Building good habits is an essential part of reaching your health and fitness goals.
In my experience as a Personal Trainer, building long-term habits is arguably the main factor that distinguishes people who reach their long-term fitness goals and those that don’t.
Strong habits are essential because they reduce reliance on willpower and discipline and therefore boost your consistency and adherence.
Personally, I have been following all of the below habits on a daily basis for a long time. Because of this, they are almost second nature and I do them on autopilot almost like brushing my teeth.
This makes it significantly easier to take the actions that I need to take on a daily basis to reach my fitness goals.
When you first start implementing new habits, it’s not always easy in the first few weeks. Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of vegetables and at the beginning this was a habit that was tough to implement.
The key is to stick with it knowing that it’ll become easier over time. Now, I eat vegetables everyday out of habit and I actually enjoy how they taste! That’s definitely something I would have never imagined at the beginning!
Most of the habits discussed below are based around your nutrition and diet; That’s because what you eat is by far the most important factor when it comes to losing weight.
That being said, other variables like exercise and sleep still are important, so it’s important to not neglect these areas of your lifestyle as well. These variables are discussed below as well.
1. Eat more protein
In terms of managing hunger, protein is the most filling and satiating macronutrient. It can also help to reduce cravings.
A high protein diet helps your muscles recover after your workouts. It helps with muscle-building, and if you are dieting, it will help you to avoid muscle loss when losing weight.
Protein also has the highest thermic effect of any macronutrient, meaning that it burns the most calories simply by just being digested.
Consuming roughly 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass will optimise these benefits.
Examples of high-protein foods include:
- Red meat
- Low fat greek yoghourt, milk, and cheese
- Protein powder
2. Drink more water
Water is a natural appetite suppressant.
When your stomach is full, messages get sent to your brain to stop eating. Drinking water takes up space in your stomach and can help to create this fullness along with the meals that you are eating.
Also, if you’re not drinking enough water, then it’s very easy to mistake thirst for hunger.
I like to flavour my food with plenty of seasoning, which is high in sodium and increases thirst. Back when I was a beginner and before I knew any better, this meant that I was eating more food when I wasn’t even hungry, I was just thirsty! Needless to say that this greatly stunted my weight loss results until I copped on.
3. Eat more fruit and vegetables:
Fruit and vegetables are right up there with the most filling foods that you can eat for the number of calories that they contain.
Because they have a high water percentage, they are very low in calories for the large volume that they offer.
Going back to the personal story discussed above, I used to really dislike eating vegetables. But through repetition and sticking with it, I now eat them every day without a bother. Even if you don’t like the taste of certain foods at the start, your body and taste buds will get used to them over time by a process called habituation.
4. Eat until satisfied, not stuffed
Once you feel satisfied and no longer hungry, that’s when it’s best to stop eating for weight loss. Eating until stuffed rather than satisfied will likely mean consuming a few hundred calories more per meal and this can be the difference between being in a calorie deficit and losing weight and not.
5. Live an active lifestyle
Are you doing some form of intentional exercise most days?
If you’re looking to lose weight, there’s only so low that you can drop your calories, especially as you get deep into a diet. When this happens, using other tools, like exercise, to increase the number of calories that you are burning each day becomes very important.
Living an active lifestyle does not need to involve getting hot, sweaty and breathless. It can simply involve walking more. Even if you have 5 or 10 minutes while you are waiting for the washing to finish, go and get some extra steps in!
Lifting weights is also another great option; When dieting, your body is at an increased risk of muscle loss and lifting weights helps to avoid this. Not only that, but lifting weights can also help you add more muscle to your frame and tone up. This will increase the number of calories that your body burns every day even when you are asleep because muscle tissue is very metabolically active.
6. Eat more home-cooked meals
On average, home-cooked meals contain significantly less calories than takeaways or meals that you buy when out and about.
When you prepare your own food, you have control over what goes into your meals. Meals that you don’t prepare yourself often have extra sugar and fats added, which can greatly increase the calorie count.
In this study , it was observed that people who prepare more of their own food, tend to eat healthier and eat less calories.
Personally speaking, I eat out with friends and family in moderation. It can be fun and food is a key part of many social occasions and that’s okay! That being said, I recommend home cooking your meals for the most part. You’ve a lot more control over what goes into it and there won’t be as many high calorie additives in it like oils and butters.
7. Get plenty of sleep
7 – 9 hours of sleep is very important for weight loss.
Not sleeping enough makes you hungrier and increases your cravings for high calorie foods; This is your body’s way of trying to compensate for a lack of sleep.
Not getting enough sleep will also increase tiredness and this can mean that you move less the next day because your body wants to conserve energy.
Lack of sleep doesn’t make weight loss impossible, but it definitely makes it harder.
Finally, getting plenty of sleep improves the quality of your weight loss.(more from fat and less from muscle tissue). The science shows this and it’s something that I’ve definitely noticed with my own results having been someone who used to skimp on my sleep in the past.
Tracking helps to ensure accountability and it removes the guesswork.
The first thing that you’ll need to track is your food intake. Otherwise, how else are you going to know if you’re in a calorie deficit or not?
