Weight loss doesn’t have to be complicated. You wanna focus on the things that are gonna give you the most momentum for your weight loss journey. And I’m gonna share the weight loss habit that really made a difference for me after years of yo-yo dieting.
Benefits of Walking As A Weight Loss Habit
Walking can play a really big role in most people’s weight loss plans.
Many of us are not active enough during the day. We’re sitting at a desk behind a computer for many hours, and that makes it really hard to feel like doing something and being energetic. And sometimes you might just come to the end of the day and feel like you wanna sit on the couch and just stuff yourself with food. So we wanna break up those habits as much as possible and learn some new, helpful habits. That’ll get us feeling more active and energized. And that means that more of the other lifestyle changes that we wanna be making are going to be a lot easier.
Calorie Burn From Walking
Now, although walking itself, doesn’t burn off a ton of calories, especially if you’re just going for a short period of time. It definitely does contribute to your overall calorie burn for the day.
There’s such a low barrier to entry for walking. Almost anyone can do it and you don’t need any special clothes or equipment. Although I do recommend that you have some fairly supportive shoes as you start to increase your mileage.
Even just 20 to 30 minutes a day of walking can be a really great start for your exercise plan. Many people are intimidated by the gym, and they’re not really sure what to do at home, but walking is something comfortable and familiar that you just need to do a bit more of.
I recently did a video about walking for weight loss, and a lot of people commented that just increasing their walking, helped them to lose weight.
For many people, it really can be the turning point that gets them the weight loss that they want. And it is something that can be helpful long term because it’s a maintenance strategy really. You’re not doing an hour really intense circuit training that you may or may not be able to keep up for the long term.
Walking As You Get Older
Walking is something that should be with you all the way to the end.
When we see older people in their eighties or nineties, then what often determines how we see them in terms of their age is their ability to walk.
Are they in a wheelchair? Do they need a walker or are they able to still walk freely?
I mean, that’s a real gift. If you get to your nineties and are able to still walk on a regular basis. So add more walking to your routine, whether that’s first thing in the morning after a meal (which actually can help your digestion). Or last thing at night, if that’s what suits you.
If you’re not feeling like doing your weight training workout, you don’t have to skip things all together. You can walk outdoors for a little while. That’s often what I do. If I just don’t feel up for a weight training session or something more vigorous, sometimes it takes a lot of motivation to pack up your things and head to the gym, or even to do a workout at home. But going for a walk, doesn’t take nearly as much effort to get yourself moving.
You can put on your headphones and listen to music or a podcast. It makes that time valuable in another way as well. So you’re doing good things for yourself and let’s not ignore the mental health aspect of it because it really can make you feel better.
Getting Enough Liquids As A Weight Loss Habit
Drinking enough fluids is a great daily habit to get into. It’s really important to be consistent with this as well, primarily water, but other zero calorie beverages have a place as well.
Maybe you enjoy tea or coffee when you’re looking at the types of things that you’re drinking, make sure that you’re focused on those zero calorie liquids and be a bit more careful about other liquid sources. Juices are not necessarily the best choice for weight loss. It’s better to eat their fruit. You’re more likely to be satisfied by that.
Why Liquid Calories Make Weight Loss Harder
It’s much easier to take in liquid sources of calories. So things like juices or other sweetened drinks.
And you might also wanna look at how you’re taking your coffee. Is there a lot of sugar? Are there a lot of flavourings? Or t
ons of cream? And how does that affect your overall daily intake? I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have one of those higher calorie coffee beverages once in a while because they can be enjoyable, but you should consider them more of a treat rather than a regular source of fluids.
So primarily water, if you can, there’s no evidence that eight glasses a day or two litres (however you wanna see it) is the ideal amount, but it tends to be a good rough guideline for many people. If you start to feel thirsty, you might be starting to get dehydrated and you wanna take in some water and taking in things like tea. For instance, that’s my personal favorite. It can be a fun little routine.
I like to sit down with my tea. It breaks up the day. It gives you a little something to do rather than going for a high calorie snack or something sweet. I can sit there and stare at the window with my cup of tea and pretend I’m a Buddhist monk for a moment. And then go back to my work.
Again, it can be a fun ritual if you already have that ritual of having a higher calorie coffee, for instance, in the morning or in the afternoon, and you replace that with a low calorie or a zero calorie beverage, you can automatically cut down on the calories and that’s gonna lead you towards weight loss.
Having Protein With Each Meal
The weight loss habit that really helped me when I was trying to get off that yoyo dieting phase is having protein with each meal. Now there are a number of reasons why this worked.
Protein is the most thermogenic nutrient. So your body expands more calories burning off protein than it does carbs or fats.
And having more protein helps you maintain and build muscle, which becomes particularly important. As we get older, we’ll naturally lose our muscle, if we don’t do anything to maintain it. Having the right amount of protein can be helpful. I generally recommend 0.7 to one gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. So depending on your body size, you might be looking at 30 to 40 grams of protein per meal.
You wanna base each of your meals around a protein source.
My Protein Choices
So in the morning it might be eggs or it might be another protein source.
I often choose dairy products as well. A high protein milk or a Greek yogurt. And when I combine all that together, that gives me the right amount of protein and other meals. I might choose things like chicken breast or fish or ground turkey, but there are other sources that you can use.
Protein For Appetite Management
The important thing is that each of your meals has a decent amount of protein. This is so that you get enough protein overall for the sake of your muscles, but also in order to manage your appetite. Because when it comes to weight loss, it’s really about getting your appetite under control. If you are carrying extra weight, then you’ve been consuming more calories than your body actually needs. So your appetite is telling you, this is how much I want to eat, but that’s too much for your particular goals.
You need to get that appetite under control in a sensible way.
It’s not about just sucking it up and just being hungry all the time. That’s not what you want. It’s not a nice life to live, and it’s not necessary for weight loss for you to be struggling and suffering either. So you wanna be practical in that you are using protein and a little bit of fat in each meal in order to make sure that you are satisfying yourself. And you have that feeling of fullness with a meal that protein and fat contribute to so that you’re not starving, hungry a couple of hours after your meal.
Protein And Overeating At Night
A solid amount of protein is gonna keep you from overeating after the meal. This is particularly important for people who struggle with overeating at night. That was definitely a thing for me. A lot of my clients talk about how hard it is to stop eating at night.
They’ll finish their calories for the day, but then they get cravings. And a lot of that is based on habits that you’ve developed over time. You finish what you’re doing in the evening.
And then you’re like, “Oh, I’m a bit bored, or I’m gonna watch TV. And I feel like having a snack while I’m sitting there.” It’s partly physiological and that if you’re not eating enough and the right things early on in the day, then you may have cravings and you may have a desire to overeat later on in the day.
It’s also mental as well, because a lot of it is based on those habits that you’ve created sometimes for years. And having protein consistently with each meal puts you in the right position for weight loss, without the struggle.