7 Tips to Improve your Eating Habits-
Here are some effective principles to follow when you’re trying to change your bad eating habits.
Habits can be hard to change, because, well, they are habits. Each year, many of us look at changing some of our bad habits and the best thing I can do to help my clients is to try to help them prioritize – and work on the easiest things first.
Whether you are looking to change a number of bad habits or only one or two, there are some basic principles when it comes to navigating your way through the behavior change process. So, here are some tips for smoother sailing:
Set Your Behavior Goals and Make Them Reasonable
Be specific. “I want to get physically fit” or “I will eat better” is too vague. Instead, set a goal such as “I will walk 30 minutes a day” or “I will pack my own lunch twice a week.”
Start With the Easiest Changes First
Once you tackle those and feel successful, you’ll feel empowered to take on more challenges. As each small change becomes permanent, they’ll start to add up–which can add up to big health benefits, too.
Don’t Think ‘Forever’
Try just getting through a weekend without overdoing it, or take things one day at a time—or even a meal at a time if you have to.
Keep Track so You Know How Well You’re Doing
If you’ve been trying to boost your physical activity, keep a log of your minutes or miles. If you’re trying to cut back on sweets, set a limit for the week and keep track. And, for each small success, give yourself a pat on the back.
Practice the Art of Distraction.
When you get the urge to eat something you shouldn’t, tell yourself that you’ll wait 15 minutes before you give in. Chances are, you’ll get busy doing something else and forget about it.
Notice What Triggers Your Bad Habits and Break the Chain.
If the vending machine at work tempts you every time you walk by, find another route so you’ll avoid it, or don’t carry any money with you. To stop nighttime noshing, head into the bathroom to brush your teeth instead of into the kitchen to raid the refrigerator
Try to Anticipate What Might Derail You and Plan Accordingly
If parties are your undoing, plan to have a snack before you go, and decide ahead of time how many drinks you’ll have. If you know you’ll hit the snooze button instead of exercising in the morning, put the alarm clock across the room–right next to your workout clothes.
10 Tips for Successful Weight Loss-
Weight loss and weight maintenance are really two sides of the same coin. In reality, the habits that help you drop pounds are the same ones that will help you maintain your weight loss. After all, losing weight isn’t really considered a success unless you manage to keep it off.
If you ask people who have successfully lost weight how they did it, they’ll often say that losing weight is the easy part – but keeping it off is a lot tougher. Sometimes, you’re so focused on weight loss that you’re paying more attention to the end results – like what the scale says or how your jeans fit – than you are on establishing new habits. But once you’ve reached your goal, it’s easy for those old habits to sneak back up on you.
Many people set unrealistic goals or try to lose weight too quickly, and this can undermine dieting efforts in no time. Drastic changes, even if they lead to short-term weight loss, are hard to sustain. And dieters then convince themselves that they don’t have what it takes to win the battle of the bulge.
Instead, it helps to think more about replacing old habits with new ones and shifting attention away from the end results. In other words, pay more attention to the journey rather than the destination. As new behaviors become established and take hold, the weight will usually take care of itself.
Top 10 Weight-Loss Strategies-
1. Get to know yourself-
One key to success is learning how to manage your own high-risk situations, such as eating when you’re stressed or cleaning your plate out of habit rather than hunger. Plan ahead and know what situations might get you into trouble and have a backup plan for dealing with them.
Move around and find an activity you enjoy. Be consistent and create a schedule where exercising is a must.
3. Set goals and monitor your behavior-
Setting goals – ones you measure, like how many minutes you will walk, how many calories you will take in or how many sit-ups you will do – is helpful because you can track whether or not you meet them. Keep a food journal or food log to plan meals ahead of time. These self-monitoring strategies are critical and provide much needed feedback on behavior changes.
4. Have regular meal patterns and frequency-
Many people get in trouble with their weight because their eating patterns are disorganized. Having routine meal-times means that you don’t go long stretches without food, which often leads to excessive snacking or larger meals later on. Remember, skipping meals usually backfires.
5. Eat a low-fat, nutrient-dense diet-
No surprises here, but a high-quality diet – one with plenty of protein, fruits, vegetables and whole grains – is what keeps people satisfied. The fruits, veggies and whole grains are bulky and filling, but their calorie cost is relatively low. Adequate protein is key, since protein is highly satisfying and will keep hunger at bay between meals.
