5 Weight Loss Habits That Guarantee Your Success

This year I think you should give up weight loss resolutions. While you’re at it, give up dieting and deprivation, too. 

Try something new. And better.

Focus on small, sustainable daily improvements that will lead you toward your health and weight goals. Just keep in mind that lasting change takes time. Strive for progress, not perfection!  

Adopt all five of the following habits, or just the one or two that really resonate with you. Either way you’ll be setting yourself up for a healthy and happy 2014.

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Daily Habit 1: Stop Beating Yourself Up

Refuse to criticize yourself. Accept and love yourself exactly as you are (yup, extra pounds and all!). This is the first step to making any change. You’re not giving up. You’re empowering yourself to feel good now, so that you can take positive actions towards your goals with confidence.

Think about it this way: If criticizing yourself worked, you’d already be thin and happy, right? 

Pay attention to your thoughts and eliminate the negative and nasty ones. Start talking to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend or your daughter – with kindness and compassion.

Concentrate on just this one thing each day, and your life will get better and your weight loss journey will get easier, guaranteed.

(Read The Power is Within You)

 

Daily Habit 2: Drink a Green Smoothie 

Overhauling your entire diet in one fell swoop can feel seriously overwhelming. But adding just one delicious green smoothie to your diet each day is easy-peasy. And it’s effective.

 

The ladies over at Simple Green Smoothies (LOVE this site) say this, “Plant-powered green drinks are packed full of leafy greens, fresh fruits and hydrating liquids that keep you nourished and keep your cravings at bay for hours. With Simple Green Smoothies by your side, get ready to boost your energy, lose weight effortlessly and make healthy eating a lifestyle— not a diet.“  Yes, please!

Their super simple formula is 2 cups leafy greens + 2 cups liquid + 3 cups of fruit = 2 servings of green smoothie. Down one smoothie a day, and you’ll feel so good, you’ll be inspired to make other good-for-you diet and lifestyle changes. Such as cleaning up your cooking with tasty and healthy recipes from Skinnytaste. (Psst, I’m the nutrition expert for the upcoming Skinnytaste cookbook!) 

(Read Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual)

 

Daily Habit 3: Pay Attention to Your Hunger

OK, this one is a biggie. Paying attention to your hunger on a daily basis will help you reconnect with your body’s natural hunger and fullness cues which, most likely, have become fuzzy after years of dieting, binging, and emotional eating. (Check out the hunger scale here.)

Here’s how…

1. Feed your physical hunger – True hunger grows gradually in its intensity and is accompanied by a rumbling stomach or low energy.

Our bodies instinctively know when (and how much) we should eat, and feeding ourselves according to external cues – the clock, the amount of food on our plates, a rigid dieting plan, etc. – goes against our bodies’ natural instincts and triggers a primal drive to overeat.

So listen to your body (really listen), and when you’re physically hungry, eat! And when you feel full, stop. And, as often as possible, eat REAL food, not food-like products that your body can’t process or identify.

2. Distract your emotional hunger – Eating to feed a feeling, and not a growling stomach, is emotional eating. Emotional hunger sneaks up on you out of the nowhere, and often wants something specific (BBQ potato chips, mashed potatoes, ice cream) and right now.

Before you dive into that tub of ice cream, delay the binge for 15 minutes. It’s important to examine how you feel right before you emotionally eat (really allow yourself to FEEL the emotions – digging into a feeling can give you the info you need to handle it without the crutch of food.), and then do something else instead. Something pleasurable. Call a friend, curl up on the couch with a book, watch a favorite movie, or whatever.

If after the allotted time you still want the ice cream, go for it, without guilt or shame (see Daily Habit 1). That’s hard to do, I know. But trust me, if you say you’re giving yourself permission to have the ice cream, but your subconscious detects otherwise, the 15-minute delay is not going to work.

You have to believe deep down that simply delaying the binge by fifteen minutes is a victory. And it definitely is! Combine this method with Daily Habit 1, and I promise that eventually you’ll be passing on the emotional binge, more often than not.  

