9 Small Steps To Improve Your Health This Week
Updated: Dec 7, 2019
When I coach clients on changing their lifestyle habits the tendency there is a big to rush in and make a heap of changes while motivation is on a high. But this is the reason so many people fail to keep up with the new healthy habits and lifestyle changes. It quickly becomes overwhelming and a chore. In my professional experience, making small bite-sized changes is the most effective approach to improve your overall health, and offers clients with a better sense of accomplishment.
Becoming healthier and increasing one's fitness is a journey, not an overnight phenomeum. It takes time, planning and effort to lose weight effectively and learn how to keep it off for good. In my practice I coach people to take small steps while making improvements, and to totally own them before moving on and adding more changes to the mix. Here's my best tips to acheive this...
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Stop Gaining Weight
Sounds obvious right, but even if you gain just a kilo or two every year, the extra weight adds up quickly. Instead of launching head first into a huge weight loss program, try making small changes to your daily habits each day to see steady and gradual loss over time rather than a major loss you'll only regain again. Improve your sleep, food choices, activity level and lifestyle choices. Bit by bit counts!
Take More Small Steps
What is repeated daily quickly adds up. If you are sedentary each day, it's time to start adding in some small burst exercise. A small walk of 15-30 minutes to start with is ideal way to get moving, breath fresh air and start to make a difference in your body shape. You can use a pedometer to count your daily steps; then add 2,000, the equivalent of one extra mile. Keep adding steps, 1,000 to 2,000 each month or so, until you take 10,000 steps on most days. Have fun with this and invite friends to join you. You can push the pram with other mums, get out with kids on their scooters or pop some headphones on and go on your own.
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Those who consume a healthy breakfast tend to weigh less and have better diets overall. This is because having a feed after 12-16 hours of 'fasting' rebalances blood sugar levels and adjusts your appetite. When you skip meals or fuel your day on cola, coffee or energy drinks, you experience a caffeine dump which can mess up your metabolism, wreck your hunger hormones and lead to binge eating later in the day. You are far better off having a healthy protein based meal first thing in the morning, than skipping meals.
Hydrate & Supplement
If you are not getting all your essential nutrients from your food, you may choose to supplement your diet. There are many ways to do this and countless products to choose from, but my recommendation is to keep it simple. Adding a protein smoothie to your breakfast menu offers a great way to up your protein intake as well as add in many superfood powders to up your vitamin intake. I use a vegan brand and add in greens powder and other superfoods such as acai berry, maca, raw cacao and spirulina.
Another way to improve food intake is to improve your gut health with a gentle cleanse, probiotics and digestive enzymes. I've written a gentle food based cleanse, you can grab it here, but supplementation is another way to go.
If you want to get fancy, you can try supplements such as Metabotrim®, a dietary supplement that provides essential vitamins and minerals for the normal conversion of food to usable energy. Products like Metabotrim® contain specifically formulated ingredients to help regulate carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. These sorts of products works best in conjunction with a fitness plan and healthy eating plan. Another product is vegan based Full Control which helps you feel fuller and Metabolism Support, which helps support thermogenesis and metabolism. Combined this duo is highly effective.
With all supplementation, check with GP or health practitioner before you use them as some products can interfere with medications you may take. And for goodness sake, by far the BEST supplement to add to your diet is water!
Yes, water is nutrient and one most of us do not get enough of every day. You should be aiming for 3 litres per day and sip throughout the day. Water fuels the brain and curbs cravings, snacking and helps your digestive system function its best. Are you getting enough?
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Have At Least One Green Salad Every Day
Eating a salad (with low-fat or fat-free dressing) is filling and may help you eat less during the meal. It also counts toward your five daily cups of vegetables and fruits. Salad greens are filled with phytonutrients, trace minerals and dietary fibre--all essential nutrient you need every day. A bowl of greens makes a great light meal for dieters and can be paired with lean protein such as a veggie patty, organic, free-range chicken or fresh caught fish to make a balance main meal.
Up the nutrient profile by adding in superfoods such as omega-3 rich chia seeds, pumpkins seeds which are a source of vegan protein, and sunflower seeds which contain selenium. Shredded beets provide a hit of nitrates and pigments that can lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance. Fresh berries offer a generous source for antioxidants and fibre. Sliced green apple can be quite filling and bulk up a salad with a tangy crunch.
Get creative with your salad bowls, jars or sides. Check out my Pinterest for inspiration, click here.
Trim The Fat
Fat gets a bad rap and for good reason. It contains a lot of calories, and calories count. There also a big difference between healthy fats such as avocado, coconut olive oils, nuts, seeds, fish, glee and real butter versus unhealthy fats found in fried foods, cream, cheeses, vegetable shortening, packed biscuits, baked goods and other processed foods.
Whenever possible choose lean, organic butcher meats, poultry without the skin, switch to lower-fat cheeses and organic dairy products. Alternatively try vegan products free of dairy (which can be an allergen to some). When cooking use a nonstick pan with only a dab of coconut oil or butter.
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Get Enough Calcium
Calcium can trigger thermogenesis raising the body's natural core temperature. This in turn boosts your metabolism, which can prompt your bod‘s ability to burn fat. If weight loss is your goal, eat 3 servings of fat-free or low-fat dairy products every day. Dairy calcium is good for bones and may also help you lose weight. For this to happen you need to consume real, wholesome dairy products not supplement, and watch your calorie intake.
This trips up many dieters. They may be eating super healthy now but their portion sizes are too big. The smaller the plate, bottle or bowl, the less you will eat. If do nothing else, use side plates or dessert bowls for all your main means, I guarantee you weight loss will be yours.
Your stomach is only as big as your own fist. Let that sink in a minute—yes it expands, but us natural size is your fist. Now think about you last main meal. How big was it?
Keep Track of Your Food Intake
Now I’m not a huge fan of calorie or macro counting, or dieting. In fact, I am very anti-diet. I believe restriction, limitations and deprivation ultimately leads to slip ups, binging and failure in most people. A far better route is moderation and becoming more conscious of your food consumption.
Write down what you eat over the next couple of days and look for poor choices, excess sugars, calories and try figure out what you could have chosen instead. I swear, just writing things down can and will help you eat less.
Want to explore detoxing in more depth with a little support? Want to look and feel better by eating real food not shakes and restrictive diets? Let me help you sort it all out... book a FREE 15 minute Discovery session!.