How to Completely Change Your Eating Habits in 2018

If you were completely honest, could you identify which of your eating habits do not service your best health? And, once you pinpointed those habits, would you be willing trade them in for something better? If so, read on to learn how you can completely change your eating habits in 2018.

Let’s Dish on Not-So-Great Eating Habits

 

With the New Year often comes a list of behaviors we’d like to change or improve. One of those items on your list might be the way that you eat. Before we can fix it, we need to recognize it. If you’re having difficulty zoning in on your specific not-so-great eating habits, perhaps the following list can help.

Do you…

  • Skip meals and then overeat?
  • Eat late at night?
  • Eat junk food because it seems convenient?
  • Eat when you’re not hungry?
  • Eat on the run or standing up?
  • Eat when you’re stressed or depressed (emotional eating)

If you indulge in any of the above practices, you’re not providing your body with the best health opportunities possible.

 

How to Make Changes in 2018

 

Eating habits can be a tough nut to crack when wanting to make changes. The desire can exist but the motivation and information may be lacking.

As for motivation, keep in mind that when you make healthy eating choices, you can extend the quality of your life. Excess fat (and toxins) from processed foods and chemicals (including sugar) can lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke, type-2 diabetes and some forms of cancer. Motivation can be to get healthy/stay healthy/live longer.

As for information, below you will find several suggestions on how to make changes in your eating practices.

 

1) Eat breakfast. If you’ve had a good night’s sleep (7 hours or more in a row), then your blood sugar needs rebalancing when you awake. After all, you’ve been fasting. Clinical dietician Dr. Christy T. Tangey reported, “Studies have found that although people who skip breakfast eat slightly fewer calories during the day, they tend to have higher body mass index, or BMI.”

 

Refueling at the beginning of your day:

– makes you more alert and focused

– makes you less apt to snack or binge eat

– boosts your metabolism (and helps you burn more calories throughout the day)

– sets you up for a healthy day of eating and productivity

 

Sitting down to a plate of eggs, bacon, and toast is not ideal. However, scrambling a couple of eggs or eating a hard-boiled egg are good choices. Oatmeal is quick and healthy, as is yogurt with no-added-sugar granola. A fruit and veggie smoothie with a good fat (flax seeds, almond butter, or avocado) is another great option.

 

2) Keep healthy foods nearby. When you start feeling hungry, grab an apple, a carrot, a celery stick, popcorn (no butter), or a handful of nuts. It’s OK to snack; in fact, it’s preferred as opposed to getting too hungry and then overeating at your next meal. Keeping your select foods with you can come in handy when you’re stuck in traffic, preparing a meal, or when you don’t want to eat the cake at the office.

 

3) Control portions. We don’t need a lot of food—we just need the right ones. Your plate should consist of half veggies and the other half a combo of protein, whole grains, and good fat. This can be achieved on a salad-sized plate. Don’t eat directly from a container or a package—you can easily lose track of how much you’re eating.

 

4) Finish eating way before your bedtime. Going to bed on a full tummy is an awful idea. But, even a small bowl of ice cream or a glass of wine can affect your weight, metabolism, and the quality of your sleep (from the sugar content.) Brush your teeth after dinner; this may prevent you from eating again before bed. If you get a craving, soothe it with a slice of fresh fruit or fruit-infused water. Golden milk has also shown to promote better health when drinking it at least an hour before turning in.

 

5) Replace sitting around snacking with something else. Instead of watching TV and munching on corn chips after work, deliberately chose an alternate activity. Join a yoga class or a Bunco game, take a walk, practice an instrument, or get involved with anything that can distract you from bored or binge snacking.

 

6) Sit down and slow down. Eating should be done mindfully. It’s a process that is nourishing your body to keep you healthy and alive. It justifies your attention. Try not to eat standing in the kitchen. Pull up a chair and take a few minutes to relax and enjoy. (Food is a good thing!) Slow down your eating process, too. It takes your brain up to 20 minutes to notice you might be full. You can avoid overeating by taking smaller bites, chewing longer, and drinking water in between. Using silverware also helps; eating with your hands often makes you eat faster.

 

Hopefully, changing your eating habits makes the top of your New Year’s resolution list. With motivation, information, and action, you will rock it! Best of health in 2018 and many future years to come.

 

Sources:

https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-and-nutrition-pictures/bad-eating-habits-and-how-to-break-them.aspx#10

https://healthyforgood.heart.org/add-color/articles/healthy-snacking

https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2017/june/timing-meals-later-at-night-can-cause-weight-gain-and-impair-fat-metabolism

https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/why-you-should-eat-breakfast

https://getthrive.com/sugar-hiding-get/

 

 

Most Effective Healthy Eating Tactics for 2018

“I really want to eat healthy this year!”

