By: Martin Grunburg
When you think about it, the force of habit is really amazing. Since habits are designed to live in your subconscious mind, once established they require very little willpower or even conscious thought to execute.
So, given a little up-front effort to establish, these three positive habits will not only help you to feel healthier and happier, the best part is they’ll help you to lose weight automatically, over time.
Sound too good to be true? Read on.
From my experience, here are the top three habits that make weight loss automatic.
Power Habit #1: Walk.
Walk up the stairs. Walk down the stairs. Walk to your neighbor’s house. Walk to the store. In fact, park your car a little farther away (intentionally) in every parking lot, at every opportunity. (Bonus: Your car will be free from door dings.)
Walk after each meal. Repeat: Walk after each meal.
A great Chinese proverb promises that you’ll live to be 99 years if you just walk 100 steps after each meal. Since I read that I do my best to walk 200 steps, in circles if necessary, particularly after any large meals.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far.”
Think about it: If you just walk five minutes more at each opportunity, say three times a day, that equates to 15 minutes of walking (extra) each day. Do that five days a week and you’re walking 75 minutes per week.
That simple and small habit change will result in 300 extra minutes of walking per month. That’s correct, FIVE HOURS a month and a mind-blowing 3,600 minutes per year, or 60 HOURS of WALKING! A full 2.5 DAYS’ worth.
Walk more. It’s simple. It’s easy and, over time, it becomes enjoyable!
Power Habit #2: Water.
Water. Water IS the ultimate solution.
The Earth is composed of approximately 70 percent water. It isn’t a stretch to say that water makes the world go ’round, and the same could be said for your body, which is approximately 65% water.
Simply put, water is essential for well-being and weight loss. Good, clean, healthy water seems to cure — and, more importantly — prevent most ills.
When you drink enough water your skin is healthier, your energy is better and your digestive system is flushed. Drinking more water helps to eliminate toxins and strengthens your immune system. Plus, you’ll have fewer headaches.
So why don’t we just drink more water?
My experience is that we just get too “busy.” We literally forget to drink water.
Then, later in the day, we feel like crap. Our energy is sapped and we have a headache. Then we wonder why life has to be so hard.
Drink more water.
Easier said than done, right?
Well, for me, by applying The Habit Factor method, the “Drink more water” habit was far easier to develop than I could have imagined.
First, I set the bar low. Rather than eight glasses (10 oz) of water a day, I aimed for just six. I figured if I was nowhere close to eight, six glasses a day was a tough-enough target.
So, how did I get in my six glasses each day?
First thing in the morning I’ll drink one, 10-ounce glass. Then, before I allow myself to have my coffee, I have to drink another 10 ounce glass.
That’s two glasses of water down and it isn’t even 8am.
Around 10 or 11 in the morning, I’ll drink another 10-ounce glass.
But, here’s the best *health/water drinking tip I know*: At lunch, and with 99% of my meals, I ONLY DRINK WATER.
I’ll typically have a soda water with a lime, sometimes two beverages. So, that is a total of five glasses of water (conservatively) and it isn’t even 2:30 p.m.
Later in the day, I’ll have one more when I get home and then at least one more before bed. By following that water drinking routine, I’ve established the “drink more water” habit and now, the best part is I don’t even have to think about it— it’s automatic!
Power Habit #3:
No big meals after 6:30 p.m.
Too often I would have my largest meal at the end of the day, way too close to bedtime. Apparently, eating too many calories right before bed is a killer (literally, watch this video). By simply ensuring that I don’t eat any large meal after 6:30 p.m., I wake up lighter, feeling better with more energy.
This is essentially a way to extend nature’s intended fast — bedtime, which is designed to allow our bodies to rest, recover and repair itself. By lowering the caloric intake hours before bed, we make that process easier.
To develop this habit I simply followed The Habit Factor method and just set my “target” to only “3 days a week” for the first four weeks. Later, I upped the target to 5 days a week.
Now, this habit is stronger than ever and my desire to have bigger meals before bed is almost nonexistent.
It’s worth repeating: I wake up feeling lighter, stronger, healthier and with more energy simply by NOT eating a big meal after 6:30 p.m.
To see the power of fasting (just one day a week) and its many health benefits, check this video. BTW: This is something I still haven’t tried, but I suspect all those same benefits come as a result of not eating too much later in the day.
How to put it all together… and make it work for you.
The first rule to forge these habits is you must TRACK them.
You can download the free app (iOS or Android). Better still, to really learn the simple Habit Factor method, just download the FREE habit-building/tracking template!
Bonus: When you download the tracking template you’ll receive a simple explainer video that walks you through The Habit Factor method and some of the ideas to help form those positive habits that will make your weight loss automatic!
Until next time,