It's the Little Changes in Life that Make a Big Difference in Your Health
I have learned one tiny humble step at a time that if you make good choices for your body and your spirit each and every day, then suddenly, miraculously, you awake one fine morning and notice you have changed. The trumpets won't blare, the crowds won't cheer, and you won't be featured on the nightly news. But you will have one of those special moments with yourself--"Self, I'm healthier and more importantly, I'm happier."
You only need enough courage and conviction one day at a time. So why not take the weight loss wisdom of hundreds of people in our community and try one of these tips or try them all--one at a time. Ready? Set? Go!
- Sit down. Make it a rule to sit when you eat. Eating on the run is just that. Mealtime will come and go and if you don't take the time to make time, you will scarcely remember that you ate at all. Food time needs to be penciled in your calendar, just like any other important project.
- Mom was right- Never talk with your mouth full. Listen to your mother! It's also a good idea to stop eating and listen to other people as they talk. By doing so, both the food and the conversation will be savored.
- Pause button on your body- always allow at least a half hour between dinner and dessert. You will have time to feel full and will most likely eat less.
- No deliveries-if you really are craving something, make the effort to go and get it. If you have to drive even ten minutes round trip, you might just find you really don't want it after all.
- Love your food- Make it a rule to never eat anything full of fat and calories if you don't really love it. Save those fattening moments of bliss for the foods that you are crazy about.
- Bottle up the water. Drink 8-10 glasses of water a day. It will help you curb your appetite, reduce fatigue, and provide more energy. It also will make you look healthier and more vibrant.
- A walking meeting- instead of having a meeting on the phone or over lunch, try walking and talking through the agenda. The fresh air, different scenery, and the blood circulating throughout your body and brain can solve a lot of problems.
- Hide it in the drawer- Use that vegetable bin in your refrigerator to store the high-fat temptations. Chances are you'll forget about them. Of course, you can take that one step further and put the fattening food in the trash bin instead.
- Reflections. Buy a full-length mirror and put it behind your bathroom door. It will show you where you want to lose weight and better yet, you can see where you are already losing it.
- Jump-start morning. Breakfast is the best way to have a healthy morning and a good day. Breakfast eaters think better, work more efficiently, and are more energetic. No donuts please.
- Lots of chewing. Fruits and vegetables take longer to chew and eat, and most have more fiber than other foods. And since they take longer to eat, you're more likely to feel full.
- Left or right. If you really want to be more conscious of your snacking habits and how much you eat, try eating with your non-dominant hand. Try digging into that popcorn with a clumsy hand and you'll truly see how hard eating can be.
- Sit up straight. Pretend someone is pouring cold water down your back. Do you feel taller? Try to feel that perfect posture daily. The computer slump will always get in your way.
- Give yourself a hand. The size of your palm is a good measure of what a portion size should look like for most meats, vegetables, starchy foods, and fruit. Of course, in the candy family, it's thumbs up--us your thumb as a guide for serving size
- Let go. Put down your knife and fork between bites and chew your food thoroughly. You will eat more slowly and give the brain more time to recognize the "I'm feeling full" sensation.
- Gift wrap. In a restaurant, order and entré and ask to be served half now and the other half wrapped up to take home. That way, you are less likely to keep eating when you're really not hungry, and you have a good meal for tomorrow.
- Bad candy. If you simply must have a candy dish out, choose a candy that you don't like. You'll have much more candy and many more friends.
- Be your own inspiration--place a photo of yourself at your best on the refrigerator. You did it once before, you can do it again.
- The big move. If your treadmill has been facing the washing machine since President Clinton left office, move it somewhere else or just put it in a different direction. A new view might make a new you
- Sunrise stride. Workout in the morning. It will be easier to find the time. Your day isn't crazy yet. You'll also have an early sense of accomplishment to build on.
- Field trip. If you have lost weight, but have hit a plateau, to on a field trip to the grocery store and pick up what you have lost. Is it a five pound bag of sugar or a ten-pound sack of potatoes? Maybe it's a 15 pound bag of dog food? You will really realize the impact of your weight loss and help you realize that you are making great strides.
- Vending machine calling your name? Don't answer by always having a standard back up plan. Try eating an apple with a cup of tea or a bottle of water. It's an instant way to make you feel full.
- Get over it. If you have cheated a little on your personal plan, don't go crazy. Just forgive yourself and move on. We always get a second chance and a third chance and....just keep on keeping on.
- Chew gum. If you're fixing dinner or making a special desert, chew gum. It will keep you from sampling the work. You'll save so many mindless calories. There's nothing worse than food stuck in your gum.
- Don't be afraid of the beach. More dieters are afraid of the beach than of any other travel destination--not because of sharks, but the swimsuit. No problem. There are many suits out there that can flatter your figure--some are state-of-the-art. Plan a great beach trip as an inspiration to lose weight and then buy the right suit when it's time to go.
- Feel like a kid again. Remember way back when you jumped and ran and played forever? There was hopscotch and hula-hoops, kickball and Mother May I? Did you ever run through the sprinkler or catch lightening bugs in a jar? Hide and go seek anyone? Did you jump on the bed? Pillow fights? You never got tired. You ran all day long. Running gives you your childlike spirit back---you can still jump in puddles and run through the rain. You can go out to play. And when you come home, you can have some chocolate milk and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
- Take a nap. On the couch. In a hammock. Under your desk. Just 20 minutes and life will be fine again.
- The good china. Eating on smaller plates will help make the serving look bigger. Really. And cleaning your plate won't cost as many calories.
- Baggy clothes aren't pretty. Workout clothes are comfortable and relaxing, but don't hide under them. Wearing more attractive, form-fitting outfits increases your body awareness and keeps you honest and beautiful.
- Shhhhhhhhhh. It's a secret. If you have friends or family members who are skeptical of your weight-loss and fitness plans--or perhaps chuckle when you fail--keep you plans to yourself. They will be so surprised by you success, maybe a little jealous?
- Find a physician you like. If you're going to put your health in someone's hands, be sure you really like those hands. It's good to have someone you trust because we're more likely to take their advice. When it comes to your health, the doctor's advice could be a life and death situation. Make him a friend.
- Never forget your password. Change your computer password to a word or phrase that will make you "think thin" every time you use it. How about "fit one", "great body", "sexy legs". When you type it, you will think it.
Think it. Believe It. Try It. One day at a time. Every day.