5. Get your beauty rest. When you’re busy, the first thing that takes a hit is sleep. But if you want to maintain a healthy BMI, research is showing that sleep takes top priority. In fact, on days when you’re sleep deprived and you have to choose between an extra hour of shuteye or waking up early to work out, Dr. Shemek suggests snoozing. “Lack of sleep has hormonal effects that create weight gain and alter your appetite to prefer high-calorie foods. Besides, you won’t have the energy to exercise effectively,” she says.
6. Let yourself off the hook. You’ve just eaten a cheeseburger and polished off the fries. Even if it wasn’t reflective of your healthy eating goals, forgive yourself and move on, promising to eat better at the next meal. Self-compassion can lead to a better relationship with food and a healthier BMI, reveals new research from the University of Waterloo in Canada.Lower self-esteem may lead to disordered eating (like bingeing) that cause weight gain. “Treat yourself like you treat a loved one: with encouragement and affirmation,” says Dr. Shemek.