“Motivation is what gets you started, habit is what keeps you going.” Jim Rohn

We are constantly hearing about “habits” when it comes to losing weight.

Practiced over time with consistency and determination, habits become rituals and sticking to them becomes second nature – just like brushing your teeth.

Our eating habits predict not only our waist measurement but also our health. Over time, healthy eating practices or habits will usually result in a leaner body and improved overall health.

For some people, healthy eating habits are learned early and don’t require any great effort. I consider people in this category the lucky ones.

In my experience, people who struggle with their weight either never learned healthy eating habits or somehow forgot them along the way – maybe in response to stress, family or job demands, schedules or other circumstances.

The habits we employ about what we eat, how much we eat and when we eat play a major role in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Two crème-filled donuts for breakfast and midnight pizza probably aren’t going to reflect in a positive way on the scale!

But building healthy eating habits is only part of the equation when you’ve got weight to lose. Ditching old habits, especially those related to mindset and expectations, can be just as important. 

I know because it wasn’t until I let go of some habits that I was able to conquer my own weight struggles. The following three really made a difference for me:

Being obsessed with numbers. Replace the habit of counting every single calorie and instead concentrate on eating whole, unprocessed food in reasonable portions. Calories and quantity do matter, but get started by concentrating on the quality of the food you’re eating.

Don’t be a slave to the number on the scale. Losing my need to weigh in too often was a turning point for me. When you have over a hundred pounds to lose, the progress you make over just a day or two can be disheartening.

Forgetting about the numbers for a while was the built-in incentive I needed to finally make progress.

Skipping meals – especially breakfast. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’ll speed things up by not eating or starving yourself. Chances are you’ll pay for it later in the day when you are ravenous and ready to eat anything and everything (and chances are you will)!

I highly recommend starting the day with breakfast. I realize this doesn’t work for everyone. You know your body. I’ve found that most people do best when they begin the day with a breakfast including high quality protein, a little healthy fat, and some fiber.

Eat a good breakfast and you set the foundation for healthier eating throughout the day.     

Your mother probably told you that. She was right!

Possessing a “diet” mentality and buying “diet” foods. I’m referring to the ones labeled “lite” and “zero” calorie. These foods usually have added other ingredients to make up for taste (including extra sugar).

Chances are the chemicals and other ingredients in “diet” foods will only trick you into eating more or overeating. “After all, it’s lite so I can have a little extra, right”?  Not necessarily!

While I’m on the topic of diet “foods”, I recommend you let go of the diet soda habit and just drink water. A lot of water. Staying well hydrated is great for everyone all of the time, but particularly when you’re trying to shed some weight since it can help keep you feeling full.

A healthier, leaner new you is waiting to emerge. Practice new habits consistently until they become second nature. Extinguish the old habits that are holding you back. Retrain your mind, reclaim your power and the results will amaze you. You can do it. Any Body Can!