What’s the #1 factor for sustained weight loss 6, 12 or 18 months after starting an exercise and healthy eating program?
It’s not motivation. Or willpower. It’s not even fitness level.
In the only study that controlled for all those factors and more, researchers discovered that the easier it feels for people to make healthy food choices and get to the gym, the more likely they’ll do it.
The path to sustaining permanent weight loss: Convenience. There are a bunch of ways you can use the principles of convenience in your favor. It just takes a little planning, and a few extra hands.
4 WAYS TO MAKE HEALTHY LIVING SEAMLESS
1. COOKING PARTIES
Invite 2–3 friends over on a Sunday night and have a cooking party. You can plan, prep and cook every meal you need for the next 5 days and even put them into individual tupperware containers so everything is ready to go. It’s all the convenience of a personal chef, with none of the cost!
2. HOME WORKOUTS
Nothing is more convenient than working out at home, but many people start with complicated strategies. A convenient home workout can be as simple as 10 bodyweight squats and a 1-minute plank. It’s exactly 10 more squats and a 1-minute plank more than not doing anything, and more than nothing is the only goal! So find a simple, easy plan that you can do (without even changing into gym clothes) and set a specific trigger when you will do it — I suggest every time you walk by your television. Figure out an easy way to keep track of your progress. This can be as simple as a post-it note that you write hashmarks on every time you successfully complete the moves.
3. CAR WORKOUTS
Many of us are in or around our cars a lot more than we are in our homes, sadly. When I was preparing for my oral examinations in graduate school, I carried a very heavy kettlebell in my trunk. Every time I got to school, I would carry that kettlebell as far as I could, put it down and carry it back in the other hand. Once. That was enough. You can do that same thing with squats and planks, or even heavy bag of kitty litter. The only thing that matters is doing something!
4. ONE PLAN FOR EATING OUT
A lot of us get stressed out or derailed by eating out when, in actual fact, having other people prepare your food is the height of convenience. Fat-loss expert Josh Hillis recommends that all of his clients have “One Plan” for eating out. For example, choose: “the greenest salad with chicken, dressing on the side,” or: “the burger, no bun, and a side salad.” Don’t think. Just order. Pick one plan you know just about every restaurant will have, and stick to it.