Improve Your Diet And Start Exercising For Better Health 

If you’re like most people, you probably made one or more New Year’s Resolutions.  Among the most common resolutions people tend to make is to lose weight and get in better shape. Unfortunately, most people’s resolutions only last about a week, and in many cases, less than that.

Then the real world intrudes, and you realize that accomplishing those goals takes hard work, dedication and focus.

In short, it’s not fun.  If it’s something you’re serious about though, you should know that you don’t have to obsess over it to see a big difference in your life.  Small changes, made incrementally over time, can result in significant weight loss and a much better level of overall health.

Here are a few basic tips to get you started:

  • Eat from a smaller plate. Even if you don’t make significant changes to your diet, this is a great way to start.  It’s a simple psychological trick that works on just about everyone.  You can load your smaller plate to capacity and it still won’t hold as much food as you normally eat on a full-sized plate.  Of course, it goes without saying that you should skip seconds.
  • Add more veggies to your diet. Again, you don’t have to go crazy here, but if your daily diet is short on veggies, simply adding some and eating them first will do wonders for your weight and overall level of health.
  • Consider developing a new walking habit. This is perhaps the easiest and lowest intensity form of exercise you can do.  Best of all, you already know how and have everything you need to do it.  Start modestly, with a ten or fifteen minute walk, every third day, then work up gradually from there.

These are simple changes that you’ll barely have to adjust your routine for, but if you do them and stick with it for a few months, you’ll be amazed at the results and it will likely prompt you to want to do even more.



Bad Posture Affects More Than Just Your Back 

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times.  Watch your posture!  Be mindful of your posture! You keep hearing about it because it’s important.  If you’ve ever suffered a massive headache due to several hours’ worth of improper sitting, you understand and appreciate why posture is so important.

What few people realize, however, is that poor posture can do a lot more than simply giving you an aching neck or back.  Over the long haul, it can literally reshape your spine and do even more than that.  Here are a few of the other ways your posture can negatively impact your health:

Nerve Constriction & Damage

Your body was designed to stand and sit a certain way.  Any time you do something that runs counter to your body’s inherent design, it can cause nerves all over your body to become pinched and constricted.  Pinched nerves can obviously cause pain in the immediate area where the nerve is, but they’re all interconnected in a massive highway inside your body. That means a pinched nerve in your back can cause pain in your arms or legs too.  Worse, these kinds of issues don’t go away on their own.  They’ll only get more severe with time.

Increased Risk Of Heart Disease

Just like poor posture can pinch nerves, it can also constrict blood flow by constricting blood vessels all over your body.  This, in turn, can result in blood clots and a condition called ‘Deep Vein Thrombosis,’ both of which can and will increase your chances of developing heart disease.

Poor Digestion

On top of that, poor posture, especially while seated in a slouching position, can compress the organs in your abdominal region, which includes your digestive tract.  The effect isn’t immediate, but over time, it can negatively impact your metabolism and your ability to digest food properly.

As you can see then, poor posture is bad news for lots of different reasons you may not have considered!

Will You Overeat This Holiday Season?

Tis the season to be jolly, and to eat!  A lot.

In fact, many people make New Years Resolutions centered around weight loss specifically because they overindulged on all the goodness offered during the holiday season.

Below, you’ll find a few simple tips to help keep from over-doing it where all the delicious food is concerned.

Advanced Planning Pays Off

If you know that you’re going to a feast later in the day, skip breakfast, or eat a sparse one.  The same thing goes for lunch.  About an hour before you’re scheduled to go to the feast, drink a big glass of water to help fill you up before you get there.

Eat Slowly

Once there, take the time to savor the food, and give yourself about fifteen or twenty minutes before you decide to go back for seconds. One of the reasons we so often wind up feeling overstuffed is that it takes our bodies about twenty minutes to realize we’re full.  If you don’t wait, you’ll wind up eating a second helping and then be miserably full by the time your body catches up.

Use A Smaller Plate!

This works especially well if you’re the one hosting the feast, as you can simply choose to serve yourself on a smaller plate.  Even if not, use the bread plate instead of the dinner plate. It’s a simple psychological trick that will leave you feeling satisfied without overdoing it.  Your brain sees the plate brimming with delicious food, and is happy with that, despite that the plate is smaller. If you combine this with the “twenty-minute rule” mentioned above, you’ll rarely walk away from the table feeling miserably full.

These three tips, taken together, will practically guarantee that you’ll enjoy the holiday feasting without overindulging, and that’s a very good thing indeed!

Reach Your New Year’s Resolution Fitness Goals 

If you’re like many people, you overindulge where the holiday feasting is concerned.

This inevitably leads to New Year’s Resolutions surrounding fitness and weight loss, which usually last until about noon on January second.

If you’d like to break the cycle and turn your fitness New Year’s Resolutions into reality, here’s how:

Set Modest Goals

Don’t set a goal to “lose fifty pounds”  That’s a huge goal that’s not realistic.  Instead, set incremental goals:  Say, ten pounds, with a promise to set a new goal once you’ve achieved it.

Ten pounds is (relatively) easy, and once you achieve that goal, it will give you the confidence you need to achieve your next incremental goal.

Don’t Punish Yourself

Too often, people set a weight loss goal that sees them adopting a draconian diet of little more than twigs and berries.

It’s not surprising then, that about a week into the diet, your body rebels, your willpower crumbles and the next thing you know you’ve got a big spoonful of your favorite Ben and Jerry’s ice cream flavor in your mouth.

Where exercise is concerned, the same thing holds:  People start out trying to achieve the impossible, working out for an hour or two at a stretch, which leads to pain, which leads to frustration, which leads to giving up.

Slow and steady wins the race here.  Start with cutting out certain snack foods where diet is concerned, giving your body time to adjust and adapt.  On the exercise front, instead of trying a twenty-mile hike on day one, settle for a half mile down the road and back to your house, working up to the larger goals.

Don’t Weigh Yourself Every Day

Getting obsessive over what the scales say doesn’t help.  Avoid daily weighing.  Settle on a schedule of once a week.  You’re less likely to give up in frustration when you don’t see the needle move as much as you’d like it too.

Weight loss and fitness goals are achievable, but you’ve got to structure them properly.  If you do, you’ll be amazed at the progress you can make!