Make Weight Loss Easier by Creating Daily Patterns
We all know how challenging it can be to create healthier eating and exercise habits. One way to make this an easier process is by creating daily “patterns” to trigger these new habits. By keeping some parts of your life structured, you’ll know what you need to do, you’ll know when to do it—and you’ll be less tempted to get off track when it comes to your weight loss plan.
Here are five ways you can create daily patterns:
1) Eat at the same time each day
Rather than allowing your eating to be sporadic throughout the day, be sure to eat most of your meals and snacks at the same time every day. This is important because your body will get used to eating at those specific times, and you’ll be less likely to be overcome by cravings at random times. Not to mention, eating regularly will keep your blood sugar levels more stable and help you avoid drastic spikes and dips that can trigger more cravings.
2) Eat in the same place each day
Whenever possible, eat your meals in the same place, like in the same spot at your kitchen table. This signals your brain that when you sit down in this particular place, it’s time to eat. Over time you will reduce the habits of eating while standing in front of the refrigerator, or while driving in your car. Retrain your brain to eat in specified locations at specific times, and you’ll be less tempted to overeat impulsively.
3) Exercise at the same time each day
The same thing goes for your workout routine - do it at the same time each day and you will train your mind and body to accept it rather than resist it. Make it a daily habit like brushing your teeth. You don’t groan and fight it, you just do it and get it over with.
4) Cook and prepare food at the same time each day
Lack of preparation and planning has sidelined many diets, and you can avoid this happening to you if you get into the habit of preparing healthy meals and snacks at the same time each day. Eventually it becomes one of those things you just do without having to think about it - which helps you stay on track with your healthy eating plan much more easily.
5) Drink water regularly
Since drinking enough water can be a challenge for many people who aren’t used to it, you may also find it helpful to create patterns for your water intake. Try drinking an 8 oz. glass of water before every meal and snack. Or every time you visit the restroom, drink another small glass of water. Every time you drink a cup of coffee or tea, follow it with a glass of water.
The specifics of your patterns don’t matter - all that matters is you triggering your mind and body to expect certain things at certain times of the day. By deliberately setting up patterns like these, you automatically create new, healthy habits that will continue to serve you for a lifetime.