Archive for the ‘ Fitness/Weight loss ’ Category

Jars Tourron Pitcher in jade used to serve water
Creative Commons License photo credit: Dinner Series

Drinking an adequate amount of water each day prevents dehydration, cleans out your body, and promotes healing.  If you drink a glass of water before every meal and every snack it will not only do these things, it will also help fill you up so you eat less.

Keep water in the refrigerator so it’s ice cold.  Add a slice of lemon or lime to your water to make it more appealing.  Another way to make it more appealing is to drink water from a fancy cup. If you leave the house, bring water with you. 

 

Puppy Love
Creative Commons License photo credit: LipBomb

Now that school is back in session and you have to get up earlier, you may be asking yourself how you can wake up feeling well rested.   It’s no trying to make it through the day feeling groggy!  If you’ve having trouble with this, here’s some simple steps that may help.

  1.  Be careful what you drink.   Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea or soda will keep you awake.  Alcohol might make you sleepy but it can prevent you from having a continuous and restful night’s sleep.    Also, drinking too much of anything can make you wake up during the night to go to the bathroom.
  2. Don’t eat too close to bedtime.  Make sure you have dinner at least 3 hours before you go to bed.    If you want a snack, have it at least one year before bed. 
  3. Don’t exercise too close to bedtime.  Exercise will give you extra energy that you don’t need at nighttime. 
  4. Don’t over stimulate your mind right before bed.  Your mind needs time to prepare for sleep.  Right before bed is not the time to watch an action movie, pay bills or work on a project. 
  5. Don’t watch the evening news right before bed.  Depressing stories can make it difficult to fall asleep. 
  6. Shut down electronics.  Watching TV or surfing the internet in bed makes it harder to wind down.  Recent studies show that artificial light coming from electronic devices such as ipads, laptops and TVs suppresses the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.   Turn off electronics at least an hour before bedtime.
  7. Engage in relaxing activities 20-30 minutes before bed.   Reading a good book, writing in a journal, meditating or taking a hot bath can do wonders in helping you get to sleep.
  8. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow.  Remember, you spend a third of your life in bed so invest in quality. 
  9. Lower the temperature.  Your room should be slightly on the cool side. It’s hard to sleep in a room that is too hot or too cold. 
  10. Make sure your room is quiet.  Use a fan to drown out noise.
  11. Darken the room.   Use good blinds or drapes to block out light from outside.
  12. Follow a consistent schedule.  Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning.  This includes weekends!   You will sleep better if you are consistent about your sleep schedule. 
  13. Start the day off right.  Open your curtains and let the sun shine in.  To get a good night’s sleep, you need to start working on it from the time you wake up.
  14. Work out in the morning.  Just 20-30 minutes of light exercise such as walking, jogging or biking will help you feel better.  Exercise gives you energy and helps eliminate stress.
  15. Don’t take naps during the day.   Naps can disrupt your sleep that night.

 

Invest in a reusable, BPA-free water bottle and carry it with you whereever you go.   Before heading out, fill it up with ice and water.  When you start to run out, fill it up at a water fountain.  This will save you money since you won’t have to purchase a soft drink or bottled water while you’re out.  In addition, it’s good for your health.  Another bonus is that you will be helping the environment.  Win-win-win.

IMG_0014
Creative Commons License photo credit: Rob van Hilten

If you have been working hard to try to lose weight and get healthier, you don’t want the upcoming 4th of July festivities to cause you to get off track.  This holiday is crammed with temptations but fortunately, there are things that you can do stay on track. 

  • Use small plates.  Studies have shown that people who use smaller plates eat less without even noticing it.   They consume less calories yet still report feeling full and satisfied.  Use a plate from the kids’ table or a dessert plate. 
  • Eat slowly.  People who eat more slowly eat fewer calories over the course of a meal.   
  • Eat the healthiest foods first.  Start with salad.  Other healthy choices include fresh fruit and grilled vegetables.
  • Skip the potato chips.  Choose healthy snacks such as cut up vegetables or popchips. 
  • Prepare salads with low-fat dressing.  Many of the popular 4th of July potato salads are loaded with full-fat mayo and extras such as bacon.  Steer clear of these. 
  • If you are going to a barbeque, take along your own dish.  This will allow you to make something that won’t sabotage your diet. 
  • Stick with water.  Avoid drinks that contain a lot of sugar, such as soda or fruit punch.
  • Watch the bread.  Avoid processed white buns.  Have a 100% whole wheat bun or have your burger without a bun. 
  • Limit your hotdogs.  Many people associate hot dogs with the 4th of July.  If you feel that you must have one, limit yourself to only one. 
  • Don’t douse your food with condiments, which may contain high fructose corn syrup.  Instead load up on vegetable toppings. 
  • Instead of having a burger made with beef, try a turkey or veggie burgers.
  • Have a small dessert.  If you would like to have a piece of cake, do so but stick to a small piece. 

What are your favorite tips to eat healthy at a BBQ?

 

Fitness Tip – Walk and Talk

businesswoman walking
Creative Commons License photo credit: herlitz_pbs
You already know that walking is a great way to get exercise.  Whenever you are on your cell phone, make it a point to walk.   Walking for 15 minutes, four times a day burns as many calories as walking steadily for an hour.

Portion Out Snacks

Pringoooals sour cream & onion
Creative Commons License photo credit: Like_the_Grand_Canyon

If you eat your snack directly from the bag, chances are that before you know it, you will polish off the entire bag.  Mindless eating such as this is especially easy to do when watching tv.  You can avoid this by portioning out the serving size and putting the rest away. 

 

Keep an Exercise Calendar

 

Record your workouts on a calendar.  Did you walk for 30 minutes?  Run on the treadmill for 20?  Go to a Zumba class?  Write everything down on an Exercise Calendar.  This will provide you with a visual record of your accomplishments.  It also holds you accountable. You will be able to clearly see what you did, as well as what you didn’t do. If you have to record your efforts, you’re more likely to follow through with your goals. 

 

Choose Healthy Snacks

Fruit, April 2012
Creative Commons License photo credit: DaveOnFlickr

Eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day is actually great for your metabolism.   It helps you avoid “crashes” and overeating during meals. Always carry healthy snacks with you or keep them in your car.  Some good choices include fruit, nuts or pretzels.  If you always have these with you, you will be less likely to buy pick up unhealthy food items while you are out.

 

There is a new printable coupon for $3 off the Dancing With the Stars Weight Loss DVD. Walmart sells this for $9.96 so after the coupon it only costs $6.96.  I can’t wait to try it!  Click here to get your coupon. 

 

 

Take 10 Minutes for Exercise


Creative Commons License photo credit: _sarchi 

Don’t feel like you have time to exercise?  Research shows that even short intervals of activity, such as walking for 10 minutes, can be beneficial.  If you have an opportunity to walk, take it!  When you go shopping, park your car at the far side of the parking lot.  Eventually you will be shopping for smaller sized clothes!

 

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