST 7 hours of sleep per night. And chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to almost every serious disease imaginable.

Click here more information on using semaglutide from Flow Wellness to boost your weight loss efforts. We also have telehealth based consultation available with one of our physicians available to discuss how to strategize your weight loss goals and journey beyond the use of medical weight loss alone.

Learn more:

Simple Habits for Weight Loss – Part 1

How to Optimize Your Zzz’s for Better Health

The Benefits of Medical Weight Loss Therapy

Content on our site may include product recommendations. We participate in the Amazon Associate program and may earn a commission from qualifying purchases.