3 Ways to Change Your Eating Habits and Lose Weight

Modifying your eating habits is crucial in order to achieve weight loss and lasting improvement in body composition.
3 Ways to Change Your Eating Habits and Lose Weight
Saúl Sánchez

Written and verified by el nutricionista Saúl Sánchez.

Last update: 16 May, 2023

When it comes to losing weight, it’s crucial to implement a series of lifestyle and eating habits. Obviously, physical exercise is essential, as well as ensuring a good rest. But aside from that, you have to know the dietary aspects that will get you closer and closer to your goal.

Keep in mind that improving body composition is a slow process. If someone offers you quick or miraculous solutions, be wary. You need to do things well for a certain period of time in order to generate a progressive loss of mass that manages to stabilize and continue over time.

Ways to change your eating habits

We’re going to tell you about the key aspects you need to keep in mind in order to change your eating habits and, with this, generate a reduction in adipose tissue.

1. Don’t buy ultra-processed products

Industrial foods are characterized by containing substances that aren’t recommended for health. This doesn’t happen in all cases, but it does in a great majority.

You have to avoid pastries and pre-cooked products, as well as sweets and cereals. All of them have simple sugars and trans fats in their composition. These nutrients are capable of negatively affecting metabolic health, generating a tendency to gain weight. This is evidenced by a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The best way to avoid consuming such foods is not to buy them. Sometimes a small drop in blood sugar may occur throughout the day. When this moment arrives, the brain sends a signal that prompts the intake of a product with a high sugar content.

Therefore, if you have sweets within reach, the temptation will always be greater. On the contrary, in their absence, you’re likely to make better decisions and consume, for example, a handful of nuts.

Canned foods often contain ultra-processed foods.
Ultra-processed foods are those that have gone through multiple artificial processes.

2. Exercise regularly

Physical activity isn’t only capable of stimulating weight loss and increasing the rate of metabolism. It also influences the feeling of satiety and appetite, preventing the need to eat excessive amounts of food.

In addition, studies have shown that sports are capable of impacting the metabolism of nutrients, reducing the incidence of many diseases related to insulin control.

It’s always best to perform strength exercises on a regular basis in an attempt to generate an increase in lean mass. In addition, it’s always a good idea to combine this type of work with sports of an aerobic nature, as these are capable of affecting the efficiency of the cardiovascular system. They’re also effective when it comes to controlling appetite, preventing it from appearing excessively.

3. Respect the hormonal circadian cycles

Many hormones that regulate the body’s physiological processes respond to a circadian production rhythm that depends, in many cases, on the presence of sunlight or the time of day. Keeping this issue in mind prevents inefficiencies related to food.

For example, not staying awake at night helps eliminate the temptation to perform late-night snacks. The ingestion of sugars during the early morning presents adverse metabolic effects, according to a study published in Chronobiology International.

To improve the quality of sleep and avoid interruptions, it’s important to vary habits. Going to bed early, not using screens in the last hours before rest, and consuming melatonin in doses greater than 1 milligrams are usually recommendations that work properly.

In the case of experiencing more serious problems related to anxiety, consulting a doctor to assess the available pharmacology may be necessary.

Good eating habits to lose weight

When we talk about good eating habits in order to lose weight, we’re referring to a series of tips that work optimally in the vast majority of the population. We’ll tell you about the most important ones.

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables

Vegetables are related to a better state of health. They contain micronutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. These last substances counteract the appearance of free radicals and are capable of slowing down premature aging.

At the same time, they’re capable of reducing the incidence of complex diseases that claim millions of lives each year, such as cardiovascular diseases.

Optimally, vegetables should appear in each meal; at least one representative of said food group. However, within this broad set, we must opt for vegetables over fruits. The latter contain a significant number of simple sugars. Consuming them in excess or at the wrong time can have a negative impact.

2. Prioritize fish over meat

Meat is a necessary and healthy food. It contains proteins of high biological value and minerals that are essential for homeostasis. However, the fact of consuming more fish than meat on a weekly basis manages to generate benefits, due to its lower energy value and its content of unsaturated fatty acids.

