Think Lifestyle, Not Diet: Seven Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Jan 13, 2014

Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

by Foothills Sports Medicine Physical Therapy

As we start into the New Year, many of us are working back into our routines and setting health and fitness goals for 2014. It is important to make sure that the goals you are setting for yourself are reasonable otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure. Although committing to a diet may initially give you faster results, most often people are unable to stick to their restricted diets and end up regaining any weight they may have lost. Instead, try focusing on lifestyle changes. Setting reasonable goals for change in your daily eating and exercise habits will give you better lasting results. Below are seven healthy habits to follow that will give you the right start to changing your lifestyle:
Give up bad carbs. Giving up carbohydrates altogether is a recipe for a health disaster. Carbs have been the most popular feared food in trendy diets. The mistake people make is giving up carbohydrates altogether. There are good carbs in whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans. Our bodies benefit from carbs full of fiber that get absorbed slowly into our digestive systems and do not interfere with our blood sugar levels. Fiber is an important tool for weight management. High-Fiber foods will keep you fuller on fewer calories.
Eat Fat. Fat is needed for important body processes including digestion and nutrient absorption. Fat may be high in calories but it is a huge source of fuel for our bodies. Instead of avoiding fats altogether, focus on finding the good fats in raw nuts, organic meat, fish, pure nut butters and olive oil.
Watch your portions. There is no big mystery in any miracle diet. Diets get you to cut your calorie intake giving you quick weight loss; however diets like this are not easily maintained and can do more harm than good to your body. In order to lose weight and continue to maintain healthy eating you need to continue to eat the foods you like but only in reasonable portions. Live a lifestyle with the foods you like but aim for the foods high in nutrition and just make sure you are eating less of the foods that are not as good for you.
Keep your hormones in check. An imbalance in your hormones can cause energy loss, loss of mental clarity, a decrease in lean muscle mass, increased belly fat, loss of sleep, headaches, mood swings, etc. You can begin to restore hormonal balance as early as your next meal. Eating often and on schedule is good for your metabolism but it will also help you keep your insulin levels low and help eliminate cravings and fat storage. Make sure to get plenty of protein to keep you feeling full and try and eat super fat-burning foods such as cinnamon. Try mixing cinnamon with a high-protein cheese like cottage or ricotta for a snack.  If you are eating healthy and exercising regularly and are not losing weight you may want consider seeing a specialist to check your hormone levels.
Hydrate. At the very minimum drink a few glasses of water a day for digestion, mood, organs, blood and overall health. Don’t drink your calories, choose water!
Keep moving. Instead of sitting on the couch, take a walk. Choose the further parking spot. You don’t have to be a slave to cardio to shed some weight. Making a conscious effort to move throughout your day will keep your metabolism working harder.
Pay Attention to Nutrition. While you do want to pay attention to the portions of food you consume you want to also make sure that the foods you are eating are filled with nutrition. Although some foods may be low in calories and carbs, they could be filled with salts and sugars.
Healthy and Nutrition filled foods on a budget:
Brown Rice
Whole Wheat
Russet Potatoes
Frozen Vegetables

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