Losing 90 pounds is no easy feat, but it’s definitely possible with the right habits. For a long time, I didn’t believe I could do it. I had convinced myself that I wasn’t capable, that I didn’t deserve it, and that a healthy lifestyle wasn’t for people like me. It took a lot of self-reflection to change that narrative and reach a point where I was able to love myself enough to work on myself. Once I decided that I deserved better, I realized that I needed to make some serious changes in my life. I had to identify and change my core habits. This was scary, but I knew it was necessary. I focused on making small, sustainable changes, and I celebrated all of my successes along the way.
Here are 15 easy habits that helped me lose 90 pounds:
1- Drink at least a half-gallon of water daily.
Staying hydrated is essential for overall health and well-being, and it can also play a significant role in weight loss. When you’re dehydrated, your body may mistake thirst for hunger, leading you to overeat. Additionally, water helps to boost your metabolism and promote satiety, making you feel fuller longer. There are many different ways to increase your water intake. You can drink plain water, sparkling water, unsweetened tea, or coffee. You can also add fruits or herbs to your water to give it a flavor boost.
2- Include protein at every meal.
Protein is an essential macronutrient that plays a vital role in weight loss and overall health. It helps you feel full and satisfied, which can help you eat less overall. Protein also helps to build and repair muscle tissue, which is important for metabolism and physical function.
Good sources of protein include:
- Lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, and fish
- Beans and lentils
- Tofu and tempeh
- Dairy products, such as milk, yogurt, and cheese
- Nuts and seeds
When planning your meals, make sure to include a source of protein at each meal. For example, you could have eggs and yogurt for breakfast, grilled chicken and vegetables for lunch, and salmon and roasted vegetables for dinner.
Here are some tips for including protein at every meal:
- Add eggs to your breakfast omelet or smoothie.
- Top your oatmeal with yogurt, nuts, and seeds.
- Have a hard-boiled egg or Greek yogurt as a snack.
- Add protein powder to your yogurt, oatmeal, or smoothie.
- Include a source of protein with your lunch and dinner meals.
By including protein at every meal, you can help yourself feel full and satisfied, boost your metabolism, and build muscle tissue. This can all lead to successful weight loss and improved overall health.
3- Manage stress.
Stress is a normal part of life, but too much stress can lead to unhealthy eating habits and weight gain. When you’re stressed, your body releases the hormone cortisol, which can increase your appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods. Additionally, stress can make it difficult to make healthy choices and stick to a healthy lifestyle plan.
If you’re struggling to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, it’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress. Here are a few tips:
- Exercise regularly. Exercise is a great way to reduce stress and improve your mood. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Practice yoga or meditation. Yoga and meditation are two other effective ways to manage stress. These activities can help you to relax your mind and body and focus on the present moment.
- Spend time in nature. Spending time in nature has been shown to reduce stress and improve overall well-being. If possible, try to spend some time each day outdoors, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
- Get enough sleep. When you’re well-rested, you’re better able to cope with stress. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Talk to a therapist. If you’re struggling to manage stress on your own, consider talking to a therapist. A therapist can help you to identify your stressors and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Managing stress is essential for both weight loss and overall health. By following these tips, you can reduce stress, improve your mood, and make healthier choices.
4- Find a support system.
Having a support system is one of the most important factors in successful weight loss and healthy living. When you have people who support your goals, you are more likely to stay motivated and on track.
There are many different ways to find a support system. You can talk to your friends and family members, join a weight loss support group, or connect with other people online who are also trying to lose weight or live healthier lifestyles.
5- Eat slowly and savor your food.
Eating slowly and savoring your food is a simple but effective way to promote weight loss and improve your overall health. When you eat quickly, you are more likely to overeat before your brain has time to register that you are full. This is because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to receive signals from your stomach that you are full.
By eating slowly and savoring your food, you give your brain enough time to register that you are full. This can help you to eat less overall and feel more satisfied after your meal.
Eating slowly also has other health benefits. It can help to improve digestion, reduce stress levels, and increase your enjoyment of food.
6- Make small changes to your favorite recipes.
Making small changes to your favorite recipes is a great way to improve your health without sacrificing taste. Here are a few tips:
- Use whole grains instead of refined grains. Whole grains are a good source of fiber and nutrients, which can help you feel full and satisfied. When baking, try using whole wheat flour, oat flour, or brown rice flour instead of white flour.
- Reduce the amount of sugar. Sugar can add empty calories to your diet and contribute to weight gain. When cooking or baking, try reducing the amount of sugar by a third or half. You can also use natural sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup instead of refined sugar.
