Increase whole foods.

Convenience food, laden with sugar, salt and unhealthy fat, is all over the place in our current environment. These ingredients in excess do more harm than good to our bodies. When you opt for fruits, legumes, and vegetables, you are getting vital vitamins, minerals and flavonoids that protect you from all sort of inflammatory diseases. When chips and donuts is what you choose, you are simply getting lots of calories with no nutritional value. Try to stay away from  packaged foods with a large number of ingredients for a week, your body will be happy and you will note the difference!

Drink more water

Drinking water is the easiest way to keep your weigh in check and feel energetic. Some of the symptoms of dehydration are lethargy and food cravings, specially sweets. Sugary foods, as we have experienced, give us a quick surge of energy usually followed by a crash. If plain water is not for you, spice it up by adding a splash of lemon or orange juice. Just keep in mind, your body works better when you are hydrated

Get Your Zzzs

Sleeping soundly makes us feel refreshed, revitalized, and ready to take on any challenge. Getting adequate rest can also keep the weight off. There is ample evidence that confirms how sleep deprivation can alter certain hormones, such as ghrelin, which is known to increase cravings for carbohydrate foods. If you have difficulty getting 7-9 hours of sleep, establish a night routine before sleeping and keep away from electronics at least one hour before bedtime.

Laugh like no one is watching.

Have you ever laughed so hard that all of the sudden your body feels lighter and relaxed; no wonder the proverb, laughter is the best medicine. Studies have shown that laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, eases digestion, relieves stress and insomnia. Make any excuse to laugh more: watch a comedy movie, favorite sitcom, play with your children or pet or call that friend that makes you laugh.

Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. — Lord Byron

Cook with herbs and spices.

Plain food will be pretty boring and stale without the wonderful array of herbs and spices nature has afforded us. They not only makes any meal tastes and smells better, spices and herbs also supply health promoting compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that keep us healthy. If you are new to spices, start by using oregano, basil and cumin, these herbs go pretty much with everything such as: soups, vegetables, sauces and spices.

 

Eat mindfully.

Mindfulness happens when you are paying full attention to what you are doing at the moment. Eating and multi-tasking only leads to overeating and eating processed foods, that frankly your body does not need.  When you start paying attention to what’s driving you to eat, you are practicing mindful eating . Next time you want to eat out of boredom or fatigue, go for a walk or get some rest, start listening to your body and stop when you are satisfied.

Make any excuse to move more.

The benefits of physical exercise are several; it helps burn calories, reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes type 2 as well as generally strengthening heart, muscle, bones and your confidence. The key is to find a physical activity that you enjoy. Whether it’s attending a zumba class,  going to a spinning class or boot camp or skating, find the exercise that suits your lifestyle and have fun with it! The American Heart Association recommends 30 to 60 minutes of exercise daily.

Meditate.

Stress has been linked with a multitude of health disorders: insomnia, depression, heart disease etc.  Meditation  is a trouble-free approach to tame inner thoughts and worries that lead to stress and anxiety. Similar to exercise, meditation works better when you practice it regularly and even better if is done daily.  Most people are hesitant to meditate because they don’t know how to go about starting. There are some good meditation apps (Headspace.com and insightful timer) to start you in the path of self-care. In today’s stressful world, a little bit of mindfulness can calm us down and lift our mood.