After my detox sucess (no, not the 4 days of being exhausted and run down) but the overall success that saw me drop 10 pounds gain significant improvement in my skin and a prolonged period of good general health, I felt obligated to continue my good eating habits and to keep exercising as long as possible. It also donned on me that my kids have been benefitting too from the uber-healthy meals and the nightly exercise because of my energy and because I’ve been so damn chipper.
So here are my 13 tips, my Thursday Thirteen, for keeping active during the day and keeping those unwanted pounds off.
13. It’s all about portion size. Moderation is the key. Eat until you feel full and to do that you need to stop what you are doing when you are eating and don’t eat when working, watching TV or playing on the computer because your mind is thinking of something else and you will often times eat past your comfortably full point.
12. Get into your mind that it’s okay to leave food on your plate. You don’t have to finish everything. As well, when at an event where the food is free or plentiful – like a buffet or office event, make sure you remind yourself that just because it is there doesn’t mean you have to continue eating.
11. Eat a smart breakfast – Water first with half a lemon squeezed into it, followed by a piece of fruit. By this point in time your body’s metabolism will start to digest the easily digestible fruit. Follow this up with a bowl of oatmeal. Smart, healthy and delicious.
10. Stay away from certain unnecessary foods – high fat, processed, high sodium, wheat, certain meats, and dairy. All okay once in a while but it’s moderation that is key here.
9. Stay away from the obvious. Keep away from fancy drinks which contain extra sugar and calories, and if whipped cream is an option for the top of a drink, always say no to that. Unless it’s a once a month treat, the calories and fat adds up quickly.
8. Drink. Water. 6 glasses a day. Also keep in mind that if you are craving anything, it’s water. So drink. Water is free and has no calories.
7. Eat less carbohydrates, and make sure to eat them at the right time of day – which is when you have some time for them to digest (they will make you tired initially) and when you need the energy that comes from them. Try to burn them off as quickly as possible before they turn to sugar and then get stored in your body as fat.
6. Try to eat 5 meals a day. It keeps your metabolism moving and that burns off calories and digests food. Eating more frequently, smaller, healthier meals should help you lose weight.
5. Use smaller plates. I like this trick because we get so used to filling and emptying our plates (don’t want to waste right – or we don’t want our kids to waste food, right?) .
4. Don’t obsess about eating. Really. If you are having a “bad” day and cannot stop eating, just make sure to exercise. It’s when you obsess and starve yourself or obsess and have too many bad days when you need to try a different options for getting healthy.
3. Limit salad toppings. This was a fun tip since salads are presumed to be healthy yet once you add the dressing, then nuts, seeds, or dehydrated cranberries, or anything fried and the salad no longer becomes healthy at all, and the salt, fat and calories creep in and onto your waist.
2. Keep moving! Tap your foot during the day. or take multiple trips to the photocopier. Walk for your coffee. Take a walk during the day, or anything that results in getting off your behind and getting your body moving. Stairs, stretching, small weights, and taking the long way to a meeting all help the heart and the waistline.
1. Add exercise to your life. Find an activity and participate or take nightly walks. If you just cannot get off your butt, walking to the next bus stop, or parking further away and walking to the office are great. If you like to get active, running is a wonderful way to tighten up everything, as is cycling and playing sports.
All in all, eating healthy and staying fit are the keys to feeling great inside and out.