By Krista Gray
Americans are spending billions of dollars on weight loss products, and yet the percentage of obese,overweight and unnecessarily diseased individuals continues to climb. The onset of diabetes and heart disease continues to strike younger people at an alarming rate. Many of these problems are completely avoidable if a healthy body composition is maintained. Here are five small changes that can have huge results without spending a fortune on fad diets, products, or surgeries. Just imagine how much money you can save on future medical expenses.
1) If you bite it, write it!
Awareness is the first step to living a healthy lifestyle. Journal everything you eat for at least a week. Everything that goes into your mouth goes into your journal. Beverages, gum, soda, the couple pieces of candy you got at the bank. Every taste you take while making dinner and even the leftovers you ate off your child’s plate to avoid throwing them away. Tracking your food intake in this manner can show you where invisible calories are coming from that can easily be avoided in the future without any demanding diet program. The fact that you have to write it down can help you refrain from mindlessly eating hundreds of extra calories each day.
2) Surround yourself with support!
The opinions of friends and family can greatly impact your lifestyle choices. Seek out friends who are also trying to make healthier choices. Share recipes, exercise dates and emotional struggles. If you don’t know anyone then there are blogs, and all kinds of great support programs available online to keep you motivated and assist you in making great choices. You may even make some lasting new friendships.
3) Eat only at specific locations!
Watching television and snacking is a huge problem for most people. An entire bag of chips or container of ice cream can disappear without a trace. If food is only available in the dining room or kitchen, you have to decide if you are actually hungry and make a conscious choice to go eat a snack. A small container of ice cream can contain over 1000 calories and chips can easily top 1500, this can add up to lots of added lbs over time.
4) Increase activity levels!
This does not mean that you have to hit the gym, although exercise classes and personal trainers can be helpful tools, there are many other ways to get active. Find something to do that you enjoy! Exercise has to be fun if you are going to continue to do it for the rest of your life. Dance lessons, active video games, going for walks, bouncing on an exercise ball while watching television, etc there are tons of interesting ways to get moving. Just remember to make small increases every day. Use Internet trainers or blog sites to seek out new options if you start to feel bored.
5) Decide that you are worth it!
So often we spend our lives focused on taking care of others and refuse to recognize that we are no longer taking care of ourselves. Make the conscious choice to dedicate some of your time and energy to making your own life better. Small indulgences can help you focus on yourself, try taking a bubble bath, or allotting half an hour to a great book. To change your life, you have to see yourself as a worthy cause. These small steps are only the beginning but I’m sure you noticed that none require huge commitments of time, money or uncomfortable and unsustainable change. Each day, each meal, each moment you have a choice. Use the knowledge you have to make one choice each day toward a better lifestyle and the benefits will soon inspire more small change each good choice puts you one small step closer to health.