I get this question a lot: “What’s ONE thing I can do to get healthier/lose weight/have more energy?”.
We all want to reverse the damage we’ve done over the years, and we’d like to have all those symptoms from our behavior “fixed” right now, thank you very much.
Most health professionals will tell you that there’s just isn’t one THING you can do. And they’re right… kind of.
There is one thing you can do that will change the outcome of everything.
Create a habit.
It’s not as quick as “instant”, but it can be fairly fast and it’s definitely simple. The only difficult part is solidifying the habit, and since you’re not doing it already, it’s not YET second nature.
Women across the world who are able to maintain a healthy weight all have similar habits.
Habits run our lives, whether we want them to or not; so we might as well develop the ones that will serve the goal we’re trying to get after.
According to studies, roughly half of the things we do – and the choices we make – daily are due to the habits we’ve cultivated for ourselves. That’s a HUGE. So knowing you’ve got auto-pilot tendencies for about half of your entire day, wouldn’t you like to make sure you’re giving the green light to the ones that actually should be there?
Ok, then what are these “magical” habits of strong, healthy and fit women?
Women who maintain a healthy weight have these very powerful 8 habits in common:
These women keep their fridge and pantry stocked with the foods they know will keep them on track. They also plan ahead for most of their meals and tend to eat in more than they dine out. Meal planning is never as scary as you think and you save a TON of time versus cooking and preparing right before every single meal. We did a post on this, which you can find here.
When YOU control what you eat instead of a restaurant, your weight stays where you want it to. This doesn’t mean avoiding restaurants for the rest of your life. It just means that it should be the exception whenever it can be.
2. THEIR DIET IS FLEXIBLE
90/10 is our favorite rule. 90% of the time, I eat the foods that I know will help me feel the best and keep my weight where I need it to stay. The other 10% is for indulgence and fun.
Women who maintain a healthy weight understand that being flexible is key. Following a regimented diet just won’t do.
3. THEY HAVE OUTLETS FOR STRESS MANAGEMENT
You don’t have to sit on a meditation cushion all day to maintain a healthy weight. But you DO have to pay attention to stress. And find ways to manage it. Stress hormones make us hungrier and less able to resist fatty, starchy, sugary foods.
Meditation is great. So is simple deep breathing. Or taking time out to have a cup of tea, or a bubble bath, or to read a good novel, or to do some yoga poses. Anything that helps YOU de-stress and reset. (Click here for stress-busting tools you can use on-the-go.)
Women who maintain a healthy weight don’t let stress run the show.
4. THEY TAKE SLEEP SERIOUSLY
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. True story – the quality of your sleep has a serious impact on your weight AND your health. The hormones that control and regulate our sleep are the same ones that are responsible for deciding whether our stress state indicates the need for fat storage or fat burn. So NOT getting enough sleep is telling your hormones, “Hey, I’m pretty stressed, who knows what could happen, you might want to start storing fat just in case I need it…”. Not what you’re intending to tell your hormones, is it? Get enough sleep and your hormones decide that you must be relaxed enough, and safe enough, to continue burning calories rather than storing them. So let them know that everything is good on the homefront and they can go about their business burning away.
5. THEY GET MOVING
This one’s non-negotiable. Circulation and exercise is a critical part of the lives of women who maintain a healthy weight.
This does not you’re supposed to do an hour of pass-out cardio (in fact, any intense cardio after 20 minutes will send your body into muscle-consuming mode. It’s far more efficient for your body to consume muscle than fat. This is why marathon runners look the way they do and sprinters look like the meanest athletes you’ve ever met).
You just need to move your body. Some people make sure they get 10,000 steps every day. Some people love yoga, pilates, bike riding, playing with their kids outside, or HIIT workouts (which are excellent). Whether you’re doing that, or focusing on weight training at the gym, keep exercise in the mix throughout your week.
6. THEY’RE MINDFUL WHILE THEY’RE EATING
“Mindful eating” may sound a little hippie to you, but don’t let the name food you. All it means is that you should be slowing down and enjoying your food. When you’re in the moment and enjoying your food for what it is(fuel, energy, nutrition and taste), you’re able to appreciate the true value of food. You’re also going to allow your brain the time it needs to recognize the fact that you’ve eaten and you won’t have to fight the urge to stuff yourself. There’s a great piece on that topic here.
This also means that you should consider when your body is going to be naturally hungry so that you don’t let it get away from you and get so hungry you feel like you need to eat the kitchen.
Women who sustain a healthy weight don’t swallow their lunch in 3 minutes. They also don’t read a book or work on their computer or scroll through their phone while they’re eating. They’re focused on their food and actually enjoy the meal.
Try this: Before you sit down to eat – preferably at a table – close your eyes and take a deep breath. Notice how your food looks and smells. Then, with intention, begin eating. Chew every bite a little longer than feels normal. Focus on the experience of eating. It may feel odd at first, but it won’t for long.
7. THEY COURSE-CORRECT WHEN THEY’VE GONE TOO FAR
These women are tuned into their bodies. They’ve taught themselves what it feels like to hit their max with sugar or other indulgences. And they stop themselves before they go off the rails.
Instead of using the dangerous internal dialogue of “oh well, look what I’ve done..might as well go hard on the rest of this cheesecake since I’ve already screwed up my entire day’s worth of calories”. This defeatist attitude is not only an outright lie to yourself, but it’s an invitation to develop worse habits and buy the excuses that you think make sense(they don’t, you CAN course correct no matter what you’ve eaten).
For example, a huge temptation for me is certain candy(I know, I’m supposed to be a grown adult, but I’m not). SweetTart Ropes, Taffy, Lindor chocolate, oh…and Mega Stuff Oreos if I’m being honest. – I’d eat them all day, every day if they didn’t make me feel absolutely ill.
But I don’t. I feel awful and get headaches quickly when I over-indulge in any of those.
So I’ve learned how I feel just before I’m about to go too far – “too far” meaning the point at which I have zero control over my choices. When I reach that point, I pump the brakes. I make an effort for a few days/a week to step away from these sweet siren songs and, at the same time, I’m staying mindful of how GOOD the real whole foods make me feel. Always taking mental note of the energy and pride I have when I’ve eaten food that I know will serve me. So like magic, I no longer crave them.
8. THEY NEVER OBSESS ABOUT A NUMBER ON THE SCALE
Women who maintain a healthy weight keep an eye on their weight (I weigh myself about once a week, for example), AND they understand that the number on the scale is only one piece of information.
And that it’s actually NOT the most useful indicator of vibrant health. It’s a tool that indicates how much physical force is pulling us down to stay planted on the earth. It does NOT break that data out for you in terms of water retention, inflammation, potential mensa cycle looming, or constipation. Caring about how you FEEL in your body is necessary for maintaining a healthy mental game as it relates to your health as well. If you feel good and strong, and you love the way your clothes fit, the number doesn’t mean as much.
THINKING ABOUT creating new habits is so much harder than actually doing the new habits. Remember that before you go into paralysis and do nothing. Start small and start with just ONE new habit from this list. You’ll be amazed at how quickly that turns into 2, 3 and then 8. These mega-performer habits will help you manage your weight without being obsessed over it and it will serve you the rest of your life, regardless of your craving types 😉
And if you’re at the point where you’re serious about making permanent change and you need help, we’ve got you. We’ve helped thousands of people make massive breakthroughs and transform their lives for good. You know, the people who “can’t lose weight”…we help those people, every…single…day. You can book your FREE consult at www.revhealthquarters.com/contact if you’re looking for actual results.
Stay Awesome guys,
You’ve got the ability for all of these things. Stay awesome,