3 Habits You MUST Have If You Want to Lose Weight.

By Mubarakah Ibrahim

Be Petty

Losing weight and keeping it off isn’t just about going all in 3 weeks before your big vacation. It’s about the little habits you have that add up to big things.  Adding extra sauce to your chicken, taking the elevator 2 flights instead of the stairs, choosing juice instead of water and even adding croutons to your salad. People try and focus on the big stuff so they say they are “on their grind”  but it’s the small things you do on a daily basis that can be sabotaging your weight loss. Say you decided you’re gonna cut back by eating a salad for lunch every day and you want a little crunch to keep you satisfied so you simply add 6 croutons to top it off.  That’s only 30 calories, right? Well besides carbohydrates that are raising your insulin and telling your body to store fat, those daily extra 30 calories every day will add up to be 10,950 calories by the end of the year. You’d have to run more than 4 marathons just to burn that off.  

This doesn’t mean you have to count every calorie, step and times you blink your eyes.  Rather cut back where you can. Saying no to the extra slice of cake, even if it’s half the size of your first piece will make a difference on the scale.

Pee…a lot

If you aren’t going to the bathroom several times a day then you are not drinking enough water.  With 60 percent of the body made of water, water is in every cell, tissue, and organ. It’s the lubricant for joints and muscles and helps you move with more ease and mobility.  Research shows within 10 minutes of drinking 16 ounces of water, metabolism increases by 30%. So if you are looking to boost your metabolism, drink water throughout your day.  

Aim to drink half your body weight (in pounds) in ounces of water every day.  But don’t drink it all at once. The body doesn’t have the ability to process more than about 30 ounces of water in an hour so drink 16-24 ounces every hour throughout your day.  

Take Your Butt To Sleep

In a world that glorifies sleep deprivation by using terms like “The city that never sleeps” and “You look tired” as a compliment for being busy (which isn’t synonymous with productivity or success by the way) and at the same time look at sleeping as a sign of being lazy it no wonder, one in three American adults do not get enough sleep. 

The lack of sleep is one of the biggest speed bumps when it comes to stalled weight loss.  When you don’t get enough sleep the hormones in your body that’s supposed to assist in helping you burn fat are thrown off course.  

Lack of sleep makes you greedy: When sleep deprived, you have increased activity in the amygdala, a reward region of your brain that can make you crave high-calorie or very fatty and salty foods. And you are gonna be so caught-out because the section of your brain called your “insular cortex” that normally helps you resist these urges is desensitized.  So even if you’ve done your meal prep and packed your healthy meals, you may still end up stopping at the vending machine for a candy bar or some chips.

Your belly is telling you you’re tired: Most people know cortisol as the stress hormone, but it’s also the fat hormone.  Not enough shut-eye raises cortisol levels which can prevent the breakdown of fat and increase the breakdown of muscle. And the really bad news is that high cortisol levels don’t just pack on extra fat, it plops it right on your belly. You may want to consider getting some extra shut-eye instead of grinding through a second workout session in the evening, you’ll probably see better results. 

Most people need 7-9 hours of quality sleep to rest and restore.  And according to researchers, women need more sleep than men because they tend to multi-task and use more of their brains than men.  (It’s actual science, not a feminist rant, I swear) Essentially, the more you use your brain during the day, the more it needs to rest while asleep, leading to a greater need in women for sleep.

So before you go crazy adding another fitness class to your schedule or spending money on the latest miracle supplement step back assess rather you’ve been consistent in these habits.

I’d love to hear your feedback. Tell me if you’ve been overlooking these daily habits and how it affects you.

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