Quick Ideas for a Healthier Lifestyle

As I mentioned in my last post, I did not learn healthy habits in my childhood.  But I have seen the poor health of many of my relatives, especially the women in my family who are each over 200 lbs.  So I’m trying to keep control of my health and adopt healthy habits.  I love the quick steps to a healthy lifestyle and thought you all might enjoy them also.

A blogger I read suggested starting the day with a BIG glass of water.  One, our bodies are a bit dehydrated from a night without refreshment.  Two, this may help flush out our system before filling it with food and sugar.  Last, by starting the day with this healthy step, it helps remind me throughout the day to make healthy choices.

Work is a tough place for me to avoid bad habits.  I try to keep chewing gum, fruit, nuts, carrots handy to keep my mouth busy when I’m craving the readily available junk food.  Also, these snacks are great when you are a little hungry before lunch, if I wait to eat then by lunchtime my superhunger level often leads to poor meal choices.  I’m careful about snacking, keeping in mind the calories spent on snacks must be taken from my daily allotment, so go lighter on the meals.  Here is an interesting article about the causes of snacking.

I also keep a bag of little chocolate pieces (nothing too addictive that I eat the whole bag) to have 2 or 3 after lunch to satisfy my pleasure senses.  If I have a little every day, I avoid buying a big Snickers bar.

I try to take the stairs when possible (really fun while living on the 6th floor), I spend 30 minutes during a nice day to walk at lunch instead of sitting on the computer, walk to the grocery store, and I count all of these minutes in my calorie tracking app.

Keep track of portions, read the side of the package and even if you don’t know how much 25 grams might be, you can deduce the portion size based on how many portions per container.  Using a calorie counting system (like My Fitness App on the iPhone) helps me keep this in focus.

At home, the less pleasing the food in the house, the less I will eat.  So I avoid purchasing the unhealthy or addictive foods.  (e.g. I get reduced fat crackers, yes they aren’t as tasty and therefore I can put them away after having a few).

Keep in mind our bodies have a natural cycle, we load up on calories in the fall to store for the barren winters (would evolution please catch up already to modern lifestyles of grocery stores stocked with foods from around the globe?).  So I give myself some allowance in the fall and around the holidays to enjoy some of my favorite treats.  Then in the winter and spring I kick my healthy habits into gear and complete the natural cycle of loosing those extra pounds.  When my chubby jeans are getting tight, that’s when I really have to watch my choices.

Also keep in mind, if you are trying to reduce your overall weight, it takes many, many months for our bodies to adjust to the new weight, once we have met our goal, we have to maintain the program until our bodies get used to the new weight level and stop trying to bounce back.

Finally, know your triggers.  Understanding if you are a stress eater, happy eater, angry, social, vampire, avoider, fearful, or liquidator (see descriptions here) can help you set up ways to avoid your bad habits.

An interview about a new book about the Myths of Diet and Exercise from my local NPR station.


2 comments on “Quick Ideas for a Healthier Lifestyle

  1. Excellent advice. Getting a good deal of exercise really helps. I do ten flights of stairs a number of times a day at the office. I achieved this by having made a hard and fast decision when we moved into the office building 7 years ago. “I don’t use the lift”. That is elevator in American.

    • Exercise is a great way to be healthy and feel good about yourself. I just have to remember to keep healthy snacks around because it also increases my appetite. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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