Tag Archives: healthier choices

8 Ways to Fit Healthy Habits Into Your Hectic Life

time-1128278-mDoes it ever seem like there aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to do? Lately, that seems like every day for me.

How can I fit in healthy habits when I don’t have any time? Then, I just feel more stressed and out-of-sorts because I didn’t fit everything in.

Decide what you truly want to accomplish and prioritize your life around your goals. When you make the time for healthy habits, you’ll have more energy, lower your stress levels and achieve more life balance.

Here are 8 ways you can fit healthy habits into your hectic daily routine:

Track your time
For a day or two, write down everything you do and what time you do it. Then, take a look at your routine. Does anything stick out to you? You may be watching more TV than you realized, or playing games on your phone. You might be able to break that time down and fit in your healthy habits.

Ask yourself: What tasks take longer than they should? Do I need to change my priorities to cut out things that are less important than more healthy options? What can I say no to?

Cut your to-do list
Highly successful people often have very short to-do lists. You may be overestimating what’s realistic to get done in a day. Cut your planned to-do list down by 25% to take into account all those things that can come up and derail your plans. Then, you can keep from overloading yourself. Make sure your healthy goals are at the top of the list!

Drink more water
Be sure you’re drinking water throughout the day. Water is an all-purpose, healthy drink. It helps your digestion, circulation, aids in weight loss, improves your skin and more. If you feel fatigued during the day, it could be because you aren’t properly hydrated. Water can also help you feel full and keep colds at bay.

Stock up on healthy snacks
One of the quickest ways to derail your eating habits is to grab an unhealthy snack when you’re hungry and on the go. When you go grocery shopping, pick up portable, healthy snacks. For instance, baby carrots, string cheese, fresh fruit, nuts, and single-serve packs of yogurt, applesauce, crackers, etc.

Buy frozen, healthy ingredients
One of the biggest deterrents to sticking to your healthy eating habits can be making time to prepare nutritious food. Purchase frozen, ready-to-cook ingredients. Frozen fruits and vegetables still have a high vitamin and mineral content. You can also buy frozen boneless chicken breasts and a variety of frozen seafood in single-serve packages. These are great options for quick, healthy meals.

Try interval training
A busy schedule means your workout may get left out. You can fit in a great workout in 20 minutes. Short bursts of high-intensity exercise can actually be more effective.

Walk it out
The average job means sitting at a desk in front of a computer for a big part of the day. Then, consider your commute to work, eating lunch and dinner, and then relaxing on the couch at the end of the day. You may find that you spend as much as 80% of your day sitting down. Sneak in some extra exercise by running errands on foot, taking the stairs, and parking at the end of the parking lot. All those extra steps you take add up!

Give yourself some slack
Are you trying to create a 4-course meal every night for dinner? Obsessing about creating the perfect presentation for work? Worrying about whether your kids’ favorite outfits are washed? Focus on getting tasks done, not striving for perfection. You can have leftovers or a quick, healthy meal for dinner. The presentation will be fine, and the kids have plenty of clothes to wear.

Go to bed
Sleep is one thing you can’t cut to get more done. When you don’t get enough sleep, you will be less efficient during the day, your energy level suffers, and your cognitive function is reduced. Lack of sleep can also make you more susceptible to getting sick. By getting enough sleep, you are more likely to have the energy to get more done during the day.

Making healthier choices may be a matter of making more time. Decide what you truly want to accomplish to create a more balanced life. Then, use these tips to fit your healthy habits into your daily routine!

8 Secrets to Eating Smarter

empty-plate-with-forks-and-knifes-1357304-mLike most Americans, my eating habits need help. I am addicted to fast food, decadent desserts, sweet drinks and unhealthy snacking.

Most adults and one-third of the kids in this country are overweight. You can change your eating habits, but it means changing your lifestyle and learning to eat healthier on a daily basis.

You can replace the worst food offenders with healthier choices. It’s also important to watch portion control and pay more attention to your snacking.

Here are 8 secrets to eating smarter and changing your eating habits for life:

Control serving size
Most servings in fast food chains and even restaurants are over-sized. We have become accustomed to large servings and assume that this is the right amount of food to eat at a meal. Unfortunately, many of these meals contain almost all the calories and fat you need to eat in one day – packed into one meal.

You can learn to judge the right portion size of the foods you eat. Here are some common foods, and the size you should picture in order to judge portion size:

  • Medium baked potato = a computer mouse
  • Pasta = 1/2 a baseball
  • Cooked rice = a light bulb
  • Waffle = size of a CD
  • Muffin = tennis ball
  • Bagel = hockey puck
  • Cheese = four dice
  • Meat or fish = deck of cards or palm of your hand
  • Peanut butter = golf ball
  • Portion of fat = poker chip
  • Dessert = 1/2 a baseball

Plan for dining out
It’s important to remember portion sizes when you are eating out at restaurants. As we mentioned earlier, when dining out the meals can be enough food for two or three people.

Here are some tips to curbing portion size at restaurants:

  • Order a half portion or kids’ meal
  • Box up half of a full-size entree before you even start eating
  • Split a dish with your partner or a friend
  • Eat a healthy appetizer with a soup or salad instead of a main entree

Use a smaller plate
As a kid, you may have been told to clean your plate. You may have been taught not to waste food. The problem is that dinner plates – at home and in restaurants – have gotten bigger. We also load them up with more food than we need. If you are cleaning your plate, you are probably eating too much.

The secret is to use a smaller plate. It may seem silly, but it can help. You are forced to take smaller portions, and you may make better choices knowing you have less room on your plate. Even if you go back for seconds, you are still eating less than you did with bigger plates. Put leftovers away right after the meal, so you aren’t tempted to come back and graze.

Look for whole grains
Pizza, pasta, rice and tortillas can load on calories and fill you up with white flour and refined grains. These flours and grains have been processed to remove the bran. The bran is full of fiber and vitamins. Choose whole grain wheat, rice, barley and other grains when you can.

Watch our for solid fats
Most saturated and trans fats are solid at room temperature. These fats are found in butter, margarine, shortening, coconut oil and animal fats. Creamy dishes, fatty cuts of meat, some cheeses, bacon and chicken skin all have solid fat. While some fatty foods are good for you, you may want to learn the truth about good and bad fats.

Cut back on sugar
As a whole, we eat too much sugar. It’s just so easy! We have sodas, sports drinks, cookies, cakes and every kind of yummy pre-packaged treat. Desserts have also become over-sized and packed with sugar and unhealthy fats. The average American eats 22 teaspoons of sugar a day when we should only eat about 6 to 9 teaspoons. Artificial sweeteners may not be any better for us than real sugar. Read more in 6 Truths about Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners.

Eat more nutritious foods
As you cut back on portion size, you can also add in more healthy and nutritious choices to your diet. Instead of fatty meats, choose lean protein and seafood. Fish is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Choose whole grains instead of refined white flour and grains. Add in more fruit and vegetables, eggs, low-fat dairy and beans. Cut back on butter and margarine, and choose olive and canola oil. These oils are good for your waistline and your heart.

Keep an eye out for food frauds
Many healthy foods can wreck your diet if you go overboard on the serving sizes. Here are some good for you foods that should still be consumed in moderation:

  • Avocado
  • Red wine
  • Chocolate
  • Nuts
  • Trail mix
  • Dried fruit
  • Energy bars
  • Smoothies

It’s hard to change eating habits that may have been developed when we were kids. It takes practice and hard work to create healthier habits. By starting with portion control and thinking about the foods you eat each day, you can learn to eat smarter and create better habits for life!