Sunday, September 23, 2018

Healthy Habits to Help with Weight Loss or Maintaining Your Weight

Trying to lose a few pounds?  Or are you trying to maintain your current weight?  So many people are successful in losing some weight but then gain the weight back.  Why?  Probably because they haven’t adopted a healthier lifestyle.  Changing habits as you take off the pounds can be the key to keeping the pounds off.  U.S. News & World Report has a great article:  Stop Relying on Willpower to Lose Weight.   In it they talk about how important it is to build healthy routines into your day.  You may already be doing some of these suggestions.  Then keep it up.  Are there some healthy routines you could add to your day?  They introduce a new term, “skill-power” vs willpower.  The promote developing the “skills” to handle our diet throughout the day.  Here are some of the healthy habits they suggest we all adopt.

1.   “Beat the Morning Munchies” – How many people skip breakfast only to hit the office snack machine at 10 AM?  Our breakfast becomes a candy bar or two.  The article suggests planning out a healthy breakfast before you go to bed.  It may be a grab and go breakfast.  Grab some 100% real juice and a healthy granola bar.  Carnation has some Breakfast drinks that are easy to take with you or drink before you leave home.  On a commute, you can easily drink some 100% juice and snack on some whole grain cereal or granola.  Quaker has some Breakfast Squares that are very easy to grab an go.  If you have missed breakfast, taking something healthy with you to snack on, a banana, a Breakfast Square, some yogurt will help you avoid the trip to the snack machine.
2.   Bring Healthy Snacks With You – as I noted in a previous blog.  I was at a car wash and noticed a mom with her daughter who was about 4 years old.   The daughter had just walked past the snack machine and promptly announced to her mom, “I’m hungry”.   The mom and the girl sat down, the mom pulled out baggies of carrot sticks, whole grain crackers, cheese sticks and asked her daughter what she wanted for a snack.  The U.S. News & World Report article recommends taking some meal replacements with you.  They use as an example the meal replacements used by Weight Watchers.  See a sample day on the HMR plan.  I like to bring nuts in a baggie, a granola bar, cheese sticks and crackers with me when I am traveling or know that I will not be able to eat for a while. 

3.   “Don’t Let Work Stress Get to You-   To me it wouldn’t be just work stress.  Stress can come from other areas of your life.  They recommend a “walk break” during the day to replace the “snack break”.  But I think you can have a healthy snack break of yogurt and fruit and also take a short walk.  Add a walk to your lunch break.  Taking a few minutes to decompress can help relieve stress in your day.

4.   “Don’t Go Hungry” - who isn’t tempted to eat anything in sight when you are hungry?  So, have on hand plenty of healthy food options.  Have the fresh fruit on the counter, cut up veggies in the frig, have some cheese and crackers on hand.  Weight Watchers recommends having on hand lots of “Yes” foods.   One can fill up on fruits, veggies, healthy smoothies, granola bars, no calorie beverages like sparkling water.  
Healthy snack foods
5.   “Old Habits are Hard to Break” – The goal is to replace your unhealthy habits with healthy habits.  This isn’t done overnight.  The HMR Weight Watcher’s program has list of “To-Do” behaviors.   What are some of these To-Do’s?  One is to eat 5 fruits and vegetables a day.  We have talked a lot about “5 A DAY” and how important it is to have enough fruit and veggies every day.  Another To-Do is to add some physical activity to your day.  Even a short walk counts.  So, at lunch or after dinner, take a walk.  Try to be more active during the day.  In a book by Dr. Norman Sears, The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood, he recommends Time Sitting = Time Moving.  Thus, if a kid wants to play 30 minutes of video games, they first have to have 30 minutes of physical activity first.  More of us could be trying to sit less and move more.

What old habits can you try to break this week?  Can you be more physically active?  Can you pack some healthier snacks for work or for school?  Can you add some fruit or veggies to your day?  Aim for 2 servings of fruits/veggies at lunch and 2 servings at dinner.  Check out the sample day on the HMR plan.  It offers some good tips.

No comments:

Post a Comment