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When it comes to being healthy, losing weight or just getting in a better shape, the decisions we make aren’t just meant to be a one-time thing. They’re more of an everyday thing.
Even though there are lots of promising ways to get healthier, these things need to be incorporated into our daily lives, and not just something we do once in a while and then forget about it.
To quote the famous American writer, Will Durant, “Excellence is not an act, but a habit”.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, get in better shape or just get healthier, or even improve your life in general, incorporating the right habits into your daily life is one of the best ways to go about it.
Here, you’ll find 30 healthy daily habits that are good for improving health, and also for weight loss too.
30 Healthy Daily Habits For Weight Loss
1) Planning Your Meals Ahead
Without a doubt, eating right is one of the best ways to improve health and lose weight too. And whatever that might look like for you, the best way to ensure you’re getting the right foods is to plan ahead of time.
By planning your meals ahead of time, you are in better control of what you eat, plus it eliminates the problem of having to eat something that isn’t very good for you and feeling guilty afterwards.
If you’re new to meal prep and planning, check out our complete beginner’s guide to meal planning to get you started.
2) Get Quality Sleep
Even though this point is more easily said than done, it’s still worth saying. Getting enough sleep is very important for proper body functioning, and lack of quality sleep can have its adverse effects in various areas of our daily life.
This study, showed how lack of sleep reduced the body’s ability to burn fat effectively. Also, insufficient sleep can lead to a decline in productivity, and a higher likelihood of making poor dietary decisions.
All in all, sleep is pretty important. Not just in length, but also in quality. Sleeping easily, and without interruptions is better than a disturbance-filled sleep session.
3) Drink Enough Water
It’s the stuff of life. The thing that makes up 70% of the human body. There’s no doubt getting enough of it would help improve our health.
For starters, water aids digestion and helps your body better absorb the nutrients. Also, drinking water can also help slightly increase metabolism. Plus, it also plays a part in appetite suppression.
4) Take A Walk
For a species that evolved to be able to move around a lot, we sure don’t move around a lot. Especially considering the convenience-centered lifestyle we’ve adopted thanks to various technological advancements.
Now, while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with living conveniently, it can easily lead to a sedentary-like lifestyle, with little to no activity involved.
Walking is a way to not only get the blood pumping a little more, but it can also help burn some extra calories and keep us in relative shape.
5) Snack Wisely
Nothing wrong with snacking. However, the type of snacks we choose to eat, as well as how often we snack can play an important role in our overall health.
It is recommended to always choose healthier snacks, and to snack more wisely, only when you need to, and not just anytime you feel like munching on something.
6) Practice Mindful Eating
Mindful eating applies to everything we eat, and not just snacks. While constantly starving yourself is a pretty bad idea regardless of the reason, overeating is just as dangerous and can lead to weight gain thanks to all the extra calories you consume.
By practicing mindful eating, you’ll be eating just about the right amounts your body needs to function properly, and still enjoying the foods you want.
The benefits of exercise basically speak for themselves. Lower insulin resistance, better weight loss, improved heart health and lots more. Without a doubt, getting enough exercise is important in staying healthy.
Now you don’t necessarily need to spend eons in the gym for the sake of exercise. There are lots of ways to get your body moving, even at home (via home workouts) or through other fun activities like dancing.
8) Eat A Good And Healthy Breakfast
While there seems to be an endless debate on whether or not you should eat or skip breakfast, I personally root for the “eat breakfast” train. But hear me out first.
By eating a healthy breakfast, you get to be more focused on your tasks and worry less about what you’ll eat in the next couple of hours. Plus, a nutritionally balanced breakfast can help curb cravings and maintain good blood sugar levels through the day.
Choosing to skip breakfast isn’t a crime as well. But if you choose to eat breakfast, it is best you go for a nice healthy option that will fuel the rest of your mornings well.
9) Reduce Your Sugar Intake
Added sugar is a big contributor to weight gain, and can also cause certain health problems when taken excessively. Now while I’m not necessarily advocating cutting out sugar completely, reducing your intake is definitely a step worth taking.
Healthier sugar alternatives such as stevia, erythritol and monk fruit sweetener can be used in the place of sugar. You still get to satisfy your sweet tooth, with less health problems attached.
10) Eat Enough Protein
Protein, like fats and carbs is one of the three important macronutrients your body needs to survive. Eating foods high in protein can help boost your metabolism, and boost satiety, which can in turn lead to weight loss. It also offers lots of other benefits as well.
11) Take The Stairs
Elevators aren’t evil. But if you’re someone who doesn’t get to move around much on a daily basis, taking the stairs instead of the elevator can help you out a little bit. And every little bit helps.
12) Eat Enough Fruits
Fruits are nature’s sweet gift to us. And unlike most of the other sweet things we regularly enjoy, fruits are loaded with good nutrients and vitamins that help to keep us healthy in addition to their great taste.
13) Eat Healthier Carbs
Carbs may be our body’s major source of energy, but not all carbs are created equal. Some are definitely healthier than others and are your best option when choosing your food choices.
