5 Simple Healthy Habits for Losing Weight

healthy weight loss habits
Lubomir Lipov / Getty Images

Sometimes, the success or failure of your weight loss program depends more on your daily habits than on the food choices you make. The little things you do as part of your routine can affect how much food you eat and how much you move throughout the day. There are healthy habits to lose weight and then there are habits that can work against you and cause weight gain.

These five simple habits are activities that are easy to incorporate into your daily schedule. Pick one and try to practice it this week. If all goes well, pick another one. Try to master one skill at a time so you don't get overwhelmed. 

Watch What You Drink

Start to monitor the calories in the drinks that you consume. There are certain drinks, in particular, that can have a big impact on your total caloric intake and on the type of food choices that you make each day. For example, sports drinks, juices, sweetened teas, and flavored coffee drinks are often loaded with added sugar and calories.

Sometimes these drinks boast that they are healthy because they provide vitamins, but they also provide too many calories. Your best bet is to drink water. You can even make flavored water at home to replace your high-calorie sodas and sweetened teas. Try to get your nutrition (vitamins and minerals) primarily from food whenever possible. 

Sleep Better

Believe it or not, the quality of your sleep can have an impact on the food choices you make during the day. It can also impact the number of calories you consume from soda or coffee drinks. Following a few simple tips to sleep better can help you get a full night's rest so that you wake up energized for a full day of healthy activity and mindful eating.

For example, don't charge your phone next to your bed. Keep it in the kitchen or the den when you sleep. And try to maintain a regular sleep schedule—even on the weekends. This helps your body learn to sleep and wake with less effort. And lastly, lower the temperature in your bedroom at night. A cooler room may help you snooze better.

Build a Balanced Exercise Program

If you completed last week's tasks, you've already begun to exercise every day. Now it's time to create a well-rounded workout routine with different types of physical activity. You'll learn how to build a body that is lean, strong, and flexible. If you don't belong to a gym or need help finding exercise classes, consider using a fun and easy online workout to get the activity you need.

But remember that consistency is key. If you find yourself skipping sessions, your program may be too intense or unrealistic. It's healthier and safer to do moderate or easy workouts you can stick to regularly than it is to do very hard workouts once in a while. 

Increase Non-Exercise Activity

Your daily workout is very important. But if you go to the gym for an hour and spend the rest of the day sitting in a chair or laying on the couch, you are not reaping the full benefits of exercise. Learn how to increase your daily activity level so that you burn more calories with NEAT, or non-exercise activity thermogenesis.

One way to make sure you are getting enough daily activity is to invest in a fitness tracker. These devices track your daily steps and most give you reminders to get up and move when you've been sitting too long. Brands like Fitbit offer a variety of styles and features so you can find one that works with your lifestyle and your budget.

Set up Daily Reminders

Surround yourself with supportive people and healthy reminders that will help you keep your plan on track. You can do this by connecting with people who eat well and exercise at work or in your neighborhood. Set updates to exercise or cook healthy meals together. You could also subscribe to positive messages online and in social media. Researchers have found that daily reminders can have a big impact on weight loss success.

6 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Luger M, Lafontan M, Bes-Rastrollo M, Winzer E, Yumuk V, Farpour-Lambert N. Sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain in children and adults: a systematic review from 2013 to 2015 and a comparison with previous studiesObes Facts. 2017;10(6):674-693. doi:10.1159/000484566

  2. Chen F, Du M, Blumberg JB, et al. Association among dietary supplement use, nutrient intake, and mortality among u. S. Adults: a cohort studyAnn Intern Med. 2019;170(9):604. doi:10.7326/M18-2478

  3. Greer SM, Goldstein AN, Walker MP. The impact of sleep deprivation on food desire in the human brainNat Commun. 2013;4:2259. doi:10.1038/ncomms3259

  4. Schumacher LM, Thomas JG, Raynor HA, et al. Relationship of consistency in timing of exercise performance and exercise levels among successful weight loss maintainersObesity (Silver Spring). 2019;27(8):1285-1291. doi:10.1002/oby.22535

  5. Chung N, Park M-Y, Kim J, et al. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (Neat): a component of total daily energy expenditureJ Exerc Nutrition Biochem. 2018;22(2):23-30. doi:10.20463/jenb.2018.0013

  6. Cascio CN, O’Donnell MB, Tinney FJ, et al. Self-affirmation activates brain systems associated with self-related processing and reward and is reinforced by future orientationSoc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2016;11(4):621-629. doi:10.1093/scan/nsv136

By Malia Frey, M.A., ACE-CHC, CPT
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.