The new year is a great time to review your diet and weight loss habits. If you’d like to lose weight and feel more energized, changing your daily eating patterns can significantly improve your overall health.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data brief], the prevalence of obesity has increased from 30.5% to 42.4%, over the past 20 years. There are a growing number of health concerns related to weight issues including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, respiratory problems, increased chance of cancer, diabetes, gout, gallbladder disease, poor circulation, decreased energy levels, as well as the onset of depression.
If you’d like to maintain your health and stay balanced this year, follow these 5 Steps to Create More Effective Weight Loss Habits.
1. Track Your Diet and Weight Loss Habits
The first step to creating new habits is to understand your existing ones. If you’d like to objectively measure your weight loss habits, try using a tracking app to record what you eat for a couple of weeks. The See How You Eat app allows you to take a photo of each meal and track your choices easily. You don’t have to log every ingredient or count calories and macros. Simply observe the types of foods you tend to eat frequently.
For the most effective record-keeping, try documenting why you’re eating. Aside from the obvious reason, hunger, we often eat when we’re running low on energy, feeling sad, bored or stressed. Write down how you feel before and after eating. Write down how certain foods affect your mood and energy levels.
2. Choose One Diet Habit to Change
Making several major changes at once can feel overwhelming. Most 30-day diets require drastic habit changes that are difficult to sustain. Creating a goal of “Lose 10 Pounds in a Month” isn’t specifically addressing the “how” to do so on a daily basis. The more specific you are, the more effective you’ll be.
Instead, start small by focusing one simple variable that will help you feel more balanced. If you’d like to lose weight, there are a variety of habits to consider changing. Don’t try all of them once! Choose just one that will feel easy when added to your current schedule and lifestyle.
Here are some examples that most body types can benefit from…
- Eat one more serving of green vegetables per day.
- Drink one less cup of coffee per day.
- Eat one less serving of refined sugar per day.
- Eat one less serving of processed food per day.
- Drink one more glass of water per day.
All of these examples can increase weight loss and energy. Choose one that feels easily attainable for you.
3. Create Methods for New Diet Habits
Creating new weight loss habits can feel stressful if you feel like you have to give up something. Psychology Today explains that, “Every habit has three components:
- Trigger for an automatic behavior to start
- Routine which is the behavior itself
- Reward which is how our brain learns to remember this pattern for the future.”
By being aware of your diet triggers, you can create new routines for responding to those triggers. When reviewing your diet tracking app, you may notice that you eat foods high in sugar and caffeine when you’re feeling tired. Therefore, your 3 habit stages would look like:
- Trigger: Feeling tired
- Routine: Eat candy and drink coffee
- Reward: Feel energized temporarily, but crash later
The key to a balanced diet is to avoid extremes. If you avoid coffee and candy altogether, you’re still suffering from the original trigger of feeling tired. The solution is to replace the old, failing routine with a specific, healthier alternative. Instead, when you reach for a second cup of coffee, try to replace it with a healthier, natural source of caffeine to stay energized.
Based on the examples in Step 2, we created some example methods to address the trigger, routine and reward. Try creating your own method based on your diet habit goals.
Examples of Diet Habit Methods
GOAL: Drink one less cup of coffee per day.
- Trigger: Feel Tired
- Routine: Eat candy and drink coffee
- Reward: Feel energized temporarily, crash later
- Trigger: Feel Tired
- Routine: Drink black tea, Guarana drink or eat dark chocolate
- Reward: Feel energized temporarily and avoid crash later
GOAL: Eat one more serving of green vegetables per day.
- Trigger: It’s dinner time
- Routine: Eat meat and potato-based side
- Reward: Feel heavy and full
- Trigger: It’s dinner time
- Routine: Eat chicken and broccoli or brussels sprouts
- Reward: Feel satisfied and full
4. Test New Weight Loss Habits & Methods
The key to a sustainable weight loss routine is specificity. The more specific you can be with your new habits the better. The more you can identify the specific trigger and your specific response, the easier habit formation will be.
Test out your new diet habit for a couple weeks and make adjustments as necessary. If you forget your new methods, try setting phone reminders or leaving notes on your refrigerator. If you discover more triggers throughout the day, keep documenting them and slowly add in new routines.
Don’t expect to see results immediately! If after a few months, you discover you’ve lost a few pounds and are feeling more balanced, make sure to congratulate yourself and celebrate!
5. Get Support To Change Weight Loss Habits
If you’ve tested out your habits and you’re still struggling to find solutions, that’s ok! Many of us have complex triggers and need additional support in developing healthier diet routines. Some triggers indicate chronic underlying conditions that may require in-depth testing, supplement support and long-term maintenance programs.
If you are concerned about your diet, weight and health risks, Natural Bio Health can help you create healthy habits and maintain weight balance for life. Natural Bio Health provides customized diet and weight loss solutions that you can rely on for fast and effective results. Our unique approach identifies underlying diet issues and we create customized programs based on your body chemistry. Our diet and weight loss programs can help you feel more energized, healthier and confident. We provide ongoing motivational support every step of the way with personalized diet plans and nutritional guidance.
Weight Loss Program Overview
1. Initial Visit
Our initial visit begins with a medical history and evaluation by one of our providers, to fully understand your goals and expectations. The evaluation includes a private weigh in, and a body composition analysis which gives BMI and estimates body fat percentage. The provider will discuss, in detail, the recommended weight loss program for your specific needs.
Customized Weight Loss Programs:
- 26-day program
- 43-day program
- Appetite suppressant programs
- Weight loss counseling
The customized weight loss program will include prescribed all-natural medications and supplements, custom meal plan, as well as diet and exercise recommendations. At this time, we also suggest that you complete a comprehensive blood panel to look for hormonal abnormalities that could interfere with your results.
2. Follow-Up Visit
Follow-up visits are scheduled weekly, for the duration of the program. At each visit, you will have a private weigh in, body composition performed, and a review of your personal Health Journal. You will meet with a provider to discuss all aspects of your program including efficacy of prescribed medication, diet and exercise compliance and/or challenges. At each visit, you will be educated and given tools to help you continue or maintain your weight loss.
3. Maintenance Program
At Natural Bio Health, we understand that “keeping the weight off” is a challenging obstacle for anyone who has lost weight. We continue to support you on an as-needed basis, provide continual education, health tips, and support after any weight loss program is completed. You are part of the Natural Bio Health Family!
Contact Natural Bio Health Today
Our team is dedicated to helping you understand the numerous factors that may be preventing optimal health. Learn more about taking control of your health. Join the wellness journey to achieve optimal health, fight disease and boost immune health to combat viruses. Visit naturalbiohealth.com.
Our team of specialists understands our patients’ concerns about office safety during the time of COVID-19. We are proud to offer telemedicine services through video and phone calls. We are also seeing patients in person at our offices, but are abiding by new, strict safety precautions. To schedule your appointment, contact us here. We serve Texans in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Round Rock, and College Station.