- Use healthier cooking methods. Choose cooking methods such as grilling, baking, or roasting over frying. Frying adds unhealthy fats and calories to your food.
- Substitute healthier ingredients. There are many ways to substitute healthier ingredients into your favorite recipes. For example, you can use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, avocado instead of butter, or applesauce instead of oil.
Here are a few specific examples of healthy changes you can make to your favorite recipes:
- When making pancakes or waffles: Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour and reduce the amount of sugar by half.
- When making muffins or cupcakes: Use applesauce instead of oil and reduce the amount of sugar by half.
- When making cookies: Use whole wheat flour instead of white flour, reduce the amount of sugar by half, and add a handful of nuts or seeds.
- When making lasagna: Use lean ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef, and use whole wheat lasagna noodles instead of white noodles.
- When making macaroni and cheese: Use whole wheat macaroni noodles, low-fat milk, and reduced-fat cheddar cheese.
By making small changes to your favorite recipes, you can make your diet healthier without giving up the foods you love.
7- Increase Your Body Movement
Most adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week, plus two days of muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms).
However, even small amounts of physical activity can add up and make a difference in your health. If you’re not used to being active, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you spend exercising each week.
Here are a few tips for increasing your body movement:
- Walk briskly for 20-30 minutes most days of the week.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Park further away from your destination and walk the rest of the way.
- Do some household chores, such as vacuuming, mopping, and gardening.
- Play active games with your children or pets.
- Join a fitness class or sports team.
8- Don’t Eat After 8 PM
One of the simplest and most effective ways to support your weight loss goals is to avoid eating after 8 PM. This is because your body’s metabolism slows down in the evening, making it less efficient at burning calories. Additionally, when you eat close to bedtime, your body has less time to digest food before you go to sleep, which can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
9- Regularly Practice Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is a powerful eating pattern that can help you lose weight, improve your health, and boost your metabolism. It works by cycling between periods of eating and fasting. The most common method is the 16/8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours each day and eating during an 8-hour window.
During the fasting period, you consume very few calories or none at all. This can be done by skipping a meal or two, or by restricting your eating to a certain window of time each day. During the eating window, you can eat normally.
Intermittent fasting has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including:
- Weight loss: Intermittent fasting can help you lose weight by reducing your calorie intake and increasing your metabolism.
- Improved insulin sensitivity: Intermittent fasting can help to improve insulin sensitivity, which can reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Reduced inflammation: Intermittent fasting can help to reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Improved cognitive function: Intermittent fasting has been shown to improve cognitive function and protect against neurodegenerative diseases.
- Increased longevity: Intermittent fasting has been shown to increase lifespan in animal studies.
If you’re considering trying intermittent fasting, it’s important to talk to your doctor first, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
10- Body Movement 4-5 Times a Week
Body movement is essential for weight loss and maintenance, as well as overall health and well-being. Aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week, plus two days of muscle-strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups, can help you achieve your goals.
Exercise helps to burn calories, build muscle, and boost your metabolism. It can also improve your mood, reduce stress, and strengthen your bones and joints.
If you’re new to exercise, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you spend exercising each week. There are many different types of exercise to choose from, so find something that you enjoy and that fits into your lifestyle.
Here are some of the best home fitness programs for weight loss and maintenance:
- 80 Day Obsession is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program that combines cardio and strength training. It’s designed to help you burn calories, build muscle, and get results quickly.
- P90X is a challenging full-body workout program that uses a variety of exercises, including push-ups, pull-ups, and squats. It’s designed to help you build muscle, burn fat, and improve your cardiovascular health.
- 21 Day Fix is a portion control program that combines short workouts with a healthy eating plan. It’s designed to help you lose weight and inches in just 21 days.
- Transform: 20 is a 20-minute workout program that combines cardio, strength training, and core exercises. It’s designed to help you burn calories, build muscle, and get results quickly.
- Barre Blend is a low-impact workout program that combines barre exercises with cardio and strength training. It’s designed to help you tone your body and improve your flexibility.
- 9 Week Control Freak is a challenging full-body workout program that uses a variety of exercises, including resistance training, plyometrics, and core exercises. It’s designed to help you burn calories, build muscle, and get results quickly.
- Liift4 is a 45-minute workout program that combines strength training with HIIT. It’s designed to help you burn calories, build muscle, and improve your cardiovascular health.
No matter which home fitness program you choose, be sure to listen to your body and take breaks when needed. And remember, consistency is key. The more you exercise, the better your results will be.