(Read Intuitive Eating and read this article NOW)

 

Daily Habit 4: Meditate

Meditation is not some woo-woo relaxation technique; it’s a powerful tool for real and lasting transformation.

According to neuroscientist Joe Dispenza, “The true purpose of meditation is to get beyond the analytical mind and into the subconscious mind so you can make real and permanent changes.”

Changing your diet without also changing your mind is a huge (HUGE) weight loss mistake. In fact, breaking through resistance and releasing limiting emotions is the critical first step of my Smaller Size Bigger Life weight loss program.

Try this: Couple your lifestyle changes with Kelly Howell’s fantastic Slim Naturally Brain Sync program. You’ll imprint new beliefs that will immediately and positively impact your life and eating habits. Even just 10 minutes a day will make a big difference.

(Read Breaking The Habit of Being Yourself)

 

Daily Habit 5: Move Your Body  

Move your body everyday – not because it will help you lose weight, but because it will make you feel much so better! It boosts your mood, relieves stress, and it sharpens your intellect. 

And movement in your body WILL create movement in your life. No doubt about it.

But here’s the most important part: Find something you LOVE to do. 

Do you know people who, despite their hectic schedules, never miss a Zumba or yoga class? Do you have a friend who’s always raving about some new activity? They don’t have more willpower than you do; they’ve just found their exercise groove or sweet spot. And you can too.

Test things out until you find something that clicks. You’ll know when you’ve found it cause it won’t even feel like exercise… it will feel like fun!  

I like to mix things up – rollerblading, hiking, snow boarding, dance classes, Shrink Session, and more – I’m constantly trying new things. But simply taking a walk outside (while listening to personal development audio books!) is my daily go-to. You don’t have to do Crossfit or boot camp or P90X (unless of course that’s what you LOVE to do). A twenty minute walk on your lunch break still gets you moving!

(Read Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain)

In the comments below I’d love to know what you’re doing to make 2014 a healthy and happy year!

Much love,

Heather

18 Responses to “5 Weight Loss Habits That Guarantee Your Success”

  1. Katie says:

    Inspiring!!
    So many years have I told myself, “okay…this is it!! This is the year!” and by valentines day I’m eating tons of chocolate and adding to my frustration.
    This first point you talk about truly is one of the biggest things I struggle with. I feel that if I critique myself, I’ll beat others to it and therefore it will hurt less. And that has been the case for about 15+ years.
    I need to print this and post it on my mirror and really focus on that this year.
    Thank you for your kind words and great tactics for having a happy life :) happy new year to you!

    • Heather K. Jones says:

      Thanks so much, Katie! You will be amazed at how much better you feel by doing just working on Habit 1! This is big one, especially for women – we say things to ourselves we would never, ever say to someone else! If you start being kind to yourself, you will absolutely have the best year yet! I will be posting more on this topic soon, so stay tuned! Happy New Year!

  2. Gail Levenger says:

    I’ve started and stopped so many diets I can’t tell you. I’m going I begin with #1 and work through the five. Such great advice. GL

    • Heather K. Jones says:

      Hi Gail! Thank you so much! That sounds like a great plan. Resolutions are exhausting – changing slowly (and with self-love) is so much better. And the changes lasts.:)

  3. Phyllis says:

    I’m committing to #5 for sure, and am working on #1. When we last talked, I was on a plateau and frustrated. You suggested mixing up my breakfast and doing some different exercise. I started running. The 15 pounds I’d been sitting on disappeared and I went down 4 pants sizes. I trained for a 4 mile race with a local group and since then have run three 5K races. I ran the first race of 2014 yesterday morning to raise money for the local SPCA. I’m not going to commit to how many races I’ll run this year, but I will do the 4 miler again, and I may do a 10K the end of March. Thanks for all of your kind words of encouragement!

