Spring will be here before you know it. Now is the time to begin shedding that winter weight. We’d like to help get you there, and stay there.Here are 8 things you can do right now that will result in big health gains, with the least amount of effort on your part:
- Get Your Zzzzzz’s: Set the DVR, put the technology aside, and aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep deprivation can increase risk for numerous diseases, fuel our desire to eat, decrease our cognitive function, and lead to moodiness and negativity.
- Stay Hydrated: Water is critical to regulating our body temperature. Often we confuse hunger for thirst. Try and start each meal with a glass of water or sugar-free beverage. Not only is this a good reminder to drink, it may curb how much you take in at that meal too.
- Avoid Skipping Meals: Always eat a meal or snack within an hour of waking and never go more than 4-6 hours without having something. This is the best way to keep your hormones balanced while keeping your willpower in check. By the way, Zone Nutrition Bars can keep you satisfied for 3 hours as a morning snack, and Zone PastaRx can make a great meal that will curb hunger for 5 hours.
- Follow the Rule of Three: At each meal, make sure your plate contains lean protein, lots of colorful fruits and vegetables, and heart-healthy fats.
- Eat-Out Less Often: Eating out can easily bring with it some unwanted calories and often times we lose sight of just how much we rely on foods outside of the house for our daily routine. By curbing some of your eating out behaviors, not only will you help your waistline, but your wallet will thank you too.
- Keep Sugar and Caffeinated Beverages in Check: While nationally our consumption of soft drinks may be on the decline, we are still a heavily caffeinated society. Who can resist the flavored lattes with whipped cream, the café mochas, icy cold colas or the frozen drinks? With every season having its signature drink, it can quickly pack on the pounds. Try and use skinnier alternatives if possible like low-fat milk, avoid the whipped toppings, or skip the flavored drinks all together. If drinking coffee or tea, try and keep your caffeinated cup to the morning and switch to non-caffeinated versions as the day goes on. You’ll actually find that by decreasing your caffeine and sugar intake you’ll have more energy throughout the day as you’ll minimize the highs and lows the drinks trigger.
- Keep Your Supplements to the Essentials: Although a multi-vitamin is a good insurance policy for a diet that is lacking, the studies aren’t quite there to support its benefits. We suggest focusing on “The Rule of Three” (number 4 above) and then supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids and polyphenols to reap all the anti-inflammatory benefits you can from your diet and supplementation regimen.
- Move More: Dance, Jump, Walk…. Find something that motivates you and aim for 30 minutes a day, whether it’s all the same time or broken up through the day.
No matter your goals: weight loss, wellness or performance, we want to help you with your journey.
Have other tips that you'd like to share with Zone readers? Let us know in the comments below!