Steps to a Lifestyle Change

goals

If you are trying to lose weight, eat healthy, or just change your routine, follow these 5 steps.  Break your bad habits by choosing one out of the five and focus on it for the next 7 days, then pick another habit for the following week.  Small steps will lead you to a consistent lifestyle change.

Let’s go over these 5 positively healthy changes that you can make:

1. Eat within an hour of waking up.  I may sound like a broken record on this one, but trust me, don’t skip on breakfast! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! If you skip breakfast, then you’re reducing your metabolic rate.  Eating right after you wake up in the morning is the key ingredient to lose or maintain and control weight.  And, eating a muffin when you’re on-the-go is not the idea of a complete, nutrient-fueled breakfast.  It’s important to have a high calorie-rich meal of about 350-500 calories, and to be sure to include protein in that meal.  This will keep you feel full and less hungry throughout the day.

2. Drink water before every meal and snack.  Drinking water before meals and snacks will promote weight loss by feeling full with a zero-calorie beverage.  Focus on drinking two cups of water before meals and one cup before snacks.  This will lead to you consuming fewer calories during your meals.

3. Sneak exercise into your day.  Challenge yourself by doing something extra without doing any gym exercise: try taking the stairs versus the escalator; taking your dog for a longer walk; going for a 5-10 minute walk after you eat; or just simply walking around while talking on your phone.  Once you accomplish these small steps, gradually add some workouts to your routine.

4.  Eat more.  You can eat more and add calories to your diet by eating differently.  We always hear that we should be eating 5-6 meals a day and splitting our meals every 2-3 hours.  The strategy behind this is to keep our metabolism stable without having cravings.  When you eat when you’re not starving, then you’ll eat more slowly and likely eat less or control your portions better, which leads to reducing calories.  Here are some tips to work on: each week avoid a high calorie, processed food that’s loaded with sugars and flour and then choose an alternative to replace that meal.  Or, for starters, just simply put your fork down when chewing to slow your intake.

5. Go to bed early.  If you don’t sleep more than 6 hours a day, you are more susceptible to gaining weight.  A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology indicates that women that slept over 7 hours a night were less likely to gain weight then women who slept less.  Women that slept 6 hours a night gained 33lbs on an average of 16 years. Women who slept 5 hours had a chance of gaining 30 or more pounds.  The quality of sleep is also just as important as the quantity.  Getting proper sleep is important because we tend to crave more sugar and carbs to keep us awake and get through the day when we’re tired or sleep-deprived, which leads to spiking the sugar insulin.  When well rested, we have more energy and have a better cognitive alert.

So which one are you going to start for the week?  Remember, small changes will lead to BIG consistent RESULTS!  Don’t rush everything all at once because we’ll overwhelm our bodies and fall quickly.  As the saying goes “steady pace will beat the race.”