|ABCs of weight loss.|
- Cook at home. I realize that you’re busy and between work, helping kids with homework, and taxiing your family around, it might seem like the drive-thru is the answer to your prayers. Consistently making dinner at home and eating at the dinner table may seem like a big inconvenience. But, studies show this is key to improving your health. According to one study, cooking at home leads people to make and eat healthier foods and those who cook at home experience more positive emotions. Plus, by cooking at home, you can control exactly how much sodium and fat is in your food. Try making a large batch of a meal so you’ll have on-the-go leftovers. Or, cook several meals over the weekend and freeze individual servings for healthy meals you can just heat up on busy days.
- Exercise regularly. OK, I know carving out time in your schedule to exercise is a little like reading a “Where’s Waldo” book. But finding the time to get active may be the healthy life magic bullet. Researchers in a 2011 study found that exercising just 20 minutes 3 times per week can cut your risk for developing type II diabetes by over 30%. That’s just 60 minutes of exercise per week, folks! When you leave your house for the day, take your sneakers with you so you will be ready to get moving when a free moment presents itself.
- Track your food. According to one study, the study participants who tracked what they ate on a daily basis lost twice as much weight as those who didn’t track their diet. If you want to lose weight and improve your health, taking a few minutes each day to update your food log will make you more aware of what you’re eating and where those extra calories might be sneaking in.
- Turn off your laptop and cell phone before bed. Who doesn’t want to wake up feeling well rested and ready for the day? If you’re burning the midnight oil texting, typing, and checking out Facebook, you might be in for a restless night. One study found that interactive technology, like laptops, cell phones, and video games, not only affect the quality and quantity of sleep you get at night, but they are bigger sleep busters than falling asleep while watching your favorite late-night show on T.V. So, try setting a bed time and turn off all technology (especially laptops, cell phones, and video games) at least 30 minutes before you want to hit the sack.
- Make (and eat) breakfast every morning. Mom may have been right in saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. And grabbing a Pop-Tart on your way out the door is not gonna do the trick! Not only are most on-the-go breakfasts loaded with sugar, they also lack a major breakfast must-have: protein. According to a 2011 study, eating a balanced breakfast that includes protein, can reduce cravings and decrease overeating, which can help you stay on track the rest of the day. Start your day with a true breakfast of champions and include high protein foods like egg whites or Greek yogurt.