Too many people resolve to lose weight but never actually have a plan in place for doing it. Therefore, year after year, they have the same New Year’s resolution because their goal was never achieved. Has this happened to you? How can you change this relentless pattern?
It’s important when setting goals to follow the S.M.A.R.T. goal system. This system will help you accomplish what you set out to do and reach your goals in a timely fashion.
In addition, here are some more weight loss tips to help you succeed with your New Year’s resolution:
1. Have a plan of action. How much weight do you want to lose? Break your total down into a series of smaller attainable goals. For example, plan to lose ____ pounds by ____ (date). Make these goals realistic, and then follow a plan of diet and exercise to achieve them.
2. Change your diet. Figure out how many calories you’ve been consuming each day. If it’s over 2,500, gradually decrease the number of calories instead of immediately dropping to 1,200 calories a day.
For example, try limiting yourself to 2,000 calories a day for a week, then drop to 1,500 for another week. Eventually, you’ll reach your goal without being severely deprived.
3. Get off the Couch. Set a reasonable exercise schedule to help you with your weight loss goal. Design your exercise regimen to target the areas that need the most toning (i.e. thighs, abs, arms, buttocks, etc.).
4. Make Some Friends. The people who are usually the most successful in losing weight and keeping it off are the ones who have a great support system. Nothing deters you like knowing you’re accountable to others for every bite you put in your mouth.
Losing weight is possible for anyone who approaches the challenge wisely. With some careful planning and determination, your weight loss goal can certainly become a reality in the New Year.
Restaurants are notorious for sneaking in unhealthy ingredients. Some people think that the only way to remain truly healthy is to avoid eating out at most restaurants altogether. Or perhaps you can only eat at restaurants that are geared solely towards maintaining health. This simply isn’t true!
The truth is that with a little research and smart thinking, you can enjoy most restaurants from fast food joints up to four-star establishments and still maintain a balanced diet.
Here are some important tips to keep in mind as you continue to enjoy eating out:
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1. Look for the light menu. Every restaurant won’t have a light menu, but a growing number of chain restaurants are promoting light alternatives without much searching. You may even find light menus up on the fast food board. You’ll soon find that light doesn’t always mean you’ll be giving up flavor.
2. Take half your dinner home. Dinner is served in larger and larger portions all the time. Sometimes your meal won’t be unhealthy, but your portion size will be. To avoid overeating, you can simply ask your waiter to serve you half the meal and box up the other half for you to eat for lunch tomorrow.
3. Go grilled. One way to eat smart is to opt for grilled instead of fried items. Fried foods have gobs of additional calories and fat. Grilled chicken or fish make great choices because they’re lean proteins as well.
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4. Avoid drinking extra calories. If you’re watching those calories, don’t forget to count the calories that you drink. Drinking soda products or alcoholic beverages while you’re out can add calories quite quickly.
5. Be salad smart. You can choose a salad as your main dish as a way to eat smart. You’ll probably find that there are bigger salads on the menu beyond the house or side salad. Many of them contain a bigger vegetable variety or meat such as chicken.
6. Appetizers can make the meal. If the restaurant serves tasty appetizers, you can order an appetizer as your main dish. If that’s not enough food, you might want to order two appetizers. Many times two appetizers will still be less food than a main course selection.
7. Choose healthy sauce. Be aware of how the sauce is made in the dish of your choosing. If you’re eating Italian, for example, choose an option with a tomato-based sauce. This will provide you with a bigger benefit than a cream based alternative. This is also the case when it comes to choosing your soups; avoid the cream based ones if possible.
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8. Include fruits and veggies. You know that fruits and veggies are an important part of your diet at home, so you should continue to seek them out when you’re making your selections at a restaurant. Steamed vegetables can be a great side dish, and fruits can likely be ordered in place of a dessert item.
Keep in the mind the same healthy information you use when building your home meals while you’re out. Don’t be afraid to indulge yourself from time to time, but maintain an awareness of your eating habits and portions and you can’t go wrong.
In order for the body to properly maintain itself and stay optimized for day to day living, it’s important to have both a healthy body and mind. You can achieve glorious health by engaging in a diet that’s nutritionally sound along with a positive mental attitude!
If you feel that you are lacking in one area or the other, you may want to change your diet, your exercise routine, or your overall mental attitude. Generally such lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight so be patient when looking for results. If you’re trying to lose weight, remember that sometimes the body gets healthy on the inside first before you see results on the outside.
