We’ve all been there: holidays, vacations or illness. What do these things have in common? They are not commonplace, usually last a long time and therefore have the potential to throw you off your usual track. Find out in this article why routines are so important for your successful weight loss and how you can get back on track.
What routines actually are
Routines are regularly recurring actions or processes that are integrated into your daily habits. Routines are actions that are simply carried out without thinking about them. One example is brushing your teeth in the evening before going to bed or showering in the morning after getting up and then drinking your morning coffee. We all know these everyday routines. Routines bring structure to everyday life and help us to get everything under control.
Developing routines and getting rid of old habits is a challenge, but not impossible. For example, it is helpful to make a plan and stick to it if you want to integrate new routines into your everyday life.
Why routines are so important for sustainable weight loss
But what do routines have to do with your journey to your feel-good weight?
For successful and especially long-term weight loss, it is very important that you incorporate new and healthy habits into your everyday life. If you repeat them regularly, they will become an integral part of your life. Only those who permanently change their eating and exercise habits can maintain a healthy weight or continue to lose weight. This is also the reason why short-term crash diets do not have the desired long-term success. This does not mean that there cannot be exceptions, such as holidays or vacations. Exceptions prove the rules. It is very important for the further path to your desired weight to get back into your usual routine afterwards.
The more often you repeat an activity that you want to make into a regular habit, the more likely it is that it will become part of your everyday routine and you will no longer have to think about it too much. This also includes healthy eating and exercise.
Here are some examples of actions that can help you lose weight if you incorporate them into your daily routine and how you can implement them:
- Create a meal plan and go shopping with a shopping list
- Create a repertoire of quick, healthy recipes for a healthy diet
- Small exercise routine: get up 15 minutes earlier in the morning and incorporate a short but crisp workout
- Sign up for regular sports classes: ask your health insurance provider what sports programs are supported (e.g. yoga, Pilates, aqua fitness, etc.)
- Schedule regular appointments to go to the gym and put them in your calendar
- Drink a large glass of water in the morning after getting up
- Always have healthy snacks with you (nuts, a piece of fruit)
7 tips on how to get back into familiar routines
Now that you know what routines are and why they are important for successful and long-term weight loss, there’s nothing standing in the way of your journey to a feel-good weight, is there? If it weren’t for all the unforeseen things that keep disrupting your daily routine. These include, for example, illness, stress at work, the children, invitations to dinner or various birthdays. And you really want to enjoy your vacation! We understand that and it is very important to take exceptions and active breaks from everyday life, where you only do what you feel like doing!
But sometimes, after such exceptional situations, it’s difficult to get back on the right track that worked so well before. This is usually the case when certain actions have not yet become routine, i.e. they have not been repeated often enough in succession. At this point, it is particularly challenging to find your way back. Experts assume that it takes 20 to 250 repetitions of an action before a consciously performed action becomes routine.
Here are 7 tips on how to get back into your healthy habits
- First of all, make it clear to yourself again what exactly your goal is and what you want to achieve. Write it down as clearly and concisely as possible.
- It helps if you realize what successes you have already achieved. Look for a method with which you can make your successes visible to yourself, e.g. by keeping a photo log, measuring your circumference, buying an item of clothing one size smaller, weighing yourself on the scales, etc.
- Reflect on the time before the exceptional situation and ask yourself what worked well, what you felt comfortable with, what was good for you. List the things and choose 1-2 things that you can do again next week.
- Set yourself realistic and achievable short-term goals. This will keep your motivation high, as you will quickly experience a sense of achievement.
- Try to lower your expectations of yourself. It is completely normal to need some time to get back into the habit after an illness or vacation. Don’t be discouraged by small setbacks. It’s hard work to establish new habits!
- Write yourself a plan for the first 2-3 weeks after an exceptional situation that gives you structure in terms of meals, exercise and relaxation. Consciously schedule your activities so that you have an orientation.
- Find someone you can confide in and who will support you in getting back into your routines. Your Weight Buddy will be happy to help and support you in all matters!
Conclusion: More routines and fewer kilos
There are many reasons for being overweight, but unhealthy habits are often behind them. Breaking these habits is hard work. If you really want to reduce your weight sustainably and maintain your feel-good weight, it is essential to change your lifestyle in the long term. Only by adopting a healthier lifestyle will you achieve lasting success. Fixed routines will help you to consolidate the changes in your everyday life and integrate them as an integral part of your life. Your Weight Buddy is there to support you. Together you can work out your goals and how to achieve them. Your Weight Buddy will also help you to get back into the routines you have already established after exceptional situations. Then your fight against the kilos can continue successfully!
Gardener, B.; Rebar, A.L. (2019): Habit Formation and Behavior Change. Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190236557.013.129
So many different things influence our metabolism and our weight: stress, illnesses, medication and the yo-yo effect are just a few aspects. Losing weight can be quite frustrating! But there is a way out for everyone! As a nutritionist at My Weight®, I support my patients individually and personally on their way to their desired weight. Losing weight can and should be fun...and we work on this together!
Julie - Weight Buddy® and nutritionist at My Weight®