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Ten Lifestyle Habits For Effective and Sustainable Fat Loss

Ten Lifestyle Habits For Effective and Sustainable Fat Loss

Posted on: Nutrition

Julian Hayes

There isn’t that big a difference between someone who succeeds with their fitness goals and maintains a healthy lifestyle over the long haul from someone who chronically falls short.

It’s neither lack of knowledge nor ability that separates these two people. The biggest difference is their approach.

The greatest obstacle to success with a fat loss program is failing to establish an effective foundation of daily behavior. While that’s far from sexy, re-establishing healthy lifestyle habits is the most important action taken by those who succeed in getting fit.

The concept of losing weight isn’t difficult to grasp. It’s in applying this knowledge to our daily lives where the difficulty arises. By applying some key fundamental lifestyle habits, you will achieve long-term success.

So, before you become tempted to start a complex diet and workout program, here are ten simple lifestyle habits for sustainable and effective fat loss. Adopting as many of these as possible will reward you with a lifestyle that leaner people share.

1. Get in some movement every day.

Not every day needs to be a weight lifting day, but that isn’t an excuse to just sit down and be lazy. Lifting weights is three hours of your week. What about the other hours?

Adding in activities such as a daily walk, yoga, dancing, or any other activity that gets you moving on a daily basis is essential to any weight loss exercise program.

2. Find some exercises that you (actually) enjoy.

The great thing about health and fitness is that it’s a “choose-your-own-adventure.”

Picture exercising and reaching your goals as getting to Los Angeles from New York. There are many ways to arrive in L.A., but some are going to be more ideally suited to your personal preferences. This is how fitness operates.

There are many different workout splits and ideologies, but the most important key is finding an exercise strategy that fits your goals and caters to your preferred lifestyle. Look for activities that you enjoy doing.

3. Commit to a minimum of three workouts per week.

Not everyone wants to look like a bodybuilder and lift weights in the gym six days a week. I don’t.

However, achieving a lean and toned physique does require some commitment to the weight room. If you’re new -- or not totally in love with the gym -- then start off with three days of weight training, and let each day be a full body workout. This ensures you’re getting the most out of your time in the gym in the most efficient manner.

4. Eat until you’re 80% full.

Instead of forcing yourself to eat until the plate is empty, or until you feel stuffed, stop before you reach these points. It takes time for our brain and stomach to link up and to realize that you’re actually full. Slow your eating and tune in to when you’re starting to fill up.

5. Adopt a simple eating structure.

Just because you’re trying to lose weight doesn’t mean you have to starve. In fact, starving yourself is one of the common problems that leads to re-gaining weight after loss. For satiety purposes, and to help with building lean muscle, divide your plate into sections for a well-balanced approach.

  • One section is for protein

  • One section is for carbs and fats (distributed based on your specific nutritional plan)

  • The last section is for vegetables (also, this is your biggest section)

6. Reduce the frequency you dine out.

The easiest way to manage your caloric intake for effective fat loss is to have complete control over what you're consuming.

While the chicken and rice dish that you make at home is 500 calories, a similar dish at a restaurant might be double or even triple the number of calories.


Because the ingredients you use to prepare food at home are not the same as the ingredients used in restaurants. The restaurant's main goal is to create food that tastes good so that you’ll come back. This can lead to the addition of extra fats, extra flavorings, and other additives that might lead to overeating or consuming additional calories that you don't expect.

7. Include a vegetable with every meal.

When it comes to nutrition, tracking macronutrient ratios seems to attract all the attention for weight loss. While these ratios -- which track carbohydrates, proteins, and fats -- are certainly an important aspect of getting and staying lean, taking care of our internal health is more important. Maintaining a healthy body makes it easier for your body to adapt to change.

Micronutrients -- which include vitamins and minerals -- play a pivotal role in all aspects of your life, ranging from cellular health, longevity, immunity levels, and performance in the gym.

The best way to ensure that you're getting ample amounts of vitamins and minerals in your body is to eat an abundant quantity and variety of vegetables. Challenge yourself to eat a veggie with every meal, and if you’re already doing that, try for two or three different vegetables with each meal. Doing so will ensure you’re supplying your body with the nutrients it needs to operate in its optimal state. You’re likely to be rewarded with more energy and faster results!

8. Prepare your meals ahead of time.

Each of us encounters obstacles in our lives that can hamper us from accomplishing our fitness goals... With this in mind, it’s best to have a strategy in place for those inevitable moments that everyone faces so we don’t get derailed in our fat loss efforts.

If you live a busy lifestyle that makes it difficult to find time to cook healthy meals on some days, then it’s best to prep meals for a few days ahead of time. If you have an office party that evening where you will be tempted by foods, not on your normal plan, then eat less earlier in the day to allow for extra calories that night.

9. Make a commitment to adequate sleep.

Sleep is an integral habit for successful fat loss. Without adequate sleep, your likelihood of weight gain increases, along with changes in your hormones. These hormonal changes lead to increased appetite and a decreased tendency to lose fat. Because of the double benefit of positive hormone changes and less hunger, making sleep a high priority can be the best change you make to get your weight loss kickstarted.

If you’re sleeping less than seven hours a night, it’s time to take a look at what you can do to make sleep a bigger priority. Often, this is one of the most powerful changes to make for successful weight loss.

10. Don’t underestimate the power of water.

One of the best --and often overlooked -- ways to set yourself up for successful fat loss is to stay properly hydrated. Water acts as a natural appetite suppressant and allows you to fight food cravings, which may just be signs of dehydration. Additionally, water helps your metabolism and promotes muscle elasticity and joint health through proper lubrication.

Here are two ways to drink more water:

  • Start the morning off with 16 oz of water

  • Set an alarm to go off every hour as a reminder to drink water (until it’s habitual)

If you’re ready to get started losing weight, it doesn’t have to be a painful and stressful experience. Remember that the key is to slowly and consistently implement these lifestyle habits into your daily regimen. Once you’ve got one habit down, fold in another. Keep this pattern going, and you’ll not only lose weight but keep it off for good.

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