Whether you have chosen a dental sleep device or CPAP therapy in treating sleep apnea, weight loss can often improve your long term success. Focusing on several new habits versus dieting improves lasting weight loss efforts.
So which habits might it be best to focus on?
I recently watched a short Youtube video from one of my favorite health influencers- Heather Robertson of the Half Size Me Community. Heather lost over 150 pounds and as a result, led to many improvements in her health. But most importantly, she has maintained her weight loss efforts for over 9 years. Way to go Heather!
In her video, Heather shares the 5 most important habits that led her to weight loss. These same habits have helped her maintain her weight loss efforts for years.
5 important habits Heather implemented:
1. Meal Planning
This was her most important habit that she adopted to create momentum for her weight loss.
She planned meals even on vacations and weekends while trying not to fall into the “let it go” trap during the non-routine days.
When eating out, reviewing the menu ahead of time can help stay on a healthier track.
2. Daily Activity
Incorporating some movement daily is key to Heather’s continued success.
Picking an activity you enjoy and feel you can continue for the long haul is critical. This can include walking, cleaning your house, yoga, gardening, exercising, or dancing. The key is to get moving and stay moving!
TIP: According to Heather, if your time is very limited, focus on nutrition and meal planning rather than exercising for greater results.
3. Food journaling
Using a food tracker, visual tracker, or a notebook to keep track of your food intake is one of the best learning tools.
This process not only builds awareness but can be looked at as your own “body scientific experiment”.
4. Consistent weigh-ins
Heather used the Happy Scale app to track her weight trends. It is normal for weight loss to not have a direct linear path downwards.
It is completely normal for one’s weight to fluctuate slightly with the best of weight loss efforts. The Happy scale app monitors your weight by giving you “green” trends if you are on the down path even with some weight gains.
5. Support through a health forum or group
Leaning into others for support can help get you back on track when life’s curveballs occur.
You are far from alone in the healthier life journey and supporting yourself with like-minded individuals can be very helpful.
Some examples of support groups may include Weight Watchers. Another online support that Heather created is the Half Size Me Community. The key here is finding a community you can be open enough to share struggles and successes.
And remember, perfection is absolutely not the goal of any of the above areas.
Think of habit evolution over time with natural ups and downs while learning how to stay in the game.
“People do not decide their future, they decide their habits,
and their habits decide their future.”
For more details on these tips, you can watch Heather’s YouTube video.
Snoring? Have sleep apnea? Find your path to PEACEFUL sleep with our FREE GUIDE to Oral Appliance Therapy!
Need a roadmap for a healthier approach?
If you’re tired of dieting and looking to understand the roller-coaster effects of dieting, read The Diet Fix by Yoni Freedhoff, MD. No other book has come up more frequently in conversation with physicians, dieticians, or health coaches than this book.
The author, Yoni Freedhoff, MD, is an obesity expert physician that works daily with obese patients by implementing non-surgical weight-loss strategies. It’s a sure way to help redirect your efforts towards a more successful weight loss approach.
Know the basics of good health but need help in the actual habit process?
For help with adding and eliminating habits, read the New York Times best-selling book: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones. This book has been on the NY Times best selling list for many months and will give you tips on how to build successful habits or eliminate unhealthy ones.
Weight loss improves the effectiveness of your sleep apnea treatment
If you are not having the results you would like with your oral appliance therapy for sleep apnea, after consulting with your sleep medicine dentist and your doctor, consider implementing Heather’s 5 eating habits. I have seen amazing results with my patients when they incorporate weight loss into their sleep apnea treatment.
If you are looking for more oral appliance resources, make sure to check out the My Sleep Device patient resource page.
Some Helpful Blogs to read:
1. Cleo, G., Glasziou, P., Beller, E., Isenring, E., & Thomas, R. (2018). Habit-based interventions for weight loss maintenance in adults with overweight and obesity: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Obesity, 43(2), 374-383. doi:10.1038/s41366-018-0067-4
2. Cleo, G., Glasziou, P., Beller, E., Isenring, E., & Thomas, R. (2018). Habit-based interventions for weight loss maintenance in adults with overweight and obesity: A randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Obesity, 43(2), 374-383. doi:10.1038/s41366-018-0067-4