1) Start getting some sleep
There is likely a connection between your sleep habits and your weight. A lack of sleep may affect your hormone regulation of ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and leptin (the fullness hormone). If you are struggling to get the recommended amount of quality sleep you need, this could be affecting your appetite and weight. We’ve all been there, right? You don’t sleep well, you drink more coffee than you normally would. By 3pm you’re just looking for something to keep your eyes open for the remainder of the day? Vegetables and fruit usually aren’t at the top of the list.
If your body mass index is greater than 35, you feel tired or sleepy during the day and you snore loudly, you are at risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Many people preparing for bariatric surgery are required to complete a sleep study in order to have surgery. If you think you may need a sleep study, complete this screening test or talk with your doctor.
2) Simplify your wardrobe
I’m sure you’ve heard this before: it is often said that we only wear about 20% of the clothing in our closet. Why are you torturing yourself with a closet full of clothes that you don’t wear or don’t feel good in? Pack away, sell or donate anything that makes you feel guilt, shame or that you just don’t like. Using clothing as motivation to lose weight does not work.
If this means your closet will be completely empty, consider getting yourself some new or new-to-you pieces that will make you feel good in your body. Weight loss takes time. You deserve to feel your best and to have clothing that fits you right now.
3) Simplify your kitchen
Are you ordering take-out because the thought of cooking in your kitchen totally stresses you out? Are your drawers stuffed with utensils and gadgets? Are your counters covered in dirty dishes?
It’s time to simplify the amount of cooking tools that you have so that you can easily do what you need to do in your kitchen. Think about when you go on vacation. It’s a lot easier to cook in vacation rentals, isn’t it? The kitchens are stocked with all of the essentials, but not more. Yet, you usually have everything you need and when you don’t, you improvise! Again, you don’t have to get rid of everything, but consider packing away or donating the things that you’re not using to see if you actually miss them (hint: you won’t). Use the space in your kitchen within easy reach to keep the things you use every day, and store the items you only use occasionally in harder to reach cabinets. Go through your pantry and use up the oldest items, toss or giveaway those one-off ingredients that you know you are not going to use.
4) Start going for a daily walk
If you don’t currently have a physical activity routine, start going for a daily walk. Even if it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes to start, and yes, even if it’s cold outside. Get the gear you need to make this happen. Walking is a great low impact activity that can help with blood sugar and blood pressure control. Work your way up to 150 minutes a week.
Don’t underestimate the power of this! If you’re not doing any movement that gets your heart rate up, you don’t have to do a boot camp style workout to see results. Behavioural weight loss programs (even without a diet intervention) that include walking can result in average weight loss of 1lb a week.
What new healthy habits are you starting in 2021?