11- Emotional Eating and the Healthy Snack Trick
Emotional eating is a common struggle for many people, and it can be especially challenging for those who are trying to lose weight or maintain their weight loss. When you’re feeling stressed, sad, or angry, it’s easy to reach for unhealthy snacks as a way to cope. However, emotional eating can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
One way to manage emotional eating is to start your snacking with a healthy option. This is because when you eat a healthy snack first, you’re more likely to feel full and satisfied, which can make you less likely to overindulge in unhealthy snacks later on.
Here is how the healthy snack trick works:
- When you’re feeling the urge to eat something unhealthy, start by eating a healthy snack first. This could be a piece of fruit, a vegetable, a handful of nuts, or a yogurt.
- Give yourself a few minutes to finish eating your snack and savor the taste.
- After you’ve finished your snack, ask yourself if you still want the unhealthy food. If you do, then allow yourself to have a small amount. However, if you find that you’re no longer hungry, then you can skip the unhealthy food altogether.
The healthy snack trick works because it delays gratification. When you delay gratification, you’re training your brain to wait for things you want. This can make it easier to resist cravings and make healthier choices in the long run.
Here are some tips for choosing healthy snacks:
- Choose snacks that are high in fiber and nutrients. Fiber and nutrients can help you feel full and satisfied.
- Choose snacks that are low in sugar, unhealthy fats, and calories.
- Avoid processed snacks and sugary drinks.
- Make sure to have a variety of healthy snacks on hand so that you have something to choose from when you’re feeling hungry.
If you’re struggling with emotional eating, it’s important to be patient and compassionate with yourself. It takes time to break old habits and form new ones. However, if you’re consistent with your efforts, you can learn to manage emotional eating and make healthier choices.
12- Plant-based Foods: A Healthy and Sustainable Choice
I’ve been eating a plant-based diet for 7 years now, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. For me, a plant-based diet means avoiding meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products. Instead, I focus on eating a variety of plant-based foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
There are many reasons why I chose to eat a plant-based diet. First and foremost, it’s good for my health. Plant-based diets have been linked to a number of health benefits, including weight loss, reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer. Plant-based diets are also good for the environment and sustainable for the planet.
Another reason I love eating a plant-based diet is that it’s incredibly delicious and versatile. There are so many delicious plant-based recipes to try, and I’m always discovering new ones. I also love that I can easily adapt my favorite recipes to make them plant-based.
If you’re considering trying a plant-based diet, I encourage you to start small. Start by incorporating more plant-based foods into your diet gradually. You can also try doing a plant-based challenge, such as Meatless Monday or Veganuary.
Here are a few tips for getting started with a plant-based diet:
- Start by adding more plant-based foods to your diet gradually. You don’t have to go cold turkey and cut out all animal products overnight.
- Find plant-based recipes that you enjoy and that fit into your lifestyle. There are many delicious and easy plant-based recipes available online and in cookbooks.
- Make sure you’re getting all of the nutrients you need. Plant-based diets can be very nutritious, but it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough protein, iron, calcium, and other essential nutrients.
- Talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian if you have any questions or concerns about eating a plant-based diet.
Eating a plant-based diet is a great way to improve your health, reduce your environmental impact, and enjoy delicious food. If you’re considering trying a plant-based diet, I encourage you to give it a try!
13- Reduce or Eliminate Alcohol for Improved Health and Weight Loss
Alcohol is a high-calorie beverage that can contribute to weight gain. Even a light beer contains around 100 calories, and mixed drinks can contain even more. Alcohol can also impair your judgment, making it more likely that you will make unhealthy food choices.
There are many benefits to reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption, including:
- Improved weight loss and maintenance: Alcohol is high in calories and can make it difficult to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
- Better skin health: Alcohol can dehydrate your skin and make it look dull and lifeless. Reducing or eliminating alcohol can help to improve your skin’s complexion and elasticity.
- Reduced bloating: Alcohol can irritate your stomach lining and cause bloating. Reducing or eliminating alcohol can help to reduce bloating and improve your digestive health.
- Increased energy levels: Alcohol can interfere with sleep and leave you feeling tired and sluggish the next day. Reducing or eliminating alcohol can help to improve your sleep quality and increase your energy levels.
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Alcohol consumption has been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Reducing or eliminating alcohol can help to reduce your risk of developing these diseases.
If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) defines moderate drinking as up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
Here are a few tips for reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption:
- Set realistic goals. Don’t try to quit drinking cold turkey. Start by setting small goals, such as drinking only on the weekends or reducing your alcohol intake to one drink per night.
