July 15, 2024

Let’s Get Healthy This Summer! Tips from Wellness Experts and Simple Changes that Work

Summer, it’s a great time of year, and we have so many option for getting healthy so we can look and feel our best. If you dread the thought of ‘dieting,’ there’s good news. Small, simple changes go a long way to help with weight loss and getting or staying fit.

I’ve gathered some good tips and rounded up some awesome health experts to see what ways they have for helping you keep hunger at bay.

Quick crash course in healthy cooking and eating:

  • Most of the time, the cravings that make us look for boxed and processed food can be sourced from a recipe made with real, whole foods.
  • Elevate your eating experience. Making a meal from scratch gives you full control over ingredients.
  • Tune in to some cooking shows. You can learn a lot about how to prepare nutritious and delicious meals.
  • Subscribe to websites where they’re sharing healthy meal ideas and recipes.
  • Set a goal to sample one new healthy food per week, with vegetables topping the list of must-try new foods.
  • Look for plant-based, alternate sources of protein, for variety and good nutrition.
  • If you’re over 40, read up on the best foods to eat more of to nourish your hormones. Balanced hormones make weight loss easier.
  • Learn about healthy fats. Good fats lower cholesterol levels in the blood, nourish the heart, and can show up as better bloodwork scores.
  • If you go out to eat at a restaurant, trade starchy sides for veggies, and baked or broiled foods instead of fried.
  • Eat smaller portions and limit carbs.

Health, fitness and the hunger struggle… it’s real, but manageable

Grehlin is the hormone that causes that hungry feeling. Grehlin production increases just before a meal.  This hormone also surges in our body after we eat sugar; or directly from stimulation of the vagus nerve, responsible for control of mood, immune response, digestion, and heart rate.

Here are some smart tips from Healthline on how to curb hunger by controlling your body’s production of grehlin:

      • Avoid sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, which can impair ghrelin’s decline after eating.

      • Eat plenty of healthy carbs such as whole grains, as well as lean proteins like chicken, fish, and tofu

      • Get enough sleep

      • Stay hydrated

Halt that famished feeling: nutrition and wellness experts weigh in

Stress eating and food cravings need not sabotage our “get healthy” goals this summer.  Here’s what nutrition and wellness experts have to say about keeping hunger at bay…

  • Up the protein and get active! Water, water, water.” – Jennifer Kaye, Certified Nutrition Coach
  • “If you’re waking up hungry in the middle of the night, this points to blood sugar dysregulation. Try a snack like pumpkin seeds before bed.” – Nutritionist Allison Samon, Health.Allie
  • “Drink more water!!! 1/2 your body weight in ounces is a good place to start! And focus on getting that protein in at every meal… it will keep you satiated longer. ” – Laura Donatelli, Certified Pilates Instructor, Evolution Pilates Studio
  • “Intermittent fasting is my go-to for weight loss. With intermittent fasting, the brain isn’t working so hard to fight the body in resolving insulin and inflammation.” – Andrea Fox, Certified Yoga Instructor

Exercise motivation: it’s about making the time, not finding the time

Your first step in finding more time to exercise every day, is to change your mindset.

People don’t exercise because their belief is that it’s not necessary. They don’t make exercise a non-negotiable, which is exactly what it should be.

People who do exercise regularly, do so because they make it a priority and have built exercise into their schedule.

This applies not only to weight-loss seekers, but to anyone who wants to live their healthiest and best life.

How to change your mindset about exercise so you do it every day:

Pay attention to the quality of your sleep.

Do you conk out in the afternoon or early evening, only to find yourself awake and restless at 3 a.m.? Being active during daylight hours can get your internal clock back on schedule.

Give yourself a boost of energy by exercising that fatigue away.

Power through the final hours of the day. Then hit the sack at a decent hour and get a good night’s rest without the midnight or super early-morning wake-up.

After you make this a habit, compare how you felt prior to exercising, to how you feel now. Is your energy more level? Does your head feel clearer in the afternoons?

Hold this feeling in your mind the next time you begin to slip into bad habits and want to skip your daily workout. Most people begin to realize that exercise is the cure for an erratic sleep cycle, which is a huge reason to prioritize a daily workout.

Think of the long-term effects of not exercising.

Maybe you know an elderly person who is overweight, has limited use of their body due to joint problems, heart diseases or other chronic illness. Making exercise into a daily ritual can help you avoid losing your health and your ability to get around independently as you age. This is one of the biggest motivators to stick with a daily movement ritual.

Pencil exercise in on the calendar.

“Not having enough time” is a great way to not have enough time to exercise. But when you actually pencil in your daily exercise routine as part of a set schedule, you’ll learn to manage your other tasks around this routine. Remember, you don’t have to tell people what you’re up to. But you do owe it to yourself to take good care of yourself.

Surround yourself with other people who make fitness and good health a priority.

You can do this by joining a gym if your finances will allow it. Or you can make a daily trip to the fitness path at the park. There, you’re sure to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who take their commitment to exercise and good health seriously.

Take before and after pictures.

There’s nothing quite like seeing your hard work and dedication paying off when you drop a clothing size, look lean and mean in your bike shorts, and can maybe even rock a bikini on the beach this summer.

It’s not vain to take photos of your weight-loss, body-toning and slimming-down progress along the way. You’ll be able to look back and see how far you’ve come, and you might even feel inspired to keep going to the next level!

Do it for your dog.

One friend in your life who’s always rooting for movement, outside time and active playtime with you is your dog! If you can’t seem to muster up enthusiasm for daily exercise, prioritize your dog’s happiness, fitness and wellbeing… and in doing so, you’re bound to reap the rewards of joining in for a daily exercise session.

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