Yesterday, Danny and I celebrated our wedding anniversary!
We went to dinner at Friday’s with the kids and we have our special anniversary dinner planned for this weekend. My dad and stepmom are going to watch the kids so we can go to Shaw’s Crab House. I’m excited to eat some crab legs!
Healthy Living Tips
Over the past few years, I feel like I have become a healthier person. I’ve been working out consistently, lost weight, and have been pretty good about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. But sometimes when you’re trying to eat healthier or lose weight, it can be hard knowing where to start. I think it’s important to start slow and take baby steps, and today I’m going to share some tips that work for me.
Tip #1: Hydrate!
It is so important to stay hydrated. Water flushes toxins, keeps you from getting dehydrated, helps let you know if you are really hungry or just dehydrated, helps you digest food, transports nutrients, helps maintain the body’s fluid balance, and so much more!
Sometimes it can be hard to get into the water drinking habit so start slow. Have a cup of water when you wake up, drink a cup before a meal, get a drink every time you pass a water fountain.
I drink water all day long from the time I wake up in the morning until about an hour before I go to bed. I have my water tumbler with me all day long at home. If I’m leaving the house I bring my pink leopard print water bottle. (I tend to spill very easy so I need a closed lid when I leave the house )
A good rule to follow is to drink approximately half your body weight in ounces of water a day. So, for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water daily.
Sometimes drinking plain water can get boring. I like to drink one sparkling water a day.
It’s still drinking water but it’s kind of like a special treat. The lemonade flavor is amazing. Danny likes using the PowerAde drops in his water. I also like to drink green tea which also has amazing health benefits. Or if you don’t like the taste of plain water, add in some cut up lemons, strawberries, or cucumbers.
Bottom line: drink lots of water.
Tip #2: Slow Down and Avoid Distractions
I will admit that I am the world’s fastest eater. I eat my food like I’m never going to eat again. Lately, I have really been trying to be conscious of this and slow down while I’m eating. It takes at least 20 minutes for your stomach to send a signal to your brain that it’s full and if you eat super fast you might think your still hungry and keep eating.
Going hand in hand with slowing down while eating is avoiding distractions while eating. Once again, I am guilty of this – during breakfast, I’ll check my email or I catch up on my favorite tv show while eating lunch. It’s important to just focus on the food your eating and how it tastes.
Lately (for the most part) I have been eating all my meals at the kitchen table without a cell phone, tv, or magazine to distract me. I’ve been focusing on eating slow, chewing my food, setting my fork down in between bites, and really enjoying the food.
This gives your body the chance to enjoy the food as well as helps to signal your brain that it’s full. Also, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to clean your plate. When your full, stop eating. Such an easy concept, but it can be hard to follow.
Tip #3: Fruits and Veggies
I am lucky that I love fruits and veggies. If I’m hungry or looking for something to eat, I’ll try to reach for a fruit or vegetable. I love to eat and when you eat things like a salad with lots of veggies, you can eat a large amount for a small amount of calories.
Fruits and vegetables contain fiber which helps keep your fuller longer and help with digestion. Next time you think your hungry, ask yourself: do I want to eat an apple right now? If not, chances are you’re just bored rather than hungry.
This leads us into tip #4…
Tip #4: Don’t Eat Your Emotions
I am an emotional eater. I eat when I’m happy, I eat when I’m sad, I eat when I’m stressed, and I eat when I’m bored. I have really been trying to focus on doing other things when I feel like I’m going to eat not because I’m hungry but because I’m happy, sad, or stressed.
I’ll drink a big glass of water, or I’ll watch a tv show. I’ll try to get stuff done around the house like dishes or laundry. I’ll play with the kids. Usually, if keep busy, I won’t feel the need to constantly eat.
Tip #5: Chew Gum
This tip doesn’t work for everybody. Some people feel hungrier when they chew gum but not me. Sometimes, when I start eating it’s hard to stop. Just one more bowl of cereal or just another few bites of the kids pizza.
For me, chewing gum helps keep my mouth busy so I don’t eat when I’m not hungry. For some people, food can be an addiction and once you start it’s hard to stop. It’s simply the way the brain works. Chewing gum a lot helps me keep my mouth busy without consuming large amounts of food.
My favorite gum is the strawberry Starburst gum. It is amazing.
Tip #6: Avoid “Trigger” Foods
If you are an overeater, there can be foods that trigger you to want to keep eating. It’s best to not buy these foods or keep them in the house if possible.
For me, it’s cereal and sugary foods/candy. I try to avoid buying my kids cereal that I love because I know it will be in the house to tempt me. I love Cocoa Puffs but I can’t just eat one bowl. I need to ate all the cereal possible. So, it’s best to not even start eating the foods that make you want to eat more.
This also goes for sugary foods that have little nutritional value and won’t keep you full. If you eat a bowl of sugary cereal or white bread, chances are you will be hungry a short time later because they aren’t full of protein or fiber to help keep you full longer.
Tip #7: Add Protein
Protein also helps to keep you feeling full longer. It’s important to have a healthy amount of fat, protein, and carbs at every meal. If you workout a lot, protein is also important for rebuilding your muscles.
I’ve never been a huge meat eater, but I’ve been trying to get enough protein in my diet so I have been eating meat that I don’t mind eating, like chicken.
Protein sources include: lean meats, seafood, Greek yogurt, cheese, eggs, vegetables like spinach, protein shakes if necessary, nuts, beans, etc.
Tip #8: Everything in Moderation
I think that life needs to be enjoyed. There’s no reason to be eating chicken, brown rice, and veggies at every meal. I try to eat healthy all day long and then save room for a small treat at the end of the night like a Yasso Greek yogurt bar or two small cookies.
The chocolate chip cookie dough Yasso bars are amazing!
I think life is about balance and eating healthy but still enjoying occasional treats. If you deprive yourself for too long, you’re eventually going to go crazy and eat every cookie in the house. Life should be about a healthy balance.
I realize that not everyone is an overeater or an emotional eater. Not everyone needs to count calories or remove certain foods from the house. Some people eat and simply stop when they’re full. But there’s also people that really struggle with food.
You can be addicted to food and while it produces similar chemicals in the brain that a drug or alcohol addiction does, it’s also different. You need food to live. You need to eat food every single day. You don’t need drugs and alcohol to live. You can quit drugs and alcohol cold turkey. You can’t quit food.
Studies have shown that food can trigger the pleasure centers in the brain just like drugs and alcohol can. Foods can actually trigger the release of dopamine in the brain which is responsible making us feel good at that moment. This makes you want to keep eating more to keep that good feeling whether you’re hungry or not.
Then you crash and feel terrible later. Food addiction is real and it’s a struggle. I just feel like it’s important to point this out because I realize that not everyone struggles with their weight but they might not understand why some people do.
Hopefully, if you struggle with weight issues or overeating, you can find some tips and tricks that work for you.
Alright! So, those are my tips on healthy living and weight loss! Have a great afternoon!
- Do you struggle with overeating?
- Do you have any healthy living/weight loss tips to share?