Among this last group of nutrients, those of the omega-3 series stand out above all. These possess an anti-inflammatory capacity while protecting against the development of cardiovascular diseases. In addition, they can influence the lipid profile, increasing the level of HDL.

3. Consume fermented dairy

Dairy products are a source of protein and essential minerals such as calcium. In addition, fermented dairy products contain probiotics in their composition: Live bacteria capable of colonizing the digestive tract, generating a benefit in the host.

You have to take into account that a problem at the microbiota level can trigger intestinal inefficiencies. The permeability of the intestinal barrier has been related, for example, to a greater risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases from the accumulation of amyloid beta compounds.

For this reason, it’s important to have a functional intestinal flora capable of carrying out its mission. This will be a positive point when it comes to losing weight.

4. Avoid toxins

Alcohol consumption is found in the routines of a large part of the population. This substance is toxic to the body. Besides the effects it generates on the central nervous, hepatic, and cardiovascular systems, it contains a large number of calories without providing any nutrients.

This daily increase in the energy volume of the diet not only prevents weight loss but also conditions the accumulation of adipose tissue. From then on, the incidence of developing complex diseases increases, all of them derived from excess weight and obesity.

For this reason, avoid consuming wine, beer, and any other alcoholic beverage with a higher alcohol content. Soft drinks are also not a good option. When it comes to staying hydrated, always choose water.

The diet to lose weight must be personalized

We’ve given you a series of recommendations to improve your eating habits and lose weight. However, keep in mind that when designing a diet, it’s very important that it be personalized.

Adapting to the needs and schedules of each individual is crucial when it comes to generating adequate adherence—otherwise, the chances of abandonment and failure increase.

For this reason, it’s usually best to go to a professional when looking for a diet to improve body composition. You’ll be able to get an eating plan that’s suitable for you. In addition, you have to combine it with the practice of physical exercise on a regular basis, as we’ve already mentioned.

Assorted fruit in a bowl.
Fruits and vegetables provide fiber, micronutrients, and antioxidants.

Beware of supplements

Another point that must be taken into account when looking for a plan to lose weight is the issue of dietary supplements. Some can generate greater efficiency in eating habits, however, the vast majority of those offered don’t develop the effect they promise.

To find out which ones are suitable and if their quality is correct, it’s best to consult a professional. This way, you’ll make sure to acquire a product that meets the needs and objectives set.

Improve your eating habits to lose weight

Weight loss is a slow process that depends on changing eating habits in order to be maintained. It’s important to guarantee a good diet to achieve the generation of a caloric deficit and an improvement in the metabolism of the body that translates into the oxidation of accumulated fats.

In addition, the practice of physical activity is crucial, as well as guaranteeing good rest and respecting the circadian rhythms of the body. Only in this way can the proposed results be achieved.

For this, you can go to a nutrition professional. You’ll get a plan adjusted to your individual needs and schedules so that the adherence generated is high,  achieving weight loss in the medium term.

Always avoid miracle products and diets, as they lack scientific evidence and can be harmful to health. The keys are perseverance, discipline, and effort.

  • Mendonça RD., Pimenta AM., Gea A., Fuente Arrillaga CF., et al., Ultraprocessed food consumption and risk of overweight and obesity: the University of Navarra Follow up (SUN) cohort study. Am J Clin Nutr, 2016. 104 (5): 1433-1440.
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  • Grant CL., Coates AM., Dorrian J., Kennaway DJ., et al., Timing of food intake during simulated night shift impacts glucose metabolism: a controlled study. Chronobiol Int, 2017. 34 (8): 1003-1013.
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  • Castellanos, Lyssia, and Mauricio Rodriguez. “El efecto de omega 3 en la salud humana y consideraciones en la ingesta.” Revista chilena de nutrición 42.1 (2015): 90-95.
  • Castillo-Álvarez, F., and M. E. Marzo-Sola. “Papel de la microbiota intestinal en el desarrollo de diferentes enfermedades neurológicas.” Neurología (2019).

Este texto se ofrece únicamente con propósitos informativos y no reemplaza la consulta con un profesional. Ante dudas, consulta a tu especialista.