We all have some habits that hurt us in our quest to be healthier individuals. Whether it’s schlepping around the gym in worn out shorts and a t-shirt or eating low-in-fat-but-high-in-sugar foods, pulling it all together so our body is cooperating with our brain can be a challenge.
Here are eight strategies that will enhance the things you’re already doing and help you reach your healthy tipping point.
1. Eat lean protein for breakfast. Getting the day off to a good start by eating a nutritious breakfast is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll have a productive day. And, there’s research that shows eating protein-rich foods will help you stay satisfied longer, and therefore, be less prone to snacking and overeating later in the day.
Eating eggs, turkey sausage, almonds (or other nuts), peanut butter or lentils for breakfast will give you a healthy dose of protein. If you need some breakfast ideas, check out Delish’s eight high-protein, low-calorie breakfast recipes here: Delish 8 Pumped Up, High Protein Recipes.
2. Wear a pedometer. Where I work we do a couple of pedometer challenges a year, and when people have a step counter clipped to their belt they move more. Even the already physically active people are inspired to out-do themselves. One of my co-workers works out in the morning and gets her 10,000 steps in before she gets to work so she upped her goal to 20,000 steps a day in the 10,000 steps challenge.
If you haven’t worn a pedometer for awhile – or ever – and are looking for motivation to get more physical activity in your day, you can purchase a relatively inexpensive one at the local sporting goods store or Wal Mart. Set your daily goal and get keep walking until you reach it.
3. Eat whole fruits and vegetables in place of juice. When you buy juice products, the part of the fruit that’s really good for you has been removed. The skin and pulp – which is where most of the fiber and nutrients exist – is left on the juicing room floor and you’re left with mostly sugar which can cause a spike in your blood sugar and add inches to your waistline.
A 12 ounce serving of unsweetened orange juice contains about seven teaspoons of sugar. An orange has about four. You could eat three oranges for the same amount of sugar as a glass of OJ and the real fruit would be more filling and provide more nutrition.
The best way to reap the health benefits of fruits and vegetables is to eat them whole with the skin on whenever possible. Home juicing systems, however, are an exception. If you use a home juicer that will retain almost 100% of the pulp and skin, making your own would be the best option if you enjoy juice.
4. Skip the low and reduced fat foods. When fat is removed from a product something else has been added to make it palatable and give it texture. In most cases that something else is sugar, sodium or both and many times the difference in calories is minimal.
Added sugar and sodium might not be the biggest problem. A recent study done by the Food and Brand Lab found that people tend to eat up to 50% more of a food that has a low or reduced fat label. The study showed that not only did people believe the low-fat food to be significantly lower in calories (even though often times is isn’t), they also feel less guilty about eating it and therefore eat more. Before buying a low-fat product, check the labels to find out if you will really be better off.
5. Dress For Success – Investing in workout clothes that you look good in to wear to the gym – whether it is LA Fitness, the Y, or your home gym – will give you a boost of self-confidence that will increase your motivation. In a recent article on PerezHilton.com, Kelly Osbourne said that the secret to her 70 pound weight loss was, in part, wearing cute clothes to the gym. Kelly says that when you see your reflection in the mirror, you’re like, ‘Oh, I look cute!’ not ‘Get me out of here!
You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have attractive workout gear. Stores like Target and TJ Max carry a wide variety of trendy, affordable athletic wear that looks great! Besides making you feel like a rock star, buying a new piece of fitness clothing is an excellent way to reward yourself when you reach a fitness or weight loss goal.
6. Do one thing different. What’s the one thing you could change that would have an impact on your health? Whether it is giving up tobacco, taking a 10 minute walk every day or finding the time to pack a healthy lunch to take to work, find out what it is and focus on getting it done.
Finding the one thing to do different instead of attending to what you won’t do or shouldn’t do allows you to take a more pro-active approach. And, picking just one thing keeps you from trying to work on everything at once which can be overwhelming. Pick the one thing you want to do then set achievable goals that you can accomplish. You’ll find you gain momentum from your success. I wrote a post with 41 suggestions for doing one thing different. You can find it here: Do One Thing Different: 41 Small Changes You Can Make That Will Change Your Life.
7. Be inspired. I have a few web sites that I visit frequently when I’m in need of inspiration. Typically I find myself at these sites on Monday morning. Getting advice from experts on how to keep my batteries charged and motivation flowing is effective.
When you subscribe to one of these sites it’s like having a motivational mentor that will help you out of slump or through a period of time when you’re productivity is waning. Two of my favorites are Pick The Brain and Sources of Insight.
8. Be in the moment. Where I work we have a rule that you’re not allowed to check your phone or send e-mails during meetings. ‘Be in the moment’ is the first of the 10 Principles of Personal Leadership. Planning for the future is important but constantly anticipating what’s coming next is a distraction.
In the age of technology people endlessly look at their phones, check their tweets, and look to see how many ‘likes’ their Facebook status got. Too much of this can turn out to be a waste of time and keeps you from engaging in the present moment.
People that learn to live in the moment have greater life satisfaction which leads to better health and more positive outcomes with goals.
Over To You
To wrap up our nutrition program at work I collected tips for living a healthier life from our employees and will publish them in our monthly newsletter. I found my co-workers have some creative ways to stay on track with their healthy behaviors.
What are some of the things you do that help you reach your healthy tipping point?
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