There’s so many different ways to track calories, and different methods work best for different people. Find a method that works for you and suits your preferences.
The second thing that you will need to track is your actual results and whether you are moving towards your goals. Tracking your food is an important daily process, but at the end of the day it’s a means to an end and it’s results that we care about. The most common ways track body changes are:
1. Using the weighing scale
2. Using the mirror and take progress pictures:
3. Keep a track of how your clothes fit:
4. Take tape measurements:
Whatever method you choose, stick with it. Using the scale one week, taking progress pictures the next week and then taking tape measurements the week after that will make it very difficult to track progress. But if you use the scale each week, then it will be a lot easier to see what’s going on.
9. Eat mindfully and undistracted as much as possible
When you are eating, be present and focus on the physical act of eating as much as possible.
This means switching off the TV as much as possible and not munching down food while thinking about the stressful day at work that you just had.
Focusing on other things while eating distracts you and it can lead to you eating more food than you needed.
10. Have the same energy on the weekend
A habit that I often have to try to get clients that come to me out of is having a completely different energy on the weekend. It’s like they are living two different lives. During the week, they are regimented with their nutrition, exercise and sleep. But on the weekend, they eat a lot more, exercise less and skimp on their sleep.
Taking some downtime at the weekend is important in terms of maintaining balance and allowing your body to recharge. Slightly easing off the gas is fine, but your life shouldn’t look completely different. If it does, then this might be a sign that you need to dial things down slightly during the week, so that you don’t need to “escape” at the weekend.
Losing weight and maintaining a leaner physique doesn’t need to involve drastic changes; There are so many simple but effective behavioural and habit shifts that the average person can make that can dramatically improve their results.
In summary, you’ll get better results by making these lifestyle changes than you will from going on an unsustainable weight loss plan that involves turning your current life upside down and not being able to stick to it for more than two weeks.
Millions of people in Britain admit to making costly car mistakes
As winter takes hold and temperatures start to drop, a recent research by Aviva reveals the most common mistakes drivers could be making when it comes to getting behind the wheel this winter.
The research, which surveyed 2,000 Brits, reveals that more than a quarter (28%) are leaving their cars running to de-ice screens, with older generations most likely to take the risk. Over a third of those aged 75+ (41%) and those aged 65-74 (34%) leave their car on to de-ice screens, compared to 17% of 18-24 year-olds and 24% of 25-34 year-olds.
By doing so, Brits may be unwittingly putting themselves at risk with most car insurance policies excluding thefts of vehicles while the engine is still running. This is also an offence under Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which states that drivers cannot leave vehicles running and unattended while on a public highway, otherwise known as ‘quitting’.
When looking at visibility, the research reveals that almost half (45%) of Brits have driven without making sure that their screens and mirrors were properly clear. By doing so, motorists could also be risking a fine under Section 229 of the Highway Code, which states that all drivers ‘must be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all windows’.
The top 10 winter driving habits that could cause issues:
1. I have left my car running to de-ice the screen and warm it up: 28%
2. I have driven in gloves: 21%
3. I have driven in a big winter coat: 20%
4. I have driven even though there is snow on the top of my car: 19%
5. I have driven even though the screen was not fully de-iced or de-misted: 16%
6. I have driven without checking that my number plate was clear: 16%
7. I have driven even though the screen wasn’t clear: 15%
8. I have driven even though I was too tired: 14%
9. I have driven even though the mirrors weren’t fully clear: 14%
10. I have driven through floodwater or a ford: 13%
“While we all want to get to our next destination as quickly as possible, it pays to be safe, particularly as the risk of an accident typically increases during the winter months. Spending five or ten minutes to prepare your car means that not only are you more likely to avoid an accident, but also a hefty fine – which can be as much as £1,000 – points on your licence or even a driving ban in the worst case scenario”, says Martin Smith, Motor Claims Manager at Aviva.
Other British driving habits include leaving the car unlocked to quickly pop into somewhere (13%), pouring boiling water over a car windscreen to de-ice it (11%) as well as wearing inappropriate footwear such as heels (9%) or wellies/snowboots (7%). Those driving whilst wearing inappropriate clothing and footwear could also risk a fine under Rule 97 of the Highway code which states that you should ensure: ‘clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner’.
5 of the cheapest ski resorts in Europe this winter
Whether you are a seasoned skier or a first-timer, one thing that is for sure is that skiing can be a very expensive trip. Even if you don’t enrol for a celebrity-like skiing weekend, following on the footsteps of Kim Kardashian, Orlando Bloom, or Gwyneth Paltrow, the costs can pile up. as research shows Brits fork out between £500 and £750 per person on spending money for a ski trip.
If you are keen to hit the slopes but are being mindful of the pennies, here is a shortlist of five of the cheapest resorts you can visit in Europe, based on the average cost of a lift pass, accommodation, ski rental, and of course food and drinks.
“Skiing can be a very expensive holiday, especially for families. However, there are some fantastic resorts out there offering surprisingly reasonable prices, without compromising on those amazing views and fantastic ski runs”, says Laura Evans-Fisk, head of digital and engagement at eurochange. “Borovets in Bulgaria came out on top as the cheapest ski resort. It’s definitely an underrated destination, with unbelievably low prices for food and drink, and a whole week lift pass for less than £150.”
