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Two Healthy Habits to Enhance your Weight Loss Journey

Updated: Jun 30, 2023

Are you looking for proven, practical tips to help you lose weight? You may have heard about the power of self-efficacy and how it can be a key component for success.


Self-efficacy is an individual's belief in their own ability to accomplish tasks or goals. It has been studied extensively in psychology as it relates to areas such as health and physical activity, interpersonal relationships and more. It plays a key role in motivation around long-term goals setting and completion, especially when undertaking difficult tasks. One excellent way to boost self-efficacy and stay motivated is by self-monitoring your own progress.


In this article we will examine two simple but effective habits that will help you reach and maintain your desired weight loss goal. By following them on a consistent basis, you'll be sure to soon start seeing results!


Weighing daily- a habit that can boost your weight loss efforts

Self-observation is an effective strategy in psychology for changing behavior and forming new habits. It can be especially beneficial when it comes to achieving your goal weight. One way to monitor progress in this direction is by using a scale.


Many studies have shown that weighing yourself frequently is a successful strategy for steady weight loss. It provides immediate feedback allowing us to recognize how food intake and physical activity may impact our weight. Small changes in body mass can be identified and corrected in a timely manner and this could boost one's confidence over their ability to maintain a healthy body weight.


An interesting research study looked at how the habit of stepping on a scale regularly affected body weight. The participants were split into two groups - one that weighed themselves daily and another that didn't. After 6 months of monitoring, the study concluded that those who weighed themselves regularly lost significantly more weight compared to those who didn't. Just by weighing yourself daily you can lose weight and in a relatively easy and cost-effective way!


It is important to mention that our weight fluctuates on a daily basis depending on what we eat or how well hydrated we are. This normal variation in body weight can be up to 2%, and tracking the day-to-day weight changes is the best way to monitor and observe a trend. If repeated days show a pattern of rising weight, then it is time to take action.


Simply building the healthy habit to step on a scale as part of your daily activity routine can help you reach your target weight!


What if I'm nervous about weighing myself?

If you're afraid of weighing yourself, that's understandable. After all, seeing the number on the scale can be intimidating. The key to overcoming fear is what psychologists call "exposure". This involves gradually introducing yourself to the feared situation over time, allowing your body and mind to adjust and become more comfortable with the experience. The opposite is also true, if you avoid a particular situation or activity because it causes distress or unease, this builds a bad habit of avoidance which can be very difficult to break.


While it is recommended to weigh yourself daily, this may not be ideal for everyone. It's OK to start slow and work towards a schedule that works best for you, which can be daily, weekly, or something else entirely. As you become more comfortable stepping on the scale, then perhaps weighing yourself daily can be an option. Taking small steps towards your goal will help build your confidence and make it easier to keep track of changes over time.


So, how do we tackle the anxiety of stepping on the scale? The best way is to make it part of your daily routine.


Habit formation advice:

  1. Put what needs to be done in your calendar so that you can easily keep track of it.

  2. Have a visible reminder, such as a scale, in an area where you can easily spot it in the morning.

  3. Choose a schedule that works for you!

It may take time and dedication but soon enough, you'll make progress and eventually it will become part of your daily activity habits routine that doesn't require any focus or thought!


Benefits of keeping a food journal

Food diary observation is a great way to become more mindful of what you are eating, no matter what diet you follow. Making a list of what you eat is the best way to develop awareness around your food choices and it will help you adopt healthy eating habits over time. Everyone would benefit from keeping a food journal!


Research has shown that people who keep a food intake journal are more likely to reach and maintain their goal weight. It helps to identify areas where someone may have gone over their ideal caloric intake, and it allows for simple adjustments in the diet. It can motivate you to choose healthy foods. It can also provide insight into the thoughts and feelings that lead us to seek out food for coping with stress or dealing with anger or sadness.


The current understanding is that people who keep a food journal end up making better choices, since they don't want to keep logging unhealthy foods, or maybe they realize that certain foods won't help them meet their health goals. While it requires some willpower to get started, once you do it, you will discover that food journaling isn't hard; it just takes some practice to get used to it.


Habit formation advice:

  1. Start recording a complete list of foods you consume every day. You don't need to worry about calories or measurements in the beginning – simply write down what you eat!

  2. As you get closer to your goal, you may need to become more precise with the food diary observation by not only making healthy food choices but also getting a handle on portion size.

To summarize, simply recording what we eat has health benefits. It encourages us to choose a better diet plan and healthy meals. Developing the habit of food journaling is key towards reaching our weight loss goal!


Does recording of physical activity help with weight loss?

According to research, recording your exercise routine such as aerobic exercise, brisk walking, jogging, or any other type of exercise, does not necessarily equate in helping you lose weight. But don't get me wrong! Exercise has tremendous physical health and mental health benefits, lowers your risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions. It certainly helps maintain the weight loss once achieved.


Conclusion

Checking your daily weight and keeping a food journal are two essential habits. They will enable you to track and evaluate your progress toward your long term goals. They also provide a foundation for choosing a healthy diet and achieving a healthy weight. Most importantly, they will boost your self-efficacy, giving you the confidence to achieve your health goals!



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