6. Practice portion control-
By learning what size portion you need to eat to feel ‘not hungry any more’ – as opposed to feeling ‘stuffed’ – you can trim your food intake significantly. Portion control strategies include using smaller plates, serving your food in the kitchen (rather than having serving dishes at the table) and using meal replacements such as protein shakes, bars or frozen meals.
7. Practice stress management-
Food is so often used as a comfort when we’re stressed, but we usually feel guilty afterwards, which just increases the stress and keeps the cycle going. Find other ways to reduce stress; exercising, calling a friend or practicing some meditation or deep breathing are good options.
8. Have an attitude adjustment-
Many people who have successfully lost weight say that they had to change their thinking about dieting and weight loss. Some felt it was ‘in their genes’ to be fat, or that they couldn’t lose weight because they’d never been successful in the past. Eventually, they faced the problem head on, recognizing that weight loss and weight maintenance success would come through a series of small steps and a lifelong commitment to a healthy lifestyle.
9. Adopt a plan and stick with it-
Once you have an established routine of how you generally eat and how frequently you exercise, learn to stick with this routine day in and day out. People who have lost weight and are successful in maintaining that weight loss do this – even on holidays.
10. Learn to control the environment-
Successful weight losers learn how to control situations that are most likely to get them into trouble. The foods that are available in the refrigerator or cupboard at home or in the grocery store are in environments that can be controlled. To gain control over the food environment, keep ‘safe’ foods in the house, eat healthy snacks and prepare a shopping list before you go to the supermarket.
How Water Supports a Healthy Digestive System?
Among its many functions in the body, water is critical to healthy digestion and supports the process from start to finish.
If you’re like many people, healthy digestion might be more top of mind than it used to be. Part of this renewed interest in digestive health may have to do with an abundance of emerging science on the importance of maintaining a healthy “gut microbiome” – the collection of bacteria that inhabits the digestive tract and which affects the health of many systems in the body.
And so, to keep your digestive system healthy and happy, you may be aware of the importance of taking in probiotics (the ‘good’ bacteria) as well as prebiotics (such as certain forms of fiber that serve as “food” for the probiotics) and adequate fiber, which helps move waste through your system and promotes regularity.
But there’s something much more simple and basic to keeping your digestive system running smoothly: water. Water is involved in literally every step of the digestive process, which is just another reason why staying adequately hydrated is so critically important to your health.
How Water Supports Healthy Digestion?
Starting at the very beginning of the digestive process, water is a major component of your saliva. Saliva serves several functions: it helps to moisten your food, which makes it easier to chew and swallow, and it is also a vehicle for enzymes that begin the process of chemically breaking down the fats and carbohydrates as you chew.
As the food passes into your stomach, watery gastric juices are released. These juices also contain enzymes, which begin to break the proteins and carbohydrates in the foods that you eat into smaller parts, preparing them for their trip to the small intestine, where much of the digestion of your food takes place. (And, by the way, there’s no truth to the myth that drinking water with meals will dilute the digestive juices so much that they can’t do their job. Adequate fluid with meals helps promote the process.) Water is also needed to produce the mucus that coats the inside of your stomach, which protects it from the highly acidic digestive juices.
As the digestive process continues in the large bowel, water is critically important, too. The soluble fibers that you eat (from foods like oats, beans and barley) dissolve in water, allowing them to swell and add bulk. And the insoluble fiber that you eat (from foods like whole grains and most vegetables) tends to trap and attract water rather than absorb it, which helps promote regular bowel movements. The lower bowel is also where your body takes up most of the minerals that you eat, and the watery environment there facilitates their absorption.
There’s no question that healthy digestion relies on adequate fiber (and probiotics are a good idea, too). Exercise is also important – when you move your skeletal muscles during exercise, you’re stimulating the smooth muscles of your digestive tract at the same time, which helps promote regularity. But don’t forget the simplest and most basic thing of all – make sure to take in plenty of fluids every day to keep your system running smoothly.
As the food moves through the small intestine, there’s a lot of digestive activity that is facilitated by water. More watery secretions are shot into the small intestine from the intestinal lining itself as well as from the pancreas and liver. Enzymes work to speed up chemical processes and help prepare for the absorption of the end products of digestion: amino acids from proteins, fatty acids from fats and individual sugar molecules from the carbohydrates that you eat. Most nutrient absorption takes place here in the small bowel, and then digested nutrients pass to the watery environment of your bloodstream.