Topping the list is bargain-friendly Borovets, Bulgaria. The country is quickly becoming a cheap and cheerful favourite spot for skiers, and it’s easy to see why. Located in the Rila mountains, Borovets is an all-round resort providing luxury amenities at very reasonable prices. With fabulous nightlife as well as gentle slopes for beginners, it’s an ideal destination for adults and families alike. Ski passes start from just £29 per day, so you could really save some cash if you visit for just a few days.
- Adult lift pass (6 days): Лв370 (£143.75)
- Ski rental (6 days): Лв155 (£60.22)
- Accommodation (per night): From Лв135 (£52.45)
- Beer: Лв3 (£1.17)
- Wine: Лв6 (£2.33)
- 3-course meal: Лв15 (£5.83)
Lesser known than its Austrian and Italian neighbours, Slovenia’s Vogel resort is no less spectacular. Tucked away in the stunning Julian Alps, Vogel offers exceptional value alongside outstanding snow sports facilities and stunning views. The après is one of the cheapest around, with beer costing just €2, and a three-course meal setting you back just €17.
Les Houches, France
For a Mont Blanc ski holiday without the Chamonix prices, look no further than Les Houches. A top choice for families, this picturesque village is quiet at night, while the neighbouring high-altitude areas are perfect for advanced skiers. A six-day adult ski pass is less than £200 and equipment can be rented for less than £100 for the week.
- Adult lift pass (6 days): €197 (£158.46)
- Ski rental (6 days): from €114 (£91.70)
- Accommodation (per night): From €77 (£61.94)
- Beer: €2 (£1.61)
- Wine: €5 (£4.02)
- 3-course meal: €20 (£16.09)
Nestled in the heart of the Alps, Italy‘s Livigno offers sterling snowsport facilities for all skill levels, from absolute beginners to black slope aficionados. And thanks to its tax-exempt status, Livigno provides premium resort standards at budget prices, giving you far more for your euros than most other ski destinations on the continent.
- Adult lift pass (6 days): €223* (£179.38)
- Ski rental (6 days): from €74.00* (£59.52)
- Accommodation (per night): From €101 (£81.24)
- Beer: €3 (£2.41)
- Wine: €10 (£8.04)
- 3-course meal: €30 (£24.13)
While Switzerland tends to be an expensive country to visit, Grindelwald is one of the more affordable resorts for getting the Swiss ski holiday experience. Even if you’re not a keen skier, there are plenty of other activities to try out, including tobogganing and winter walking. Set in the beautiful Jungfrau mountains, Grindelwald provides a picture-perfect slice of the Alps for far less than you’d expect.
- Adult lift pass (6 days): SFr385 (£308.79)
- Ski rental (6 days): from SFr237 (£190.09)
- Accommodation (per night): From SFr57 (£45.72)
- Beer: SFr2 (£1.60)
- Wine: SFr13 (£10.43)
- 3-course meal: SFr24 (£19.25)
New iPhone photography exhibition opens in Paris
“I Remember You,” a two-day photography exhibition, has opened today in Paris highlighting original work shot on iPhone 15 Pro Max.
The collective work of photographers Malin Fezehai, Karl Hab, Vivien Liu, Mika Ninagawa, and Stefan Ruiz incorporates people, places, and things that move them, exploring memories and the power of photography to preserve them.
“‘I Remember You’ brings together five photographers who share their deeply personal conceptions of memory, connection, and nostalgia,” explains Isolde Brielmaier, Ph.D., the exhibition’s curatorial advisor. “It is a moving glimpse of life, preserved in time.”
In celebration of the opening, each artist spoke about how iPhone has contributed to their creative process and what they hope people will remember from their featured work.
Malin Fezehai is an Eritrean/Swedish photographer, filmmaker, and visual reporter currently living in New York. She has worked in over 40 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and America. Fezehai is a National Geographic explorer, and in 2023, she became a Climate Pledge grantee. She is working on a project about adaptation to living on water. Her career started in her native Sweden, where she studied photography before attending the International Center of Photography in New York. Her work focuses on communities of displacement and dislocation around the world. She was commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme to photograph survivors of violent extremism across sub-Saharan Africa and published a book titled Survivors. She has received a 2015 World Press Photo Award and the Wallis Annenberg Prize, and was named one of the “30 Emerging Photographers to Watch” in 2015 by Photo District News. Her image depicting a wedding of Eritrean refugees in Israel was the first iPhone photo ever to receive a World Press Photo Award.
“The integration of the iPhone into my photography workflow marked a significant shift in how I perceive and capture the world around me — feeling more inclined to capture life as it happens — the fleeting, candid moments that often define the human experience,” Fezehai says. “Its ease of use and ability to capture high-quality images effortlessly enables me to explore and document the ordinary in extraordinary ways. That sentiment is embodied in the work I created for the show.”
“I Remember You” will be on display at the Salon Corderie in Le Marais in Paris on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11, from 11 am to 7 pm.
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