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Author | DIAKADI Trainer, Polina Smith  Healthy Habit #1: Drink Water and Lots of It!

Drink at least half your body weight in ounces each day! Getting enough water is vital to helping the body flush out toxins and metabolize stored fat efficiently.

Helpful Hint: To help make sure you’re drinking enough water, keep a water bottle by your desk and drink from it at least once an hour.

Extra Bonus: Drink Clean Water! Paul Chek and others believe the chlorine found in tap water not only kills the bad bacteria, but also the good.  Instead, they recommend drinking water from a high quality water filter system, which can easily be installed into kitchen sinks. You can order a water filter at: Seagull Distribution

Healthy Habit # 2:  Get your Heart Rate Up!

There are soooo many benefits to exercise, including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, increasing mood, relieving stress, weight loss, increased self-esteem and confidence…the list is endless!

Types of exercise:

Strength Training: Strength Training includes building strength through lifting weights and body weight exercises, such as push-ups and squats.  Working your legs requires more energy than working the arms and therefore, burns more calories, so be sure to include leg strengthening exercises in your workout, such as through lunges and squats.

Cardio:   You don’t have to do the same exercise for 45 minutes (i.e. 45 minutes of elliptical), but can mix it up among different cardio exercises, such as the treadmill, spin bike and rowing machine. If you don’t like exercising in gyms, walking, running, dancing, Bootcamp classes and cycling outdoors are great options

Helpful Hints:

1.Find an activity you love to do, and do it!  When we love something, we will do it, with joy and ease! The rest will follow…

2. Find a support system through which to exercise, whether it is a class, a personal trainer, or a friend.  Having someone to help encourage you will keep you on track and motivated!

Healthy Habit #3 Keep Moving, all Day Long!

While exercising hard core in the gym for an hour can be very beneficial, if it is followed by sedentary behavior, much of the benefit can be lost.   To help keep your metabolism high all day long, keep moving!

Suggestions for doing this:

  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator
  • Walk to and from work
  • Park father away in the parking lot
  • Get off  a few muni stops earlier to walk more
  • Get a bike! Bike around the city! This is great cardio, and it’s very convenient! Many people attest to this being a life changing new habit!
  • Walk during your lunch break
  • If you work a desk job, get up at least once an hour to take a stroll

Healthy Habit #4: Take time to ‘Work In’

While getting your heart rate up and burning lots of calories is very important for weight loss, just as important is taking time to ‘work in.’ Working in includes practices like meditation, Qi Gong, Tai Chi and Yoga, disciplines through which we can turn the gaze inward and find a place of stillness and calm.

In our go, go, go culture, our bodies are often under a lot of stress, which can lead to excess weight retention.  Through ‘working in’ exercises, we can learn to more deeply listen to the needs of our body and find time for much needed rest.

 

Healthy Habit #5: Cut out all the white stuff—sugar, white flour, white rice, white pasta (brown rice/pasta is good alternative), white table salt

  • Use Stevia, an all natural sweet, no calorie, sweet plant, as a replacement for sugar.
  • If you need Salt to season food, choose an all-natural, organic mineral salt.

 

Healthy Habit #6: Avoid Processed Foods!!!

Processed foods are packed with hidden calories, artificial sweeteners, chemicals, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and many unnatural ingredients, all of which reek havoc on the insides, make the liver work overtime and cause weight gain in the long run.

Suggestions for doing this:

  • Avoid ingredients that you can’t pronounce
  • Eat whole foods—whole grains, vegetables and fruits
  • If buying packaged foods, stick to products that have 5 ingredients or less.

Healthy Habit #7: Eat Small Portions!

In the United States, with the encouragement of Super Sizing and the philosophy that ‘more is better’ our portion sizes have become hugely distorted. The consequence is that we are taking in many more calories than we need, leading to excess weight gain and extra stress on the body.

Suggestions for doing this

  • Never put big bowls of food on the table, keep them in the kitchen, this way it’s easier not to be tempted to eat more when it’s out of sight
  • Don’t keep foods in the house that you are going to be tempted to eat large quantities of
  • Take 3 deep breaths before beginning to eat, bringing a deeper awareness to the meal
  • When eating at home, keep the main dishes in the kitchen, rather than on the table
  • Use smaller plates and bowls
  • At a restaurant, ask the waiter to put half the dish in a to-go container before bringing it out
  • Every thirty seconds, put your fork down and take a deep breath, allowing you to eat slower and with deeper consciousness
  • At a restaurant, order 2 appetizers in place of meal, or order a salad, or ask the waiter to pack half of the meal away before he or she brings it to the table.

**In the beginning, this may be the hardest guideline to adjust to, but can make the biggest difference in the long run!

**Right now, on average, Americans consume 3,800 Calories a day when most of us should be aiming for under 2000!

Healthy Habit #8: Make Vegetables the main component of a meal, with meat and grains the side dish.

Suggestions for doing this:

  • Start your meal with a salad
  • Eat spinach or lettuce with every meal
  • Looking at the plate, make sure at least half of it is veggies!

Healthy Habit #9: Go Gluten free!

Over Eater’s Anonymous and Paul Chek, among others, believe that many people are gluten intolerant, but not on a large enough scale to be detected by the tests done in the traditional medical community. The effect of gluten intolerance can include sugar and carb cravings, bloating, fatigue, mood shifts  IBS, among many other unpleasant symptoms. Lynn Harding, a food addiction counselor, believes that 99% of  people with food addictions are gluten intolerant.

In order to see if you yourself are, try not eating gluten (basically wheat) for two weeks, and see if you notice a difference in how you feel.  If you do eat gluten again after two weeks, notice how your body react.

Helpful Hint: Here’s a list of gluten free products from Trader Joe’s.

Healthy Habit #10: Sleep, 8 hours!!!!

Getting 8 hours of sleep is hugely beneficial in keeping the body energized, curbing food cravings and keep cortisol (stress hormone) levels normal.  Less than 8 hours of sleep can be very taxing on the body, leading to unhealthy food choices and extra stress on the body.  Also, it is ideal to get to bed by 10pm each night.

Healthy Habit #11: Log your Food!

Numerous studies have shown that tracking our food is hugely beneficial for weight loss. Keeping track of our food helps us to gain a deeper understanding of what we are eating as well as making us more conscious about what is going in our bodies.

Helpful Hint: A great resource for food tracking is Fat Secret.

Healthy Habit #12: Set 3 small goals each week!

Set 3 small, very attainable goals each week, because small changes=big rewards!! A healthy lifestyle comes one step at a time, day by day, with small goals being the ladder leading to our ideal health. Keep your goals attainable and inspiring, and keep congratulating yourself along the way!

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