Today, we want to share with you five foundational habits of successful people who not only lose a lot of weight but actually keep it off. What separates and distinguishes successful long-term people, what are their habits and differentiators, and how is it different from people who might lose a little weight but then fall off track.
We want to share the habits of successful people because if we model them and see what they’re doing right then, we can be more successful in our own lives.
Make your health and fitness routine your own
The first habit that is absolutely essential – the people who succeed long term with any health and fitness change is they make their health and fitness routine their own. They own it, and they make it for them.
What we mean by this is a huge problem that many people have – they say they want to lose weight and they follow some cookie-cutter diet. They pick up a diet book or buy some generic, cookie-cutter program and follow along with the rigid schedule. Something like “Oh, it says I should eat breakfast at 6 a.m, and it says I need to do this workout and all these kinds of reps, and you’re following a rigid plan.”
Unfortunately, that’s going to give you short-term results. Only when you can take that routine and actually adapt it so it becomes the unique system that you’ll succeed in the long-term.
What does this mean practically? It means that you need to discover the nutrition plan first and foremost that works for you. You should what are your favorite healthy foods and implement them into your routine when planning things like their free meals or cheat meals throughout the week.
You need to find your magic combination of things that are going to fit your life because if you try to follow others’ plans and it’s based on others’ schedule and their food preferences, you’re not going to be able to stick to it. It also goes for exercise.
Move your body in ways you love
The second habit is to move your body in ways that you love, to make you feel good. For example, there are some kinds of exercise you might gravitate towards more than others – you might love running or strength training, you might love yoga or cycling.
What does matter is that you should find what you love, and you should do that consistently. If there’s a kind of exercise that you absolutely hate, you’re probably not going to stick with it long term, so our suggestion is to start with the stuff that you love right off the bat.
Because if we look at the people who are most healthy, let’s look at the centenarians, the people who live to 100+ they’re not doing p90x workouts. They’re moving their bodies every single day, typically outside, in ways that make them feel good.
So, habit number two is you got to find a way to exercise that you love, one that you can stick to because then it becomes addicting and helps you feel better.
That excitement’s going to drive you forward instead of some of these plans where you feel like you’re dragging an anchor behind you. If you’re feeling resistance in your life to something, it’s probably not as aligned.
Drink more water
Habit number three is to drink a lot of water. Hydration is essential it is essential for keeping your energy levels up. You probably heard that our bodies contain 60 to 70% of water. Water constitutes our blood, it constitutes the cytoplasm inside of our cells, and people should stay hydrated because their energy levels are higher.
The more water you drink, the more it’ll keep you on track. It also helps control your hunger, so when you’re hydrating, you’re not hungry all the time, which means you’re going to be eating the right number of calories, and you’re going to maintain weight.
Hydration is like this through-line that our bodies need until the day we die. You’re going to need to drink water, so you might as well establish a consistent routine because the people who fail don’t have the consistency. They’re dehydrated, and when you’re dehydrating – your energy is not good, you start turning to other things: energy drinks or coffee.
Get more sleep
Habit number four is to get enough sleep. Sleep is essentially this part of our circadian rhythm where our body is regenerating, and it controls many of our key metabolic hormones.
What we found is that when you miss sleep, the next day, your cortisol levels are substantially higher and higher persistent throughout the day, which makes you feel more stressed.
Also, your body becomes insulin resistant after a day of poor sleep, which means if you eat carbohydrates in foods, your insulin levels stay high for a long time because it requires a lot of insulin to get those carbs into your system.
What that means is you have a lower fat burning, your blood sugar is not going to be nearly as stable. This means that you’re trying to lose weight and be on a healthy routine, but you’re insulin resistant because you’re not sleeping well – you’re just pushing a giant rock uphill.
Plus, when we miss sleep, our bodies actually increase a hormone called ghrelin, making us feel hungry. If you’re looking to live healthy, getting poor sleep is like a triple whammy of the bad stuff – you have higher stress hormones, you’re more insulin resistant, and you’re hungrier – that’s the worst-case scenario.
Sleep is essential. It’s going to help you live longer, help your body regenerate, and clean your brain out. All sorts of amazing things happen when you sleep to get enough quality sleep because if you don’t, you’re putting yourself at risk of falling off track and getting stressed.
Learn to indulge & course correct
The last habit we have is to know how to indulge but also course correct. What happens with unsuccessful people or successful people only in the short term if they have this all-or-nothing mentality?
For instance, on the weekend, they go to a family gathering and end up eating some foods that weren’t planned. They have a couple of hamburgers or some donuts that were in the office – they do something and then think: “Oh, my gosh, I blew my diet.”
This is all-or-nothing thinking. The people who are successful long term may have those slip-ups, but they have the guard rails in place to course correct, and they don’t allow one food decision in one moment to bleed over and set the tone for their future decisions.
Health and wellness, particularly when it comes to weight loss, is not just to every single day you’re moving this linear upward path – it’s like a zig and a zag. But as long as you’re trending up and course-correcting, you’re going to be successful. “All-or-nothing” mentality ruins more diets than we ever know.
Ultimately, this health and fitness stuff over the long haul is all about managing your habits and behaviors, moving consistently in the right direction, not being perfect but being consistent. And the way to be consistent is to have a routine you love, something that makes you feel good and something that’s built and designed for you that you can stick to long term.