Most of us have made this proclamation. But, eating healthy, as most of have experienced, can be a considerable challenge. Fret not, however, because we have assembled the most user-friendly, effective, and successful healthy eating tactics for 2018.

The Three W’s of Healthy Eating

The concept of healthy eating is not necessarily about dieting. Dieting connotes a goal of weight loss. Eating healthily entails a commitment to your overall fitness, which also includes a series of behaviors along with certain types of foods. They are:

  • When to eat
  • What to eat
  • Where you eat

These are the three W’s. Each of these “W” categories incorporates tactics that will make your healthy-living mission most effective.

 

“When” Tactics for Your Eating Plan

The word breakfast literally means to “break” the “fast” that you’ve endured while you were sleeping. Eating within your first waking hour is important because you need to stabilize your blood sugar. Additionally, you are essentially refueling to start your new day. Would you begin a road trip with an empty tank of gas?

Many nutritionists suggest eating every three to fours hours to keep blood sugar levels from dropping too low; no one wants to get “hangry.” One suggestion is to apply a 1-to-10 scale to your level of hunger. A grumbling tummy with a lack of mental focus and low energy would be a 1, 2, or 3. That would mean it’s time to eat.

Feeling bloated or like you have to take a nap right after eating might count as an 8, 9, or 10—meaning you ate too soon after your last meal or too much food. The goal would be to maintain a feeling somewhere between a 4 and a 7. Try not to wait too long between meals or snacks so that you don’t risk over-eating or eating “junk” once you get a hold of some food.

If you want to have a good night’s sleep, you probably shouldn’t go to bed on a full stomach. Have your last meal or snack at least three hours before turning in. If you feel peckish and it’s late, have a full glass of water with a squeeze of lemon, lime, or orange or an herbal or flavored decaf tea. That’s a far better tactic for healthy eating than sneaking a midnight snack.

“What” is Included in My Plan?

The most effective habit you can incorporate into any health plan is to educate and surround yourself with nutritious foods. Knowing the difference between the truth about certain foods versus marketing will help you make better decisions about what you store in your home and what you ingest.

Here are some prevalent truths:

  • We need fat in our diet (as long as it’s monounsaturated or polyunsaturated). This would include olive, coconut, and avocado oil, salmon, some nuts, and seeds, etc. Trans fats and saturated fats are unhealthy (beef, margarine, corn oil, palm oil, vegetable oil, cake mixes, non-dairy creamers, microwave popcorn, some frozen dinners, etc.)

 

  • “Eating 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day could significantly reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, cancer, and early death” (Imperial College London Study, published February 2017.) If you can shop organic, it’s preferred, as you will be subjecting yourself to less toxins in your produce such as pesticides and fertilizers.

 

  • Sugar intake significantly increases health risks such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancers. Sugar in your pre-packaged foods can be listed as: fructose, corn syrup, and cane sugar. None of them will benefit your health or waistline.

 

  • White potatoes, bread, and rice will not help you if you’re on a healthy eating course. Instead, choose whole grains, sweet potatoes, and wild or brown rice.

 

What you stock up on at home is what you will eat.

Effective tactic: Shop wisely and avoid purchasing or bringing home foods that are unhealthy. It’s that simple.

 

“What” Else?

Portion control is a huge (but, keep-it-small) element in healthy eating. Snacks are tiny meals aimed to tide us over until we have our next meal. A meal should be proportioned, balanced, and focused on nutrition and providing energy. Just because you’re eating healthy foods doesn’t mean you should eat a ton.

 

Best “Where” Tactics

Healthy eating can absolutely be successful while dining out. You just need to keep a few things in mind beforehand. Where you go, and how you act when you get there, is all up to you. But you’ve got this!

Most effective tactics for healthy eating away from home (aka as in a restaurant):

  • Peruse the menu before you get there. See what you should/can or should not/cannot eat in advance.
  • When the server asks if you want bread or chips, say, “NO. Thank you. J)
  • Beware of yummy sauces and dressings. They are most likely filled with bad fats and sugar.
  • Keep it simple and delicious. Grilled is a great option, as long as it’s with olive oil, not butter or vegetable oil. Salt, pepper, and garlic in moderation is awesome for flavoring and your health.
  • Side dishes: order the veggies (as long as they’re not drowned in butter), or the fruit. French or home fries, mashed potatoes, salad with a ton of dressing, or slaw with mayonnaise are not productive choices.
  • Order an appetizer instead of a meal. Often, that portion is enough.
  • Order water instead of a sugary or alcoholic beverage.
  • If they serve you too much food, get a to-go box. Don’t force yourself; leftovers are awesome.

