9 Tips To Help you Make the Healthy Changes You Want to Make

tips to help lose weight

Proper diet and daily exercise is the best way to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to help you get started on a weight loss journey the healthy way.
 
Maintain healthy habits. The reason willpower doesn’t work well for most people is because we usually use willpower to get themselves NOT to do something. An example: “I will not drink soda anymore.” Or: “I will not eat sweets anymore.”
 
Our brains aren’t geared toward focusing on what NOT to do. If someone tells you not to think about the something — that’s the first thing you think of. The more you think of what you shouldn’t do, the more power you give that very thing.
 
Remember: Willpower is about WILL, not won’t. To make a resolution that really works, stay positive and focus on what you will do and what you choose to do rather than thinking of what you should not do. An example: “I will drink water in place of soda.” Or: “I will eat a piece of fruit in place of dessert after dinner.”
 
If you want to change an unhealthy habit, it’s important to investigate why you do that habit. Learning why you do the things you do is essential to changing that behavior. Most people actually gain some sort of benefit from bad habits. Bad habits give immediate benefits but often cause long-term harm. You can’t unlearn a bad habit, but you can replace it with a good habit. Good habits give immediate benefit AND long term benefits.


 

Try these ways to learn new habits:

  • Change your environment. For example, make your kitchen and pantry an environment of yes. Clean out tempting foods and replace them with healthy foods you like.
  • Value healthier habits over unhealthy habits. Bad habits tend to be valued more than good habits. For example, prioritize an exercise session like you would a hair appointment.
  • Replace a bad habit with a good habit.
  • Use repetition. Continue repeating the new, healthier habit until it becomes an unconscious part of your lifestyle. Remember the old joke: How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. That works with proper nutrition and exercise, too.
  • Practice observation. Observe and learn from others who maintain the healthy habits you want.
  • Use imagery. Imagine yourself doing and living your new healthy habit.
And finally, identify your triggers: When you think about why you do the things you do, think about what leads up to unhealthy practices. Think about thoughts, feelings, events, or situations that triggered a behavior you want to change. For example, if you find yourself overeating when you’re not physically hungry, think about what led up to it. Did something set you off? It’s important to investigate the causes of our behaviors. Once you determine the cause, or trigger, you can then replace that bad habit with something healthier. If a stress event set you off, make a list of things you can do in place of reaching for food, such as calling a friend, journaling, taking a walk, deep breathing, music, etc.
 
Replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthier behaviors is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 
 
These tips and more are available from the Intermountain Weigh to Health Program.