How To Get Started
First, start with a detailed evaluation of your current health â€“ both physically and psychologically. You should know what, if any, medical conditions you have, as well as any mental conditions that are present.
Do you have:
Your health care provider can answer these questions for you as well as make suggestions for changing to a healthier lifestyle.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Once you’ve evaluated your current health situation, you should consider how you’ll make necessary lifestyle changes. Setting small goals for yourself sets you up for success as you achieve each small step.
For example, if you have an issue with being overweight, what are some changes that may help you drop a few pounds?
If you have trouble sleeping, take a quick look at the area you sleep in. Is there something that could be distracting you? Watching television before bed â€“ or while in bed â€“ can over stimulate your brain, causing you to have sleep issues. Limit your TV viewing before bed and keep it turned off in the bedroom.
Change anything that could have undesired results, even if it’s only one or two things at a time.
Change IS Possible
If you want to get well and stay well with a healthy diet and attitude, consider your overall feelings about life. Do you tend to stick with the notion that the glass is half full, or do you think the glass is half empty? Do you play the victim when it comes to obstacles in your life, or do you see challenges as opportunities you can use to improve yourself?
The most important thing to know and understand if you want to be healthier is that you are directly responsible for at least 95% of all that occurs in your life. As for the other 5%, there are ways to deal with those things in a positive and productive manner as well.
If you want to get well and stay well with a healthy diet and a healthier attitude, it’s completely possible! All it takes is some self evaluation, goal setting, and the motivation to make a change. Take it one step at a time and you will succeed!
Have you resolved to live a healthier lifestyle? There are a hundred reasons why you might want to make the switch, and probably even more why you might revert back to your old habits, too! With this said, changing your lifestyle is easier said than done.
Even though many of us intend to be healthier, plans can be derailed quickly. Before we know it, we’re back where we started and doing everything we promised ourselves we wouldn’t do.
Healthy living is easier when you have a strategy and detailed plan to follow. Using the right tools can simplify the task of staying on track to long-term success.
Here are some healthy living tips to jump start your journey to a healthier lifestyle:
Proactively Manage Your Stress
Managing your stress can be a great way to start living a healthier life right now. Stress can harm the best of us, but it doesn’t have to. You’ll find that life is more enjoyable when you have a stress management strategy.
Try this technique the next time you feel stressed and out of control. This strategy begins with something you already do every day: stop and take a deep breath! But make sure to breathe in from your nose and out from your mouth.
Using simple deep breathing exercises will give you a short break from the situation that’s causing you stress. During your breathing break, take a moment to relax and create new priorities in your mind. Choose one thing you can do to help defuse the problem when you’re done with your deep breath.
Taking a small action right away will put you on the path to solving your challenge. Just knowing that you’re being proactive can reduce your stress right then and there.
Once you’ve taken that first step, break down the things you need to do into manageable chunks. Stress melts away as you pursue your action plan one step at a time.
Nutritious Foods and Exercise
Another healthy living tip we all should heed is to exercise and eat nutritious foods. You’re giving your body what it needs to be happy and healthy when you exercise and feed it the right fuel.
Strive to increase the amount of natural, unprocessed foods you eat. Include plenty of organic fruits and vegetables in your diet and cut out the greasy, high calorie fast foods. Most of the foods that come in cans or boxes are devoid of nutrition because they’ve been over processed or contain too many additives.
Anything that involves moving can bring you some much needed exercise. Easy ways to incorporate more exercise into your daily routines include taking the stairs instead of elevators, going for walks, or short stretching routines.
Exercising not only burns calories but also invigorates your brain and the rest of your body with increased oxygen and hormones that make you feel good!
You’ll be pleasantly surprised with how much better you feel when you eat the right foods and exercise. You’ll be healthier, have a sharper mind, enjoy more energy, sleep better, and live well.
Thoughts and Emotions
Healthy living also includes your thoughts and emotions. It’s just as important to keep your emotions healthy as it is to keep your physical body healthy.
Do you have a hard time thinking positive? Are negative thoughts running through your mind even when you should be thinking happy thoughts? These negative thoughts can steal your joy and hold you back from the life you desire.
When you implement healthy living strategies, be systematic about transforming the negative into the positive. As you make the switch, you’ll find that you can more easily achieve your goals and live a vibrant, fulfilling life.
Positive affirmations can help you develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle. They’re the most effective tool for replacing your negative thoughts with positive ones.
Affirmations are concise, positive statements you can use every time you start to feel challenged, stressed, or negative.
