7 Habits for Weight Loss Success in 2023

What’s on a dietitian’s New Year’s Resolutions? I’ll tell you.

After decades of working in health and fitness, 7 habits have to be on my list for 2023. These 7 habits stand out far beyond any diet trends, workout routines, or weight loss strategies. They’re the best of the best, the tried and true, and the dream team of healthy habits that will guarantee results.

If you’re ready to really kick your health into gear, commit to these 7 habits in 2023. 

1. Eat More

You heard me. Stop starving yourself. Stop nibbling all day to stave off hunger. Find healthy, healing, and satiating foods and eat more of them. Take the forgotten advice of your mother and stop spoiling your dinner. Sit down to 3 big meals a day, and make these meals count. 

Pile your plate with protein, fruits, and veggies, and eat these nutritious foods until you’re full and satisfied. In as little as one week, you’ll start to feel the difference! Your body will be more nourished, your hunger will reduce, and your cravings will dissipate.

Why Eating More is On My List

I’m a bulk eater. If you snuck a peek at my lunch, you’d think I was serving a family. Eating only small portions feels like a caloric corset. That lifestyle is way too restricting for me. Volume eating can support weight management when you pick the right foods (a.k.a. the whole ones) and skip the snacks. 

2. Drink More Electrolyte Water

60% of your body is water. We’re all walking water balloons! Keep water from us for a few days and we’ll shrivel up. Water is critical for our survival, our health, our longevity, and our weight management. Drinking enough water daily (60-80 oz) is one of the easiest, cheapest, and most powerful shifts you can make in your health. 

Sprinkle in some high-quality electrolytes to boost hydration. Most people lack sodium, potassium, and magnesium, but these can quickly be replenished with an electrolyte supplement.

Why Electrolyte Water is On My List

Water isn’t the sexiest of beverages. It’s pretty plain Jane, but adequate water helps me maintain a healthy weight, keeps me healthy, and does more for my energy levels than espresso. 

That said, water doesn’t have to be boring. I like to zhuzh it up and boost its nutritional punch with an electrolyte supplement. 

This year, I don’t want to miss out on the big benefits that come with electrolyte water. This easy habit will: 

  • Improve digestion
  • Boost energy
  • Flush out toxins
  • Help burn fat
  • Increase immunity
  • Promote blood circulation
  • Plump up your skin

3. Step it Up

Sitting is the new smoking, y’all. It sounds extreme, but it’s true. Moving your body matters. This habit is simple yet life-changing.

A sedentary life increases

  • The risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 112%. 
  • The risk of fatal heart disease by roughly 63%.
  • Mortality by 75%.

Ready for the good news? Walking reverses these issues

  • For every 2,000 steps, the risk of heart disease, cancer, and premature death decreases by 10%, peaking at 10,000 steps each day. 
  • A little under 10,000 steps a day (9,800) can drop the risk of dementia by 50%.
  • A study of over 1,000 men and women found that those who walked at least 20 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week, had 43% fewer sick days than those who exercised once a week or less.
  • An American Cancer Society study found that women who walked seven or more hours a week had a 14% lower risk of breast cancer than those who walked three hours or fewer per week.
  • Walking aids in weight loss, cuts the effect of weight-promoting genes in half, and decreases cravings. Even just a 15-minute walk can silence your sweet tooth.

Why Walking is On My List

Most people are shocked when they start tracking their steps. I was too! Our country’s average is about 5,000 steps a day (which is considered inactive), and that’s exactly where I landed one year ago. I was crushing it at the gym, but sitting at my desk the rest of the day.

It was time to cash in on all those walking benefits. I realized that simply adding an extra 1,000 steps a day added up to 73 miles a year! A small change would bring big benefits. 

Increasing my step count was hard at first. Over time, though, I created small, realistic habits that have helped. I park further away at the grocery store. I pace every time I’m on the phone. Now, I walk about 8,000 steps most days and want to keep increasing that number in 2023! 

4. Prioritize Quality Sleep

It’s the easiest activity—lay down, shut your eyes, and stay there. But it is one of the most important factors in your physical and mental health, your longevity, and your weight management. Try this in 2023 to catch more quality Z’s:

  • Lay down and get up at close to the same time every day
  • Shoot for at least 7 hours each night
  • Look at natural light first thing in the morning
  • Create an ideal sleep environment—make it dark, cool (65-69 degrees ideally), and comfortable
  • Shut off all screens 30-60 minutes before bedtime
  • Eat your last meal 2 hours before bed. 

Even just a few of these shifts can have a positive impact on your sleep. Start off slow, and see which habits improve your sleep best.

Why Sleep is On My List

Improving my sleep has been one of the hardest things I’ve tried to tackle, but I know that it has played a big role in my progress and overall health in the last year.

