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9 Habits for a Healthier You

Working on getting healthier? There’s no substitute for good nutrition and exercise if you want lasting results. While there’s no shortcut to skinny, these tips can help you sustain and even gain an edge on your fitness plan:

  1. Order first when dining out. It’s easier to make a healthy choice when you’re not following someone else’s diet splurge. Researchers have found that people eating together tend to make similar choices, so set a healthy tone.
  2. Pause between bites. Simply putting your fork or spoon down while eating slows down meal time. Since it takes around 20 minutes for the mind to realize the stomach is full, this tip helps prevent overeating.
  3. Leave something behind. We’re taught to clean our plates, but taking three fewer bites at each meal adds up.
  4. Brush up. Try brushing your teeth after eating to prevent post-meal nibbling. Your dental health will benefit too.
  5. Talk to yourself. Choose a daily mantra that will keep you on track. Positive thoughts can help you fight temptations along the way. Try: “I can resist!” or “This is my health kick!”
  6. Start early. Just 20 minutes of moderate exercise first thing in the morning has been found to improve your mood for up to 12 hours. It’s also when your insulin levels are lowest, which means the energy burned will come from fat. Be sure to eat something light – toast or a piece of fruit – and take morning medications before exercise. 
  7. Fill your head. Many use music to motivate them through their workouts, but don’t be afraid to change it up. An audio book or a podcast you’re into can keep you going until the end.
  8. Have a life. Get involved in something that gets you excited – and active. Take a class, join a club or volunteer your time.
  9. Hit the hay. Many overlook the affect sleep has on weight management. Aim for 8 hours a night to improve the hormone balance which controls your fat burning and storage as well as muscle development.

One last tip: honor your body and be kind along the way. Gradual progress can add up to significant and lasting results.