7 Good habits I built after trying and losing weight

I went through a weight loss journey 3 years ago and managed to lose 33 pounds. Usually when we think of weight loss, we simply think about doing a lot of exercise. While exercise is one important aspect, there are a ton of daily routines you can build to get lean or stay in the shape you want. In fact, if you don’t build good healthy habits, you are at risk of gaining weight back.

Here I have listed some of the healthy habits I built during the process and got stuck on them. I had a hard time starting these new daily routines that I was not familiar with, but after repeatedly doing them for long enough, now they have become part of my life.

I started walking

People generally don’t like walking. If you look at a parking lot of a shopping mall, you’ll notice that everyone is parking closer to the entrance even though there’s nice shade in a couple of minutes walk. The good thing about walking if you are trying to lose weight is that it becomes easier every day as you become lighter, and your leg muscles become stronger. The two effects compound in your benefit.

I skipped the transport and walked 1 hour every day to get to my office. I was also very lucky to be working in an office that was located at the most scenic location in Sydney, so it really wasn’t that hard for me.

Walking on the beach / forest with family
I went for hiking on my holidays with family.

Apart from weight loss and improving fitness, there are many other benefits of walking. Walking every day can improve mood, reduce stress levels, and increase overall sense of well-being. It improves circulation and oxygen flow throughout the body, leading to increased energy levels and reduced fatigue. Studies have found that regular walking can improve cognitive function, including memory, attention, and creativity.

Since I built this habit, I have walked a ton of hiking trails around my place or any new place I go.

I started drinking black coffee

I always liked coffee. When I was in high school, my physics professor used to have coffee in class that would make me very hungry. That amazing smell of coffee still gives me that nostalgia.

Coffee is good but the milk you add to it can quickly add up to your calories. If you are having 3 of them a day, that is about 300 extra calories. It doesn’t help if you are trying to shred some body fat, so I started drinking black coffee. Although I didn’t like that bitter taste at the beginning, I managed to adapt to it pretty quickly.

Black coffee
I swapped opted in for black coffee instead of regular one.

Coffee helps to lose weight by increasing your metabolism. Coffee contains caffeine, which stimulates the central nervous system and makes you feel more alert and focused. It improves physical performance by increasing the body’s adrenaline levels, which makes it easier to exert yourself.

Caffeine has been shown to increase the production of dopamine and serotonin, which are neurotransmitters associated with mood and happiness. The antioxidant properties in it help reduce inflammation and protect against cellular damage.

I started going to bed early

10pm to be precise. I automatically built this habit without even trying. Habits create a chain reaction, and they compound. When you build a couple of good habits, they form another good habit. Isn’t that amazing! It’s like getting 50% interest on your saving.

As you start being very active during the day, you get tired early at night and fall asleep. When you repeat this routine many times, it becomes your habit and works like magic. My family and friends always get surprised when we have a pretty relaxing day on our holiday, and I still fall asleep at 10pm sharp.

Sleeping early makes sure that you will get enough of it. Sleep has a restorative effect on the brain, and getting enough of it can improve cognitive functions such as memory, creativity, and problem-solving. Adequate sleep is linked with the prevention of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. It also improves mood and stabilizes emotions, reducing the incidence of mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.

I woke up early

This habit is the byproduct of another habit I built, going to bed early. It’s no surprise. 7 hours of a good sleep is plenty for you. It’s amazing how I wake up at exactly 5am without an alarm. A sign of a quality sleep is that after you wake up, you feel like getting up right after you wake up. Before building this habit, I used to either have a hard time waking up or waste a few hours lying on bed and not falling asleep.

Consistent sleep routine improves your sleep quality as it helps regulate the body’s internal clock, which means better quality sleep. Good quality sleep is very important to strengthen the immune system, which reduces the chances of falling ill.

I carried water bottle everywhere I go

I used to leave my water bottle at the office. I had one hour commute and would get really thirsty sometimes, but it never occurred to me to take the water bottle with me. Your body needs more water when you are on a diet to lose weight. It left me no choice but to carry the water bottle with me. Since then, I have made this into a habit and now the one thing I always do before leaving my house is fill up my water bottle.

It is important to drink an adequate amount of water every day to keep our body hydrated and maintain optimal health. Drinking more water has been shown to improve digestion, boost metabolism, and prevent dehydration. Being hydrated also helps in flushing out toxins from the body, keeping our skin healthy and glowing. It also helps in regulating body temperature and keeping joints lubricated.

Drinking enough water is especially important for athletes and people who engage in physical activity, as it helps them stay energetic and prevents muscle cramps. Therefore, drinking more water is a simple yet important step towards maintaining good health and well-being.

I started eating healthy foods

Ok, this one is a no brainer. You may be wondering why I am even listing it. Everybody eats healthy during their weight loss journey, but many go back to the same old eating habit once they hit their weight loss goal. You don’t find healthy food that appealing, you may need a bit more time and patience. Or perhaps a bit of skill to prepare it.

I don’t really wanna brag here, but I am a pretty good cook. It’s testified by my family and friends. I think this is the most important thing that made me stick with eating healthy as I could easily customize the recipe to match my taste.

Here I have some tips for you are trying to build this habit-

Start small: Make small changes to your diet each day, such as incorporating more fruits and vegetables, choosing whole grains instead of refined products, and reducing your intake of processed foods and sugary drinks.

Plan your meals: Plan your meals ahead of time to ensure you are making healthy choices. Make sure to include a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

Keep healthy snacks on hand: Stock your pantry and refrigerator with healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, and low-fat yogurt. This way, you can grab a healthy option when hunger strikes rather than reaching for junk food.

Make healthy choices when eating out: When eating out, try to choose restaurants that offer healthy options. Look for meals that are grilled, baked, or steamed, and avoid fried or creamy dishes.

Find healthy substitutes: There are a lot of healthy substitutes for common unhealthy foods, such as using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream or hummus instead of mayonnaise. Experiment with healthy substitutions in your recipes.

I cut back on drinking alcohol

I used to drink every weekend, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. That’s almost half of the week I’m drunk. Now I drink only one or two drinks in about a month. Sometimes even for a few months. I have realized that people don’t drink because they crave alcohol. They drink because they get bored, or because they can’t find any other fun things to do.

Alcohol is not your friend if you are trying to get fit. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it increases urine output and can lead to dehydration. This can reduce your physical performance and lead to fatigue and muscle cramps. Alcoholic beverages are often high in calories and can lead to an increase in body fat. Over time, excessive drinking can cause obesity and increase the risk of diseases such as diabetes. It also negatively impacts on your sleep quality, which can reduce recovery time which further impairs your physical performance.

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