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10 Easy Ways to Jumpstart a Healthier Lifestyle

By Elisa - Jenny Craig

So many of the decisions we make in regards to our physical health impact our overall wellness. If you’re looking for ways to improve your lifestyle, here are 10 things you can do, right now, to be healthier today!

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1. Eat your veggies.

10Things_EatYourVeggies.jpgVeggies pack a nutritional, low-calorie punch that can help you feel full, longer. Green vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, contain vitamin K and C respectively which may help your mental focus and improve your mood.1-2 Feeling a little dehydrated? Snack on fresh cucumbers or celery which contain a high-water content while also providing essential nutrients.3 Whether they’re raw or cooked, integrating vegetables throughout your day can help you get the vitamins and minerals you need – as well as aid in your weight loss journey.4

10Things_Protein.jpg2. Incorporate protein at each meal.

Since protein takes longer to digest than carbohydrates,5 incorporating it at each meal may help you avoid reaching for less nutritious foods later on by signaling feelings of satisfaction. As your digestive system slowly breaks down protein into amino acids7, your body receives a steady stream of energy so you can avoid feeling hungry again shortly after eating. 

3. Stay hydrated.10Things_Water.jpg

Drinking water isn’t just about quenching your thirst—it also helps your body with other functions such as circulation and digestion. While experts agree water consumption varies for everyone8, a general rule of thumb is try to aim for eight 8-ounce glasses per day or about half of your body weight in ounces.

4. Eat mindfully.

In today’s modern world as we find ourselves constantly connected to devices, it’s easy to get distracted from the food in front of us and overeat. Try disconnecting from your devices and practicing mindfulness by being in the moment: What are you eating and how does it taste? Take the time to look at your surroundings so you can tune in to how you feel as you enjoy your food.   

5. Don’t skip breakfast!

Recent research has found that eating more, earlier in the day, may ward off hunger later in the evening as well as help with weight loss.9 As you may feel less satiated at night10, by eating a hearty breakfast, you may be able to counteract overeating in the evening.

6. Avoid eating late at night.

Studies have shown that our metabolism naturally functions best during the morning and afternoon via a 24-hour cycle referred to as circadian rhythm.11 The patterns are typically divided 10Things_EatAtNight.jpginto two 12-hour periods, which are dictated by daytime and nighttime. Since your metabolism peaks toward mid-day and tapers off towards the early evening, your body isn’t primed to process large meals at night. By eating your last meal at a decent hour, you’ll be working with your metabolism and leveraging your natural fat burning abilities.12 Jenny Craig’s newest program, Rapid Results, was based on this 12-hour daylight nutrition strategy. To learn more about this program and other health benefits it offers, click here.

7. Move more.

Moving doesn’t just help aches and pains from stiff joints—it’s a way to relieve stress, gain some clarity and have a great time if you get friends involved! Whether you only have a quick break to sneak some movement into your day or found an activity you’re able to enjoy a few times a week, being active is an important part of improving your overall health.

8. Tuck in early.

10Things_Sleep.jpgSleep is a crucial part of maintaining your health, as it allows your body to recover from the events of your day and prepare for the next. If you don’t get enough sleep, you may experience a misalignment in your circadian rhythm which can lead to hormones that regulate your appetite and hunger cues to go askew. How many hours is enough? The National Sleep Foundation recommends nodding off for 7-9 hours per night.

9. Avoid alcohol.

Sipping cocktails and expecting to lose weight? Think again. Alcoholic beverages are void of nutrition and can be loaded with calories. They can also lead to poor food decisions. Alcohol can also inhibit your ability to get a good night’s sleep which could actually contribute to weight gain.13Learn more about how alcohol hinders weight loss and other healthy alternatives.

10. Watch your portion sizes.10Things_PortionSizes.jpg

As portion sizes have nearly doubled and tripled over the past twenty years,14 keeping an eye on how much food you’re consuming is becoming more important. A few tips to keep your portion sizes in check? Read your labels (there’s often more than one serving in a package), eat mindfully, listen to your hunger cues, and try pre-packing your snacks.  

 

If you’re looking for support to achieve your weight loss goals, contact Jenny Craig for your free appointment and get started on a healthier you!

 

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Sources:

[1] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/284823.php

[2] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266765.php

[3] http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20709014,00.html#cucumber-2

[4] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/well/eat/counting-calories-weight-loss-diet-dieting-low-carb-low-fat.html

[5] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2014/02/14/protein-carbs-and-weight-loss/

[6] http://time.com/4246736/protein-satiety-fullness/

[7] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22600/

[8] https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/the-truth-about-how-much-water-to-drink_us_56ddd529e4b03a4056796377

[9] https://www.cnn.com/2017/05/19/health/weight-loss-circadian-rhythms-drayer/index.html

[10] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425165/

[11]  Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. “Fasting, Circadian Rhythms, and Time-Restricted Feeding in Healthy Lifespan.” Cell Metabolism, vol. 23, no. 6, 14 June 2016, pp. 1048–1059., doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.06.001.

[12]

 

[13] https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/molecular-ties-between-lack-sleep-weight-gain

[14] https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/wecan/news-events/matte1.htm

Edited by Elisa - Jenny Craig


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