So you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and fail after only two weeks. What else can you do? You have tried your very best to reach your weight goals over and over again. How about simply adjusting your lifestyle, while managing to shed pounds and keep them off!
In recent years, I have been asked numerous times, how I always seem to stay… skinny. Well… it’s not my goal to be skinny, really. Besides, I wouldn’t exactly say I am skinny, maybe small or somewhat petite, but not skinny. I partially contribute my body to my mother and my overall habits and upbringing. My weight was not a conscious plan. But somehow I have managed to maintain the same weight range since I was a teenager; now I’m in my late twenties. When I was younger I people would say I must have a fast metabolism. But as I became older and less physically active, maintaining weight still has not been a problem for me. After thinking about it, I pretty much eat whatever I want but it’s really how I manage my food.
I understand that everyone’s’ bodies are different and there are so many factors that contribute to our eating habits. However, the following 7 habits have worked for me. Also, some studies have confirmed the positive effects of my lifestyle habits.
1. Eat balanced meals Typically, a meal of this type consists of one meat, one vegetable, and one starch/carbohydrate on your dinner plate. Maybe a dinner roll too, it just depends on how full you wanna get. Each part of a meal gives the body a lot of what it needs, such as protein, vitamins from the veggies, energy, and cancer fighting agents. The list goes on.
2. Eat fair-sized portions This one is a little challenging to explain, because what maybe an average amount to one could be small to someone else. Don’t stuff yourself but eat a sizable amount to satisfy. For instance, consider a pie graph. Fill the plate with each food selection as halves and quarters to medium capacity. Be careful of how often you snack and how much of the snack you consume!
3. Drink water (occasionally drink soda and fruit juices) Clearly this habit cuts out a lot of sugar and many other not so good chemicals from your body. I got into the water habit in college but those days, I liked to drink plenty of fruit punch and soda; which is the reason for my frequent visits to the dentist. Then, at the age of 19, I started carrying and drinking bottled water everywhere I went. Occasionally, I drink fruit drinks but not very often and a glass of soda maybe 2-3 times a month. I try to drink half my weight in ounces of water daily.
4. Have a set bedtime and sleep minimum 7.5 to 8 hours Those that know me, know that I’ve had a fairly routine existence thus far. So it’s been easy to get into bed and sleep to my hearts desire. Rest is replenishing, it can boost metabolism, promote healthy skin, improve memory and mood, plus many other health benefits! All throughout school and well into my twenties, I hardly ever took naps and saved those valuable hours of shut-eye for night-time.
5. Limit candy and sweets Maybe I am unique in this area, but I haven’t been much of dessert eater. I liked the milk and cookies combo and ice cream as a kid, but I never experienced cravings for chocolate. My mother didn’t have a candy drawer anywhere in the house, so when I managed to get my hands on sweets it was usually during holidays or a random visit to the grocery store register aisle. We all know sweets are very high in fat and do nothing for our health. Well, unless it’s dark chocolate.
6. Physical activity at least three days a week Burn baby, burn those calories! As a kid, I walked from school and I did experience gym class. I walked all over campus in college, used the elliptical only two days a week at the gym on campus, danced for fun on Fridays for many years, dabbled in a bit of weight training, became obsessed with yoga and walked America’s malls until I dropped from shopping on Saturdays. Like Michelle Obama says ‘Let’s Move.’
7. Eat breakfast I owe this habit to my mother. Breakfast was always being prepared to some degree in the mornings. Then, when I became older I inherited the need for breakfast. Simply put, I feel famished when I don’t have it within an hour of waking up most mornings, because my stomach will growl, my concentration isn’t so great and most importantly the lack of energy. Plus, I need something in my stomach so I can take my daily vitamin! Eating breakfast promotes a healthy metabolism and a host of other benefits as well!