After all the stress eating, boredom and cooking up comfort food we did in 2020, lots of us gained weight. And now that we’re in New Year’s resolution season, many folks are ready to make some healthy changes and shed those extra pounds. While there’s no one diet that guarantees success, the ones that do tend to work all have these five basic principles in common.
- Practice healthy eating habits- This includes eating more vegetables, eating mostly whole foods and limiting the amount of added sugars and processed foods you eat. It’s simple, but it works, in part because you’re still eating enough to not feel too hungry and it doesn’t involve a laundry list of foods to avoid.
- Pay attention to why you eat- If you’re trying to lose weight, it helps to distinguish between physical and emotional hunger. There’s nothing wrong with comfort eating, but if it becomes your go-to for coping with stress or emotions, it can lead to overeating and make it harder to manage your weight.
- Take on an “I got this” attitude- Are you confident you can make some healthy changes to your eating habits? suggests having an “I got this” attitude is linked to behavioral changes that promote weight loss. People who have this confidence were able to rebound more quickly from setbacks, instead of giving up, which makes them more likely to lose weight.
- Deal with stress and sleep issues- When stress levels are in overdrive, your body pumps out the hormone cortisol, which has been found to increase appetite and cause cravings for junk food. Stress also disrupts your sleep and when you’re not properly rested, it can have a negative effect on your weight loss efforts.
- Exercise, but not to lose weight- Working out is great for stress relief and supporting better sleep, but it’s not as helpful for promoting weight loss as you might think. According to a recentstudy, for exercise to help with weight loss, you’d have to do a one-hour sweat sesh about six times a week. So instead, just focus on finding ways to be active that make you feel good and that’ll make your workout habit more likely to stick.