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If one of your resolutions in the aftermath of the Covid -19 quarantine is to become healthier, you’ll most likely experience long-lasting success with your resolution if you ease into your new lifestyle slowly. While you may have great intentions in regards to losing weight and becoming healthier, changing too much at once can be overwhelming, and sometimes result in major setbacks. But if you make gradual changes here and there, you’ll soon be living a fruitful, healthier lifestyle without even realizing it!
Here are 10 ways to make each day healthier so you can lose weight and lower your risk for experiencing major health problems.
1. Be a smarter shopper
Eat before you go grocery shopping so you’re not tempted to make impulse food purchases on an empty stomach. Make a grocery list ahead of time, and stick to the list. Buy lots of produce, lean cuts of meat, and healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, and yogurt. If junk food isn’t in your house, then you won’t be tempted to eat it.
2. Exchange long workout routines for shorter ones
Emerging evidence continues to show that short, intense bursts of exercise are more effective at burning fat than long one- or two-hour sessions at the gym. Engage in some type of interval training, or turn your one-hour steady jog on the treadmill into a 20-minute routine where you sprint for two minutes, cool down for 30 seconds, and repeat.
3. Do more strength training
Strength training will help you burn calories for up to 36 hours following your workout, even when you’re just sitting down! Either lift weights, or do anaerobic exercises that will work and strengthen your muscles at least two times per week.
4. Pay attention to breathing patterns
Shallow breathing does very little to benefit your health. Instead, focus on taking deep breaths throughout the day, especially when you’re feeling a bit anxious or stressed. Practicing deep breathing and focusing on your diaphragm also promotes improved nervous system function and digestion.
5. Replace one “bad” food item with one that’s “good”
Start choosing one “unhealthy” or “bad” food from each meal and replace it with a healthier food item. For example, if your lunch typically consists of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a bag of chips, start by replacing the chips with an apple, or a bag of nuts. The following week, replace the white bread on your sandwich with whole-wheat bread.
6. Downsize your portions
Pay more careful attention to the portions you’re piling up on your plate. To help downsize your portions, start using smaller plates that can hold smaller amounts of food. Then, serve yourself from the kitchen instead of arranging dishes buffet-style on the table, which will help you keep better track of the amount of food you’re eating.
7. Stop eating after dinner
Typically, you should eat heavy meals during the day and light meals at night, but most Americans do the opposite. To fall into the pattern of eating lighter at night, stop snacking in the hours after dinner. Instead, make a cup of non-caffeinated herbal tea to curb your appetite.
8. Practice real-time stress management techniques
Stress can upset your hormonal balance, and can cause you to overeat later on when your adrenaline and cortisol levels calm down. Establish a few techniques to help you manage stress as soon as it happens, such as deep breathing, or going on a walk to get fresh air.
9. Get busier
Keep yourself busy with exercise and hobbies you enjoy so you’re not constantly thinking about food. Many people will turn to food when they feel bored and restless. The busier you are, the less time you’ll have to dive into junk food and raid your kitchen cabinets for sweets.
10. Create a relaxing bedtime ritual
Sleep is an important factor in weight loss and good health in general. Sleep will help regulate your hunger hormones, and gives you the energy you need to make healthy decisions. Spend between one and two hours before bed doing something relaxing, such as reading a book or soaking in a warm bath.