Rome wasn’t built in a day, but rather brick by brick over time. In the same way, good health doesn’t happen overnight either. Good health is built habit by habit, week after week.
And just like those Roman structures that are still standing today, building on foundational healthy habits will have lasting results.
Years of observation have determined certain essential healthy habits that are common among people who lose weight and keep it off. Sustainability is a key difference between this behavioral change approach to weight loss versus popular fad diets that are often fixated on extreme restriction and short-lived solutions.
Review the following essential habits and decide whether you are ready to add one or more of these new habits to your daily routine. After all, this healthy lifestyle is yours to build brick by brick at your own pace!
1. The Transforming Habit
The Transforming Habit is based upon the biblical concept of “renewing your mind” (Romans 12:2). This should be the foundation when building a habit pyramid, because the Bible says this is how we truly transform our behaviors. Without undergoing a transformation of how we think, we will most likely not get very far in our attempts to change our behaviors.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2
As Christians, this Scripture tells us that our transformation to becoming more Christ-like involves the mind. We have to constantly align our mind with the mind of God, fill our mind with Truth, and make wise, thoughtful, God-honoring choices minute by minute. This takes practice and yielding to the Holy Spirit consistently over time.
Change starts in the mind, and actions follow. “Renewing the mind” is a skill that will set you up for success as you add your next healthy habits and gradually build a pyramid of health. Remember, God wants to be involved in every area of your life; including your health!
2. The Nutrition Habit
The Nutrition Habit is simple: Aim for at least four servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily.
A diet rich in colorful vegetables and fruits can:
• Promote weight loss
• Reduce appetite
• Lower blood pressure
• Improve digestion and gut health
• Reduce the risk for heart disease
• Prevent some types of cancer
Medi-Share’s Health Partnership Coaching Program for Weight Loss delves deeper into the best evidence-based nutrition principles.
3. The Hydration Habit
The Hydration Habit is simply drinking at least eight cups of pure water daily.
Water is essential to good health, but often neglected. It’s important to note that this amount is not customized, but a general guide. Higher amounts may be needed for those who are physically active or exposed to very warm climates.
Some benefits of water include:
• Ridding your body of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements
• Keeps your temperature normal
• Protects soft tissues
• Is required for digestion
• Improves mood and energy level
Water is the perfect zero-calorie beverage for quenching thirst and rehydrating your body!
4. The Tracking Habit
Tracking your food and beverage intake and daily exercise is a very important habit for weight management.
Did you know that simply creating awareness of what you are doing throughout the day helps you make better decisions and helps you identify key areas for improvement?
People who keep a daily food log are TWICE as likely to lose weight as those who keep no records.
Similarly, studies reveal that people who track their daily steps take around 2,000 more per day than those who don’t. That really adds up!
Whether you prefer to use pen and paper or an app on your phone, keeping a food and exercise journal will improve your ability to make more intentional choices.
5. The N.E.A.T. Habit
N.E.A.T. stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis, and is the energy (calories) expended through all physical activity other than formal, planned exercise. It ranges from standing up, fidgeting, unloading groceries, and all activities of daily living. Simply put, it’s the habit of moving more!
Increasing the total amount of movement (N.E.A.T.) throughout the day is an effective and sustainable weight management solution. N.E.A.T. increases don’t replace your formal exercise session, but complement it to add up to even more calories burned each day.
How do you use N.E.A.T. to increase the calories you burn and lose weight?
• Set an alarm to remind you to stand up for 15 minutes out of every hour
• Practice good posture
• Take walking breaks periodically throughout the day
• Do calf raises while sitting
• Park further away from the building
• Do ten squats every time you take a restroom break
• Stand up to watch TV
• Track your daily steps each day and try to add 100 more every day
Remember, as little as an extra 100 calories burned each day adds up to over 10 pounds lost in a year!
Interested in Learning More?
These five essential healthy habits are a sneak peek into the type of content taught in Medi-Share’s NEW Health Partnership Coaching Program for Weight Loss. This six-month program is a Biblically-based solution to long-term weight management from a whole-health perspective, and it is exclusively available to Medi-Share Health Partners for no additional cost.
Medi-Share Health Partners are invited to join us today on this unique journey to health from a Biblical perspective. Contact your health coach through the Member Center for more information.
Not a Medi-Share member or Health Partner? Learn more now!