- Find healthy alternatives to alcohol. When you’re out with friends, order sparkling water or a mocktail instead of an alcoholic drink. At home, stock up on healthy snacks and drinks so that you have something to reach for instead of alcohol when you’re feeling stressed or bored.
- Tell your friends and family about your goals. Having a support system can help you to stay on track.
Reducing or eliminating alcohol consumption is a great way to improve your health and well-being. If you’re struggling to cut back on alcohol, talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian. They can provide you with support and guidance.
14- Embrace Natural Sugars in a Healthy Way
Eliminating sugar from your diet completely is unrealistic and unsustainable for most people. However, you can make healthier choices about the types of sugar you consume.
Natural sugars, such as those found in fruits, vegetables, and honey, are a better choice than processed sugars, such as white sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and refined grains. Natural sugars are packaged with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while processed sugars are devoid of nutrients and can contribute to health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
When you’re craving sugar, try to reach for a natural source first. Fruits and vegetables are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth while also getting essential nutrients. For example, an apple with peanut butter is a healthy and satisfying snack that can help to curb your sugar cravings.
Honey, maple syrup, and agave nectar are other natural sweeteners that can be used in moderation. However, it’s important to note that these sweeteners are still high in calories, so it’s important to consume them in moderation.
15- Practice Daily Self-Care to Love Your Body and Improve Your Health
Self-care is essential for both physical and mental health. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to manage stress, cope with challenges, and maintain healthy relationships. Self-care can also help you to achieve your health goals, such as weight loss or improved fitness.
One of the most important things you can do for your body is to accept it for what it is. This doesn’t mean that you have to be happy with your current weight or body size, but it does mean accepting your body as a vessel that allows you to live your life.
When you accept your body, you are more likely to treat it with respect. This means eating healthy foods, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep. It also means listening to your body’s signals and taking breaks when you need them.
Here are some tips for practicing daily self-care:
- Start your day off with a positive intention. Take a few minutes to focus on something you are grateful for or something you want to achieve that day.
- Eat healthy foods throughout the day. Avoid processed foods and sugary drinks. Instead, focus on eating whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
- Get regular exercise. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Listen to your body and take breaks when you need them. If you’re feeling tired, stressed, or overwhelmed, take a few minutes to relax and recharge.
Practicing daily self-care can help you to love your body, improve your health, and achieve your health goals.
Losing weight and improving overall health is a journey, not a destination. It takes time, effort, and dedication. However, the rewards are worth it. By following the tips in this article, you can start your journey to a healthier and happier you.
- A study published in the journal Obesity found that people who drank more water lost more weight than those who drank less water.
- Another study published in the journal Clinical Nutrition found that drinking water before meals helped people eat less and lose more weight.
- A study published in the journal The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate more protein at breakfast felt fuller longer and ate less throughout the day.
- Another study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism found that people who ate more protein at dinner lost more weight and gained more muscle mass than those who ate less protein at dinner.
- A study published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology found that stress can lead to increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which can promote weight gain.
- Another study published in the journal Obesity found that people who had high levels of stress were more likely to be overweight or obese.
- A study published in the journal Obesity found that people who had a support system were more likely to lose weight and keep it off than those who didn’t have a support system.
- Another study published in the journal Social Science & Medicine found that people who had strong social ties were less likely to be obese.
- A study published in the journal Obesity found that people who ate slowly ate less and felt fuller longer than those who ate quickly.
- Another study published in the journal Appetite found that people who savored their food more were more likely to enjoy their meals and less likely to overeat.
- A study published in the journal Obesity found that people who made small changes to their favorite recipes, such as using whole wheat flour instead of white flour or reducing the amount of sugar, lost more weight than those who didn’t make any changes to their recipes.
- Another study published in the journal Nutrition Research found that people who made healthy substitutions in their favorite recipes were more likely to stick to their diet over the long term.
- A study published in the journal The Lancet found that people who were physically active lost more weight and kept it off than those who were not physically active.
- Another study published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine found that even small amounts of physical activity can help to prevent weight gain.
- A study published in the journal Obesity found that people who ate their last meal of the day before 8 PM lost more weight than those who ate their last meal of the day after 8 PM.
- Another study published in the journal The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that eating late at night can disrupt circadian rhythms and lead to weight gain.
- A study published in the journal The New England Journal of Medicine found that intermittent fasting was as effective for weight loss as traditional calorie restriction.
- Another study published in the journal Cell Metabolism found that intermittent fasting can improve metabolic health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.