  4. Danielle says:

    I really feel ready to make the change. Not hold back and to truly love myself. IT’S EXTREMELY HARD!! But I have a six year old daughter that is already starting with the body comments about herself. I seriously try to never say negative body things in front of her but why am I saying these things at all? I wouldn’t allow anyone to talk about their body the way I do. Eating has become a mindless habit for me. Which is hilarious in some sense because I seriously love working out. I kick my butt everyday doing T25 workout or I ran during the summer. you’d think that I would love myself that much more to fuel it with the foods it needs. I just like the quick easy stuff. I rely on being lazy.
    I seriously have loved the recipes that I have found on your site. It’s the same comfort food but healthier!! Thank you!! Cheers to the new year! Here’s to hoping that loving our bodies isn’t such a task or goal but becomes who we are!

  5. Heather K. Jones says:

    Hi Danielle – loving yourself is KEY. And it does get easier, stick with it :) You and your daughter will benefit so much if you do! Have you heard of the book Eating Mindfully? It is excellent. Here’s a link http://www.amazon.com/Eating-Mindfully-Mindless-Balanced-Relationship/dp/1572243503/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1388879525&sr=8-2&keywords=eating+mindfully

    I think the recipes you are referring to are Skinnytaste recipes! I am working with Gina on the upcoming Skinnytatse cookbook.

  6. Jill says:

    Everything that I have read here so far has resonated very deeply….especially the part about loving myself. I am the first person to point out my faults or failures, most of them unfounded. I hate feeling insecure and inadequate so I am really going to spend some time working on loving myself and being kind to myself. Like you said to yourself, I am also willing to change. I am starting today…..

    • Heather K. Jones says:

      Hi Jill – Good for you! Being willing is the most important part, and changing your thoughts and words, and being kind to yourself, is the absolute best place to start. Saying affirmations like “I’m willing to change” will help anchor you to your decision and bring you back to a positive mindset when need be. When you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, affirming what you want (as opposed to what you don’t want) is a simple and powerful way to help you feel empowered. Try printing out some affirmations – stick them around your house, on your phone and on your computer, or wherever, so you can instantly pull yourself into a hopeful place. Life will respond to your positive thoughts. I will be posting more on this very soon :)

  7. Ruth says:

    Found your website via Skinnytaste and so glad I did. Had my first green smoothie today – baby kale, unsweetened almond milk, orange, raspberry, banana. Delicious! Will boost it with flax tomorrow. Habits 1 and 3 are my biggest challenges so I appreciate your insight and inspiration!

    • Heather K. Jones says:

      Hi Ruth – so happy to hear this! Your smoothie sounds deslish – I will have to try that combo. I will be covering habits 1 and 3 in some upcoming posts, so look for those, and please let me know if you have any questions!

  8. rhonda says:

    I bought your ebook on my Kindle and now I can’t find it. Any ideas how to locate it?? Love everything your website has to say as it makes so much sense!
    Thanks!

  9. shannon says:

    I have been drinking the green smoothies. They are yummy and a great way to get more of the veggies I need. However, do you use them as a meal replacement, or just a meal supplement? I am not able to completely forego food even with a smoothie, and I wonder if that is doing more harm than good.

  10. shannon says:

    oh, one more question – do you have a recommendation for how many grams of fat per day to eat? some of those smoothies call for things like 4 tbs of almond butter and that is quite a bit of fat!

    • Heather K. Jones says:

      Fat intake should be around 30% of your total daily calories. So for a 1600 calorie diet that would be around 53 grams of fat.

      But instead of focusing on exact gram of fat, I would focus on a few key healthy eating principles:

      Nourish your body with a clean diet based largely on nutrient-packed, energy- boosting vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains and healthy fats

      Eat fish and only modest amounts (if you choose to eat them) of fat-free or low- fat meat and dairy products.

      Cut back on salt, refined sugars, white flour and partially hydrogenated oils (basically processed foods).

      Pay attention to what YOUR body needs. Read more on this here – http://www.heatherkjones.com/favorites/the-real-reason-diets-dont-work

      Reduce portions and move your body (walk, run, dance, whatever).

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