6 Healthy Habits to Start Today

By , SparkPeople Blogger
One reason "diets" are so tempting is that they provide a guided plan to help people reach weight loss goals. Sadly, many times the latest fad diet or gimmick includes changes that are drastic and restrictive from normal life. Sometimes this means the "diet" can't be maintained on a long-term basis and weight loss goals if reached can't be maintained either.
Dieting without a change in lifestyle is like a screen door on a submarine: pointless when it comes to long-term success. If you are tired of diets, you are not alone. There are millions of frustrated dieters out there still struggling too. If you want to change your lifestyle to reach your weight goals for the last time, here are six healthy habits to get you started.

Control Portions

Many of us have habits and routines that contribute to our weight battles and portion control is one of the biggest. Perhaps you believe you have to clean your plate regardless of how you feel. Maybe you take a larger portion initially because there were never seconds available when you were growing up. Regardless of the reasons, taking note of your portion habits and learning to take control of them will help you realize weight loss results.

Eat the Right Stuff

Nutrient-rich foods provide your body with the energy and key nutrients necessary for health. Since your body needs over 45 different nutrients every day, knowing what to select is very important for weight management success. Fortunately, the basics of a healthy diet have not changed over the centuries even though many fad diets want you to believe they have.

Exercise Consistently

Lasting weight loss happens when you consistently burn more calories than you consume. If you only focus on what you put on your plate and overlook planning and practicing regular exercise, you will not see the results you long to achieve. Whether you have 10 pounds or 110 pounds to lose, you have to move and increase your focus on exercise to reach your goals.

Drink Water

The body consists of 50-60 percent water, which helps regulate body temperature, assists with respiration/breathing and transportation of nutrients as well as removing waste and maintaining normal function. The typical recommendation is to include eight to 12 cups of water each day in addition to other healthy beverages you select.

Eat on Purpose

Whether you eat throughout the day because grazing is your preferred style of eating or as a way to cope with your emotions, there are a wide variety of reasons people eat besides being hungry. Identifying why you are eating and owning what you have selected are important keys to taking control of what you consume to allow you to eat with a healthful purpose.

Find Unexpected Opportunities

Every day there are opportunities to seize healthy opportunities. Do you typically drive around the parking lot waiting for a close parking space? Instead, take the furthest spot in the lot and walk with purpose to the entrance with a smile of accomplishment for the exercise you were able to fit in. The leaves need racked or the lawn mowed? Embrace the fitness minutes that activity will create for the day. Instead of complaining that there aren't any low-calorie options on the menu, see how much you can request healthier options (grilled instead of fried, side of fruit instead of fries,  leave off the glaze, unseasoned, etc.) to your server to make it as healthy as possible. Each opportunity you take becomes another step toward your success.
Establishing healthy habits comes from making one intentional decision at a time. Start with these basic steps that will take you from where you are to where you want to be.