Table of contents:
2023 Author: Malcolm Clapton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-07-28 10:38
Even small changes in lifestyle can bring significant results.
We make over two hundred food decisions every day. This is mostly done automatically. We eat, almost without thinking about how much and what exactly we consume. And we often act out of habit.
For example, in the evening we go home and have a snack before dinner. When we do this for the first time, our brain connects the context (coming home) and the response to it (snacking). With each new repetition, this connection is strengthened, and after a while we begin to snack automatically. This is how habits are formed.
Creating and strengthening healthy habits is the key to maintaining a healthy weight.
Scientists have proven this through an experiment. They studied how changing habits affects the ability to lose weight and maintain it at a healthy level. They also figured out what is more beneficial: getting rid of old habits or starting new ones.
How was the experiment
The researchers recruited overweight volunteers and divided them into three groups. In the first, the participants had to get rid of old habits, in the second, they had to start new ones. The third group was a control group: its participants were not given instructions, and they did not change anything in their lives.
Those who needed to give up their habits received assignment messages every day. It helped the participants break their usual routine and become more flexible in their actions, for example, taking a different route to work or listening to an unfamiliar genre of music.
Participants forming new habits were asked to follow a plan that helps them lead healthier lives. To do this, you had to change your routine taking into account ten tips. Unlike conventional weight loss strategies, this approach did not prescribe a specific diet or exercise regimen.
The main goal is to change small daily habits.
The experiment lasted 12 weeks, then the scientists evaluated the results. Here's what they found:
- after 12 weeks, participants from the first group lost an average of 2.9 kg, from the second - by 3.3 kg, from the third - by 0.4 kg;
- a year later, the first group lost another 1.7 kg, the second - by 2.4 kg (the results of the third were not taken into account).
A year after the experiment, 65% of the participants in the first and second groups had decreased their weight by more than 5% - this is a clinically significant figure. This reduced their risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
The effectiveness of the experimentally proven method lies in its simplicity. To lose weight and then maintain a healthy weight, it is not necessary to switch to any particular diet, torment yourself with diets and exercise. Instead, you can work with your daily habits: change old ones or start new ones.
What habits help to reduce and control weight
The study participants did not lose weight through any supernatural effort. They have introduced simple, well-known actions into their lives. Here's what you need to do to replicate the experiment's success.
1. Organize your meals
Eat at about the same time every day. Try not to snack too often or chew something just out of boredom - this will help control your weight in the long term.
2. Choose foods with healthy fats
These are nuts, avocados, olive oil, fatty fish. Try to avoid fast food, it contains trans fats, which increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Walk more
Aim to walk 10,000 steps a day. Give up the elevator and head up the stairs. Get off one stop early to walk.
4. Take healthy snacks with you
Then you don't have to buy chips and sweets if you get hungry at work or walking.
5. Look at labels
Check the amount of fat, sugar and salt in what you are going to buy.
6. Monitor portions
Eat from small plates. Before applying the supplement, drink some water and wait five minutes to make sure you are really hungry.
7. Get up from a chair or sofa more often
A sedentary lifestyle increases your risk of gaining excess weight.
8. Choose healthy drinks
Drink plain water, not sugary soda. Limit the amount of juice to one small glass a day.
9. While eating, focus on the process
Take your time and don't get distracted. Eat at the table, not on the go. This will make it easier for you to notice when the body is full and not overeat.
10. Eat 400 grams of vegetables and fruits every day
These are the very five servings recommended by the World Health Organization. Vegetables and fruits can be fresh, boiled, fried, canned.
How to introduce good habits
Surely you have come across such advice more than once. They are talked about so often because they really work. If you don't already follow them regularly, try gradually introducing them into your life.
Keep a food diary and note what time you eat. This will help you streamline your meals, and at the same time see how much of what foods you are currently consuming and what should be changed in the diet.
To move more, track your steps with a pedometer. If that sounds boring in itself, turn it into a game. For example, in the Walker app, you can receive rewards for steps, participate in quests, and win prizes.
To eat more vegetables and fruits, keep them handy. Place a bowl of fruit on the table, and in the evening put a few in your work bag for a healthy snack. Try to add something herbal to every meal.
In order not to forget about it, install a special tracker and mark your progress in it. It will help reinforce other good habits as well.
Larisa Parfentieva, author of the bestselling book 100 Ways to Change Life, talks about the non-obvious things that helped her lose 30 kilograms
The life hacker understands how this exercise actually works. And he also tells in detail in what cases walking on the buttocks is absolutely useless
You bought a gym membership, but the fat doesn't even think to leave your sides. Life hacker finds out what mistakes prevent you from losing weight
If you are one of the people who cannot lose weight in any way, you need to change your habits to those that will help you lose weight. Start with morning and breakfast
A step-by-step guide to changing your habits, backed by years of research Each of us has things that we would like to change in our life. Eat right, quit smoking, learn to handle money, go to bed earlier and get up earlier, start a serious relationship, or increase your income.