HABIT 1: POOR PREPARATION
Having a refrigerator and pantry stocked with the right foods — lean proteins, whole-grain carbohydrates, fruits, nonstarchy vegetables and healthy fats — means you’ll be prepared to eat what you should when you should. Preparation also means knowing your cravings and having healthy alternatives on hand to curb them. If sweets are your weakness, for example, keep fresh fruits or single-serve, sugar-free pudding cups on hand to satisfy your sweet tooth without taking a huge caloric hit.
HABIT 2: NOT DRINKING ENOUGH WATER
Drinking the right amount of water promotes overall health, from skin, bones and joints to the digestive system, memory and brain function. People who drink two 8-oz. glasses of water before their three daily meals lose about 5 lbs. more than others who do not drink pre-meal water. A good guideline is to divide your weight in half and drink that number of ounces per day. So a 180-lb. person would shoot for 90 oz.
HABIT 3: NOT GETTING ENOUGH PROTEIN
The body uses twice as much energy processing protein as it does carbohydrates and fat, meaning when you eat protein, your body actually burns more calories digesting it. Low-fat meats such as skinless chicken, pork tenderloin, lean cuts of beef and ground turkey and seafood are excellent sources of protein.
HABIT 4: CONSUMING TOO MANY LIQUID CALORIES
Calories that enter your body in liquid form are inefficient calories. They count against your daily total, but they don’t make you feel full. No fruit juice, soft drinks or sports drinks. They are LOADED with sugar.
HABIT 5: NOT GETTING ENOUGH ZZZ’S
You don’t even need to be conscious to work on losing weight. Getting the right amount of sleep seems to be a major factor in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight. People who reported sleeping five hours or less nightly weighed an average of 5.5 lbs. more than the average person who slept seven hours or more at the start of the study.