8 Healthy Habits of People Who Have Lost Weight

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By Ilse de Graaf

Word on the street is that most people who have successfully lost weight through dieting will regain half of the lost weight in the following year and all of it in the following three years – crazy huh? That’s why here at Weight Loss Ninja we say no to dieting, WLN is about changing your mindset and ultimately your lifestyle and not just opting for quick fixes or fad diets. Losing weight for good requires planning, willpower and energy. The foundation of maintaining a healthy weight is to create and reinforce healthy habits.

Below I walk you through 10 healthy habits of people who have successfully lost weight and kept it off, for good.

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Add more natural, cleaner foods into your diet
Adding more natural foods to your diet is a no brainer, they were put on this earth to nourish us. Clean foods fill your body with an array of vitamins and minerals, high-quality protein and healthy fats, which improve heart and brain health, assist with weight management, build a stronger immune system and increase energy levels. Foods in their natural forms even taste better, they are more flavorful and they just make you feel soooo good.

If you are completely new to clean eating, don’t go in all guns blazing, take baby steps. Start by checking the labels of food you already eat, figure out which of your favorite foods contain minimal sugar or artificial ingredients so that you can feel happy that you are not eliminating everything you love from your diet. Continue making the same recipes as before but make cleaner foods the centre of your plate. Like spaghetti? Well you can still enjoy what you love, just try making your tomato sauce from scratch or using a ready made passata that is sugar free.

Do not demonise certain food types
I don’t believe in restrictive dieting, as controversial as it may seem. Demonising food groups or eliminating them for your diet can often lead to feelings of shame if you deviate from the ‘rules’ or can even lead to disordered eating. You do not need to live off of a diet of kale and goji berries to be healthy. Most people who lose weight and maintain that loss don’t do it by restrictive eating, they do it by finding a way to fit certain foods or food groups into a healthier, more well-rounded lifestyle. Portion control is a great way to do this, instead of potatoes or pasta being the main focus of your dish, add extra vegetables or lean meats or fish instead.

Develop routines and make them your lifestyle
One of the hardest parts of losing weight is not to eat healthy, but to change your behaviour, which goes hand in hand with your habits and routines. A change of lifestyle and mindset must be accompanied by new habits that will support your new goals. Therefore, you will have to say goodbye to the old, unsustainable ones that aren’t supporting you and are holding you back from achieving what you want.

Basically, if you do what you always do then you are going to get what you always get.

Only eat until you feel full or satisfied
Overeating is not your friend, it makes you feel sluggish, unmotivated and unhappy, not to mention that it leads to weight gain. If you have filled your dinner plate with food, do not feel that you need to finish every bite. Eat until you feel full or satisfied, leftovers are ok, in fact they’re great and often taste better the next day.

A great trick that I often do myself is making way too much food, that way I can give myself an average portion and if I am particularly hungry that day I will go back into the kitchen and have seconds. If I’m not particularly hungry I will keep that portion for tomorrow’s lunch or perhaps even freeze it for future use. This may sound crazy but it really works, it takes away the risk of making slightly more food than you need but not enough for tomorrow’s lunch, meaning you won’t feel bad and like you have to eat it ALL.

Prioritize exercise
When you combine a healthy diet with exercise you WILL see results, that’s a definite. Not only will you notice changes in the body but you will start to feel better too, your mental health will improve leaving you feeling more motivated than ever! It is important to make exercise your daily non-negotiable, whether that means 15 minutes of gentle yoga, a brisk walk, swimming or a long run – whatever works for you.

A great way to prioritize exercise is by thinking of it in the same way as taking a shower, brushing your teeth or eating lunch, they are just things you do everyday without even thinking about it.

Find healthier alternatives for your favorite foods
Weight loss shouldn’t be about making you unhappy, we still want to enjoy the things we love so don’t cut out your favorite foods, find healthier ways to enjoy them! Do you love strawberries and cream? Try substituting the cream for coconut yoghurt. Is a ham sandwich your go to lunch? Try buying artisan bread such as sourdough instead of your standard supermarket loaf and try adding more salad to your sandwich. Are you a sucker for potato chips? Try roast veg chips instead. See? It’s as easy as that!

Drink more water
This is something I regularly talk about, so apologies if I sound like a broken record. DRINK LOTS OF WATER! At least two liters every day. Drinking plenty of water helps with so many bodily functions but not only that, it makes you feel great! You know those mornings where you wake up with a headache or feeling groggy, a large glass of water oftens solves the problem. Rehydrate, rehydrate, rehydrate! Thirst can often be mistaken for hunger, you might think you need a snack but what your body truly wants is water. I mean, sometimes you might genuinely be hungry but why not test this by drinking a big glass of water and then checking back in with yourself 15 minutes later?

Always carry healthy snacks with you
Snacking is often misrepresented, especially in diet culture – “avoid snacking and stick to 3 balanced meals” but snacking can actually be a ninja’s best friend. A snack rich in protein or complex carbohydrates keeps your energy levels up and prevents you from seeking out those quick fix energy boosts or overeating during meal times. It’s a great idea to keep raw nuts, energy balls, homemade protein bars or fruit in your handbag, desk drawer or car for those moments that you need an energy boost.

Support each other on your journey of changing your lifestyle and mindset and share your POWER goals with other Weight Loss Ninja’s! Support each other with motivation and pep talks and/or share your Ninja POWER successes! You can find each other by using the following hashtags on social media #weightlossninja #loseweightwithPOWER #ninjapower

Together, you’ll reach your goals! Also, please TAG Weight Loss Ninja on your Facebook & Instagram posts and I’ll repost them!

Thanks for reading, keep on being the POWERful woman you are!

xx Ilse

Founder & Coach
Weight Loss Ninja