The Top Activities You Can Start Today
Trying to maintain a healthy weight can be challenging. With fast food restaurants readily available, busy schedules, and family, eating a solid, nutritional meal goes by the wayside.
Alarmingly, the World Health Organization stated the following findings as of 2019:
- 37 percent of American have cardiovascular disease.
- 34 percent of U.S. adults have hypertension, a major risk factor for stroke and heart disease.
- 36 percent of Americans have prehypertension, higher than normal blood pressure.
So, what does one do to start getting back on track? Start from the beginning. The following activities are readily available to you for maintaining a healthy weight:
- Put away the electronics – In today’s society, almost everyone has a cell phone or computer. With busy schedules, often we check our phones when we eat. Justifying our behavior by doing two things at once. However, we are being destructive to our health.
- The tasteofhome.com reported in a recent article, “Eating while watching an electronic like the television, can lead to overeating or undereating. The brain becomes distracted by the program, and you can lose track of your calorie intake.”
Instead, use your mealtime as a break, both physically and mentally. Allow your mind to catch up with all the information it has received. Find a park bench where you can breathe in the fresh air and digest your meal properly before returning to work.
- Start first thing in the morning – Breakfast is one of the most skipped meals among American adults. As life has progressively gotten faster every day, eating is often skipped to get on with the day. Yet, as children, we are taught to always eat our breakfast before we go to school. Coffee is great, but we need more.
If you are a jumping up-and-run kind of person, keep a loaf of bread or bagels beside your toaster with some soft butter or sugar-free jam. While you are putting on your shoes, toast your bread, put your topping on, and head out. If you are looking for something heartier, make breakfast burritos. Include veggies and eggs for added protein. This is also a great activity to do with the children. Create an assembly line and make enough for the week. Now the kids can tell their friends they made their own breakfast. It is a win-win.
- Do not fall back to old habits on your days off – When we do have a chance to relax and sleep in, old habits tend to creep up. This is the best time to check your diet. Use this time to try new healthy recipes and incorporate them into your weekly meals. This is also a good time to pack snacks when on the go.
Treat yourself to a well-balanced meal a few times a week. Salmon and asparagus are great on the BBQ. For indoor meals try using your crockpot. A hearty stew with lots of vegetables is always a welcome meal.
- Use smaller plates – When plating your food, put it on a salad plate as opposed to a dinner plate. This convinces the brain that there is more food on the smaller plate, causing you to think you are full when finished. This is called the Delboeuf illusion. It is the illusion our brains tell our hunger levels. When the same amount of food on large and small plates, is presented to the consumer, the consumer inevitably chooses the smaller plate believing they are getting more food.
Next time you are having a healthy dinner at home, use the smaller plate for your main course and the larger plate for salad or vegetables. When dining out, ask for a side plate for your meal. If you are still hungry later, you will have leftovers to reach for.
- Go after the rainbow – This idea works great on salads and snacks. The Centers for Disease Control recommend, “…federal guidelines recommend that adults eat at least 1.5 to 2 cups per day of fruit and 2 to 3 cups per day of vegetables.”
When making your next salad, add some red peppers and mushrooms for added protein. When craving something sweet, make yourself a fruit bar. Add fresh sliced strawberries, blueberries, and bananas to Greek yogurt. For added crunch add some low-fat granola. Each week try something new and begin enjoying eating fruits and vegetables again.
Make sure you check in with your body when changing your diet. The idea is to change your habits, and way of thinking about food. Before long, you will enjoy the idea of cooking good food and eating healthier. As French Author, Francois de La Rochefoucauld once quoted, “To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”