I was speaking to someone recently who runs a health & fitness program. Something he said really stuck in my head because it’s true. When you develop mini habits for weight loss, that’s when you find long-lasting success.
See, I think a lot of us get caught up in the concept that we have to be motivated in order to make a dent in our physiques. But in truth, motivation can only take us so far.
Just because you’re motivated on the first day of January, doesn’t mean you’ll be motivated two weeks later. Heck, I could be motivated tomorrow to get a killer workout in, but have absolutely zero inspiration the following day.
What do you do in moments when you have absolutely no motivation to eat right, work out, and improve your life?
Let me break this down in a way that makes it far easier to understand. I want to start off with the analogy of brushing your teeth. This was a light bulb moment recently when this was explained to me.
Losing Weight Is Like Brushing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth each day is a habit. Sure, we may let a day pass when we don’t brush, but have you ever gone a full year without brushing your teeth? Have you ever gone even 3 months without brushing? How about one?
My point is, there is a major difference between motivation and habit. You know the importance of brushing your teeth. You don’t wait until you feel a burst of inspiration to brush. That would be silly! It’s a habit you’ve developed, and you brush your teeth whether you feel like it or not.
However, people seem to wait until they’re inspired to take action with their weight loss. We somehow tend to see it as if though it’s a mountain we must climb. Once we’ve reached the top, we’ve won. A lot of people begin that climb in the new year.
But that’s the hard way to lose weight. It’s impossible to stay motivated every single day. When we break down the elements of fat loss into daily habits, just like brushing your teeth, it becomes easy peasy.
Inspiration no longer guides us and we are taking action due to habits we’ve built instead. My suggestion is to take it one step at a time.
1 – Developing Healthy Eating Habits
The most important aspect to weight loss always begins with the foods you eat. Traditional dieting actually hinders the ability to develop healthy habits, because most diets are built around restrictions.
Building healthy eating habits should give you enough room to enjoy your favorite foods while at the same time losing weight. The simplest and most effective way I’ve learned to lose unwanted fat and keep it off is by eating at a reasonable calorie deficit.
That deficit will give you enough room to eat foods you enjoy while also losing 4 – 5 pounds per month. If you have more than 20 pounds to lose, then the deficit will be a bit more aggressive, meaning you’ll drop more fat per month. Note carefully the section about protein, as it’s very important.
Now, I also do intermittent fasting, which makes eating FAR more enjoyable. It allows you to lose weight, while still eating a huge feast of a dinner.
But, and this is a BIG but…
To develop good weight loss habits, I strongly suggest learning how to set up a calorie deficit for yourself first at the link above. Figure out how many calories per day you should eat, and get into the habit of eating a certain way for 2 weeks.
Then, you can decide whether intermittent fasting is something you’d like to implement as well. So, my suggestion would be to master the calorie deficit for 2 weeks, then add in intermittent fasting.
Note that I have NOT mentioned anything about exercise yet. The reason for this is that habits are developed one step at a time, in baby steps. Take those baby steps above, and once you’ve mastered the very basic habit of eating at a calorie deficit daily, then it would be a good time to move on to the next step.
2 – Develop The Habit Of Walking Daily
I’ve eliminated traditional cardio from my life. It was one of the most shocking realizations when I learned I could burn off more fat faster and more efficiently by walking daily than I could by going to intense kickboxing classes.
Exercise is important to fat loss, but eating properly is essential beyond anything else. The reason for this is, if you overeat on your daily calories, and also exercise, you won’t lose weight. This can kill your motivation to keep going. Plus, it’s incredibly confusing.
I remember being baffled at the fact that I was doing intense cardio 6 days a week, but my body wasn’t changing. I was eating generally healthy each day too. The calorie deficit listed in the section above takes away the “general eating” problem, as it gives you an exact guide on how to eat.
But the next part of the equation is going to take your weight loss efforts to another level. If you lost any weight simply eating at a calorie deficit, you’ll ramp up the progress by walking daily.
The only habit to develop now is walking 10,000 steps a day. It’s the magic number I’ve followed since the pandemic hit in 2020, and I’ve haven’t looked back since. I haven’t done a day of traditional cardio since I began walking.
To track your steps, simply install the MyNetDiary app (or similar), and leave your phone in your pocket. It tracks your steps for you.
My suggestion is to get into this habit of walking 10,000 steps a day for at least 2 weeks. At this point, you should also have your eating habits in place.
Walking 10,000 steps causes you to burn about 400 – 500 calories. You probably walk 1,000 – 2,000 a day without even realizing it. Every step counts, from walking to your mailbox to your car, and even the steps you take around your own house.
Once you’ve mastered the habits of eating properly and walking daily, then you can decide if you’d like to ramp up your progress by defining and toning your body with resistance training.
3 – Developing Solid Workout Habits
While this isn’t essential to weight loss, a solid resistance training program can truly take your physique to the next level. This is where your physique starts to develop tone and definition in the form of lean muscle.
After years of following various workout and nutrition routines, I’ve come to rely on one company for taking my physique to the next level. The reason for this is that the health and fitness industry has a lot of misinformation that simply isn’t helpful in the long run for people looking to improve their fitness long term.
Kinobody is a health & fitness company that teaches these concepts in the most straightforward and simple to understand approach, cutting out all filler, so that you can get started with a solid resistance training program, and begin noticing results in as little as a few weeks.
All workouts are only 3 days a week. I follow them on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Each session is about 45 minutes long.
Mini Habits For Weight Loss In Summary
I truly believe that these mini habits for weight loss, when broken down into little pieces, will make all the difference in the world for your efforts to get into your best shape.
Unlike motivation and inspiration, weight loss should be treated as a habit. There are actions we must take on a daily basis, whether we want to or not, just like brushing our teeth.
But when you take each habit and master it one at a time, I believe you’ll see the best results. That is because they are not dependent on inspiration, but on consistency. This is why I’ve broken down this article into easily manageable sections.
I wish you the best of success and I hope you found this article to be helpful. If you have any questions or comments regarding anything written here, please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks so much for reading!