More “natural” sources of carbs such as oatmeal and quinoa are recommended in place of refined carbs, which due to their glycemic index, could send you on a blood sugar rollercoaster.
14) Choose Healthier Fats
Fats have been demonized a lot in the past, and being blamed for, well, making people fat. After all, it’s in the name right? Well not really.
First of all, we know that weight gain/loss is controlled by your daily caloric intake and expenditure. And we also know that not all fats are created equal.
Foods like avocados, nuts and seeds are well known for their high fat content, but they contain the “good fats” which are actually beneficial to your body, while processed foods are high in trans fats, which have negative health effects.
15) Don’t Shop Hungry
Odds are, when you’re starving, you’re more likely to pick the next available thing to quench the hunger, whether it’s healthy or not. And most of the time, it tends to be the latter.
Shopping on a full tank removes the hunger-induced pressure of choosing something to consume immediately, and can help you make better food choices at the grocery store.
16) Pack A Healthy Lunch
The task of eating healthier becomes a bit harder when you’re at work, or away from home, and where ordering a less healthier option is just 5 minutes and a button’s push away.
One way to avoid this is by packing your own healthy lunch. Not only does this help you eat healthier even when you’re away from home, it can also help you save a little more money that would’ve been spent ordering food.
17) Track Your Food Intake
Keeping track of when and what you eat can help you make better food choices in the future, and also helps you identify the things that may be ruining your progress.
18) Watch What You Drink
Just like the foods you eat, your drinks also play a role in your health. Depending on your choice of drinks, some can be loaded with calories, sugar and unhealthy ingredients which can cause weight gain and other health problems.
It’s important to watch the kind of drinks you take, and to know what they contain as well.
19) Make Healthier Food Swaps
Have a problem giving up certain foods? Well you’re not alone. Good news is, a lot of foods can actually be made healthier, without any loss in taste or yumminess thanks to a few food swaps here and there.
Check out this list of 40 incredible food swaps that’ll keep you healthier and help you lose weight.
20) Add More Veggies To Your Plate
When it comes to improving health and/or losing weight, you just can’t go wrong with veggies. An incredible number of vegetables are low in calories and also nutrient-dense and quite filling, making them great for improving health.
Even if you’re a picky eater, there are still lots of ways to enjoy your veggies, ranging from salads to smoothies, casseroles and much more.
21) Don’t Starve Yourself
Even though you need to consume less calories than you expend to lose weight, starving yourself is literally one of the worst ways to go about it. Starvation will only leave you depleted nutrient-wise, out of energy, and could even ruin your weight loss efforts.
Rather than starving yourself, focus on eating satisfying foods which are lower in calories. You’d be surprised at how many delicious foods are super satisfying and low in calories too.
22) Skip Fast Food
If you’re trying to lose weight or improve your health, you might want to skip the drive through every now and then. It’s well known by now, that a lot of fast food options use highly processed ingredients, and are high in refined carbs, added sugar or trans fats.
23) Avoid Emotional Eating
I understand that we go through a lot nowadays, and when the weight of the stress (emotional, mental, etc.) becomes too much, we sometimes turn to food as a temporary way to ease the problem.
This emotion-fueled binge usually does more harm than good, adding more calories to our plate and often times making us crave unhealthy things.
Several ways to combat emotional eating include meditation, identifying and avoiding your triggers, and finding other ways to cope with the stress.
24) Drink Less Alcohol
Except you’re enjoying a nice glass of wine every now and then, alcohol consumption, especially in excess, is never advised. Apart from the obvious effects it has on the body, alcohol is loaded with empty calories, which can easily break your weight loss efforts.
When trying to improve health, it’s always best to consume alcohol in moderation, like in the case of wine I mentioned earlier, or just cut it out completely.
25) Eat More Slowly
If you can level the mountain in front of you in under 10 minutes, you’re doing it wrong. Thorough chewing and eating more slowly has been shown to improve digestion, nutrient absorption, and increase feelings of satiety.
26) Focus On Whole Foods
They’re more nutritious, and way healthier than their processed counterparts. And also generally lower in calories.
27) Build Muscle
Muscles are more metabolically active than fat, meaning they require more calories to maintain themselves, which is great for weight loss. Plus, a good muscle profile is also linked to lower risk of diseases.
28) Don’t Obsess Over The Scale
Understand that changes take time. 1 pound of body fat equals about 3500 calories. It burns over time, not overnight. So relax a little bit, try not to obsess over the scale and just trust the process.
29) Adopt A Good Eating Schedule
By drawing out a proper eating schedule, you’ll be better able to control what you eat, as well as monitor and deal with cravings, and other unhealthy eating habits.
30) Eat Enough Fiber
Fiber helps aid digestion, ease constipation, burn belly fat and also increase the feeling of satiety. All of which are important for healthy living.
These 30 simple daily habits will keep you healthy, in good shape and even help you lose weight.
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