5 Lifestyle Habits for Healthy Weight By Megan Roosevelt, RDN & Founder of HealthyGroceryGirl.com Healthy long-term weight loss is not a fast process, it is not really a process at all; it is about lifestyle change. When you are ready to change your life through healthy weight loss, you need to be prepared to make lifelong changes to your habits, no quick-fixes. One key to healthy lifestyle habits that truly work is that you need to enjoy them. We can slog it out in the short term, but it is nearly impossible to stick with something that you don’t enjoy. Here are five lifestyle habits that I enjoy and have found work for me to keep my body in the physical shape that I desire. Hydrate Before You Caffeinate, Then All Day Long Staying properly hydrated is one of the most important things we can do for our health! Get started first thing in the morning––before you make your morning cup of coffee or tea, drink a big glass of water! Lemon water first thing in the morning is also great because lemons contain nutrients that naturally cleanse and detox. Next, keep a water bottle with you at your desk or with you as you commute to make it easier to sip throughout the day. Herbal tea and water dense foods like fruits and veggies also help you get the water you need. Aim For An Active Lifestyle Walk, run, jog, dance, garden. Focus on small amounts of movement multiple times throughout the day. In fact chronic sitting for hours on end can slow the body’s metabolism, is associated with chronic pain, low energy levels, muscle degeneration, back and neck pain and weight gain. If you have a desk job, drive to work and love to sit on the couch and watch your favorite shows, try to fit in as much movement as you can throughout the day. Park your car farther from the store or office entrance, take the stairs, take phone calls standing up, get up and stretch during commercial breaks, do lunges while your smoothie blends, and find little ways everyday to move! Meal Plan & Meal Prep It’s so much easier to eat well when you are prepared. The best way to maintain a meal plan and prep habit is to make it your own. Do what works for you, but make sure to have some type of plan. When life gets busy, you’ll be grateful for nourishing, ready-to-eat options that keep you going! Find Ways To Reduce & Manage Stress Meditation, yoga, long walks outside, music, a warm bath, journaling––find stress reducing habits that work for you. Enjoy and practice them daily or weekly. Quality Sleep When we sleep our body is healing, repairing & recharging. If we lack in quality or quantity of sleep, this can affect our hormone health which in turn can affect our weight loss and weight maintenance efforts. To get a better night sleep try and unplug from technology or anything with a screen an hour before bed. Instead, transition into sleep time by taking a bath or reading a book. Keep technology out of the bedroom. You may need your phone as an alarm, however try and limit the number of items in your bedroom that have little lights that can keep the room from total darkness. Lastly, don’t eat a heavy, spicy, sugary or fatty meal right before bed. A full belly that needs to digest while you need to sleep can keep you tossing and turning. Go Big, Go Green One of my favorite healthy habits is a daily green drink––a green juice, a green smoothie, a green smoothie bowl. Do what works for you! A green smoothie, for example, is a fantastic way to consume 2 - 3 servings of vegetables, 2 - 3 servings of fruit, quality protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and hydration all in one meal. One common theme in all of these healthy habits to help you maintain a healthy weight and live fully, is that while they might take you out of your comfort zone at first, you have to turn to activities that work for you in the long run. That’s how real change happens!