Every year people vow to make drastic changes to their lifestyle to improve their health. Many make promises to themselves to go to the gym three days each week, some say they’ll never eat their temptation food again, and a lot of people try to eat healthier and decide to go on a diet to lose weight.
While eating healthier is fantastic for the body and mind, dieting isn’t the way to do it. Eating better and getting exercise are the best ways to reach your goal. The only problem is that your promises and vows are easily broken if you try to change too much, too fast. Your regular routine will be so different that it may be hard to keep up. Making small changes to your exercise routine or to the food you eat adds up in the long run. Here are some simple tips to help you take those baby steps in the right direction...
The stairs offer a short burst of cardio, which can help to regulate your metabolism. If you have short breaks at work, or need a way to wake yourself up when the afternoon slump hits you, take to the stairs. Walking up and down the stairs a few times will wake you up by increasing the blood flow to your brain, helping you focus more during the afternoon.
You know the drill; you drive up and down and all around the parking lot so you can find the closest spot to the door. Next time you go shopping, try parking at the spot furthest away from the store or at the end of the row of cars. The extra steps add up throughout the day. Increased activity means a big impact on your future. After a while, parking at the back of the lot will become second nature.
Many people eat less than the recommended number of servings of vegetables each day and some don’t eat any at all. So adding one vegetable to a meal each day will add up in the long run. Vegetables are nutrient rich and help to fuel your body in the right ways.
Just by removing your nightly bag of chips or handful of cookies will lower the amount of calories you are eating overall. The small decrease in calories adds up each week and can help you make a difference in your weight loss goals. If you can’t help but snack during the day, make them healthier snacks. Pick a protein and add a healthy fat, such as string cheese and nuts to help curb your hunger. In the summer a great treat to snack on is frozen grapes, you can get your snack fix and eat a daily serving of fruit.
By catching more zzz’s every night you will be well rested and won’t have to rely on snacking to keep you awake. Your metabolism is controlled by the same area of the brain that deals with sleep. If you are tired then your body produces hormones that drive appetite. If you have trouble working more sleep into your routine start with adding 30 minutes a night. When your body acclimates, add in 30 more minutes to your night. Sleep more to weigh less!
By sitting down and planning how many meals you’ll need to prepare for the week can help you in the long run. You have control over the foods you eat and the portion you serve yourself. Jumping in to planning your meals by the week can be overwhelming, so start with a day or two. What are you going to eat for your main meals those days? Make a grocery list for those items and stick to it. A general rule of thumb is to stick to the outside areas of the store and avoid the middle aisles if possible. By learning how to plan your meals in advance, your diet will improve as you learn how to fuel your body. If you eat out a lot, look at the menu for the restaurant in advance. Pick the meal that will be the most satisfying to you while keeping your overall health in mind.
Author: Amanda Kessler
Amanda is a slow runner, occasional healthy eater, blogger & Boston Terrier lover. Against the odds, she runs after 5 knee surgeries, asthma and a heart condition. She is constantly working to eat healthier foods and exercise. She struggles with both, but is constantly re-focusing her efforts. Check out her blog here: Therearetwosides.com