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5 Habits for Sustainable Weight Loss—Don’t Shortcut Your Way to Losing Weight.

5 Habits for Sustainable Weight Loss—Don’t Shortcut Your Way to Losing Weight.

If you ever started dieting to lose weight, only to gain it all back shortly after you stop, you are not alone. How do you avoid rebound weight gain after all your hard work? Rather than using a fad diet that’s designed to give you temporary results, switch your focus to sustainable, long-lasting habits that can help you gradually lose weight and keep it off.

1. Avoid Drinking Your Calories.
Sweet tea, soda, sports drinks and other beverages can pack too much sugar and unnecessary calories into your day. Sparkling or tap water flavored with real fruit is healthy and low-calorie.

2. Pass on Diets That Restrict Calories.
Drastically cutting calories decreases levels of leptin, a hormone that helps you feel full and satisfied after a meal, and increases levels of ghrelin, the hormone that makes you feel hungry. The combination puts you at risk of feeling hungry even after a filling meal. These diets can also lead to unhealthy food obsessions, weight loss plateaus and the development of an eating disorder. Focus instead on healthy portions: Fill half your plate with vegetables and divide the other half between lean sources of protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy.

3. Skip the Scale.
Your weight fluctuates based on what you eat and drink, how much muscle you gain or lose (based on whether you are exercising), and the time of day or month. Use your scale every once in a while, but it’s better to use body measurements, such as your waist size, to track your progress.

4. Make the Most of Your Mornings.
Set aside time each morning for taking the dog for a walk, making a healthy breakfast, doing a quick workout or meditating to reduce stress. All of these can help you meet your weight loss goals.

5. Start an Activity That Keeps You Moving.
If your daily workouts are not enjoyable, they likely aren’t sustainable. Use an activity you love as your primary form of exercise, whether running, cycling, hiking, swimming or walking.

​Choose Healthier Foods
Eating well is key for losing or maintaining weight. Here are some simple, sustainable ideas for healthy eating:

  • Bake, don’t fry.
  • Drink black coffee.
  • Get your protein from poultry, fish and beans.
  • Replace butter with olive or canola oil.
  • Switch to low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
  • Try Meatless Mondays, one day a week to eat vegetarian.

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