Positive affirmations can be as simple as, “I give myself permission to be healthy in body, mind, and spirit.” These statements will affirm to your subconscious that a healthy lifestyle is important to you and keep you on track toward your goals.
Implement these tools and strategies into your action plan today to enjoy a life filled with health, happiness, and serenity.
The holidays are a special time for all, and you should take the time to indulge yourself. However, at the same time you should keep your health in mind because it’s easy to be tempted into going overboard.
It all starts with Halloween and all the extra treats that are lingering in your candy bowl. Then we’re lead into Thanksgiving, where the average person will ingest over 3 times the number of calories that they should be eating, or even more.
Then the winter holidays come along. Family togetherness usually equals lots of snacking and appetizers and big meals. Also, don’t forget all the baked treats! Can you eat all of these things? The answer is yes, but in moderation.
Follow these tips to help you stay in control of your fork:
1. Go in with a Plan. Before you put yourself into temptation, tell yourself how much you’re allowed to eat. In the weeks following Halloween, save yourself 10 pieces of candy to eat. Give the rest away to coworkers and neighbors. For Thanksgiving and other family holidays, allow yourself to indulge on one item such as the appetizers or the dessert – not both.
2. Don’t Be Too Strict. While you may be tempted to be tough on yourself during other times of the year, the holidays are a time you should allow for some relaxation from the strict behavior. Don’t try to get through entire evenings without enjoying any of the food. The starvation diet only works for so long until you fail and over-consume. Work on your moderation skills instead.
3. Don’t Punish Yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. If you do slip up and overeat one day, in the long run it won’t make much of a difference. Just tell yourself that you’ll try harder next time. Don’t be tempted to just give up and continue the poor eating decisions. It’s when you have many bad days in a row that you can ruin a good diet plan.
4. Watch the Alcohol Intake. It’s true; alcohol usually flows freely at holiday events. You can indulge yourself here as well. While you may be able to get away with having a few drinks spread out over the evening, remember that the calories add up. Consider alternating between alcoholic drinks and pure, refreshing water.
5. Wear Tight Fitting Clothes. If you have some issues controlling your holiday behaviors, consider wearing some tight fitting clothes. Don’t make yourself too uncomfortable, but at the same time you’ll want to feel the reminder if you begin to eat too much.
6. Plan Healthy Meals. If you’re hosting any of the holiday events, consider going with some healthier alternatives to some popular meals. Healthy doesn’t always mean bland or unappealing. Get creative and try some new recipes.
7. Remember to Take Breaks. During a long evening with family and friends, sometimes you’ll lose track of your eating habits. Make it a point to take breaks where you know there isn’t a plate or a drink in your hand. Concentrate on the conversations you’re having instead.
8. Eat Before You Go. If you’re off to a holiday event at someone else’s house, eat something healthy before you leave. This is especially important if you know you’ll be tempted by all the unhealthy treats that’ll be available. If you aren’t particularly hungry when you show up, you won’t feel such an urge to begin eating.
Just remember to have a good time! If you’re bummed about not getting to eat everything that you want, concentrate on all the other aspects of the holidays. There are many other fun activities to engage in that don’t involve eating!
When you wake up, do you immediately look forward to going back to bed? When the alarm goes off does it seem as though you just closed your eyes? It’s time to get a good night sleep! After all, it’s amazing what a restful night’s sleep can do for your body.
Battling chronic exhaustion will either force you to find ways to get more rest or it’ll bring on ill health. Naturally, you’ll want to develop an effective sleep routine before your body forces you to rest!
Try some of these sleep tips so you can get a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling energized:
1. Make your bedroom your sanctuary. Keep your bedroom neat and quiet so you feel calm upon entering. Your bedroom needs to be a getaway from the stress of the day. When a TV is on, even if you aren’t watching it, the light output feels almost as great as the sun. This confuses your body and makes it hard to “shut down” even after you’ve turned off the screen.
2. Keep your room dark. Your body is designed to sleep when it’s dark. If you’re not used to this, try it for a while anyway. Children are used to sleeping with a light on but you’ll soon realize that it’s a huge distraction in getting to sleep. Pull the curtains closed, turn off all the lights, shut your door, then sleep like you’re hibernating!
3. Exercise during the day. Exercising during the day releases stress hormones to help you feel more relaxed. Most forms of exercise will pep you up and give you more energy immediately afterwards so make sure you exercise well ahead of bedtime.
4. Make yourself a bedtime routine. This doesn’t only work with kids. If you get in the habit of going to bed at a certain time, your body will expect to be sleeping. Some recommend milk right before bed, as it contains the sleep inducing chemical tryptophan.
