Okay, so you’ve heard all the hype about how exercise can help you lose weight, reduce cardiovascular disease, and even reduce your risk for certain cancers. And now you’ve decided that you’re going to try to start an exercise program and eat healthy, but where do you start? Figuring this out can be a daunting task, but I’m here to help!
Before we get to the list, it’s important to first understand the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, and why it is imperative that we exercise and eat the right way.
Studies have shown that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to a myriad of conditions and/or diseases that can shorten the quality or the lifespan of individuals who suffer from these conditions. These diseases include heart disease, diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome and obesity (among others). But while these diseases can have deadly consequences, most of them can be reversed (or at least improved) with the addition of regular physical activity.
First, begin with small dietary changes. If you can help it, try not to drop your bad habits cold turkey, because you are much more likely to start them up again down the road. Along with that, it’s important to try to increase the healthy foods in your diet with more chicken, fish, fruits and vegetables.
And, healthy food doesn’t have to be boring! Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to eat delicious, healthy foods. Just check out the ‘Recipe’ menu on our home page or click here for more ideas!
Here are a few small changes you can make to your diet that will help you ease into a healthier lifestyle!
- Start eating breakfast
Everyone always says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and they’re right. Eating breakfast immediately after you wake up will jump start your metabolism so it can start burning calories right away. The longer you wait, the longer your metabolism will stay in hibernation that day, plus you would be less likely to over-eat later in the day if you eat breakfast.
- Drink more water
Your body is made up of mostly water, so it’s probably a good idea to keep it well hydrated. Water helps to keep your metabolism running as smoothly as it can so that you can continue to burn calories effectively throughout the day, as well as it’s good for proper organ and muscular function.
- Start a food diary
Writing about what you are eating can be a powerful tool as sometimes people eat certain foods without regret and without ever realizing what they are eating. Actually seeing the foods that you are writing in your log can be a good way to deter someone from eating that again.
- Don’t do fad diets
Most fad diets just don’t work, plain and simple. Fad diets such as the Atkins Diet may get you to lose weight initially, but they set you up for failure down the road as your body loses mostly water weight when you heavily restrict carbohydrates, so when you start eating carbohydrates again, you’ll gain most of that weight back. If you are going to do one of these diets, my clients have fared the best with Weight Watchers.
- Find healthier snacks
Cookies and potato chips should be out of your house as these are extremely loaded with sugars and salts. There are plenty of varieties of fruits and vegetables (among other snacks) that you can substitute without dropping the flavor value.
See full article in January Newsletter
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-Mike Zimmer, Wellness Director