5 Healthy Habits to Help Maintain Optimal Weight
Before I went to college to become a dietitian, I believed that people’s body types were purely genetic. While genetics plays a large part of our physical make up, I now know that there are many other factors that come into play. You may know people that are naturally thin or muscular but I would bet that they work every day to maintain that body type in one way or another. Here are 5 tips to help maintain a healthy body weight. See if you are doing these, too, or if you could add a few more to your daily regimen!
1. Find an excuse to be physically active every day
With this day in age, we spend countless hours in front of a screen. Whether at work with a computer, playing on a smart phone, or home watching TV, Americans spend a lot of time sitting in front of a screen making it difficult to reach our activity goals every day. Try to make a point to get up and get moving every single day. Some of my favorite ways to fit this in are: walks around the neighborhood with friends or family, walking to the grocery store to pick up a few things, or doing a workout class or exercise video. How about you? Do you make it a point to get your body moving every day? Try a weekly golf date, working outside in the yard, or even a quick jog with the dog.
2. Eat a bunch of vegetables
By a bunch, I mean A LOT! I try to eat vegetables with lunch, dinner and at snack time. Not only do they provide loads of vitamins and minerals, they are also a great source of fiber. Fiber is an important part of any diet because it helps slow the digestion of other foods, including sugar into the bloodstream, and helps keep our insides regular and clean. Instead of chips with lunch, try a handful of carrot sticks. At dinner, steam some green beans as an easy, tasty side. For snack time, slice up some red, yellow or green bell peppers for a sweet, satisfying crunch!
3. Drink plenty of water
Over the years, many clients have complained to me about not liking water, or not being able to drink enough of it. Personally, I found that the more water I drank, the more I craved it to quench my thirst. Now it is the only beverage I reach for. Water is also an important partner to fiber as it, too, helps move things along to keep you regular. We lose water constantly through every day activities like sweating so it is important to replenish the body. Try adding lots of ice, lemon slices, or even cucumber slices to your water bottle to help boost your intake. Opt for at least eight glasses of water per day.
4. Get enough rest
While it is important to exercise daily, it is also important to give your body time to rejuvenate. You may find that the more physically active you are, the better you sleep at night. Tossing and turning, waking for periods of time at night, can lead to sluggishness during the day. Giving your body time to expend energy every day will help you to better settle in at night leading to more restful sleep.
5. Do not deprive yourself
The last healthy habit to follow is to try not to be too strict with yourself. Things can be especially difficult for people with diabetes as you have to constantly be on top of your blood sugar levels, medications, and diet. If there is something you truly love, speak with your doctor about ways to keep it in your diet. When we feel that we have to deprive ourselves indefinitely, it can lead to feelings of disappointment and even bingeing on the item and feeling as though we want to throw in the towel. You may need to find a sugar-free substitute, cut down to once a week, or have a smaller piece during a meal, but some is better than none.
What about you? Do you follow these 5 healthy habits?
Were the financial costs of type 2 diabetes surprising to you?