10 Habits to Adopt in 2019

As another year begins, plan to reach your health and weight goals with these daily habits that will help you make your plans a reality.

  1. Spread food intake out throughout the day. Those who skip meals during the day and get most of their calories at night can set themselves up for weight gain.  It is a good idea to eat a small, healthy evening snack, but avoid eating larger amounts or grazing all evening. In addition to consuming more calories, eating this way may cause difficulty falling asleep—a good night’s sleep is essential for weight management.

  2. Comfort without food. Our natural inclination is to automatically reach for comfort foods when we feel angry, sad or stressed. This year, strive to find new ways to comfort without food. It may be taking a brisk walk, talking to a friend about a bothersome situation, soaking in a bubble bath, sipping a cup of tea in a quiet spot, or listening to uplifting music. The more you practice new ways of soothing, the more automatic it becomes.

  3. Eat slowly without distraction. Take time to pay attention to bite size and chewing. Put down the phone, turn off the TV and focus on the food you are eating. You’ll get more enjoyment out of it and be more likely to notice cues that you’ve had enough before you’ve had one bite too many.

  4. Cook more meals at home. When you prepare the majority of meals and snacks at home, you are in control of what is in the food you eat. You can cut calories and boost nutrition by selecting fresh wholesome ingredients.

  5. Get enough sleep. You need 7-9 hours of high quality sleep every night. Set up a routine that you can stick too. You’ll be able to fall asleep faster if you turn off electronics an hour before you turn in and don’t eat in bed. Adequate and restorative sleep is a cornerstone of overall health and a healthy weight.

  6. Set yourself up for success by having healthy foods available and purging your kitchen and workspace of not-so-healthy foods. People tend to reach for whatever food is closer—you want to keep those healthy options front and center.

  7. Carry water and a healthy snack with you. Schedules and plans don’t always work out and it’s good to have a back-up so you can properly nourish and hydrate.

  8. Create a meal plan and you’ll never have to wonder, what’s for dinner tonight. You can shop once for the entire week. You’ll save time, money, eat better, and it will be much easier to resist the drive-through line.

  9. Create ways to move more throughout your day. You may schedule a walk or an exercise class; walk in place while on the phone, or hop on a stationary bike during commercials. Moving more is associated with better overall health and lower body weight.

  10. Track food and exercise. Nothing keeps you focused on your goals like tracking. There are so many options available that reduce the time and effort needed. Go with a spiral notebook, a spreadsheet, or one of the many phone apps available.


About Deb Hart

Deb Hart is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. For the last 28 years, she has been helping bariatric surgery patients reach their health and weight goals. She teaches people how to set up a lifestyle that supports a healthy weight. Deb set up her own lifestyle to include lots of long walks with her furry family members, workout classes at her local wellness center, meal prepping, and finding new ways to enjoy foods without added sugar.
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