“Eating right and exercising” sounds easy enough, but can become pretty difficult when you’re faced with a demanding job, family obligations, and social commitments. If you’re having a hard time meeting your health goals, or just want to take some small steps to kick off your health journey, you’re in luck. We’re giving our top tips to help you improve your health - no gym membership required.
Use Smaller Plates
For an easy way to tone up your diet, use smaller plates and bowls. A 2015 study showed that people consistently eat and drink more when presented with larger-sized portions, so by swapping your flatware, you may be able to cut some calories without dieting.
Making healthy food substitutions can have a big impact on your health. Replace white bread, rice, and pasta with whole-grain alternatives, switch out beef for turkey or chicken, and eat fruit in place of your nightly dessert. You’ll be surprised at the difference a few swaps make! For even more inspiration, take a look at our favorite quick and heart healthy recipes.
Walk and Talk
If you’re having trouble carving out time to exercise, try to walk while you talk. Pace during your daily conference call or go outside and take a walk while you catch up with relatives and friends. It’s a great way to sneak in some exercise while keeping in touch!
Move Whenever You Can
If you don’t have time to go to the gym or commit to an exercise routine, try to sneak in walks wherever you can. Park farther away, do an extra lap in the store, and take the stairs as often as you can. Those extra steps can add up!
Walk The Office
If you work at a sedentary job, chances are you aren’t getting much movement for at least 8 hours a day. While big changes may not be possible at the office,, try to get up at least once an hour. Walk to a co-worker’s desk instead of sending an email. Use the bathroom farthest away from you instead of the closest. If nothing else, do a quick lap around the office.
Be Mindful While Eating
In a review of eating behavior, researchers found that being distracted during a meal tended to make participants eat more not only during the meal, but after the meal as well. To ensure you’re eating the right amount to stay satiated, try to decrease mealtime distractions by stepping away from the computer, putting down the phone, and turning off the TV.
However, if you absolutely have to multitask while you’re eating, there are still ways to be mindful. Try taking small bites instead of large forkfuls. According to a 2013 study, people who take small bites, even when distracted, consume about 30% less than individuals who take large bites. Just make sure you don’t gulp down your food - another study shows that eating more slowly can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
If you open your fridge or pantry and the first thing you see is chips, chocolate, or other tempting, high-calorie foods, every trip to the kitchen will become an exercise in willpower. To stop mindless or impulsive snacking, keep your junk food of choice somewhere out of sight. You’ll be less likely to eat out of boredom and more likely to enjoy it when you’re truly hungry.
You don’t have to make huge, overnight changes to positively impact your health. By implementing small tweaks to your everyday routine, you can eat more healthy foods, cut down on snacking, and sneak in more daily movement. Which tip will you try first?