 

2018 needs to be a year of success for you and your family. Healthy eating practices are not difficult once you understand which foods will benefit you most and how you can include them into your diet habitually. Hopefully, with our guided tactics, your quest will be simply attained and managed.

 

Sources:

https://www.bodminsou.com/how-often-should-i-eat/

https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-13869/13-tips-to-stay-healthy-when-eating-out.html

https://www.livestrong.com/article/410350-does-eating-every-three-hours-really-raise-metabolism/

https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000747.htm

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/23/homepage2/ten-portions-fruit-vegetables-study/index.html

 

 

 

 

4 Pleasant Ways to Practicing Yoga in 2018

A new year is quickly approaching, and it’s usually our intention to make exercise and stress-reduction a priority. Unfortunately, we get side tracked and our health and fitness goals somehow fall by the wayside. However, for 2018, a healthy body and mind can be yours (and simply!) if you choose to follow these 4 pleasant ways to practice yoga.

 

Happy Yoga New Year!

Most of us already understand the benefits of practicing yoga. But there’s no harm in offering some friendly reminders. Health experts and exercise advocates can probably come up with at least 50 reasons why it’s essential to your overall health. Here are just a few main advantages included in your new-year yoga practice:

 

  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Builds muscle strength
  • Improves posture
  • Protects spine
  • Increases ability to focus
  • Improves balance
  • Relieves tension and anxiety
  • Promotes better sleep
  • Boosts immune system
  • Decreases pain and inflammation

 

Yoga is clearly healing to the body, but it is also incredibly beneficial for the mind. It’s a holistic practice in where everything is connected. For example, garnering better posture opens up your lungs and allows you to breathe more deeply, naturally. More oxygen into your blood improves your nervous system. You then become more relaxed and hopefully more content!

 

Practicing Can Be Pleasant

All too often we think of exercise and then, we think, “Ugh, I don’t want to do it!” But, yoga should be a joy—and it can be. For 2018, change your mindset to, “I want to do it. It keeps me healthy and I feel good!” And, it will be easy for you to have this attitude because practicing yoga can be enjoyable and rewarding.

Here are 4 perfectly pleasant ways to practice:

 

1) Set up a relaxing, clean space. You don’t have to invest in décor, statues, lighting, or a home with an extra bedroom. All you need is a comfy, clean area where no one will interrupt your dedicated time while in your space. Lighting and ventilation are important, but you can burn a candle or leave a window slightly open (as long as there’s no traffic noise.)

Also, keep your mat clean. It makes a difference when you are stretching or lying down.


(Think of nice clean sheets on your bed.)

Making a Great Start Even Better…

2) Begin with gratitude from the very beginning. Whether you are rushing into the yoga studio or anxious to grab a break in your home space, take a moment to breathe and center yourself before entering. You want your practice to start from a place of compassion and gratitude. This is a precious time and you will be glad you enter into it from a positive and calmer place, making the entire experience more pleasant.

 

3) Bring only yourself to your practice. Leave material objects and worries of the world outside your yoga time and space. Therefore, if you’re going to class, just bring a mat. Most studios provide blocks, blankets, and whatever else you might want or need. The idea is lighten your load, physically and mentally.

Do not bring your phone or have your phone on you whenever practicing. Finish whatever task you were doing before you enter. Allow yourself complete freedom of experience. Forget a watch or clock. If you have a given amount of time, you can always set an alarm outside your space. Honor the pleasant simplicity.

And Finally…

4) Choose 4 favorite poses. Many suggest you begin your practice in a “do nothing doll” or “corpse” position. Just lie down, stop moving, and connect to your breath. Then, start out with four different poses that you love and that help your body feel good. You will be way more inclined to anticipate your yoga session if you already associate it with enjoyment and pleasure.

Most of all, yoga should never feel like an obligation. It is a gift you are giving to your body and mind. So take note when you are stretching or posing what feels the best. Start your session with those poses and you’ll be more apt to make time with a positive attitude.

 

Even though we make promises every year, sticking to your practice can be a success in 2018. Approaching your commitment with simplicity and a feeling of pleasantry can make all the difference. Best of body, mind, and spirit to you today—and everyday!

Sources:

https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/count-yoga-38-ways-yoga-keeps-fit

https://www.doyouyoga.com/ten-ways-keep-yoga-practice-simple/

https://yogainternational.com/article/view/the-beginners-guide-to-home-yoga-practice

https://getthrive.com/yoga-heals-brain-body/

https://getthrive.com/yoga-tai-chi-instead-medication/