Habits That Destroy Your Otherwise Healthy Lifestyle
Spring isn’t just a time for clearing out the closet and sweeping out the dust bunnies. If you’re struggling to stay on track for summer, now is also the time to spring clean your diet. Check out our RD’s tips to keeping up with that healthy kick you’ve got going, and feel healthy and happy this spring!
Water is always the answer. We know, you’ve probably had this beaten into your brain by now, and for good reason. Water is a key player in keeping our body running – specifically indigestion. We need it to absorb nutrients and to clear out all that extra stuff. Avoid the belly bloat by getting in those ounces! Divide your body weight by 2 and aim for a MINIMUM of that many ounces of the miracle H2O elixir each day. Begin your day with an 8 oz glass and keep a water bottle on hand as a reminder to drink water throughout the day.
In a world where our phones are an extension of ourselves, it’s hard to think about our lives without them. Collectively, Americans look at their phones 8 billion times per day with the typical American checking it 74 times. With an average of two hours on social media, these devices suck up a significant amount of time we could be putting towards a healthier lifestyle. Instead of diving into the depths of Insta explore, binging the latest This is Us, or swiping right, take a 10-minute walk, or at least stand-up and do some light stretching.
Late Night Munchies
Nighttime eating doesn’t have to be a guilt-filled experience, especially when we use it as a time to fill the nutritional gaps from the day. Usually, if you’re ravenous come sun down it means you haven’t eaten enough throughout the day. Instead of reaching for the ice cream or Doritos, evaluate your hunger – are you really hungry or just bored? A good test is to first have a serving of veggies. Did it satisfy you or are you still hungry? After those carrots (yes, ranch is allowed), if you’re still craving something sweet, have the cookie. Likely, you’ll enjoy it and be more satisfied than the five or six you slammed in a hangry rage.
Bars & Boozin
Scientists tell us moderate alcohol consumption (one drink for women and two drinks for men per day) is healthy, but that isn’t a green light to replace your water with wine. Alcohol in excess wreaks havoc on our hormones, dehydrates our body and makes those nighttime cravings almost unbearable. Not to mention, it’s also additional empty calories. So go ahead, have the happy hour margaritas. Just know the impact it can have on your body and be prepared for the consequences.
Coffee serves a wonderful purpose in keeping America alert and sane. Caffeine has a mild dehydrating effect on our body, so keep intake at 1-2 8oz cups per day. Also, consider the other caffeinated beverages you drink throughout the day. Using caffeine as a replacement for sleep raises our ‘fight or flight’ system, elevating cortisol and causing you to hold onto that extra 5-10 pounds that won’t budge.
Anyone who has pulled an all-nighter knows that sleep tops the list as the most important factor in keeping our bodies healthy and happy. Quality sleep can be a major deal breaker when it comes to willpower, exercise recovery, and even the ability to digest and utilize food.
Although there’s no exact link between weight gain and sleep, scientists believe we have diminished control over our emotional regulation when we’re tired. You’re more likely to give into impulses following a night of poor sleep, making it that much harder to stick with your health goals. Sleep deprivation leads to the inability to use our prefrontal cortex, allowing our rewards system to take control of decision making (hello entire package of Oreos).
Set a goal to get at least 8 hours of quality sleep each night, so you can crush those crazy cravings.