Following on from yesterday’s post on perfectionism, today I wanted to talk about how simplicity can be the way to reach your health goals with minimal effort. I’m not telling you you can lose weight easily by sitting on the sofa eating cookies all day. But you don’t have to be following some elaborate diet and exercise plan either. Not unless you are training for a bikini competition or some other competitive sport. Most of us just want to feel healthier and happier in our bodies, quit the obsession with food and exercise and just live and enjoy our lives. Right?!
Lose weight easily by building habits
If you want to make things as easy as possible for yourself, focus on simple habits. Choose small, easy actions that you can take consistently until they become habits. When you first start to make healthier choices, of course it’s going to be a challenge. You might have to learn new information about which types of foods to eat, how to move your body and how to tune into your body. For example through tracking and syncing with your menstrual cycle!
You probably have to change some of your existing habits, try new things and get out of your comfort zone. You have to constantly be self-aware and make decisions about which actions to take. There could even be some uncertainty holding you back and you might not fully trust the process. This is especially the case if you have tried hundreds of times in the past to lose weight and improve your health. All of this means that there is a lot of mental focus at the start and you need to put in effort to keep yourself on track.
But as time goes on, if you continue to take consistent action in the direction of your goals, those actions will start to become habits. You won’t have to make so many decisions and eventually you won’t even think about them anymore. It will become automatic and easy to make healthy choices. Once you have a health routine which works for your body and your lifestyle, you won’t have to waste time researching new diets or workout regimes to lose weight and get healthier. With simple habits carried out consistently over time, you will lose weight easily.
Simple habits to lose weight easily
It’s much easier to build habits when the actions you take are simple. If you need to use fancy recipes, have access to gym equipment or follow some 20-step process it puts you at a greater risk of letting things slip and giving up when you feel tired or when things feel too difficult. On the other hand, if the actions are easy they can become automatic to the point where no matter what is going on in your life you still do them without thinking. You want your healthy choices to become the easy option.
If you want your healthy habits to stick long term, they need to be actions you can take without too much thought or effort. You want to minimise the amount of decisions you make as each decision takes mental energy and will power to stay on track. For example, if you are tired on your way home from work and you don’t have a go-to healthy meal you know you have ready to go at home, you are much more likely to ask yourself whether a takeaway is a good idea.
On that note, I will leave you with some suggestions on building simple habits which will help you to stay consistent, lose weight easily and meet your health goals with less stress!
1. Fixed shopping list
Have a fixed shopping list prepared with healthy items that you eat every week. Especially staple foods like produce, grains and dairy products. You can always add extra things to the list that you don’t need every week and rotate the list every couple of months. This will make your shopping trips much faster too as you’ll know where the items are!
2. Limit your meal choices
Limit your meal choices and rotate. I usually suggest having 3 breakfast ideas, 5 lunch and dinner recipes but it depends whether you like more variety or you’re happy eating the same foods on repeat. Eating similar meals day to day takes away some of the decision fatigue of choosing what to eat.
3. Mix and match meals
You can also use “component based” recipes like I recommend to my health coaching clients. this is where the base recipe structure is fixed and you vary the different ingredients. For example, oats with different fruits and spices, stews with different vegetables and beans. This gives you enough variety to not get bored without having to learn loads of new recipes.
4. Daily walks
Add daily walks into your routine. Walking is an amazing exercise for your overall health and weight loss, don’t underestimate it! Walking gets you outside in the fresh air, get your body moving in a gentle way and helps you relax your mind and de-stress. Set a fixed time each day so that it becomes automatic.
5. Go to options
Have options for when you don’t have time. Especially have some go to meals that take less than 15 minutes to prepare and some at home workouts you can do in under half an hour (including walking!). You can spend more time on the days you feel like it but having a minimum that feels easy to achieve makes it much more likely that you’ll follow through.
Try out these 5 simple tips to help you to lose weight easily. Remember, being healthy doesn’t need to complicated or difficult. All it takes is a desire to change and commitment to taking consistent actions and you are well on your way to reaching your goals. Let me know if you try out these tips or if you have any strategies of your own to share!
Over to you…
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