Change your habits change your life

Posted by Alan Basinger on

joggers11 healthy habits for becoming fit for life – Small changes can make big differences – especially when they become healthy habits.  Here are 11 healthy habits to make a difference in your life: Eat breakfast The old saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” may be cliché but it’s true.  Eating breakfast gets your metabolism going and sets your body’s tone for the rest of the day.  Some people think that skipping breakfast is a good way to shave calories but it does something odd to your body.  If you don’t eat breakfast after sleeping, your body interprets that as “starvation” and goes into an energy saving mode that is similar to hibernation.  If you eat a healthy breakfast every day, you give your metabolism a jump start which will last all day. Don’t start your day with sugar A lot of “breakfast” foods are loaded with carbs and sugars.  In fact, most of the foods marketed for breakfast are basically desserts (cereals, pastries, pancakes).  These “traditional” breakfast foods can set off a chain reaction that leaves you hungry all day.  If you start your day with sugar, your blood sugar spikes, then crashes.  Your body wants to do it all again – and tells you that you are hungry.  You shouldn’t skip breakfast but choose something that is balanced in carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats for a long lasting energy boost that won’t set off sugar cravings. Follow up with protein Just like you should avoid “breaking your fast” with sugar – you shouldn’t eat any carbs or sugars that are not followed by a healthy serving of protein.  Protein will help stabilize your blood sugar and keep you feeling good.  It takes longer to digest and releases energy in a slower, smoother manner so you won’t have any spikes or crashes in blood sugar and energy.  You can choose from animal proteins (meats and fish) or plant based proteins (nuts, beans, peas). Remember the vitamins It would be ideal if we got all of our nutritional needs met through our diet and while this may have been the case in the agriculture age – it isn’t true today.  Much of our food lacks nutritional content and many people are deficient in a number of vitamins – no matter how well they try to eat.  You don’t have to go overboard on the vitamins – but a quality multivitamin taken on a daily basis is a good idea for most people. Don’t weigh yourself frequently Your weight can vary from day to day and even from hour to hour depending on how much water you have consumed, when you went to the restroom, whether you retain water during the day, what time you ate etc.  If you weigh yourself every day, you may get discouraged due to small changes in your metabolism that has nothing to do with your overall weight loss.  Instead you should try to weigh yourself only once a week – and at the same time of day to get an overall picture of your weight loss. Cut out the sugary beverages It may seem like a no brainer – but consuming sugary beverages can kill a diet.  The average soda contains 150 to 250 calories and this goes for fruit juice or sports beverages as well.  Avoiding just one sweet beverage each day can help you lose an additional pound over about two weeks.  If you drink more than one soda a day, the weight loss could be even larger.  It is a small thing and after a while, you won’t even crave them anymore. Substitute Again, seems obvious but takes a little planning.  Substituting high calorie foods with lower calorie foods is a good way to sneakily cut your total consumption.  If you like potato chips, you can replace the regular chips with lower fat baked versions – or go a step farther and eat Medi-Health snacks, like our Organic Nut and Fruit Squares.  Sugary, fat filled deserts can be replaced with fat free yogurt, sugar free gelatin, fresh fruits, etc. You still get the effect but not so much sugar and much lower in calories.  Little changes add up big over the long run. Don’t get too hungry Many people attempt to lose weight by starving themselves.  This seems like a good idea but in fact is a sure bet for overeating.  If you allow yourself to get to the point where you are “starving” – you are much more likely to overeat.  You can end up eating a lot more in that one meal than you would have if you had two meals in the same time period.  Eat smaller meals more frequently to avoid getting too hungry. Set an exercise schedule Avoidance of exercise can become a lifestyle and if you have gotten into this slump – it is hard to get out.  Setting a specific time for exercise each day is the only way you can be sure that you will stick to it.  If it is part of your schedule, it will become habit.  It may even become so ingrained that your body will miss it if you skip out. Don’t eat late at night Like staying up at night and snacking?  Don’t.  food eaten at night is more likely to be “stored” than used as energy.  Anything you eat after dinner will not be digested and available for energy conversion before you go to sleep so your body will store it.  What is stored energy? It is fat.  Simple enough? Get a good night’s sleep Quality rest may not be one of the first things you think of when considering a weight loss program but it should be.  A lack of sleep can contribute to a number of health related problems including weight gain.  Your body and brain need time to rest and set your metabolism.  If you don’t get enough sleep – things get all whacky and your metabolic rate can slow down leading to weight gain.    

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