I’ve seen study after study and experienced how lacking quality sleep leads to: 

  • Increased hunger and cravings (due to an increase in ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and a decrease in leptin, the full hormone). 
  • Increased cortisol (the stress hormone) and insulin, which cause our bodies to store fat
  • Higher body mass index and weight gain, which can worsen sleep disorders even more
  • Fatigue, poor productivity, and worse workouts

If I want to continue to optimize my weight management and overall health, sleep has to be on my list again. 

5. Pump up Your Protein Intake

Is your protein intake pitiful? Almost every single one of my clients isn’t eating enough protein, and I bet you aren’t either. Age, sex, body mass, and lifestyle impact how much protein you personally need per day. In general, you should be eating 1 gram of protein for every pound of lean body mass. For starters, shoot for at least 100 grams per day. 

Here are some tips that can get you there: 

  • Eat one or two (ideally plain) greek yogurt cups a day
  • Add a protein smoothie to your daily menu
  • Include high-protein foods in each meal, like sugar snap peas, lentils, eggs, and high-quality meat

Why Protein is On My List

If we’re not intentional about our protein intake, we tend to eat far too little. But protein is the one macronutrient that we must consume in adequate amounts every single day. When your body doesn’t receive the protein it needs, it shuts down fat metabolism. 

In October of 2021, I committed to at least 120 grams of protein every single day. It has made a huge difference in my body and energy levels. By eating 30-40 grams of protein at every meal or snack, I feel full and satisfied, don’t nibble on quick carbs for energy, and have lost fat and built muscle! 

As we age, our protein needs increase, since our ability to utilize the protein we eat decreases! I’m not getting any younger, but keeping protein on my resolutions list keeps me thriving. 

6. Upsurge Strength Training

If you want to see your body and health change in a powerful way in 2023 then strength training has to be part of your plan! Ditch the treadmill and grab your 10-30 pound weights. You’ll burn more calories and fat overall with strength training than with cardio.

Take these steps in 2023 to optimize your results: 

  • Know your body composition (try out this tool)
  • Throw out your scale (or at least put it somewhere where it can collect some dust)
  • Make it your goal to lower body fat percentage instead (below 29% is healthy)
  • Work your way up to 5 strength training workouts per week (or as close to this number as you can this year)

Why Strength Training is On My List

One of the reasons we gain weight as we age is because of sarcopenia—the loss of muscle mass. The more muscle you have the higher your basal metabolic rate, the better your blood sugar control, and the leaner you look. Plus it makes maintaining your progress so much easier!

I committed to 5 strength-focused workouts per week in October 2021, and I’m never going back. Over the course of the last 12 months, I’ve reduced my body fat percentage by 2.5%! Strength training has earned a spot on my 2023 list. 

7. Adjust Alcohol

Not to be a Goodie-Two Shoes Tammy, but alcohol could be screwing up your health and weight loss. Alcohol slows down your metabolism. Every night that you drink, you lose 4-6 hours of your normal metabolism while my body prioritized metabolizing alcohol! It also messes with sleep. Each night of drinking leads to lighter, more restless sleep. 

Booze impacts your caloric bottom line. A few cocktails add up, making calorie control harder. Plus drinking in many cases leads to poor food choices. 

Try this in 2023: If you find yourself drinking 4 nights a week, reduce that number to 3 times a week. Each drink-free day will lead to better sleep, easier weight loss, and improved overall health!

Why Adjusting Alcohol is On My List

Alcohol consumption is at an all-time high! Trust me, I was right there with everyone 12 months ago drinking an average of 2, sometimes 3 times a week. I knew that if I wanted to make progress I had to cut back on alcohol big time! 

My goal was to drink alcohol once a week. There were weeks and months that I did not drink at all and there were weeks (like vacations) that I drank more than once. But overall, in the last 12 months, I’ve reduced my alcohol consumption by at least half! 

I can feel (and see) the difference! Keeping alcohol controlled has to be on my list in 2023 if I want to continue feeling great and managing my weight. 

Take Seven Steps Forward 

When it comes to all 7 habits listed above, some effort is better than no effort. Write out your list, and take one step forward per habit. 

Long-term weight loss success is all about consistency and that is what most people are lacking! So in the new year, I encourage you to increase your health gradually and focus more on doing the small things consistently.

You could, for example, eat more at breakfast. Add one cup of electrolyte water to your day. Walk an extra 200 steps per day this week. Go to bed 20 minutes earlier. Drink a protein shake after a 45-minute strength training session each week. Swap out booze for bubbly water this weekend.  

These seven strategies are paramount to your health and weight management, so of course they’re foundational in my LEAN program! If you know what you should be doing but struggle to just do it, join my LEAN community this year. I can help to hold you accountable and provide the daily support you need to make these habits stick for life. Grab your spot today to see your health and wellness transform in 2023!

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