5. Leave daytime stress outside. In order to rest, you’ll want to put aside things that keep your mind whirling. By keeping a calendar of things to do the next day, you can put your mind to rest.
Once you’ve learned to rest well at night, you’ll experience a huge improvement in your quality of life. No more yawning through the mornings and the groggy, grumpy you will be replaced with an energetic person ready to take on life.
So what are you waiting for? Start a relaxing bedtime routine tonight and wake up feeling refreshed tomorrow!
Many of us wish to lose weight or get in better shape. Perhaps you’re concerned about your health and have made the decision to take better care of your body. Are there things you could be doing to be healthier? If so, you’re not alone!
When you choose the right foods and exercise, you’ll look and feel better, reduce your stress levels, sleep more soundly, have more energy, and enjoy better health. Sometimes, though, making the right choices isn’t as easy as it sounds, is it?
The good news is there are some simple things you can do to help make positive choices and achieve the better health you deserve!
Do You Need More Motivation?
If the alarm went off 45 minutes early in the morning so you can exercise before heading into the office, how would you react? Would you reply with negativity and tell yourself that skipping one day won’t hurt, or that exercise is pointless?
When you pass that fast food store with the $1.39 burgers and you’re low on time and big on hunger, what choice do you usually make? Eating healthier isn’t always as easy as picking up convenient, greasy foods. But would you go the extra mile for a healthy meal?
What about sleep? In addition to exercising and eating right, you also need to get enough sleep to live a healthy lifestyle. When you don’t sleep well, you’ll be less inclined to make healthy food and exercise decisions.
Sleeping well helps you become more energetic and passionate about all things in your life, including your commitment to your health!
It can be difficult to get enough rest when there are things you’d rather be doing!
Do you give up your sleep if you have work to do? Do you stay up late partying whenever you can?
Affirmations for Health Can Help!
In those moments when you feel weak and you don’t want to eat right, get enough sleep, or exercise, affirmations targeting your health can be just what you need to help you make the healthy choice.
Affirmations are positive statements that replace the negative thought processes in your mind. If you think they don’t work, I have news for you – do they ever!
When you start to talk yourself out of exercising, a negative affirmation is being repeated in your mind. An affirmation that says “I can’t do it.” So if a negative affirmation works, why can’t a positive one?
When you’re about to choose the junk foods instead of the good stuff, repeating an affirmation in your mind will remind you of your desire to be healthier and help you become more consciously and subconsciously aware of your healthy living goals.
For example, you can say, “I allow my body to receive enough rest and exercise,” or “The more I take care of myself, the better I feel.” Using statements like these will give you that gentle push you need when you feel inclined to be pessimistic.
Strive to repeat healthy living affirmations to yourself several times each day and whenever you need encouragement. It will take a bit of time, but, soon enough, you’ll find yourself making healthy decisions more and more often.
The more often you choose the healthy lifestyle you desire, the better you’ll feel, both physically and mentally. Make the commitment to your health by incorporating healthy living affirmations into your daily routine today!
The most common image of meditation is one of a monk in a religious experience. However, meditation is actually a practice that anyone can do to improve mind function and overall health.
Meditation has been proven to reduce stress levels and it can even help with conditions such as high blood pressure. Once you’ve become more calm and peaceful through meditation, your life will open up to more opportunities and you’ll find it easier to make healthy choices.
What Exactly Is Meditation?
Meditation is a way of clearing the mind. Once you’ve gotten into a habit of meditating often, you’ll discover that it’s easier than you think.
Some people sit in a cross-legged position when they meditate, but this isn’t mandatory. Another sitting position might be more comfortable for you, but the key is to maintain a good posture. If you slouch, you’re more likely to get tired and feel like falling asleep.
To get started, find a quiet place and get comfortable. Then start taking deep breaths in and out. Pay attention to your breath. You might find it helpful to say a “mantra” to yourself as you breathe in and out. Your goal is to keep your mind clear of thoughts.
Thoughts are inevitable though. The best way to eliminate them is to recognize that you’ve had a thought and then focus on your breathing and clearing your mind again. This will get easier with frequent practice.
When you focus on breathing and clearing your mind, you’re actually centered on the present moment. On the other hand, stress arises when you think about something in the past or future.
Since you have little stress when you have a clear mind in the present moment, you exude calmness. When you practice this often, you can bring a calm, stress-free demeanor to your everyday life.
