Eating and fitness challenges are designed to be just that, challenging. Changing your daily habits are hard. Changing your relationship with food and exercise can be even harder. Sometimes it is about losing weight, but more importantly it’s about feeling healthier. Small changes can often make a bigger difference than you think. Here are some small changes you can make to make yourself feel healthy and have more energy every day.
Fueling your body well is so important. Excessive sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats can really wreak havoc on your system. Digestive issues are a huge problem that can sometimes go away completely by removing or limiting sugar, lactose, and other items from your diet. Sugar can give you headaches and mess with your metabolism and energy levels. Salt and fat can mess with your heart and liver. Overall your energy levels can be pretty low. Small changes like simple substiutions can really make a big difference.
- Pick a healthy substitute for cooking products you use every day such as replacing sour cream with non-fat Greek yogurt.
- Replace dairy milk with almond or coconut milk. Unsweetened vanilla tastes great in cereal. Regular unsweetened can be used in cheese and other cream sauces. the nutty flavor actually makes them tastier.
- Replace white rice with brown rice
- Reduce the amount of sugar you eat
- Reduce processed foods (Clean Eating Foods List HERE)
- Eat more fruits and vegetables regularly. Here are some yummy ways to get more fruits and veggies into your daily diet.
- Use the My Fitness Pal App to track calories and scan food items. Awareness to what you are eating is important it making any changes.
- Download the Fooducate App to scan or search food items. B+ or higher means it’s clean eating approved. You would be surprised at how many “healthy” advertised foods have lots of sugar and additives.
I’m finally just now realizing how important staying hydrated is. 64-80 oz every day is recommended. That’s 4-5 16oz glasses a daily. Staying hydrated also helps with digestive issues. It also helps you have more energy and stay fuller longer. Having plenty water in your system also helps keep your core temperature steady and helps nutrients flow through your blood and get to where they need to be in your body.
- Look and add up the calories in all beverages you drink in one day. Then strive to cut that amount in half by replacing it with water.
- Cut out soda from your diet, or at least cut back. The carbonation can actually make your more dehydrated.
- Schedule your liquids. Make it a goal to drink 16oz at every meal, mid-morning, and later afternoon. It helps to know that by a certain time you should have had a certain amount to drink.
- Pre-measure a half gallon of water in a pitcher and leave it in your fridge. Know that you have to drink at least a half gallon during the day.
- Not a “water person”? Drink naturally sweet juice like apple juice just water it down slowly. That way your taste buds get used to the lack of sugar.
- Put lemons, limes, strawberries or other fruit in your cold water to flavor it.
- Use herbal iced tea as a substitute. Boil herbal tea and add honey or agave syrup. Pour it into a pitcher and leave it in the fridge. Every time you make a pitcher, add a little less syrup until eventually you won’t need any at all.
Exercise and Fitness
More movement can make you feel so much better! Pick a time that works for you. I know I work better in the morning because I have more energy. It also works for my schedule because I drop the kids off at school at the same time and then I can go exercise. Not only does it help you metabolism but it helps your heart. Remember that you heart is a muscle too and needs to be exercised.
- Take a walk daily. Slowly work up to a faster pace or longer distance every day.
- Find some local hiking trails. It’s a fun and interesting way to get some exercise.
- Use a fitness app to track steps, exercise, and calories burned.
- Use a treadmill. You can track miles, calories, and incline (which burns more calories). It’s motivation.
- Mid-day slump. Try a few jumping jacks to up your heart-rate a bit. That will help wake your body up.
Find out more about my journey into getting healthier HERE.
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