Power your mind with great reads that encourage healthy life style choices.
Changing habits can be challenging and those on a weight loss journey often underestimate how difficult it can be to alter their everyday patterns. So often the weight loss focus is on what can’t be eaten. For example, “I can’t have fast food for lunch anymore.” or “There goes eating ice cream for dessert.” or “I’ll miss my buttered popcorn on movie night.”
This segment in the Healthy for Life article series isn’t about what you need to give up, but what you should to add to your day. Keep in mind that new behaviors take time. These changes may not come automatically or be easy. If you give them your best effort by concentrating on what you’re adding, you’ll pay less attention to what you are giving up.
You are encouraged to do your best to embrace positive behavior changes and remember, no matter how big or small, positive changes add up.
+ Eat a healthy breakfast (but not too much).
WHAT: Have breakfast every morning. You don’t need to eat a lot – just something to get you off to a good start.
WHY: Research shows that people who eat a healthy breakfast manage their weight better than people who don’t eat breakfast. Breakfast is associated with improved performance at school and work, and it helps prevent you from becoming ravenous in the day.
Use a habit tracker to monitor your progress. Find inspired breakfast ideas here.
Sometimes the most intense longings for food happen right when you’re at your weakest emotional points. Many of us turn to food for comfort – be it consciously or unconsciously – when dealing with difficult situations or when looking for something to do when bored.
To keep food out of your mood, try these suggestions:
by Liz Stovall, MPH Manager, Division of Fitness and Wellness
Let’s face it, we all know we need to change certain habits to live better. The problem is putting our desires for better health into action by taking that big step from knowing what we need to do to actually doing it. Through Power Henrico, the Human Resources’ Fitness and Wellness Division offers Health Trip programs addressing two key healthy lifestyle habits – eating and exercise – to help you live well and stay healthy.
The challenge to lose weight and keep it off is familiar to many. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight can be a struggle – and for some, the struggle is lifelong. Because “healthy weight” is such a challenging issue that affects so many people, there are programs that take advantage of individuals by offering quick, effortless weight loss. Perhaps you have tried one or two. Perhaps you have found success with a quick weight loss plan, only to find your success is short-lived.
Unlike fad diets and get fit quick schemes, the Power Henrico Health Trip Healthy for Life plan focuses on making lifelong behavior changes to help you reach a healthy weight that you can maintain the rest of your life. The ideas shared and the programs offered are simple. They’ll provide modifications you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Healthy for Life is also different from other quick fixes in that it is not one-size-fits-all. Instead, it’s individualized, focused on your specific challenges.
Yes, you will be asked to invest some planning and effort into making changes, and you will need to open yourself up to new ways of eating and being active. But if you’re willing to make the necessary changes, your risk for lifestyle diseases will decrease, your weight will improve, and you’ll feel better.
The Power Henrico Health Trip Healthy for Life plan will provide you with the knowledge and tools you need to make important lifestyle changes. Each month the County Connection will feature a Health Trip Healthy for Life article with relevant behavior change information. You can practice the highlighted healthy behaviors by participating in nutrition, exercise and well-being classes to empower you to make healthy food and lifestyle choices.
Together, we become partners for change. Power Henrico Health Trip Healthy for Life will encourage you to change food and health attitudes and behavior – equipping you with new skills and habits to practice. The articles that follow and the programs to come are based on clinically tested techniques that put you in charge of reshaping your lifestyle by adopting healthy habits and breaking unhealthy old ones. Step by step, you’ll learn how to reshape your lifestyle in a way that’s realistic for you.
Starting Tuesday, August 6th, join the Power Henrico Health Trip Healthy for Life plan to start living your healthiest life! For more information, check out the Nutrition Page of Power Henrico and start your Health Trip to be Healthy for Life.
Follow these simple steps to put yourself on the path to a fully energized, fully awake YOU! Start by running a “7 for 7” sleep experiment. Seven hours of sleep for seven nights in a row. No excuses. Even if you think you can function well on five or six hours. This is non-negotiable. Which means you will also need to…
Pick a bedtime. Choosing a set time that you day will end is THE KEY to getting those seven hours. If you know when you must wake up back it up by 7 hours and viola, that is your bedtime! This becomes the hard stop for your day. To close your eyes at the time you’ve picked, you’ll need to…
Establish a wind down routine. A regular wind down routine is vital to falling asleep more easily at night and staying asleep until morning. You will want to begin this routine about an hour before bedtime, giving your body and mind time to decompress from your day.
Cut out caffeine after noon. Caffeine can temporarily block sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increase adrenaline production.
Clean up the clutter. Visual clutter stresses us out, so tidying up each evening helps you feel ready for bed. This is why spas are so Zen! Just take a few minutes to put things away.
Dim the lights. Go through the house and dim the lights (or turn some off if you don’t have dimmer switches). This sends a subtle signal to your brain that it should start to wind down.
Soften sound in the house. Like the lighting, changing the soundtrack in the house in the hour before bedtime can be powerful. Choose music or TV programming carefully so the sounds in the house are aligned with your goal of getting to sleep.
Stow your devices. I know, I know…but do it. Take the phone and the tablet and ALL the electronics that emit blue light and put them away. A digital detox for the last waking hour is HUGE to sleep wellness. It will keep you from scrolling mindlessly for hours. Instead, read or journal, or have a conversation with someone you love. PS – if your phone is your alarm, put it in the next room and turn up the volume or buy an analog alarm clock.
Clear your head. If your thoughts prevent you form falling asleep, keep a journal or notebook on your nightstand. If you are worried you might forget an errand or deadline the next day – jot it down. If you are stressing about something, write about it. This simple act of clearing your head is the last step toward a restful night of sleep. For more information on healthy sleep, visit the National Sleep Foundation at www.sleep.org.