We are approaching the time of year when we begin to think more about our health and wellness by creating New Year’s Resolutions and becoming more conscious about what we eat as well as exercise. Many of us start our new health and wellness lifestyle after the holidays are over, but the planning of an individual’s “new life” should begin right before the holidays begin.
I have come up with some tips that might be helpful to you as you start to think about living a healthier life.
Start off each day with prayer. God will give you strength to get through the day.
Do some form of exercise whether it’s walking, riding a bike, jogging, or aerobics at the gym. Just find an exercise that fits with your schedule and level of comfort.
Plan out your meals for the next day the night before. The way that works best is to create a shopping list and do your shopping for the week. Then you can plan out your breakfast, lunch and dinner for each day during that week. I once heard someone say, “Breakfast needs to take you to lunch, lunch needs to take you to dinner, and dinner needs to take you to bedtime” then you start the process over again the next day. You can throw in healthy snacks in between. Try to keep that in mind.
Try to eat clean foods like raw or steamed vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, hormone-free meats, unprocessed foods, brown rice, and red potatoes for example. The clean diet is beginning to sweep the nation and for good reason.
Get enough fiber for the day. Being regular will make you happy!
Try to reduce your sugar consumption. I know, it’s holiday time and there are cakes, cookies, pies and other treats around us. You don’t have to eliminate them, just reduce. It will make a huge impact on your health. If you do things in moderation, it will reduce the probability of failure—don’t do things cold turkey.
And If you like sweet treats from time to time, don’t deprive yourself. If you deprive yourself, you might end up caving into cravings and overdoing it. For example, you might want a slice of pie this Thanksgiving. That’s okay. Make it a small slice of pie instead of a large one. That will satisfy that craving for sure.
Drink half of your body weight in water or at least 64 ounces every day for proper hydration and flushing.
Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day to avoid the instance of overeating at any one particular meal. Some experts say you can eat larger meals for breakfast and lunch and then make the meal smaller for dinner. Other experts say eat small meals throughout the day to keep the metabolism on an even keel.
Get at least 7 hours of sleep 8 if you can. Experts have been saying get at least 8 hours of sleep for as long as I can remember. It’s very true that sleep is so important to the body for weight maintenance.
Take your vitamin, mineral, and probiotic supplements. They are very important in keeping your body functioning at the optimal level because more than likely you might not be receiving everything your body needs in your food intake alone.
When shopping, look for foods with a minimum amount of ingredients on the label. If you don’t recognize the words on the ingredient list, then avoid the food item.
Prepare your plate like you normally would if it were not a holiday. Since there will be more choices, just choose a small amount of each item that you want to eat. For example, a spoonful of potato salad, turkey the size of the palm of your hand, a tablespoonful or two of mac and cheese, and load up on the green leafy vegetables.
Don’t get upset if a family member tries to tempt you to eat more than you want to. Sometimes if you’re trying to make changes to your diet, the family might not understand it completely. However, it’s okay to say “no thank you.”
If you take food home in a takeout container from a family event, make sure you choose your foods wisely! Pick as many healthy options as possible.
You can eat moderately during the holidays. Just think of the holiday as another day of the week. Be sure to do your exercise the next day, and you’ll be fine. If you slip and eat more than you wanted to that’s okay as long as you get back on track, you have nothing to worry about. Also, it is known that many people wait until January 2nd to start a New Year’s Resolution for weight loss. You don’t have to wait until then if you desire to make changes now. You can always get started by making small changes now—making small changes will ensure that you will stick with it.
Some people don’t like making New Year’s Resolutions, but I think a New Year’s Resolution for health and wellness is good because it means you’re shooting to accomplish a goal. Remember, don’t beat yourself up if you have a day that didn’t go according to plan. You can get back on track the next day, and you’ll be fine!
Live, laugh, love, and pray.
God Bless You with Good Health and Wellness,
Antoinette Shar’ron Johnson
“Empowering, inspiring, motivating, and uplifting your mind, body, and soul!”
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