There are many different ways to get in shape. Some people choose crash diets or other crazy eating habits that are supposed to guarantee results. The problem with any restrictive diet is that it is difficult to stick to. Many diets lack essential vitamins and nutrients. Few are well-balanced. A better choice for a healthy weight is to live an overall healthy lifestyle. If you make good choices about your diet, exercise, and habits, you can find a routine that works for you and meets all your body’s needs. Don’t deprive yourself and count down the days until your diet ends. Follow these tips to live a healthy life that you can enjoy every minute of.
- Start slowly: making a drastic change in the way you eat is not easy and you may feel overwhelmed and abandon the new plan. Instead, make small changes each week in your food choices that will gradually lead you to a healthier diet. Substitute just one sweet or salty snack each day with fruit, carrot sticks, or yogurt.
- Simplify your eating: don’t count calories and go crazy with portion control. Instead, just go for a variety of fresh ingredients. Try for a few different colors (especially of vegetables) and textures on your plate.
- Don’t worry about perfection: “cheating” on a diet can make you feel bad about yourself. Instead, do the best you can. Forgive yourself if you indulge a little and resolve to be a little better each week.
- Moderation is essential: don’t make certain foods prohibited; it will only make you crave them more. Instead, just limit your intake and portions. You can enjoy a small portion of something less healthy while enjoying it more; think about the treat before, during, and after eating it so you get full mental satisfaction.
- Make mealtimes social: if you enjoy your food with friends and family you get an emotional boost from the socialization and will seek less comfort from food.
- Listen to your body: as you get close to the end of your meal, pause to allow your stomach to send a “full” message to the brain. Take a break with a glass of water. You don’t have to finish everything on your plate.
- Eat a well-balanced diet: your plate should be half vegetables and fruits (always go for variety), along with some lean protein, whole grains, low-fat dairy, and limited sugars and salt.
- Put on your walking shoes: walking is an easy, low-impact way to get fit. Take the stairs, park in the back of the lot, tour your neighborhood, and communicate in person by walking across the office instead of emailing. Even walking the shopping mall for half an hour will get you in shape! Try for 30 minutes each day.
- Exercise for target body areas: join a gym or workout class, get a video, or even search online for simple exercises you can do that will get your blood and heart pumping. Choose workouts that target the areas of your body that you would like to slim and tone. Just 3 workouts a week can get you in shape and will have longer lasting results than any crash diet.
- Don’t smoke
- Drink alcohol in moderation (one drink per day for women and two for men)
- Get organized to decrease your stress levels
Regional Medical Center can help you plan a healthy lifestyle that will get you in shape, feeling good, and living right. Restrictive diets don’t work in the long term. Check out our Food and Nutrition information to invest in your future by living healthy every day, starting now. Call our free Consult-a-Nurse service today if you have questions about getting started on your new healthy lifestyle.