<> <>
Health Hub

5 daily habits that can help you lose weight

Behavioural changes are often underrated despite how powerful they can be.

5 Daily Habits That Can Help You Lose Weight | Juniper

When it comes to losing weight, behavioural changes are often underrated despite how powerful they can be.

Diet, exercise and everything else in between can make a world of a difference to your weight loss momentum, but without healthy habits, losing weight will be difficult to start and even trickier to maintain [1].

With this in mind, we've created a handy guide on the small habits you can follow each day that will help you on your path to improved health and well-being.

Why are behavioural changes important for weight loss?

While what you eat and how often you move are certainly key to weight loss, it's important to address the social and psychological cues associated with your weight, too. Behavioural changes support your weight loss goals in big ways — but why exactly is it so important?

Well, to begin with, weight loss is a holistic journey [2]. From stress management to getting better sleep and even staying hydrated, your overall health is determined by a holistic healthy lifestyle — not just body weight.

It's also easy to fall into the trap of using methods like strict calorie counting. Methods like this can be detrimental to health, so it's important to take a more well-rounded approach and instead, use behavioural changes to get to your ideal weight.

Food and exercise aren't often enough for weight loss

Most weight loss programmes available promise short-lived success by either restricting food groups or labelling the way you should eat. Not many programmes will teach you how to establish and maintain healthy eating habits in the long term. As a result, many people will regain the weight they lost once old eating habits have returned.

In short: diets don't work. That's why it can help to boost weight loss with behavioural changes. Forming habits to help weight loss is a brilliant way to kickstart your journey — read on to learn more!

Small daily habits for weight loss

Healthy habits can be tricky to maintain, but once you understand how potent they are in your journey to lose weight, you'll love sticking to as many of them as you can.

Like all health issues, weight loss is multi-pronged — meaning it's important to have a holistic approach when trying to lose weight.

Eat a highly nutritional breakfast

It's a simple step but making sure to eat breakfast every day can go a long way on your weight loss journey. While carbohydrates have long been given a bad reputation when it comes to weight loss, they are actually a great way to start the day.

Complex carbohydrates like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables offer important nutritional value, meaning they can easily provide most of the fibre required in your meals [3]. Fibre is great for weight loss because it helps you to feel full and satisfied after food, which can stop mindless snacking.

Alongside carbs, protein also plays a vital role in sustainable weight loss. Consuming enough protein at breakfast and throughout the day can make a world of difference in your weight loss journey.

Protein digests slowly, which allows your body to feel fuller for longer. It's important to try and get at least 50 grams of protein every day.

Drink lots of water

It might seem strange, but science says that staying hydrated and drinking lots of water can help you lose weight in a number of ways [4].

From suppressing your appetite to boosting your metabolism and making exercise easier, make sure you're keeping up your fluids if you're trying to shift some weight.

Incidental exercise

It can feel tricky to implement out-of-the-ordinary exercise routines into your lifestyle when you first start trying to lose weight, so why not try to incorporate more incidental exercise into your day?

Referring to physical movement done in small amounts, it's easy to fit incidental exercise into your daily routine through a few simple mindset shifts. Instead of trying to make time to go for a run every day, why not spend quality time with your little ones playing catch in the backyard?

Taking a few extra steps to keep your body moving throughout the day can be a brilliant way to aid weight loss. You might like to try:

  • Taking the stairs whenever you can
  • Limiting the time you spend sitting down at your desk — try walking meetings, midday stretches and regular breaks
  • Park your car further away or get off the bus one stop earlier to get your steps up
  • Look for opportunities to move throughout the day — instead of grabbing a coffee at your local downstairs, why not try the new cafe a few blocks away?

Get enough sleep

Research shows that sleep deprivation is linked to higher body weight and an increased appetite, as well as an increased risk of obesity [6]. This comes down to a myriad of reasons.

First things first, sleep influences two vital appetite hormones in your body — leptin and ghrelin. Leptin decreases appetite, so when these levels are high, you usually feel fuller.

Ghrelin, on the other hand, stimulates appetite and is often referred to as the 'hunger hormone'. Studies have shown that sleep restriction increases levels of ghrelin and decreases leptin, meaning those who are sleep deprived are far more likely to feel increased levels of hunger, which can lead to increased snacking.

Research has also found that sleep deprivation might impact food selection and the way the brain perceives food. Studies show that the areas of the brain responsible for reward are more active in response to food after sleep loss.

Put your fork down between bites

Eating slowly might not seem like a big deal, but it actually is! Science shows that people who eat slowly tend to weigh less in general, and research has also found that slowing down can actually help trigger weight loss, too [7].

Data from over 60,000 people with diabetes over a six-year period showed that people with better food-related habits were healthier in general. Those who ate slower had 42% lower odds of being obese, while those who ate at a faster speed had a 29% lower risk.

Habits to break when wanting to lose weight

It isn't just about implementing good habits to lose weight. To make tangible change, it can also be helpful to take a look at your negative habits too.

Quit mindless snacking

Mindless snacking is the ultimate weight loss habit to break [8]. Human beings don't require snacks in between meals to survive, but it's easy to form snacking habits — especially when we're bored or sad — this is often when emotional eating can occur.

And, while snacking might seem harmless, it does all add up and can play a role in weight fluctuations. Next time you feel like snacking, try examining whether the hunger is emotional or physical.

If you're craving a specific food — like chocolate or chips — chances are its emotional hunger. Physical hunger, on the other hand, will build up over a period of time and cause a physical feeling like a rumbling stomach.

If you're physically hungry, be sure to eat! But learning to break emotional snacking habits and embrace mindful eating can help you on your weight loss journey.

If you're experiencing emotional snacking cravings regularly, you might want to consider keeping a food journal to help you monitor what is causing these feelings. Is it boredom that triggers cravings? From here, you'll be able to make behavioural changes to help quell the snacking.

Eating too quickly

From breakfast to lunch and everything in between, eating quickly is a common habit. But, it's not the most effective for weight loss [9].

Eating slowly allows you to recognise feelings of fullness and stop eating when this happens versus eating a whole meal quickly and realising you've overeaten and now feel uncomfortably full.

Put down your phone while eating

This also ties in with the above point, as we generally find it hard to gauge when we're full if we're busy on our phones while eating. In the long run, this means we can engage in overeating on a regular basis, which can make losing weight quite difficult.

Instead, try putting your phone down while eating and simply enjoying the meal and the company. Regular meals with loved ones have been proven to foster healthy eating habits and can ensure you're staying connected to your hunger and fullness responses [10].

Long-term changes to make for weight loss

The weight loss journey is never linear and there are a lot of dos and don'ts to follow, which can be overwhelming.

This is why Juniper's Weight Reset Programme was created — to help you achieve long-term weight loss with a mixture of breakthrough weight loss medication, which regulates digestion and reduces your appetite, and behavioural changes guided by our UK health coaches and clinicians. We prescribe a GLP-1 medication called Wegovy, which contains the active ingredient semaglutide.

Semaglutide is clinically proven to reduce your appetite and make you feel fuller for longer, while also reducing cravings by targeting the rewards centre in the brain.

For long-term success, changing your eating and movement habits is also crucial, which is why we offer a comprehensive programme that includes 3 core pillars of lifestyle change with the assistance of our UK clinicians.

We can help you break habits that might be impacting your weight and help you hit your weight loss goals sooner.

When you're ready, our team of specialist experts are here to support you on your weight loss journey.