Stress And The Body
When you feel stressed, you put your body into overdrive. When it’s overworked, it’s more open to various diseases and disorders. Stress exists for a reason; you need to have the hormonal adrenalin rush and increased breathing and heart rate in order to escape threatening situations. It’s simply how you’re able to handle threats.
By always having your mind on past or future stressors, you keep your mind and body in a stressful state even when you aren’t enduring a stressful situation in the present. This is exactly why it’s important to give your body a much needed break from all the stress. When you learn to meditate often, you’re giving your body the energy and rest it needs to stave off exhaustion and disease.
Improving Your Health
The absence of overwhelming stress improves your health in many ways. You’ll likely enjoy lower blood pressure and a strengthened immune system. Stress can also lead to mental disorders, so when you strive to be stress-free, you’ll keep anxiety and depression away as well.
When you meditate, you place your body in a kind of sleep state. You’re still awake, but your body can begin to repair itself in the same way that it does when you sleep. If you meditate in the morning or at night, you can help yourself transition from sleeping to wakefulness and vice versa.
Meditation is the ultimate exercise for a healthy mind and body. You’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated once you’ve given it a try. Who knew that “just sitting” could be so helpful!
With summer here, most of us are thinking about the sandy beaches, the warm sun and how we’re going to look in our swimsuits.
Is the thought of other people seeing your thighs or belly a little scary? Well here are some quick and easy ways to get your body ready for swimsuit season this year.
1. Start a regular exercise program. This isn’t a revolutionary idea, but you can target the problem areas by doing exercises specifically for your belly, thighs, upper arms and love handles:
Those are just a few suggestions of exercises you can do at home that target those specific areas. Other exercises you can do to get your body in swimsuit shape are:
2. Start eating smarter and healthier. Choosing the proper foods is not only important for your looks, but it also affects how you feel. To burn fat off healthily and easily, begin eating a diet of plenty of green leafy vegetables, wholesome fruits, lean meats, and whole grain breads. A well-balanced diet helps your body function properly and helps you feel full and satisfied throughout the day.
3. Reduce your portions and eat less. Portion control, or lack thereof, is probably the biggest factor in weight gain in today’s society. For some reason the majority of the population has come to think that we’re supposed to eat enormous amounts of food in order to feel satisfied, but the opposite is true.
4. Stay active by incorporating regular exercise into your daily routines.
5. Keep a diet and exercise journal. Keeping track of how often you exercise and how much you eat will really help you see the big picture. Journaling will also help you see your progress, which can do tremendous efforts in keeping you motivated.
Getting your body ready for the beach doesn’t have to be difficult or take up extra time that you don’t have, but it can be done. By taking action with the suggestions above, you’ll begin to see the results you want and have the beach body you deserve!
It may be easy to forget the importance of living a healthy life when we’re going through the daily grind. It may be even easier to get caught up in what’s convenient instead of what’s good for us. However, the benefits you can enjoy with a healthy lifestyle are worth making healthy living a priority!
Here are three healthy living tips you can use to better your health, increase your happiness, and enjoy life to its fullest:
1. Rest and rejuvenate. The biggest healthy living tip that many people overlook is the need for sleep.â€¨Life can get hectic. When we don’t have enough time to get things done, most of us opt to stay up late to make up for the lack of time. Or perhaps our busy minds prevent us from getting a restful sleep in the first place. However, getting less sleep is actually counterproductive to doing anything efficiently, effectively, or well!
2. Eat nutritious food. Another healthy living tip is to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Many people believe that they don’t need to eat healthy or watch their diet because they don’t need to lose weight. This couldn’t be further from the truth! You should put only the best foods in your mouth no matter how much you weigh, what size you wear, or how fit you look.
3. Affirm the positive. Having a positive mindset is the key to living a fulfilling life. Many people don’t realize the importance of living and thinking positively. As a result, they inevitably find themselves allowing negative things to rule their mind and body.
Like every other healthy living strategy mentioned, being positive all the time (or even most of the time) may take some effort. However, an easy way to incorporate positive thoughts into your everyday life is to use affirmations.
Many people use affirmations to help them think more positively as they go about their daily life. Positive affirmations are simply statements you can use to replace the negative thoughts running through your head.
Positive affirmations often remind you about how important it is to take care of yourself. An example could be, “I can neutralize bad habits with good food, exercise, and healthy living.”
This is a simple way to be reminded of how important you are, how important your body is, and how important your mental health is.
You have a whole toolbox and support system at your disposal to help make your life happier and healthier. All you have to do is take action!