52 Weeks—52 Healthy Suggestions

Here are 52 suggestions that can help you stay healthy all year long. Even though you may know most of this, I would encourage you to start doing many of the things listed. That’s the only way you will start seeing results—the kind of results you like—in the mirror, in your closet, and in your energy.

I must also let you know that even if you stick to these 52 things, you might not lose the weight you would like to lose. Often, we need to consider and take into account hormonal fluctuations in a woman over 40 or a woman who just had a child.  Also, someone who has blood sugar issues, or someone who is tired and overworked, which I know many of you reading this can relate to, will need additional specialized attention. And yes, there are the emotional patterns that keep us stuck as well. This list is; however, still a good place to start.

Continue to change your life in 2009 with these 52 tips. Help yourself to these little changes, one for every week or the year. Each small suggestion is a practical and manageable change for the better.

  1. Drink water instead of sodas (including diet sodas).
  2. Keep a packed gym bag in your car at all times. That way you’re always ready to work out.
  3. By noon tomorrow, do something that has you in a full sweat.
  4. When you are busy working in your office, stand up and start balancing on one leg. It will strengthen your core.
  5. Include at least two serving’s of veggies at every meal.
  6. Pick out a 5K walk or bike ride in your community and pay your registration fee well in advance. That way you won’t drop out.
  7. Tell a friend you did No. 6. Now that you admitted to it, you have to do it—right?
  8. Eat from a salad plate instead of a dinner plate.
  9. Never miss breakfast. Your brain and body work better all day long if you start off with a healthy breakfast. Also, when you’re hungry, you make bad choices.
  10. Eat slowly, savor your food and pay attention. Don’t do other things while eating like reading, watching TV, etc.
  11. Don’t deny yourself a guilty pleasure. But have just a bite or two, not the whole thing.
  12. Keep a food journal.
  13. Sit when you eat.
  14. If you really want it, order one dessert and share it with others.
  15. Try and drink your glass of red wine only on the weekends or special occasions.
  16. If you work out in the evenings, don’t stop at home from work. The mail and phone messages may distract you from your mission.
  17. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise. If you do have mayonnaise make sure it’s “non-hydrogenated.”
  18. Keep in mind that one portion of protein (4 oz) is the size of a deck of cards.
  19. Eat fish twice a week. Omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart, skin, and so much more.
  20. Create a few healthy and motivating affirmations, and repeat them daily.
  21. When dining out, always have your salad dressing on the side.
  22. Eat your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime.
  23. Make a “treat” something rare. If you’re eating a bowl of ice cream every night, it’s no longer a treat. It’s a habit.
  24. Bake, grill, or steam foods instead of frying.
  25. Set little goals and reward yourself, but not with food.
  26. If you work out in the mornings, make it easy, get your workout clothes ready the night before so you’ll get dressed by rote.
  27. Usually portion sizes are much bigger than you need. So when ordering in a restaurant, ask the server to bring you half of the meal and to set the other half aside to take home. That way, it won’t tempt you when it’s sitting on your plate.
  28. On occasion, while dinning out, you may want some bread. Plan to use olive oil on your bread instead of butter and limit yourself to only a piece or two, no more.
  29. Instead of sour cream try Greek yogurt instead. It is a much healthier choice without compromising taste.
  30. Skip sugar-laden exercise drinks. You’re probably not working out hard enough to need the extra calories they provide. Nor is the added sugar what your body needs. It tends to reduce your immune system as well as most systems in your body. Instead, have watery fruits such as watermelon or grapes in addition to water for hydration.
  31. Eat the whole egg, it’s a pure protein. Mother Nature made it that way for a reason.
  32. Taste food before adding salt. Only use salt to enhance the flavor of foods not to mask it.
  33. Trim all visible fat from meat.
  34. Use low fat dairy products.
  35. Substitute sweet potatoes for white potatoes. White potatoes can cause fluctuations in blood sugar for many people—often causing weight gain.
  36. If you find yourself eating pasta often, shift from eating white-flour pasta to whole-wheat by mixing half of each until you’re accustomed to the flavor and texture of whole wheat. As a general rule; however, limit your pasta consumption to only a couple of times a month.
  37. Of course, eat whole wheat instead of white bread. However, sour dough is a beneficial “white” flour product for many—not all.
  38. Park far from an entrance and walk instead of driving around to find a closer spot. Exercise whenever you can.
  39. Rather than sitting and having a conversation, take a walk with a friend or loved one to talk about the day’s events.
  40. Eat fresh fruit for a refreshing dessert. It’s good for you and not filled with sugar and empty calories.
  41. Always combine protein and carbohydrates with each meal to help balance your blood sugar. For example, string cheese with an apple. Spikes in blood sugar make you feel tired, irritable, and hungry.
  42. Always keep nuts and dried fruit (unsulphured) with you, so you can maintain proper blood sugar while traveling or during hectic days.
  43. Nuts (not peanuts they are a legume) make great snacks. However, don’t overdo them. The limit should be a handful a day—no more. And try different nuts, so you don’t develop any food sensitivities. Also, always choose unsalted ones.
  44. Make working out a family affair. While your kids are on the ball field, jog around the park.
  45. Find workout activities your family can do together—ride bikes, hike, or jog.
  46. Alter your exercise routine to avoid getting bored. If you take a spinning class one day, try yoga or lifting weights another day.
  47. Sometimes a workout partner is a good idea—you encourage each other.
  48. Schedule your workout like an appointment, so skipping the gym is not an option. It becomes as automatic as eating well and like brushing your teeth.
  49. Create a daily log of fitness activities with specific goals, and then keep track of them.
  50. Check out several exercise CDs or tapes from your local library. Try them all and buy the ones you like.
  51. Go to your local track with a stopwatch once a month and time yourself for a full-out, one-lap sprint.
  52. When you’re home watching TV, sit on a large exercise ball, rather than the couch, to tighten your core.

Stay with it and good luck with developing your healthy habits!

(c) Monika Klein, B.S., C.N. is an award winning clinical nutritionist and weight loss expert. Monika is the “Compassionate and Practical Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach.” Her company, Coaching For Health, offers life transforming weight loss and wellness programs, classes and products throughout the world. To learn more about Monika’s services and programs, visit www.coachingforhealth.com.

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