I’m a big believer that making small healthy changes to your routine can yield big results. The problem is that many people don’t have patience to wait for the magic to happen.
I don’t know about you but I get bombarded with emails promising I’ll “Lose that belly fat before January 1st” (um, it’s already December 9th, so already I’m a bit skeptical). Or “How to Fit into that Little Black Dress in 2 weeks” (hmmm…starvation?) or “The 10 Healthy Foods that are Killing You” (I swear on all that is holy, bananas are not the Devil).
The thing that bothers me about these fad diets and fake promises is that they a) prey on one’s desire to get skinny like, yesterday and b) demand strict calorie counting, the elimination of complete food groups, or even ask you to buy pricey shakes, potions, drinks and pills to help you reach your goals.
In the weight loss game, patience and time is your friend. Making long term, lasting changes takes work.
Making. Long. Term. Lasting. Changes. And they don’t have to be huge, sweeping changes. You can tweak things a bit now and add more tweaks as you go along. It’s not hard, but it will take work, time and some patience.
Te help you out, I’ve listed a few things you can do right now that will start to have an immediate impact on your health for the better.
- Drink water. Why? Water hydrates your cells. It plumps up your skin. It helps flush your system (so to speak). Also, thirst often masks itself as hunger so if you think you’re hungry, you may just be dehydrated. Here’s an easy way to get your hit of H2O. A glass when you wake. One with breakfast. One with lunch. One with dinner. The other 2-4 glasses can be gotten by carrying a water bottle with you in the car, to drink at kid’s sports, etc. The jury is out on how much water you should drink for optimum health but I feel that 6-8 is a good benchmark. More if you exercise.
- Add speed to your existing workout a few times a week. If you walk or run 30 minutes 5 days a week, add short bursts of faster activity throughout the workout. Keep the bursts between 30 seconds and 2 minutes. You’ll cover more ground in less time, increase your cardiovascular efficiency and burn more calories.
- Get more sleep. I am in my late 40’s and many of my friends, both younger and older do not get enough sleep. Either due to stress, hormonal fluctuations, staying up too late to get chores done or even to have quiet time. So here’s a tip. Pick 2 nights this coming week that you can crash earlier. Even if it’s 15 minutes earlier than normal. Turn the bedtime ritual over to a spouse or even let your older child take the reins. Pay them a few bucks and let them develop some babysitting skills. Go in your room, turn off the lights, burrow deep under the covers. Even if you can’t fall asleep any earlier than you normally do, at least you are laying down and hopefully being more restful. The sleep will come. Trust me.
- Go heavy on the leafy greens. Toss in kale to a salad or a smoothie. Saute spinach in your scrambled eggs or slip under a poached egg. Shred any kind of cabbage to your soups. Leafy greens are powerhouses of healthy goodness and are bulky, which means they add more food to your meal without hardly any calories.
- Measuring and drizzling are your friends. I love olive oil but because it adds a huge caloric bang to its’ buck I have to measure it out. And I’ve learned the art of the drizzle. Steaming or roasting veggies is easy and then I drizzle the cooked veggies with olive oil. It’s a much more flavorful way to use the oil and a teaspoon goes along way.
Let me know what small tweaks you’re going to make! I’d love to hear what’s working!
Now go run!