Sometimes it’s the little things that make the largest impact. There are small behavioral and environmental changes that can gently nudge you toward your wellness goals.
Think of these as small adjustments to your everyday life, rather than big shifts. Some of our favorites include making the couch a “no eating zone,” where binge watching TV can lead to the overconsumption of snacks. Also opting to take the stairs instead of the escalator, which will help you increase the steps you take per day. Check out the clip for all of the great suggestions:
1. Eat Healthy Snacks
To refrain from eating junk food, simply keep healthy snacks at your desk. Snacks such as almonds or walnuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain crackers, and peanut butter are all good choices. Just be sure you watch how much you eat – although they’re good for you, nuts are high in calories. Eating more than a handful can add significant calories to your diet.
2. Use Smaller Plates
Using smaller plates and bowls means there’s less space to fill up with food to make your plate look full. With this approach, it’s likely you could eat 20% less, and chances are you’ll feel just as full, especially if you eat slow. This also helps avoid portion distortion.
3. Skip Sodas and Juice
Many of these are empty calories that come from sodas, coffee beverages, and large juice drinks and smoothies. Stick with water or skim milk to reduce your caloric intake vastly every day. Drinking water regularly throughout the day can help you feel more hydrated as well.
4. Skip the Dressing
Instead of drenching your salad with creamy dressing, use oil (lightly) or vinegar (which is calorie-free). You can save more than 100 calories per salad this way.
5. Use Cooking Spray
Using cooking spray can cut numerous calories and fat from the food you prepare at home. For instance, you may put two spoonfuls of butter or margarine in a pan when cooking eggs for breakfast. If you switch to cooking spray, you could save 34 calories or more each meal.
6. Trim Your Pizza
You can also trim calories by getting toppings such as mushrooms, olives, or other veggies, rather than sausage or pepperoni.
7. Shop the Perimeter of the Grocery Store
The outer perimeter of grocery stores is where the healthiest and lowest-calorie foods are located. Here is where you’ll find foods such as fruits, vegetables, meats, eggs, and yogurt. If you want to cut calories, avoid the middle of the store, where all the processed foods are. Especially avoid the aisles of sodas, chips, and candy.
8. Follow a Dream
Have you always wanted to learn how to surf, rock climb, or belly dance? Do you wish you had the endurance to swim a mile? Would you like to treasure hunt with a metal detector?
The great thing about exercise is that often it doesn’t feel like exercise, especially when doing something you have great interest in. If there’s an activity you’ve always wanted to learn, then go do it. It will feel great to fulfill a dream – burning extra calories is simply a bonus.
9. Walk at Lunch
Instead of standing in line at a fast food joint or spending your lunch hour at a restaurant, why not eat a healthy lunch and then go for a walk? You can save a lot of money by bringing lunch to work instead of buying food every day, and you can make much healthier, low-calorie choices. If your lunch break is short, eat and walk at the same time. Pack a sandwich, an apple, and carrot sticks, all of which are easy to eat while walking.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, research has shown that sedentary adults have a three-fold increased mortality risk when compared to fit adults. Furthermore, it has been proven that the less you exercise, the more at risk you are for certain diseases. The National Library of Medicine states that most adults need at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five times per week. Here are several ways you can squeeze more exercise into your daily routine.
11. Stop Watching TV
Spend more time doing other things, such as exercising and cooking healthy meals? Even if you cut just 30 minutes to one hour of TV time each night, you can use that time to hit the gym or jog around the neighborhood.
12. Sign up for an Athletic Event or League
Signing up for a charity run is an excellent way to force yourself to get some exercise – plus, you can help raise money for a great cause. If the next charitable fun run won’t take place in your area for a while, consider playing a sport. Most towns and cities have adult leagues for a range of sports, such as softball, soccer, kickball, and touch football. Check with the parks and recreation department in your area to see what’s available.